Tuesday, March 03, 2009

$3.33 a day: In which I clean out the fridge!

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce and Brown Rice Pasta

I have been doing major clean out the fridge cooking and have come up with some tasty dishes (and writing recipes). Remember the sun dried tomato/olive tapenade? Well, I mixed the leftovers with some tofu which we used as a sandwich spread and to make this delicious sauce.
I've been using the fresh basil in almost everything. I definitely think it's worth it to buy fresh herbs if you can. I spent $2.99 on a package last week and it has served me well. At first, I didn't think I would "splurge" like that, but in reality it is not a splurge. It allows me to take a dish that would be mundane and turn it into something really special. I feel the same way about cilantro. I don't ever see myself not using fresh herbs.

I am almost out of my kale, but still have cabbage left for greens... but will definitely need to make a store run tomorrow or the next day.

Just another chipotle crusted tofu sandwich. On homemade wheat/spelt bread made from freshly ground flour! I am very much looking forward to tomato season. A sandwich just isn't complete without one for me.

I have been eating a lot less tofu than I used to. Tofu is around $2.29-$2.99/lb in my town (Trader Joes is over an hour away) and it is really easy for us to kill off a pound in one meal. I am thinking of getting a tofu press and making my own.. I have soybeans and a soymilk maker, but I really don't want to shell out the money for the box and starter. I guess we'll just eat tofu less for now. (I am NOT one who believes that tofu is a bad food and I really have no interest in people leaving me comments on the evils of soy thank you very much!)

Enchilada Bake

The pound of kidney beans just keeps on giving! I pureed the leftover Smoky Kidney Bean stew and threw it in the freezer like I said I was going to do.. it worked beautifully just like refried beans would have in the bake. I also thawed some salsa to top it off. The final sauce was some thinned out sun dried tomato cream sauce mixed with salsa, vegenaise, lime juice and cilantro. I have one large piece leftover. My oldest son ate half the pan for dinner last night!

I have to say, sometimes I really miss having a microwave. It's very difficult to heat up leftovers like this on the stove. I don't have a toaster oven anymore and I refuse to turn my big oven on for something so small! It's part of the reason I haven't been making more casserole/lasagna type dishes. Maybe I'll turn the leftovers into enchilada burgers! lol..

When I worked at Blue Moon the running joke when we had leftovers or food that needed to be used was, "Melody will make a burger out of it." I did and people loved my burgers there!

Ugly Soup!

Sometimes the ugliest food is the best tastewise! This had kale, tapenade, chickpeas (I still have around 1.5 cups in the freezer leftover from that batch!) and veggies. I tore in a lot of fresh basil just before serving.

Not pictured are a lot of raw kale/sprout/cabbage salad.. I make a big batch in the morning and eat a bit with each meal.

Must get to the store! I am sooooo low on greens!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (recipe on website)

Whole Wheat and Spelt Bread

Corny Pumpkin Muffins (recipe on website)

My website is still under construction.. I am going to do an Ask Melody or FAQ page, so if any of you have any questions you can leave them here in the comments (or email me.. link to my email is in my profile) and I'll get them uploaded..


Oh.. I almost forgot.. I received some some Mother Sourdough from Bazu!! Thank you Bazu!

Time to end this long post! Would you believe that I haven't even posted what I cooked today??

Oh... forgot.. one last thing Homemade Vegan Hot Dogs! I made them and will post about them tomorrow!


  1. ha! i love soy too and i don't wanna hear it either!! :D

    where are you getting fresh basil? i haven't seen any @ MB. and hey - do you know where i can get a thai baby coconut? have seen them @ hannaford's but only once at lo's.

  2. I'm soy-free :-)

    Looove that pasta sauce!!

  3. I love tofu, too. Everything in moderation, right?

    OH MY GOD HOMEMADE VEGGIE HOT DOGS?????????????? Am I going to be able to wait until tomorrow? If these are half as good as your All-American Burgers, I'm going to be in heaven, AND forever indebted to you!!

  4. I love fresh basil. It is nothing like dried.

    You should grow a plant! I have a mint plant that has lasted almost a year, even in the dark wisconsin weather! I love it.

    Its shame that herbs are so pricey! I noticed I can get the same amount of basil at my coop for 99cents when it would cost 4$ at a conventional grocery store. I think it is all the fancy packaging.

  5. I love chinese and mori-nu tofu but have to travel 30 miles to get it so I tend to restrict myself to going once a month!
    Those corny-pumkin muffins looks great, as does the pasta - I'm a great fan of tapenade!!

  6. cperry7:56 AM

    I love your blog! I just wanted to tell you, you can use lemon juice in place of a purchased starter in making tofu. I also started out using a square tupperware box that I'd poked holes in, adapting the lid to fit inside it, as a press. I did finally order a 'real' press, but this worked just fine.

  7. Good article yesterday over at Suite101.com on How To Feed Your Family Well On A Budget. I wrote to the author and told her that you're proof it can be done. Hope she follows up and contacts you.

  8. cperry, thanks for the info! Can you give me an approximate measurement for the lemonjuice to soymilk ratio?

    Hervivore.. I definitely will try to grow some herbs. I don't have the best light in my basement apartment.. but I'll definitely try!

    Earth Mother.. thanks for the link!

  9. Homemade hot dogs sound yummy!! great post, lots of yummy meals! I do avoid soy, but mostly because my mom had breast cancer, and I no one can make up there minds on weather it's good or bad for you. Oh well.

    I have had the TJ's rice pasta and it is yummy!! I was eating rice pasta for a while but on occasion now I have a whole grain type. Since I usually only have it once a week.

  10. Why not just grow your own herbs at home?

  11. SB, I live in a basement apartment in New Hampshire with huge pine trees all around.. I don't have hardly any light.. I will try, but honestly, I doubt it will work. I can barely keep my golden pothos alive!

  12. hooooray on receiving some starter from Bazu! that is too awesome - she's the best! superw00t!

    so much yumminess go'n on! yay! i think the soup looks tasty, the mufins = the best, and that enchilada bake!?! mmmmmmmm! dan & i are eating less tofu lately, too - you're right - it's easy to eat up & it can be rather expensive. i saw your hotdogs on the ppk - they looked awesome!

  13. Homemade vegan hot dogs! Holy crap! I can't wait!

    And I love tofu too! Tofu haters are no fun. Sucks its so expensive there. I wish I could send you some, but I'm pretty sure it'd go bad in the mail :-) It's about $1.50 here for the off-brand. And our local Asian market has fresh stuff for $1 a pound, but I don't buy it cause the store is really dirty...and I'm creeped out by the water the tofu is floating in!

  14. Everything looks SOOOO good!

    Do you have an Asian grocery store near you? I can get tofu for .99 cents at the one near me! It might be worth looking into?


  15. I'm very excited to heat about these homemade hot dogs!

  16. That was funny about you making burgers out of the leftovers! Everything looks delicious and even though it's budget friendly, it certainly doesn't look like *cheap* food!

    I'm looking forward to Ask Melody.

  17. I'm coming over to your place for lunch--even if it is a 12-hour drive. (Guess I better leave now!)

    I love your frugal posts.

  18. I am still completely in awe of all the deliciousness you are making on your budget. It is inspiring.

    The chipotle crusted tofu sandwich is begging for some fresh tomato. :)

  19. i am so excited about making some of your hot dogs! especially now that it is getting warmer outside here...perfect for grilling (i hope)! i heart tofu. and seitan. and tempeh. and everything else really. and beans, too! can't forget good ol beans :)

  20. I'm in love with soy, too. Everything in moderation, (including moderation)!

    Fresh herbs are SO worth it!

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