Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One Thing I Ate When I Disappeared (VEGAN MOFO: DAY 3)

Oh, hey, remember that time I barely posted for like months and months?  I moved to Pittsburgh, found my kitchen too dark to take good pictures of food, got busy with my stupid social life, and just stopped updating.

But the blog was never too far from my mind.  I knew I'd come back to it, and I guess I knew that I'd finally participate in a Vegan Mofo, although I swear, I wasn't thinking of that when I took pictures of much of the food I ate.  I didn't even delete them when the pictures turned out horrible.

Some of the food I made was actually kinda horrible, too.  Like, for instance, here's a pasta e fagioli I made without a recipe, which was strictly average.
I mean, so it's average. Average is what you need sometimes, really.

There's a story here.  Many years ago, I wasn't even vegetarian, let alone vegan.  I wasn't much of a cook.  But I had this ridiculous cook book called Cheap. Fast. Good!  that was really intended for use by working mothers trying to make something inexpensive that their kids would eat without being all whiny and kid-like, NOT for childless college dropouts working at Borders.  Still, I had this book and I cooked from it.  I probably cooked some meat.  But even then, although I didn't have vegetarianism on my mind at all at that time, I gravitated to meatless recipes because they just seemed easier and less expensive.  So, from that book, I first made the Italian peasant dish pasta e fagioli, which, inexplicably, is apparently pronounced "pasta fazool" by lots of people, myself included.

The recipe from that book was really easy.  In those days, I had to go to the store to buy the ingredients, even for this simple dish!  Nowadays, though, if I'm looking for a "pantry meal," this fits the bill, although I do think it's better if you use fresh carrot and onion instead of just not having carrot and using onion powder, which, frankly, I'm not above doing now and then.  You just need some little noodles and beans in a can--almost any mix of them, although, due to the influence of that first recipe I used, I usually do one can of kidney beans and one can of white beans of some sort.  Canned tomatoes, veggie broth, Italian seasoning and pepper.  It's nothing to write home about, but it's a meal.

Then there's the "garlic bread."  Yes, the quotes around "garlic bread" are required.  See, when I was quite young, my older sister taught me to make lazy garlic bread like so: toast whatever bread you have (we usually had hot dog buns from our freezer), put some butter on it, then put garlic salt and Kraft Parmesan cheese on it.  Oh man, it's embarrassing.  So, in a throwback to my childhood, I figured, why the hell not?  I'd have "garlic bread" with my pasta e fagioli, although these days I use Earth Balance and omit the Kraft cheese.  The bread is truly none the worse for it. 

So, yeah, sometimes I didn't eat very fancy while I failed to blog.  But if you're out there and want to teach your kids something very beginner, except do it, you know, while they're still actually kids so they can eat relatively normally when they leave home, this isn't a terrible place to start.

9 comments:

  1. I agree you can't eat fancy all the time! Sometimes life just gets in the way. I'm sure everyone has these easy, quick, not so inspirational but ok meals they turn to every now and again. My Nan used to call it food that just keeps body and soul together :)

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    1. I can see it keeping your soul together, but your body maybe not so much! It could use, like, a great big side of broccoli or something. But, hey, calories are calories, and they will, in fact, motor you for a long time before you have a heart attack.

      MAN, I'm dark, sorry.

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  2. I could not agree with you more. Sometimes garbage noodles (that's basically what we call any dinner we make consisting of noodles, random protein and random sauce) are exactly what you need! Also, I ADORE the name of your blog! Excited to see what you have in store this VeganMofo!

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    1. Ha! "Garbage noodles" is a great name for it. And it's basically all we ever, ever ate when I was a child.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting!

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  3. Hi Melissa!
    I love that you're doing the MOFO this year! I will read every post. I've been reading your blog for about a year and a half. Glad you're back to blogging. I love that you make Pasta Fagiole and aren't afraid to blog about it. It's actually one of my childhood faves (my family is Italian.) Everyday meals don't always have to be a gourmet event!
    --Tara

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    1. That's awesome. I do believe you were my first real reader. Thank you for your support!

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  4. There's definitely a time and a place for average meals. Sometimes average meals are damn satisfying, especially when they've got nostalgia value. Also I almost never eat garlic bread and instead usually opt for "garlic bread". So good.

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  5. Sometimes we need those easy and almost 'mindless' dishes, even the uninspired quick version of 'garlic bread'! ;)

    Looking forward to see what you'll come up with this MoFo! ;)

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