The streets of New York City are tough, and the story is common: young boy from Texas moves to Manhattan, tries to seduce older women, quickly loses all his money, befriends Dustin Hoffman, and then takes very long bus trip to Miami while staring wistfully out the window.
I have not yet palled around with Dustin Hoffman, so believe I am somewhere at the “loses all his money” part. But like Jon Voight, my naivete can be outweighed by my toughness. Unlike Jon Voight, I do not look good in cowboy boots, nor would I ever allow my daughter to marry Billy Bob Thornton.
I have had to learn quick on these mean streets, hustling to survive, sheering rats to make my hipster scarves (one must keep up appearances). During my season of unemployment (read: the last month and a half), I have learned to budget carefully. One of the first things to be trimmed (after my scarf budget), was the food budget.
A such, I have become a burrito master, a true expert of the greatest cheap food ever: healthy, flexibly made, and cheap. I’ve become so good that if you put me in a dark room with a bean, a grain of rice, and cayenne pepper, I will walk out triumphant, with 4 steaming burritos and a Honduran passport.
A quick recital of the recipe before I go back to boasting about how good I am with a burrito:
2 cans black beans,
half an onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
jazzy (flexible) tbsp of coriander
sexy (liberal) tbsp of cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
Sauté onion, garlic, add in beans, once beans are reasonably well cooked, toast and add the spices.
Using burrito wraps, melt cheese, add tomato, lettuce, avocado (when the avocados are cheap or when you are trying to impress someone, and perhaps salsa).
Add brown rice for added nutritional value.
Other things that have been trimmed: Infrequently do I purchase a dessert (or a desert, as they say in Saudi Arabia). I eat a fair amount of bananas, pasta, tomatoes, and generally experiment with whatever veggies and fruits are on sale. Also, let nothing go to waste-I try to keep an eye on what sort of science experiments I am creating in the fridge (a common habit of mine, being a science-y person).
When in doubt about what to do with a food, sauté. When it smells funny, sauté. When it is visibly moldy, cut off the moldy parts, sauté. When it is rotten, sauté a little bit, experiment, sauté more, avoid poisoning.
In general, sauté.
So: lots of bananas, oranges, the occasional avocado, pasta, beans, rice, eggs, olive oil.
Don’t sauté the fruit.