Wednesday, February 11, 2009

$3.33 a day: Perspective

Sesame Stir Fry, Soy Curls and Noodles

Our dinner last night was delicious. My enthusiasm is back for this challenge! It's interesting because I don't really like soycurls. That is evident by the fact I haven't used them in forever and they have been in my pantry. I did not grow up eating meat and obviously have no use for most of the fake meat products out there. That being said, knowing my youngest son likes them, I was happy to make a dinner that he loved. The noodles were in my pantry, from the local Chinese market. (Lo's for those of you who are in Portsmouth or nearby).. I chopped up a bunch of ginger, garlic and onion and used the noodle cooking liquid along with some of my homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing/Sauce for this dish. I rehydrated the curls and let them cook over very low heat for several hours to soak up the flavors. The broccoli was frozen (and from my freezer bought for $1.00/lb)..

My son loved this dish and after cutting the soycurls into teeny tiny pieces, I liked it too. We ate all of the broccoli, but had noodles and some soycurls/sauce leftover, so into the freezer they went. I will use this next week to make a hot and sour type soup.

Part of the reason I'm so excited again about this budget is that my kids are totally on board! They are not upset that there is no milk in the house. They are enjoying the popcorn with nutritional yeast as a snack and muffins for breakfast..

Speaking of muffins.....

Pumpkin Banana Chai Muffins

I think these may be the BEST muffins I've ever made. Seriously... I would not change anything about them. I used my Vita Mix to grind whole wheat flour and added a teeny bit of chickpea flour to the dry mix, along with baking powder, soda, sea salt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper. I used super ripe bananas, pumpkin, soy protein powder, flax, canola oil, sugar and stevia in the wet mix.

Initially, I was planning on banana bread, but the batter was too thin for that. In fact, I had doubts it would work at all, but I decided to give it a try and make muffins and a cake. I could tell how coarse the batter was from the freshly milled flour... it felt and looked like it had cornmeal in the batter. I was pretty sure the muffins/cake would be horrible..

What a shock! They were PERFECT! How I wish I had written down the recipe. When these are gone, I am going to try to re-create a similar muffin and write down what I'm doing.

My younger son is not a fan of muffins, but he tried this and was blown away and said they tasted better than anything he has had in a NON VEGAN bakery! (He is an anti-vegan when it comes to baked goods)..
The Perfect Muffin.

I had some silken tofu left, so I made a mock cheese spread. Usually I use Ume vinegar and miso in my spreads, but I had to make do with what I had on hand. Green olives added a great flavor to this spread..

I made a fresh tortilla (from the dough from two posts ago) and topped it with a 1000 island type dressing, sprouts and the cheese spread. Green olives finished it off. I don't think I'll ever make such a round tortilla again! They usually come out very oval shaped.

Thanks for all of your comments and emails! I will definitely be replenishing my pantry one item at a time. I was just throwing a little temper tantrum in my last post.

Total Money Spent THIS MONTH: $10.00

Total left to spend this week: $10.00

Next week, when I can spend the whole $25.00 I will feel RICH at the grocery store!


  1. LOOOVE stir-fry and muffins!!

  2. The muffins sound great!

  3. I love your blog, it is awesome! thanks for the inspiration!

  4. oh my gosh, almost all of my (new & old) favorite things in one place...

    those muffins do look delish!

    and i'm totally into sprouts. yum.

    i'm really glad that your kids are into must feel good to have their support.

  5. Yum! Everything looks so delicious! Love those sprouts on the tortilla..mmm!

  6. Your approach to this is amazing. I know I couldn't eat so well with a limited budget. Really impressive!

  7. That stir-fry looks phenomenal! I love soy curls. And the muffins sound fantastic too...but I wish you would have written down the recipe :-)

    Hope you re-create them!

  8. Your muffins look fabulous!

  9. Anonymous5:32 PM

    would you use rice in your recipes

  10. Anonymous, I certainly do use rice! In fact, I'm had rice for breakfast and am just getting ready to blog about it!

  11. Anonymous10:06 AM

    This blog is awesome! I am very interested in trying this. I am vegetarian, not vegan. Is there anywhere on here that you have a list of what you think are the "must have" basic ingredients needed in a pantry or could you post one? I wouldn't be sure what to have going into this on hand. Thank you for your blog!

  12. anonymous, I posted my pantry list today (2/17/09)

  13. Sarah C.2:55 PM

    Oh, please can you write out a recipe for us for the perfect pumpkin banana chai muffins? They look awesome and I have two cans of pumpkins I want to use before spring makes pumpkin seem out of season (even though they're in cans, I still have this seasonal feeling).

  14. did you ever get a chance to recreate these muffins?! i'm dying to try one--you're so creative!

  15. Where on earth did you get a muffin like that! This blog makes me SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Hungry!!!!!

    Thanks for the post again!

    blog backgrounds