I have never cooked so much in my entire life as I have since coming here to Mozambique. I fix lunch most days, and there a quite a few occasions when Carla's busy and I end up doing supper, too. I almost never use a recipe, and most of my cookery begins with a rummage through the fridge to see what needs to be used up.
My staples are cabbage, sausage, beans, tomatoes, onions, rice and xima.
A person can do a surprising lot with those things.
I have become a pray and sniff cook. I look at the available ingredients, pray for inspiration (and the electricity to stay on if I'm baking), and then start throwing things together. I go through and sniff spices until I find what seems to be a good combination, and then throw that in.
It usually works out decently well, though there was one dark period when basically the only things we had in the house were cabbage and carrots and I invented the 'coriander cabbage stir fry'. I thought it was tasty enough, but I'm not sure if everyone was impressed. Probably won't be doing that again. I've also learned a few Mozambican recipes, and it has been nice to fix those things every once in awhile, as a way to stretch my culinary repertoire. My friend, Memory, got me started on fried potatoes. They are delicious. And I figured out a way to fry them without splattering hot grease over all creation. As I remarked to Jon, this could be a very, very bad thing.
Anyway, by way of adding variety to this blog's usual fare of amusing stories and spiritual introspection, I thought I'd share one of my recent recipes with you. It's quick and easy, I liked it, and it's something that could easily be adapted to accommodate almost anything you have on hand.
As I've mentioned, I cook by prayer, instinct, and smell. So I don't measure anything. However, I did my best to estimate some measurements here for you, and as long as you taste things as you go along, I think you'll come out all right.

Lights-Out Med-Inspired Goodness
I don't have a photo of this recipe, because, as the name implies, the power went out while I was cooking. I was literally just about to snap a photo when the kitchen went dark. Anyway, it's a rather colorful dish (depending on what veggies you use), and has an almost Mediterranean look and taste.

What I used:
1/2 lg. can of black beans
1 can corn
1 C. chopped cabbage
3 chopped tomatoes
3 C. chopped green beans
2 chopped onions
Pre-cooked meat. (This is entirely optional; however, we had some sausage that needed to be used, so I chopped it up and threw it in).

Pour enough oil into a large pot to completely cover the bottom to the depth of about 1 cm. (probably about 1/4 cup). The goal is to have just enough oil to coat all of your vegetables and keep them from burning while they cook. Heat the oil, then pour in all of your veggies and meat. Stir until oil coats all and allow to simmer at med. heat - stirring occasionally - 'til veggies are soft. Near the end of the cooking time, season to taste with salt, pepper, basil, cumin and thyme. I have no measurements for the seasonings...taste-test as you go. :) I can say, though, that I used more thyme and basil than cumin.

Serve over rice.

Makes about 7 servings.

Notes: I originally served this with potato fries on top. It was good, but not an essential addition because the fries weren't thin enough. I do think this recipe would be good with a little bit of crunch, so next time I might try it with very thinly-sliced fries or nuts of some kind.

If you want to go for a more Mediterranean taste (and live in a place where they're affordable and readily available), you could add some olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

If you try this out, do let me know what you think! I'd love to hear any variations you come up with. Also, if you'd be interested in seeing more recipes in future. I have no desire to turn this into a Taste of Home blog (there are many, many of that ilk already in the blogosphere), but I have no objection to posting an occasional recipe or two. Hey, I might even be able to to discipline myself into measuring things!