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I’m so happy to see Slow Food USA embracing the Meatless Monday Campaign. Here at iEat Green, we promote every day as a meatless day, for so many reasons. First, we recognize the huge impact that our food system has on global warming, and that by eating less meat and dairy, we are doing our part to keep that footprint down. Secondly, we believe that eating a more plant based diet is healthier for our bodies and the planet, and thirdly, we don’t want to participate in the animal cruelty that is so much a part of the industrialized meat production. 

I realized many years ago, that if I wanted to appeal to the masses and encourage people to eat less meat, then I needed to come up with recipes that would replace those comfort foods that meat eaters were used to. A plate of Brown Rice with Greens and Tofu just wouldn’t do for your typical carnivore, but a Seitan Marsala with Wild Mushroom Risotto and Sautéed Broccoli Rabe in Garlic and Oil just might! The meatless recipes at iEat Green are tried and true, and I have been serving them up to meat eaters and vegetarians alike, for the past 35 years!

This week, in honor of the Slow Food campaign to Cook Up a Better Future with Meatless Monday, and in honor of supporting the Ark of Taste endangered foods, I’ve created a dish using the Sea Island White Corn Grits and the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, both ingredients from the Ark of Taste.  This dish is vegan and gluten free, and can be eaten as a main course or side dish. I used some coconut milk in cooking up the grits which gives it just enough fat to make it rich and delicious! The LI Cheese Pumpkin adds the perfect contrast in flavor, to create the perfect dish. Check out my recipe below and find other plant-based recipes on the iEat Green website www.ieatgreen.com to share and enjoy!

— Bhavani Jaroff, M.Ed.

White Flint Corn Grits with Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

8 servings

1 cup Sea Island White Flint Corn Grits
½ LI Cheese Pumpkin, de-seeded, peel removed & cut into 1” cubes
2-1/2 cups water
1 can coconut milk
1 t. salt
2 carrots, small dice
1 onion, chopped
Coconut oil
1 t. fresh minced ginger
1/8 t. cinnamon
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds (optional) 

1) In a small pot, bring water, coconut milk, and salt to a boil. Slowly stir grits into boiling mixture. Bring back to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon and parsley when finished.

2) Meanwhile, lay out pumpkin cubes on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and greased with coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and roast in 450* oven for 20-30 minutes until soft. Remove from oven.

3) In cast iron pan, saute the onions and carrots with a little salt until soft. Add the ginger and cook another 5 minutes. Add onions and carrots to cooked grits.

4) Wipe out pan and add apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Add the cooked pumpkin to this and let simmer until the pumpkin absorbs the sauce.

5) Place grits in bowl, and spoon out pumpkin on top and in center. Garnish with more parsley. Add slivered almonds if desired


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