Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Apr 24, 2013 08:39 AM

Bittman's new NYT column - The Flexitarian

I'm looking forward to reading more. I enjoyed The Minimalist as my weeknight cooking tends to be of the quick and easy but healthy variety. Not so sure I'm keen on the term "flexitarian." Omnivore always works for me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. he has a new book coming out, right? VB6 (which i think stands for vegan before 6). it only has 60 recipes, though....

    duh, there's a link to the book in the article....i should really read before i type.

    1. I don't think "flexitarian" is a helpful word, although "omnivore" does not have the connotations Bittman wants.

      3 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        "Flexitarian" is not a brand new word, nor is it a Bittman word. Peter Berley wrote a good book "The Flexitarian Table" in 2007 and I have found it quite useful. He calls it 'flexible eating, meals for vegetarians, meat lovers and everyone in between".

          1. re: Gio

            Thanks for the link, Gio. I had no idea ............. what a goldmine! Loads of good information to read.

      2. The comments I found particularly discouraging: so many complaints that Bittman's balance of health versus taste do not reflect their particular balance. "I'm a diabetic, how could you include fruit in your recipes?" "Don't you know that meat is murder?" "All rice is evil!" They reflect the opinion that anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac and anyone who drives slower is a Nervous Nelly. It somehow is easier to not be the compromiser; write only recipes that have nothing but butter, fois gras and heavy cream.

        2 Replies
        1. re: thinks too much

          I haven't read the comments, but his recipes do rely on a heavy hand with sugars.

          1. re: thinks too much

            I've been a fan of Bittman and mostly like how he approaches rethinking meals. His article on "more sauce, less pasta" didn't produce any recipes I use - but changed how I think of using pasta (and saucing it) when I do.

            I also like his perspective on finding the middle ground that isn't vegetarian, doesn't cut out all sugars/carbs/glueten. There's still room to cut back or change someone's approach to cooking with those ingredients, which is the thought exercise I like the most. Even if not his specific recipes.

          2. Mark Bittman makes me miss Molly O'Neill so much every Sunday. I can't stand his recipes and I find his writing insipid.

            As someone concerned with public health, I can't overlook the deleterious aspects of the amount of space starches and sugars take up in his cooking.

            Half assed, half baked, from my POV.

            4 Replies
            1. re: mcf

              "...I can't overlook the deleterious aspects of the amount of space starches and sugars take up in his cooking."

              Your observation is interesting because my sense is just the opposite. I've certainly not done any sort of statistical analysis of his recipes to look for excess starch and sugar but the recipes I've tried from his Minimalist column were typically veg heavy, with some meat and typically whole grains.


              1. re: tcamp

                Whole grains are starches. Exactly. We may be working from different information when considering what's excess.

              2. re: mcf

                In his Food Matters cookbook Mark Bittman focuses on vegetables and pulses rather than on meat. In these recipes he cuts back on the meat and uses no processed food, keeping to seasonal vegetables and whole grains. I've cooked many recipes and have been pleasantly surprised at how easy to prepare and delicious they are. I don't find his recipes to be unnecessarily sugary or starchy...

                Here's a list of the recipes and ingredients of each recipe in the book:


                1. re: Gio

                  I looked at the list and I just saw him on the Today show promoting what adds up to almost entirely sugar for breakfasts.

                  It helps to know that all starches and sugars, whether added or part of a fruit are metabolically sugars. And that's what he's advocating you eat all day until dinner, then eat "whatever you want" for dinner.

                  There's so much harm done by that, it's hard to know where to start. And that's for another discussion in another forum.

              3. From Bittman today,"... tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30th, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST, I am hosting a Twitter chat. Ask me anything you want about VB6. Share your favorite recipes. Let me know what you think. I want to hear from you. All you have to do is tweet @bittman using the hashtag #VB6. Search for the hashtag to join the conversation."

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gio

                  Just scrolled down the list.

                  I rest my case.