Deep South Vegetarian Does Game Day

If a southern woman can’t make a casserole out of it, it’s not worth eating. This holds true even for vegetarian dishes. In that spirit I give you Black Bean Burrito Casserole.

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I know I’ve been yammering a lot lately about the ethics of eating locally. This dish does not apply. Most of it comes from cans. It does, however, consist of ingredients I already had on hand before I took up the cause of local produce. It seems to me that eating what you already have is its own kind of ethic. Who wants to waste food?

Thus we have this casserole constructed from ingredients I rummaged from my cabinets and my freezer.

First, I took some whole wheat tortillas and filled them with refried black beans. You should pick whatever kind of tortillas and beans you have on hand and/or prefer should you try to copy this. Once the tortillas were rolled up with the bean filling, I spread them out in a Pyrex casserole dish. I topped the burritos with a can of Amy’s vegetarian chili. Then I topped that with a layer of onions, garlic, and spinach sauteed in olive oil. Next, I spread a pack of Colby-Jack cheese on top and sprinkled that with black olives. I put it in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes and finally topped it off with freshly sliced avocado, which I believe was shipped to Mississippi all the way from the country of Chile.

All in all, the result is delicious.

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I’ve already divided what I can’t eat today into individual serving sized containers that I can take for my lunch this week, thereby avoiding Lean Cuisines which do not come in reusable containers.

I’m also making Crock-Pot Potatoes.

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This is the best way in the world to cook a potato. You just jab a knife into it a couple of times for whatever reason it is people do that to potatoes, and stick the thing into the Crock-Pot for, you know, hours like you generally do with Crock-Pots. It will come out moist, tender, and wonderful.

I’m going to warm these up for supper probably every night this week. I eat for one, but I don’t know how to cook for one because I grew up in a ginormous family. Also, I only have time to cook on weekends because I work too hard all week. Therefore, life is better for me when I cook enough on Sunday to divvy out for the whole week.

That’s my story, and these are my game day picks…for whatever they are worth.

**Addendum: Geaux Saints! (with deepest apologies to Brett)

It's Alive!

Just as the rest of my environment looks like this…

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The mint in my yard looks like this…

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We’ve had freezes and floods and every kind of inclement weather. The world is shrouded in winter gray, but still the mint thrives. You can’t kill it. Pull it up by the roots, and it grows right back. When giant asteroids hit the earth and kill us all, the mint will be popping up through the rubble. At least the roaches will have something to eat.

Breakfast and the Art of Ethical Eating

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Yes, this is one of those annoying “eat this, not that” posts. I’m on a quest to reduce the chemicals in my diet, to reduce the amount of fuel used to bring my food to me, and to support the local farmer in my food purchases. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite figured out how to do all three at once yet, but we all have to begin to begin somewhere if we want to improve our lives and lessen our own impact on the world around us.

Today, I tackle the issue of breakfast. I like granola cereals and yogurt for breakfast. Yet, in reading the Barbara Kingsolver book I’ve been going on about for days, I was forced to think about the fact that not only do those cereals contain added chemicals, they also consist of multiple ingredients all shipped to a factory where they are processed, packaged, and shipped again to come to a grocery store near me.

Stephen Hopp, Kingsolver’s husband, recommends oatmeal instead. It may not be locally grown. It may have also been processed in a factory and shipped. But it consists of a single ingredient. Only one product had to be shipped to a processing center and shipped out again. Plus, the single ingredient on the nutrition label means no added chemicals. That has to be a good thing.

The picture above is of my breakfast this morning. Only one part of it came from a local farm. It is sweetened with honey from Smith’s Farm in Petal, Mississippi. Local honey is easy to find in stores here, and it is much healthier than sugar substitutes.

The strawberries are from Los Angeles. The sign outside the store said “Louisiana strawberries,” which was a big surprise to me in January. The packages said Los Angeles, California, which was not so much of a surprise. I bought them anyway, though they are bruised and battered from their travels. I love oatmeal, but I don’t want to eat it without fruit if I can help it.

For most of the year, I’ve eaten blueberries picked from my parent’s yard on my oatmeal and cereal. My freezer is now out of berries, but in the planning ahead next time category….More Berries!