Thursday, April 14, 2011

Why Didn't I Fast? - Now I Have To Feel Guilty

 Moveon, Mark Bittman in his March 30th New York Times column, and even my mother asked me to fast, but I didn't. It's hard to blog about food and fast at the same time. Now the returns are in and I have to feel guilty. The budget has been passed and I don't like it. Besides the Medicaid cuts and other cuts to programs serving poor people, now Washington D.C. is barred from using even local funds for abortions. We've come one step further toward making abortion a class privilege. Those who have private insurance or can pay out of pocket can still have one. I should have fasted, but I felt it would have been an invisible protest and only I would suffer. Why couldn't we have held some more visible protest?

At any rate, we have come even further toward being an unequal society, changing places with Argentina in income inequity. According to Mark Bittman in his March 30 column in the New York Times, the richest 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all American households combined. The tax rates of the wealthy have fallen by half in the last 20 years. Most people I know who use Food Stamps run out of food by the middle of the month. They supplement their Food Stamps by going to food pantries and soup kitchens. As a result, the food pantries and soup kitchens are overstretched more than ever and continue to need our donations and volunteer participation.

Many people are stretched and are trying to find ways to cut back on their food budgets. I've found that cooking vegetarian once or twice a week is a way to do that. This is one of my inexpensive recipes for a vegetable casserole. Preparation time is 15 to 20 minutes and it feeds four.

                                                Vegetable Casserole
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 eggplant sliced
2 zucchinis sliced
1 medium yellow onion sliced
a handful of mushrooms sliced
whatever other vegetables you have in the house sliced
about ¼ pound grated parmesan or Swiss cheese
¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
oregano, garlic, and basil to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steam the sliced eggplant for about 10 minutes until soft.
While it’s steaming, heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms.
Place all the vegetables in a casserole dish.
Top with grated cheese, breadcrumbs, and seasoning.
Cook for about 45 minutes.

It’s good served with brown rice.

Fasting, Food Stamps, vegetable casserole recipe

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