Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Vegan MoFo: Cooking when you don't want to cook

I've felt really tired and sluggish today, and I don't know why. It might have to do with the massive quantities of reading I have and the three papers that I have to write this weekend, none of which I'm even vaguely interested in or excited about--but then, who knows? What I knew tonight was that I wanted a warm, substantial dinner that didn't require too much time hunched over the stove.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like to cook. I find it therapeutic, even--it's something that's enjoyable, but also necessary, so I don't feel like I'm procrastinating my work while I do it. In my mind, Sunshine Burgers and Annie's Meals are for emergencies, when you get an email saying that your presence is essential at a meeting taking place thirty seconds from now, and you haven't eaten since 6 AM. And since that happens to me relatively often, I didn't want to break into my supply of Sunshine Burgers.

I have this funky little cookbook of soups from the '70s, and it had a "recipe" that inspired me. I put that in quotes, because it basically suggested combining a can of tomato sauce and a can of refried beans and heating it up. But hey, it sounded tasty enough, and I had a green pepper that was getting wrinkly (I'm ageist when it comes to peppers) and a portobello that I'd forgotten about in my fridge, and it seemed like a good way to use them. I made a lot of changes to the original "recipe," and it's still not really enough of a recipe to bother posting. But here's the process and the basic idea:

I put about a teaspoon of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat with about a teaspoon of Mexican chili powder and half a teaspoon of cocoa. I sauteed the chopped pepper and portobello in it until the spices began to stick to the pot. Being the industrious problem-solver (and cheapwad) that I am, I turned on the fan and tossed about a quarter of a cup of water into the pot. The can of refried beans (I used Bearitos organic fat-free vegetarian pinto beans--yummy) went in next, followed by about half a 6 oz. can of tomato paste (didn't have sauce). I added half a cup of plain hempmilk to make it a little smoother, a few dashes of liquid smoke to make it... smokey (?), and a scant tablespoon of lime juice at the end. Despite the fact that it's a pathetic excuse for a recipe, it was actually pretty yummy! I kept licking the spoon while I stirred it.

I'll post pictures when I actually feel like taking the pictures off my camera and bothering with Flickr. Until then, enjoy the non-recipe!

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