We were only vaguely familiar with Mark Bittman before buying this book, but we picked it up on a friend's recommendation. Not a traditional cookbook, this is really a manifesto on how to save both the planet and your own health at the same time, and eat well while doing it. The premise can really be summed up in one catchy tagline- "vegan till 6:00PM".
A brief digression: After having owned the book for a while, we became better acquainted with Bittie via the strange and wonderful TV series "Spain- On the Road Again". If you haven't seen it, Google it and watch a few episodes. The series is a food- based road trip to every corner of one of our favourite countries, featuring the somewhat odd foursome of Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Spanish Actress Claudia Bassols, and of course, Mark Bittman. The group was split into twosomes for the travel clips, with Mario and Gwyneth, and Bittie and Claudia making small talk as they cruise around in huge Mercedes convertables with Willy Nelson playing in the background. Weird.
Top: from claudiabassols.com
Below: from spainontheroadagain.com
And we have to say that we'd much rather have breakfast with Ms. Bassols than Mr. Bittman, who based on his generally crusty temperament is probably not at his best first thing in the morning. But alas it's his book, so what can you do?
Speaking of the book, while we have every intention of one day reading the first 100 pages we naturally skipped straight to the recipes. And amongst those we regularly prepare is this very straight forward granola which we have atop our blueberries, banana and yogurt every morning. As he says, anything goes. Follow the basic ratios, but improvise to your heart's content. (as long as you're not sneaking in overly processed foods, 'cause that would be pretty cheeky given his thesis!)
Here are the basics. We add in whole flax seeds as well:
Mix it all together with the maple syrup and spread it out on a parchment- lined baking sheet.
We give it three 8 minute sessions, completely turning the whole lot between each go.
Let cool then store. Yummm!!
Thanks, Bittie!! Have yourself a swell day!!
(photo above from thekitchn.com)