Meal Time

February 29, 2012

One of the most common reactions to hearing that I’ve been vegan almost 6 years is “what do you eat?!”, as if the plant kingdom isn’t full of delicious, nutritious foods. Initially as a young vegan my concern was only with eliminating animal products from my diet but as I have grown and learned, my aims have shifted more towards purchasing foods whose origins I feel comfortable with and wish to support. Generally speaking this means locally sourced ingredients when possible, which is a continual process of grocery list refinement.

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We order produce from a local co-operative business that I spent the summer interning for last year. They source mostly organic, local or regional produce year round and deliver it right to your door! Above are some delicious local salad greens (yes, even in the winter!!), cabbage, carrots, beets and some not-local kidney beans and raisins with imported balsamic vinegar.

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I love eating a meal that started with the most basic ingredients and, after personal effort and thought became something special and delicious. I am eating dinner alone a few nights a week simply due to scheduling differences between me and my partner, and it has been challenging for me to have the energy to make a meal instead of relying on whatever is lying around. Making these tortillas reminded me how nice it is even just to cook for myself, and leave leftovers for the one I love to appreciate on his schedule.

These corn tortillas were freshly pressed from masa harina and served with a black bean and corn mixture and some definitely not local avocados. The black beans I cook from dried beans several cups at a time and then freeze individual portions in glass jars. The corn came from a farm stand down the street. In July I bought 18 ears, lightly steamed them, then sliced off and froze the kernels for later use. The heat in this mixture also came from dried hot peppers I got as a part of a CSA a year ago.

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The condiment on this meal was some of our homemade tomatillo salsa. We used tomatillos, cilantro, onions and garlic all from our CSA last winter and spiced it up with some cumin and lime juice. We followed a canning recipe to be safe and processed the jars. It has been delightful to open a jar of this green deliciousness in winter months and remember that summer will be back again!

The salsa is perched on my tortilla press, which I bought off craigslist some months back. I’m not one for single-use kitchen tools- but this press sits on a shelf proudly next to my waffle maker.

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