Tuesday, March 24, 2009

$3.33 a day: Reuben Pizza, wraps, soup and rice

Jack Bauer Reuben Pizza

I almost killed Jack the other day. When you store sourdough in a mason jar as I do, you can't cover it tightly. I accidentally knocked the whole thing onto the floor, but caught it before he spilled out. I don't think even Jack Bauer could come back from a germy floor. (and who would want him to?)

This is a 100% whole wheat crust that I allowed to slow rise overnight. I also make a loaf of bread with the same dough. It was topped with a swiss cheese sauce, lentils, sauerkraut, onions, 1000 island dressing and raw kale and carrots. Super delicious! I always pre-bake my crust for around 5 minutes or so before adding any toppings. I sprayed the crust with olive oil cooking spray and added garlic powder and caraway seeds to it for a more authentic flavor.

More collard wraps. For those of you wondering, I eat mine raw. You can easily blanch or steam your wraps if the raw taste is too much. This was a combo raw wrap with a little bit of cooked filling. I used a teeny bit of refried beans and some cooked cheese sauce, a raw burger which I cut up into slices, pickled jalapenos, tomato, onion, cilantro and 1/4 an avocado.

The raw burger was made from sunflower seeds, carrots, raw bbq sauce and chipotle powder.

I am going to ignore the fact that collards and kale rate high on the pesticide list. It seems that no matter what we do, we are screwed. Seriously. If I had a ton of money to spend, I would buy organic. I don't and I am doing the best I can to get the most nutrition for my buck! I find it so easy to fall into this trap of worrying so much about this or that and it is not productive for my sanity!

For those of you who ask me over and over why I don't grow my own food. (This has to be the number one question people email me about!) I live in a basement apartment in New Hampshire surrounded by pine trees. I do not have a patio. I do not have enough light inside to do so. I wish I could.

I wonder if I could find someone with land who would be willing to work something out landwise? Hmmm.. I'm going to check into that! I could cook food for the person or give them part of my crop in exchange for their land? It's worth a try.

I've noticed several things that have changed shopping wise. I am no longer buying organic baby spinach and arugula. For around $2.99 for 5 oz, it is still a decent deal, but I can get some large bunches of kale and collards for $1.29. The kale and collards have more versatility and a much longer shelf life. I can use them in green smoothies, as salads, as sturdy greens, in soups and wraps. Also, they are very filling and have pretty high amounts of protein. 4 cups of raw kale has 8.8 grams of protein as opposed to 3.4 grams in spinach. Add 1/2 cup of beans, a healthy dressing and a T of nutritional yeast and I have a huge, satisfying salad that has around 22 grams of protein!

I have not bought any bread. Not even when it's on sale.

I haven't bought tofu either.

I keep putting off making tofu! You have to have 3 pitchers full of soymilk, which is a total PITA... but I can't wait to give it a try! I miss tofu. In fact, that's what I miss the most... oh and processed vegan cheese! I really want to try some of the new FYH out there. I hear they've really improved the flavor and meltability. I've been making a lot of cheese sauces and while they're good, sometimes I just want the store bought stuff.

Yo Vegan Cheese companies! Send me samples! PRETTY PLEASE!!!

All right.. back to food!

Fried Spanish Rice, Kale and Cabbage

Leftover brown rice, veggies, spices, salsa, queso cheese sauce, sour cream... and siracha. I used tons of jalapenos too and garlic. This was actually what I had for breakfast the other day.

Silky yellow split pea soup. I used some of the split pea flour for this soup. Cool beans. hehe

One last VERY exciting thing.. my electric bill was only $24.17 last month! That's for heat and electricity! (I don't pay for hot water).. Granted, I did spend 5 days at my old house, but I think unplugging everything and obviously hardly ever using my heat has really payed off! My house is a balmy 62 degrees right now! My son is home sick, so I turned the heat on.


  1. About the garden, at my local university the environmental group on campus started a community garden and anyone (student or not) was able to garden and take as much vegetables as they needed. Maybe there is something like that around?

  2. under 25.00 for electricity! whoa! i don't even want to admit how much our last few electricity bills have been =( your pics are amazing as always!

  3. I can't visit you blog mid-day, you've made me craveeee some of your yummy meals! Hehe! :)

  4. I'm going to try making your chipotle split pea soup today...can't wait! Two questions though:
    1. What kind of split peas do you use? I was going to do a mix of green and yellow but have no clue if one would be better than the other in your recipe.
    2. Do you use the canned chipotles in adobo? I'm wondering what to do with all those leftover chiles. I used 1 in veggie burgers last night (inspired by your bean & millet burgers-- they hold together so well and are delicious!) and I put the rest in an ice cube tray...I tried to put a similar amount of chili/sauce in each "cube" and will transfer the contents to a plastic freezer bag later. But I thought I'd ask you what you do with your chiles (chilis? chillis?) anyway.

    Thanks for another day of inspiring eats-- your blog always gives me great ideas.

  5. hoping to move soon to somewhere i can garden. if i accomplish this, i'll share!

    p.s. do you drink beer? i have some flavored maine ale that i have no interest in.

  6. You and Jack Bauer are killing me and my raw food lifestyle. I'm telling you, I'm this close to jumping ship. I must stop coming here BUT I CAN'T. Gawd, help me.

    Community garden.
    Craig's List.
    Ready. Set. Go girl!

  7. Yes, cooking the pizza crust first for 5 minutes, then adding toppings and baking makes for an awesome pizza. I learned that recently and the pizzas we make have been awesome.

    I recently bought tofu, but it was at the Asian Market and the price was too good to pass up. Under 99 cents a pound. So I bought several to freeze.

    As always your food looks terrific.

  8. I always pre-bake my pizza crust a bit, too, before topping--much nicer that way. And thanks for the info re: collard wraps! I'm not sure I could eat them raw, but they'd still be great steamed a bit. Love all the food--so gorgeous and colorful and springlike! :)

  9. Yummy!!! That leftover rice dish is calling to me.

  10. I can't afford organic greens either, but I think that eating ANY collards or kale is better than not eating them because you can't afford organic. If it comes down to eating them conventionally or not eating them at all because I can't afford organic, usually conventional wins out in my book! Especially for things like kale and collards which are just so darn good for you :o)

    You collards wraps look amazing!


  11. mmm...lentils on pizza! so good.

  12. Your blog rocks my socks. So glad I found it. Def going on the Google reader. You're amazing!

  13. haha i love that you named the sourdough jack bauer!! your pizza looks great.

    re the tofu, i've made it with just one pitcher of freshly made soymilk. it doesn't make a huge amount and i found it was very soft, even though i pressed as much water as i could out of it. I never even thought about making a double batch!! doh!

  14. I wish I could share my garden space with you! A holistic health lady here in town (She's cool, here's her site, www.quiglessnaturalhealth.org) started a community garden last year. Someone with an empty lot let her use it and lots of people got in on the project. Which is cool for our little hick redneck town! If there isn't a community garden near you, I bet you could start one pretty easily...surely someone with a plot of land would be willing to donate the use of it!

    I'm a little lost...who's Jack Bauer? hehe I guess I'll have to look into this.

  15. I'm sorry that things are so tight for you, but I still envy your meals! Have you thought about putting a little donation button on your blog? It seems like a lot of people enjoy it, so maybe they'd be moved to express their appreciation (as I would).

  16. Reuben pizza, now that's a tasty-sounding idea!

  17. I had my first collard wrap ever tonight for dinner and it hit the spot!! Incidentally, it was also the first time I tried making a raw nut burger filling.. and.. I'm totally stoked on eating like this from now on. I had my collards raw, and although I could taste them it wasn't at all overpowering. Thanks for introducing me to this awesome meal- you make raw easy!

  18. congrats on the low electricity bill! I'm never proud at the amount we end up having to fork out over here, there's definitely room for improvement.
    also: I almost had a fit when I saw you almost killed Jack! oh my. I think I would have scraped him off the floor regardless, had it indeed happened. I ain't too proud, baby.

  19. The colors of your food--everything is like a little work of art.

    You are one frugal diva. And I have the utmost admiration for you.

  20. everything looks great, as usual. i'm going to have to try the collards for wraps... i'm too set in my ways with lettuce and cabbage.

    also, we have several community farms in the area. most of them are either a fee, or labour... or i've seen really cheap fees for a few hours farm labor a week. you should check around - there has to be something!

  21. I know what you mean about processed vegan cheeze. I just love it. I make cheezy sauces too, but it's not the same.

    I've also started buying less organic produce because of rising food prices and the crappy economy. I hate that, but I can't help it right now.

  22. I would check into local groups or community papers of some kind. Often you can find people with vegetable gardens/farms who will exchange some produce yeild for you helping out with the harvest and upkeep.

    Best of luck!

  23. Damjana6:21 AM

    You're incredible. I love the pics and as funny as it sounds I can smell the food I see :D

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