Tuesday, May 26, 2009

$3.33 a day: Update

Sorry it's been so long since I updated. Work was crazy last week. I worked 63 hours! We opened Wednesday the 20th. It's so nice to be working again.

I am still going to stick to my $3.33 a day budget. I pretty much have to.

I've been eating a lot of salads and out of my freezer. The above is my sesame beet salad with wasabi dressing. So delicious.

I made us brunch yesterday... tvp sausages, sauted apples and brown rice pancakes.

BIG SALAD! I've been eating a huge salad every day before work. The dressing here was a raw fat free carrot/tomato/ginger/habanero concoction. So spicy and delicious.

Shan tofu with collard greens...

Noodle bowl...

Veggie burger with caramelized onions and strawberry/habanero ketchup on a homemade gluten free english muffin (made from brown rice flour)...

I have a stash of frozen bananas and baby spinach at work for green smoothies.. they are the perfect thing to drink to refuel!

I will probably not be posting as much for the next month or so while I get used to my new schedule. I don't get home until midnight at the earliest.. I have a 2 hour round trip commute (Damn traffic!)... I am sooo thankful to the Portsmouth library for having such an awesome selection of books on CD.

I am so behind on reading your blogs. I miss everyone!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

$3.33 a day: Raw

Sorry I haven't posted for so long. I appreciate the emails asking if I am OK! I am OK. We've had a very stressful week. My youngest son (15) has to have surgery on his foot which really sucks because he runs track and qualified for state. Then on Thursday, he passed out at school and hit his head hard and had to goto the ER. He's OK, but it was scary.

I also started my new job this week. We had our pre-opening party Friday which went really well and we are officially open for business on Wednesday!

I've been eating a lot of raw food and eating out of my freezer. I haven't been taking a lot of pics though. The above food was a delicious wasabi daikon and cabbage slaw. I just can't get enough daikon.

Lower Fat Raw Eggless Salad on a Raw Corn Tortilla

I LOVE this and have been eating it almost everyday. It is made with mostly cauliflower and is so yummy!

Raw Eggless Salad

3 c cauliflower, pulsed in food processor
½ c sunflower seeds soaked for 4 hours, drained then pulsed in food processor
1 c diced celery
1 c shredded carrots
½ c scallions or 2 T diced red onion or shallot
½ c nutritional yeast
2 t dried sage
1 T dried dill
1 T dried parsley
½ t garlic powder
¼ t turmeric
4 T tahini
4 T yellow mustard
2 T Dijon mustard
4 T relish
1 T chia seeds
1 t black salt (or sea salt)
½ -1 t black pepper
½ c water

Pulse the cauliflower in processor and set aside in large mixing bowl. Pulse the sunflower seeds, and add to the cauliflower. Add the celery, carrots and scallions and nutritional
yeast and spices (not the salt or pepper).

In a small bowl add the tahini, mustard, relish, chia seeds, salt and pepper along with ½ c water. Whisk well and pour over the veggies. Taste and adjust seasonings. Allow
mixture to chill for an hour before serving.

This actually keeps for around 3 days and does not get watery because of the chia seeds.

The corn tortilla is a recipe I'm still playing around with. It's ALMOST to my liking. I don't like most raw breads or crackers very much. I feel like they get a strange taste from the dehydrator. The first bite or two are fine, but then they start tasting kind of gross to me. Am I the only one who feels this way?

God, I am just IN LOVE with grapefruit.

On Monday, I did a mini fast like thing. I drank 2 quarts of green juice and ate only fruit and veggies (with NO SALT ADDED AT ALL). I am going to try to do this once a week.

Hope everyone is having a good week! I'll try to visit your blogs!

Friday, May 08, 2009

$3.33 a day: RawFu Magazine, YOU can eat this way too.

SunDried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

First of all, I need to sing the praises of the new RAW MAGAZINE, RawFu! Created by the lovely Bunny Berry. Go subscribe now! My recipe and photograph for my Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade is in there along with other fabulous raw recipes and articles.

I made a batch of homemade tofu that was perfect in Mooshi veggies. I wrapped mine in collard greens while the kids used tortillas. Spicy, sweet and totally satisfying.

Oh how simple things have been lately foodwise. This was a spring veggie chowdah.. I used cauliflower, corn, potatoes, zucchini, quinoa and some cheese sauce I made from whole soy beans. It was spicy and delicious. Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient.

big salad

I eat salad every day... this one had arugula, snow peas, pumpkin seeds and a vidalia onion dressing. So good.

I want to address some comments and emails I've been getting about the produce I use.

First, most of it is not organic. I wish I could afford to eat a 100% organic diet, but I can't. (and won't be able to any time soon even though I have a job. I still have to stick to my budget of $3.33 a day)..

I am not going to get into debate about organics. I know they are better for me, my family and the environment and I buy as much organic as I can afford. Period.

I live in Portsmouth, NH and do the majority of my shopping at Market Basket (I swear, they should pay me to be a spokesperson!)... Their prices are almost half as much as I would pay at Shaws or Hannaford.

Every week, I look at the grocery store circulars to see where the deals are. For instance, a $1.99 pineapple is RARE and not an everyday price. Most circulars will advertise their "loss leaders" on the front page. Those are items that they lose money by selling, but will draw you into their store. Most of the time, I would not go out of my way to a market based on ONE loss leader. I need at least 3 items to make me go to that store and I only the amount of cash I want to spend on those items.

If I shopped at Shaws or Hannaford as my GO TO markets, the produce and my entire grocery bill would be twice as expensive. There ARE deals out there, but you have to look for them. I have taught many cooking classes and the people who come will say they don't like to shop and this or that store because it isn't as "nice". My response to that is, well then don't complain about prices. Also, if you enjoy higher priced items then you have to adjust the rest of your food to incorporate them. I will have a couple meals that put me over my daily total. I make up for them by eating a pot of lentil soup or kale salad for many meals. It is worth it to me. If I "splurge" on 5 oz of organic arugula you can bet your ass I will be eating cabbage salads for several days to make up for that.

It really isn't that hard to reduce your bill as long as you are willing to take some time to find deals, cook from scratch and think outside of the box.

I whip up the majority of our meals with less than 30 minutes of prep time. I cook once and freeze leftovers. I usually cook up two lbs of dried beans a week for our protein source and keep them in the fridge (after freezing 2 cup portions) along with 2 whole grains.

Let's say one week I cooked up 1 lb of black beans, 1 lb of lentils, 1 lb of brown rice and 1 lb of bulgur.

Meals I can make in 30 minutes:

Indian Spiced Lentils over Brown Rice, Kale Salad
Chipotle Citrus Black Bean Soup, Corn Muffins, Salad
Lentils over Bulgur with Green Goddess Dressing and Caramelized Onions, Salad
Black Bean Hummus, Tabouli, Steamed Veggies
Black Bean and Rice Burritos with fresh pico and guacamole
Lentil Soup with Bulgur, Salad
Burgers made from all of the leftovers, coleslaw

My meals always leave enough for my lunch the next day or I will turn the leftovers into a soup or burger.

It is NOT hard or difficult to eat this way... so don't let anyone make you believe it is!!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

$3.33 a day: April Stats, Job and Weight loss update.

Cajun Red Bean Stew

Can't have a post without a pic! This is an old pic and I have been doing a lot of freezer eating. Green smoothies for breakfast, salads/soups for lunch and simple dinners. I am making a point to clear my freezer before summer. It's amazing to me that I have quite a freezer stockpile again. Mostly soups/burger mixes/sauces in two cup portions.

This is going to be a long post.

The best news: I found a job!

I will be the chef at a wine bar opening up a few towns way. It will open in about a week an a half. I am very much looking forward to being in the kitchen again and creating food for people!

Weight loss: Lost 5 lbs last month. I was actually down 7 lbs, but gained two back.

End of month stats:

Total Spent: $95.97 or $3.20 a day
$4.03 banked for my bulk food fund
Total Bulk Food Fund: $32.49

April Shopping List:
  • 2 lbs Broccoli 2.00
  • Pineapple 1.99
  • 7 oz organic Spring Mix 2.99
  • Fresh Basil 1.99
  • Habaneros 1.40
  • Cilantro 1.29
  • 1.82 lbs Zucchini 1.80
  • 2 lbs Onions .99
  • 1 bunch beets 1.79
  • 6.74 lbs bananas 2.63
  • 1 huge bunch Collards 1.29
  • 1 huge bunch Kale 1.29
  • 3 quarts soymilk 2.97
  • Coffee 2.50
  • Whole Wheat Bread 1.50
  • Canned chipotle 2.59
  • 2 lbs lentils 2.38
  • 2 lbs yellow split peas 1.98
  • 4.62 lbs zucchini 4.07
  • 1.23 lbs yellow squash 1.08
  • Cooking spray 1.68
  • 2 lbs brown rice 1.58
  • Spices 3.00
  • 2 large heads cauliflower 4.00
  • Organic Arugula 2.99
  • 12 oz mushrooms 2.29
  • Snow Peas 1.37
  • Tomatoes 1.77
  • 2 english cucumbers 2.58
  • Daikon 3.00
  • Organic Guacamole 2.50
  • Kale 1.29
  • Collards 1.29
  • Daikon 1.50
  • Garlic 1.00
  • Corn tortillas .99
  • Coffee 1.99
  • Red Onion .99
  • 4 Avocado 3.99
  • Kale 1.29
  • Collards 1.29
  • Organic Carrots .89
  • Organic Lentils 1.29
  • Daikon 3.78
  • Organic Brown Rice 1.69
  • Soy Sauce 1.99
  • Bread 3.00
  • Organic Arugula 2.99

I made some changes this month. I bought bread instead of making it. It is easier for me not to eat store bought bread than my delicious homemade creations. I used a lot more of my pantry staples and as you can see spent the bulk of my money on veggies.

I am still going to do my $3.33 a day budget because I will still be on a tight budget and I need to save as much as possible...

I had hoped to have my Ebook ready to go, but it is taking much longer than I anticipated. My limited budget has been a roadblock to testing the recipes... but I am still working on it.. but at this point, it probably will be a couple more months. I'm going to be VERY busy over the summer with work... Right now, I'm just testing and refining the recipes... the majority of them are written.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

$3.33 a day: Cinco de Mayo Feast!

This is just a quick post. I have a lot to update, but no time right now.

The above dish was from my Cinco de Mayo Feast Cooking Class I taught today.

We made:
Green Chile Sauce
Red Chile Sauce
Pico de Gallo
Scallion Lime Sour Cream (made from whole soybeans)
Chipotle Lime Black Beans
Enchilada Bake (stuff with Spanish Bulgur and Veggies, topped with Queso and Enchilada Sauces)
Pina Colada Green Smoothies

I am really behind on reading peoples blogs and everything online (I don't have internet at home and am at the mercy of my neighbors wireless which is spotty lately)..

I have tons of news to update:
  • Job situation
  • End of April stats complete with a grocery list for the month of April
  • April weight loss
  • E-Book