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Along with big-name chefs like Mario Batali, who New York Magazine notes has enlisted a very popular "vegetable butcher" at Eataly (who we happened to snag an interview with back in September), and Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy, who stages her veggies like, well, candy, Clinton, too, seems to be making vegetarian cuisine sexy. In fact, he is on PETA's list of Sexiest Vegetarian Celebs for 2011, as reported on GreenCelebrity.net.
"The news comes several months after former President Clinton announced that he was actively leading a vegetarian lifestyle," says the Web site, noting that Clinton "cited a preponderance of evidence that suggested vegetarians have a much higher capacity to improve the healing process within the body, and specifically cited reports of arterial blockages being cleared faster by sticking to a plant-based diet."
As New York Magazine reports, "only 26 percent of Americans eat at least three servings of vegetables a day," so we're not all vegetarians, but many have embraced Meatless Mondays, where meat takes a night off. The culinary wave has certainly ushered in some new attention to green stuff, including a "Battle Broccoli" on Iron Chef and high-end, veggie-centric restaurants like Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen, where goods from the nearby Greenmarket are used at the peak of their flavor.
Sometimes we wonder if it counts if we're eating a plate of brussel sprouts covered in pork fat, but the movement is not about going cold turkey; it's about limiting our intake of meat. Turning it into a flavoring or a side dish, instead of the main event, is, at least, a first step. And we have to agree with New York -- where there was once watery broccoli in a can, farmers markets have made leafy greens and roots much more appealing. Appealing enough to maybe even let meat disappear for a night, to sip a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup instead.
Visit KitchenDaily for more vegetarian recipes.