[Ben sez]: We've always focused on the food that was awesome. Transcendental experiences of taste, things that make you go blind with the pleasure of the moment, or make you question if life is worth living as few moments seem like they could possibly top the bite of food you just took.
Of course every day can't be like this, and if it were we probably wouldn't find the truly amazing meals as noteworthy. Most days you just want something good. It doesn't have to be mom's homemade comfort food, but I've found my own easy, filling (and fulfilling) meal which has changed the way I eat and I would choose over Mac'n'Cheese or a frozen pizza any day. Thinking about it might not make me salivate, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't eat foie gras numerous times a week and still feel good about myself (or my waistline).
In my case the staple of choice that I would, could, and do eat a bare minimum of three times a week is brown rice and black beans. It's tasty, it's filling, it's remarkably healthy, and as if that weren't enough ridiculously cheap. Everything I want from my everyday meal.
As you may or may not know brown rice is way healthier than white rice - containing all sorts of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. Oh yeah, black beans are also wicked good for you. Between the two you get more nutrition than you know what to do with, and as an added bonus all that fiber will keep things more regular than Mussolini's trains.
I really can't sing the praises of this wonder-combo enough: fast, easy, and just damn good. If you're penny-pinching your way through college/unemployment/saving for something, maybe you should track down a 20 pound bag of brown rice and a pallet of black beans, it's responsible for getting me through pretty much every week (and maintaining my girlish figure). The lazy man in me just boils up some rice, opens a can of beans (with the addition of spices) and through the wonders of modern microwave technology dinner is ready in no time. If you're feeling a little fancier there's always the black bean soup/stew/chili route which requires the addition preparation of vegetables and having cans of corn and tomatoes on hand, but is a good way to change things up if you've had three meals of simple black beans with brown rice this week and it's only Tuesday.
Oh, and if you have some brown rice left over you can always make fried rice with it. But that's another blog.