Friday, June 15, 2012

day 3: what this is about

Today was a surprisingly really good day. I had 3 very good meals. I heeded some advice from an Italian friend who was aghast that I was not cooking my pasta with the sauce but just dumping it on top of the pasta. So I got a little in touch with my Italian roots at lunch time and it was quite a delicious experience. I really surprised myself with the dish you see below. I have no idea what to call it and I know my Italian friends will laugh-- but maybe it was an improvised pasta primavera?

Anyhow, enough about cooking. Let's talk about what this challenge is about and what it's not about. It's not about showing the world what an awesome person I am. This really isn't as difficult as it seems. It just takes a bit of determination and some creativity. Nothing special about it really. Many could easily say I'm not making it hard enough to really call it a challenge. Fair enough, I agree, there's a lot more I could do to really empathize with the poor. I mean, I'm sitting in an air conditioned room, in an ergonomic office chair, typing on a nice computer, listening to my favorite music on my designer headphones. Sure, craving my favorite foods, but not suffering at all.

But here's what it is about.

1) Helping us realize living a simplified life is not as difficult as it seems.
2) Helping us realize we eat way more than we need, wasting our health and money.
3) Awakening myself to be thankful for the abundance and variety we do enjoy.
4) Doing something out of the ordinary to heighten awareness for a cause dear to my heart.
5) Doing something intentional so that I'll personally relate to the poor in some small way. To better understand their daily struggle. Doing something like this no matter how simple your life already is, really makes you stop and think seriously.

For those of you interested, here's the run-down on the meals of the day...

Breakfast. Chopped and boiled potatoes with a scrambled egg, topped with a teaspoon of pasta sauce for a delicious breakfast taco. The staple oatmeal with raisins, seasoned with what other than season-all.

Lunch. This was an amazing meal; it really surprised me. Hard boiled egg. The usual homemade corn tortilla chips seasoned with season-all. Cooked half-cup of penne pasta, 1/3 block of ramen noodles, added some boiled carrots and cabbage, sautéed together with 3 tablespoons of pasta sauce, added the remainder of my ramen spicy chili seasoning pack for a little kick. Bang, an amazing lunch, for about 33 cents.

Dinner. Well, I was down to very little on the ingredient list allotted for today. Pinto beans, brown rice, and a corn tortilla. So I just went for the re-fried bean recipe, very simple: just bring an 1/8 cup of water and just a splash of cooking oil to a simmer, stir in 1 cup mashed beans with some seasoning and a splash of soy sauce, and you've got yourself some very tasty re-fried beans. My daily allotment of brown rice is 1.5 cups (cooked), so together with the beans and 1 tortilla, you've got yourself quite a delicious taco. The remainder, just mix together for a well-rounded protein of beans and rice. Prepared with love.

Some of the people I was thinking about today who would not find this a challenge by any stretch of their imagination...

Kids from our primary school in Uganda at lunch time:

A family in the slums of Manila, Philippines:

Take Action: 

1) Please visit my unofficial sponsor, through this link. 7% of your purchases made through the link are given to Peace Gospel. If you're in the UK, use this link.

2) Please consider giving toward my goal of 10 scholarships for children of the Indian slums. So far we've raised $0 and that's ok... it will come in due time. But never think your $5 is too small a gift to give. To some, that's 5 day's wages.

3) Leave me feedback. Please comment on this post, especially if you have any ideas about what I should try to cook with these ingredients I have available. I'd love to hear from you.


  1. What about a stir fry type meal? Sauté cabbage and carrots in oil. Cook ramen separately and toss in when veggies are done. Scramble an egg and add to the mixture. Season with soy sauce and ramen packet. Serve over rice or enjoy plain.

    1. yes! thank you so much, that's genius! i had thought of stir fry, but hadn't thought about putting in the ramen! great! tomorrow!

  2. This is great Kirby - finally started following your blog and appreciate why you're doing it. Have you heard of Cross-Cultural Solutions? My husband and I are considering doing a volunteer trip, just a week, possibly end of summer.

    1. Hi Caryn, thanks so much for following along! No, I have not heard of them but I'll have to check it out!