Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Vegan eating for $3.33 a day!

Raw Kale Salad, Sausage, Besan Tortilla

So, today is the third day of my $3.33 a day eating plan and so far so good. Of course, I am NOT having to skimp at all yet due to my packed fridge, freezer and pantry. It will probably take me two weeks to really start feeling the effects of sticking to such a strict budget. I also have a lot of good kitchen equipment, access to stores offering healthy food at a decent price, and a lot of cooking knowledge behind me so this will probably be much easier for me than it would be for someone without access to these luxuries.

The dish above was my breakfast/brunch. I like eating a hearty meal around 10 or 11 and this was delicious, healthy and super cheap. For dinner last night I made a tofu stuffed quinoa and topped it with homemade marinara. I had around 1 cup of the dish leftover so this morning I pureed it with some water then mixed it with chickpea flour and turned it into a pancake/tortilla. I have enough batter for 2 more large tortillas. I made tvp sausage patties and a raw kale salad. The salad was dressed with my very low fat balsamic flax vinaigrette. I use veggie stock or bean cooking liquid in place of oil in the dressing and golden flax meal in place of oil (and to thicken the dressing). This was a very satisfying, healthy and delicious way to start the day.
Alfalfa and Lentils Soaking

Sprouting is probably one of the easiest ways to get a huge amount of nutrition for very little money. I use 2 quart mason jars and around 1/3-1/2 cup of seeds per batch. You soak them for 8 hours, drain and then rinse once or twice a day. I'll take pics of these and show you the end product in several days. I have sprouting lids, but you don't need them. You can use CLEAN knee high pantyhose and a rubber band to secure the tops and as a draining screen.
Tofu Stuffed Quinoa with Marinara

This is what I had for dinner last night.. (well, not THIS picture.. this is actually a picture I took when I made this for the Blue Moon Cafe)..

So far, I have spent $1.58 this week on brown rice. I am only spending $10.00 this week instead of $25.00 because I have such a well stocked pantry. Total left for the week: $8.42

12 comments:

  1. Like your 100-calorie snacks idea, I think this is brilliant! Mel, you are just so full of books. Publishers: are you reading this? Give this woman a book deal already!!!

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  2. Wow! All that for $3.33! You are amazing...and I love the tip about replacing oil with bean water in your salad dressing.

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  3. I can't even imagine spending $3.33. You are amazing.
    I can't wait to see al your creative meals.

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  4. Ahhh! Sprouting! I keep meaning to crack out the sprouter... thanks for reminding me!

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  5. Yum! I love kale salads!! And that tofu dish looks amazing! I need to get the recipe! I need to start sprouting too, thanks for the reminder!

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  6. I love your salad dressing recipe! I really need to try sprouting. I keep gearing up, then never following through.

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  7. I think this is going to be an amazing series, Melody. Most people cannot fathom eating on $3.33 a day, eating fresh produce and little to no processed foods.

    I've become a bit of a shopping cart voyeur lately and I'm so saddened by what I see families taking home as "food." And my jaw drops when I hear the check-out clerk announce the grand total. It's really unbelievable to me, especially now when so many folks are feeling the effects of our country's current economic crisis.

    I would encourage you to submit your articles and lovely photos to some online directories. Google: online article submission. You never know, it could just lead to that next job of yours. You are so extremely talented and creative.

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  8. this is still really impressive to me. you go girl!!

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  9. Amazing how much good food you can get for that money...I also started sprouting again. I'm waiting for spring and the sprouts shorten the time a bit.

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  10. can you post the recipe for that tofu dish? It looks amazing! I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog :)

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  11. You've got some inspiring posts here Mel. Your recipes all look delicious, and at $3.33 a day...wow!

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  12. This is an awesome idea. I hope it helps people realize that you don't need to buy expensive specialty food to go vegan!

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