25 November 2008

surviving the recession I: vegetarianism

meat is lovely. it's easy to cook (flame!), provides tons of calories and protein, and tastes yummy. And yet it is also expensive. Like insane-o expensive. because cheap meat tastes terrible. so either you fork out the cash or you go veg.

one aspect of our reentry culture shock has been the difficulty with internalizing food prices. ya leave a country for three years, the world goes into a recession, and whammo, suddenly milk and eggs are out of budget range and meat is an unaffordable luxury.

In other words: we were paying a lot for food in the UK. Because it was the UK. we are, shockingly, paying much the same for food here. so it's back to basics: root vegetables and dried legumes. in honor of the coming food-fest of Turkeyday, I offer my pretty root veggie dish:

slice into 1/4-inch rounds:

three beets
four parsnips
two medium sweet potatoes
(note: I scrub and leave the skins on. this saves time and retains nutrients. also, buy a decent knife. life is too short for crappy knives. and you just need one good one.)

Layer in a casserole dish, alternating (pretty colors!) layers for each veg.
in between each layer drizzle some peanut oil (cheaper and takes heat better than olive) and grind some pepper.
after three layers, put some home-grown rosemary. Or similarly earthy/piney seasoning of your choice.

cover with tin foil and roast in oven at 375ish for an hour-ish, depending on how deep you've layered.

Yummy with yogurt, sour cream, or as is. goes well with dal--another cheapie for another day. we can eat meat again after the recession. mm. bacon.


Kate said...

I'm late in the game but wanted to let you know I made this tonight. It was good - thanks for posting it. I had to make some modifications as my grocery store did not have peanut oil (wha...?). I used walnut oil, which seems to be completely flavorless as far as I can tell.

The "sweet potatoes" on offer at the same (rather lacking) store are actually not that different from white potatoes in taste or appearance (although the skin is cream colored rather than brown), which made me worry about the carb implications. Your recipe mentioned it was "colorful" which mine wasn't outside of the beets, which further leads me to think I picked up the wrong vegetable for sweet potatoes. Should I go with yams next time? Or hunt down a different variety of sweet potato? I'm going to make it for mom's Fake Christmas this weekend.


Kate said...

Uh, strike the yam comment, since they're way worse than sweet potatoes nutritionally. I guess I just need to look for the latter with some pigment (?)