The Dawning of a New Era (of food and responsiblity)
I can’t cook. I can bake, tell me to throw together a pie or some crazy concoction cookies and I am all over it, but cooking is a completely different thing all together. I am the type of person who is still a five year old eater, I don’t want big chunks of veggies in any of my food and god forbid if the sauce from my pasta gets near my salad…. So this was an experience. At Hofstra University I live on a meal plan and at home I throw together pasta, microwavable meals, or my parents cook. Here in Maynooth I have not only learned how to properly create a weekly budget for things such as grocery shopping, but I have discovered that more than just chicken, bacon, and cheese are complimentary. I decided to take this opportunity to expand on what I thought I liked and (half because I was forced to) try new foods and combinations. I have found that I love red peppers! I had never really had them before due to my aversion to anything labeled “vegetable”. I use spinach instead of iceberg lettuce not only for salads but also on sandwiches, with pasta, and sauteed with other meats and veggies. The local grocery store is cheap but it is mostly local foods and does not have as much variety as I would be used to so I have learned to try things outside of my very limited comfort zone to not only stay in budget, but eat like an adult. I continue to surprise myself as well with the way I can combine foods.
Usually by Saturday night, my part of the pantry is looking pretty bare. I have this and that left over but nothing that would hop out at me and say “LOOK! I’m a meal!” so I have had to make do. For example one night a little while back I realized I didn’t have any meat left of any sort: no chicken, no mince, nothing…. How was I supposed to make a dinner with no meat? As I said, I have a very basic idea of how foods can be put together so I was dreading the idea of having to make something essentially vegetarian. I pulled out the brown rice and put it on the counter. I realized I still had a bit of tomato sauce left so I grabbed that as well. Looking around I started pulling out anything that I thought I might be able to put with it to fill me up so I took the remainder of my peppers, corn, and spinach from the fridge along with a can of kidney beans form the pantry. I had two wraps remaining so I decided impromptu burritos it was. By the end of it, I had put in all of my veggies, the sauce, some seasonings, and a bit of plain yogurt into the rice and made a really delicious meal! It is now something I continue to make with any scraps I happen to have left over at the end of the week because it helps to keep me from wasting food which might have gone bad if I hadn’t used it and saves money because I get left overs! Look at me, living like a grown up (sort of).