Growing up a few decades ago compared to today, there were so few choices when it came to food. The cereal variety was maybe about less than ten. There were no gluten free pasta or bread, no dairy free butter, no sugar free muffins. Coffee was coffee, no soy, light, chai, etc. A steak was usually T-bone, no varieties such as Wagyu, Angus, or labels such as corn fed, grass fed, aged, dry aged, etc. Food was food. There were no unnecessary labels. Whether it was fresh - from the ground, from a tree/plant or packed - cans, boxes, plastic packaging. Today, it's an entirely different story. Whatever happened to simple food?
In his 2009 book Food Matters, Mark Bittman mentioned modern agriculture, global warming, sustainability and the change towards conscious eating. These days, we don't look at calories anymore. Consumers are conscious about where their food comes from, the carbon footprint, whether its organic, grown locally or imported from half way around the globe. This kind of mentality creates a good set of consumers. Smart consumers. But then we also create a lot of waste. In Australia alone, consumers waste an estimate of 4 million tons of food each year! Because what happens is we tend to shop more than what we can actually consume. (How not to waste food shall be for another post!)
I'm not a fan of food fads but I do believe in simple good food. Seasonal cooking is always how we plan our menu at home. Simple food prepared at home. With love. For family and friends.
Now growing up, we were fed with lots of food I wouldn't normally buy these days. Our parents back then fed us with what they knew best. Powdered orange juice (Tang), canned vienna sausages... including a favorite breakfast fare a million years ago. Canned pork and beans. A mixture of beans covered with sweet tomato sauce and about 1 to 2 pieces of pork. We used to eat it on toasted white bread and loved it for breakfast and even after school snack. And sometimes ate it with rice too. It's a Filipino thing (rice with everything).
Now this is my take on the canned pork and beans I grew up eating. A simple dish made of 2 basic ingredients: pork and beans!
200 grams pork belly, cubed
300 grams French beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
chilli flakes (optional)
Heat a shallow pan and add cooking oil.
Fry the pork pieces until crispy. Set aside.
Using the same pan, add the garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Do not overcook or burn.
Add the beans, and stir to cook the beans until bright green, about 2 minutes.
Add the cooked pork and stir to mix through.
Add the chilli flakes (if using) and stir. Turn off heat.
Serve with steamed rice.