Monday, March 26, 2012

cooking for the clueless

One of the best things about my recent trip was the FOOD! I had originally started the month on a 30 day vegan challenge as posted in this gal's blog. I figured, it would be quite easy in two countries that were primary Buddhist. And then I embarked on what was probably the least vegan two weeks of my entire life! (I essentially abandoned the challenge somewhere around the third "vegetarian soup" filled with pork I received)  "Vegetarian" must mean something different in Indoneisia. Or, more likely, the mere fact that in poor countries, they don't necessarily have the luxury of "going vegan". Pigs and chicken are raised for food and then eaten. That's the way it is. 

Regardless, the food was extremely fresh, extremely well prepared, extremely CLEAN. A wonderful change from the processed junk we are surrounded by in this country. In a strange way, it's easier to eat well in that environment than here, where we value convenience and thrift over good, healthy food. 

On that note, I decided that I was going to try to continue to eat good, clean food (and cut out animal products) in the weeks that followed my trip. As always, whenever I enter the kitchen, I realize exactly how clueless I am!

This week, I adapted a recipe from the original "clueless girl", Alicia Silverstone and her book, The Kind Diet. Of course, since I am so clueless, I forgot to check my spices before I went shopping and ended up having to change the entire spice configuration to coincide with what I actually had in the house. So instead of ending up with Moroccan Couscous, I ended up with a sort of "Thanksgiving Style Couscous". (Simply because I know those spices taste ok on squash.

2 cups cubes butternut squash
2 cups largely diced yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped yelllow squash
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt to tast
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 couscous

Heat oven to 375. Place veggies on baking sheet with olive oil, salt and 1 tsp pepper. Roast 25-30 minutes, turning once with spatula. Boil veggie broth. Remove pan from heat. Add Butter and spices. Put veggies and prepared couscous in large bowl. Bring broth back to boil and pour over veggies and couscous. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

I ate it for lunch all week last week and did not get sick of it. I will more prepared next time and check my spice drawer before shopping so that I can experience more exotic flavors in my dishes, but for now, the old Thanksgiving standby spices did me quite well.

1 comment:

Carolina John said...

It's amazing to me how much processed crap we eat here as americans. So many other cultures eat cleanly and healthy and it's just as cheap and easy as our food is.

The biggest problem has to do with farm subsidies and the fact that large corporate entities control the food supply and availability here to provide something that is consistent in texture, quality, and availability even though food, by nature, is supposed to be seasonal. Beef from one farm should taste different than beef from another farm, but that's not a very corporate approach.