A Tale of Two Free Meals


Today I was lucky enough to have two free meals.  One was from where I work.  That was lunch.  The other was at the member’s meeting for a local co-op.

Right now, I am temping at a for-profit university.  The administrative offices where I work is in a large building that has it’s own cafeteria.  There was a meeting today that employees were strongly encouraged to attend.   Since I’m not an employee, I didn’t need to go.  But afterwards, some people were all excited about the fact that there were extra meals and told me I should go check it out before it was too late.  I felt like saying that they probably wouldn’t have anything vegan and I brought my lunch anyway, but I like to be a sport and it’s pretty hard for me to pass up free food.  So I went to investigate and the first box I see says “Vegan Roasted Vegetable Wrap”.

I ended up not opening the box, and when I got home, I put it in the fridge and my sweetie and I were off to the members meeting of the co-op where we’re members.  We had RSVPed for dinner and the meal was served in fancy dancy lunch boxes which, we were told, were valued at $27.  We got to take those home.  Inside, they had a container of water, a salad, a container of dressing, a container of a rice salad with beans and squash, and a container of dessert.  The co-op makes pretty decent vegan deli stuff.  I’ve mentioned their house-made coconut soft serve before.  I’d say it was a dinner along the lines of what I might make at home.  Plus, it came in a really snazzy lunchbox set.  I didn’t think to take pictures of the food, but it was a respectable vegan option.

Back to the first free meal of the day.  Camera in hand, I opened it up.  I realize now how accurate the label was.  The roasted vegetable wrap was indeed (most likely) vegan.  The lunch also included chips that contained milk products and a packet of mayonnaise.  I’m going to guess the the cookie was a standard cookie with eggs and whatnot.  Well, they tried.

The wrap looks pretty good, once you get past its funny shade of green.   And there was a cup of fruit that you can see in the corner in the picture above.

Simple One-Pot Pasta


I think this simple and tasty recipe qualifies as comfort food.  The liquid from the tomatoes is enough to cook the noodles, so you don’t have to bother cooking it separately. The nutritional yeast gives it a creamy texture and slight cheesy taste.

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 medium tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 bag whole wheat pasta (I used fettuccine)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Rough chop tomatoes into large pieces and add to food processor.  Process until relatively few large chunks remain.  Add garlic and olive oil to large pan over medium heat.  Saute until golden and fragrant.  Add seasonings, stir to combine.  Add tomatoes from food processor bowl.  Allow to cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce starts to bubble.  Add pasta, set timer for 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking to bottom of pan.  When pasta is cooked to al dente, turn off burner and add nutritional yeast.  Stir to dissolve nutritional yeast in pasta sauce.