Sunday, June 3, 2012

Food Revolution- Part 2

pasta with homemade pesto

spicy pad thai with fresh cilantro

vegetarian buuz  with chunky tomato sauce

eggs with bacon bits, fresh tomato and broccoli sprouts

lovely fresh salad from my garden with freshly made croutons, served with feta cheese and Good Seasons Italian dressing made with balsamic vinegar, accompanied by fresh hummus and flat bread
I find that I spend a lot of time with food.  Thinking about it, shopping for it, cooking it, eating it and enjoying it.  I like to think I am an earth friendly/environment conscious person; one who wants to be part of the local food movement, eating only locally grown, produced, raised foods, but definitely not in Mongolia.  However, to do my little part, I grow lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and many herbs on my lovely south facing windowsills for my own personal enjoyment.

My food obsession (if one can actually call it that, yea probably) is nothing new.  I've always loved to eat, eat, eat, smell, touch, taste, savor and enjoy.  I attempt to live a rather healthy lifestyle overall, and to eat plenty of veggies and fruits, which though challenging, is possible in Arvaikheer.  We get a much larger variety of foods here now than we did two years ago when I first came to town.

Real cheese, as we know it in the West, is available here in Arvaikheer, at least some of the time...Mostly it's Elam or Gouda cheese, which have a nice texture and a milder taste.  Very expensive indeed, going for close to $6 a pound or more, it's a worthwhile extravagance on the PC budget.  Homemade mac and cheese, with a white sauce and cheese added is a lovely option, as well as grilled cheese and just plain old cheese and crackers.  They don't call it cheese, glorious cheese for nothing.  Usually I buy a big hunk, cut it and freeze some and enjoy the rest very quickly!!!!

Cereal, the crunchy, crispy kind I enjoy has now come to town.  At first, no sign of such luxuries; we had to wait for a trip to the city for cereal other than mushy bitter oatmeal.  Now we regularly get Corn Flakes, Froot Loops and a nice Granola cereal as well.  These are also pricey but worth the cost!  I just finished a lovely bowl of corn flakes, with milk and a fresh banana for breakfast!  Yum:)  

We are very fortunate in our town that fruits are available year round, with apples and oranges being the staples.  Warmer weather brings fresh bananas, kiwi, grapes, pineapple, plums and peaches.  Fruit in jars in heavy syrup are available most any time in stores.  

These photos illustrate some of my culinary creations and a good sampling of what I like to make and eat.  Soups are a favorite of mine as well and though beans are not usually found in town, I stock up when I go to the city and I cook large pots of soups, freezing some for later . 

Pizza is a tough to find item here, and there is only one restaurant in town that makes it, though it's not always available.  The crust is nice and crispy, not too thin, heavy on the cheese and the toppings are good, yet odd combinations.  The house specialty pizza has bacon, chicken, peppers, onions and sliced peaches (from a "tin") and is quite delicious.  The veg pizza has any number of veggies on it, depending on availability; sometimes there is even corn (yes, kernels of canned corn sprinkled on it) as well as kidney beans and even sliced pickles!  Surprising what you can learn to enjoy!

This is just a small glimpse into my world of food in Mongolia...expect more to come on one of my favorite topics!

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