Day 1, Week 1

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Bueno!

I ended up feeling better last night. I took this amazing Epsom salt bath, which I swear drew the sickness right out of me. It was a great hour. I scrubbed my whole body really well, and I’m not going to lie, the water got pretty gross. I had no idea that my skin was so dirty, or perhaps it was residue from my soap or from my lotion.  I got out, made a bomb smoothie and chugged a few glasses of water and I feel 90% better. And my skin is so soft! I will try to do a soak/scrub at least once a week from now on.

During my fantastic soak, I watched “Vegucated” on Netflix. It was mildly informative, but I felt like the host was far more concerned about animal rights than health benefits. Which is okay, but she barely took note of how great her experiment participants looked at the end of their 6 week vegan trial.  Being vegan must have taken 10 years off the older woman, and completely cleared up the college aged girls acne and made her positively glowing. I’d recommend it for a light watch, perhaps a background view while surfing the interwebz or reddit or something.

After the fantastic bath, I got to concocting a delicious meal. I wasn’t feeling up to a grocery store run, so I assessed my stock at home and created a pretty great dish.

I’ve told my friend before that we should collaborate and make a recipe book one day. Not only is she my food-soulmate and likes everything I do, she talks and write like I do. When we share recipes with each other in our own words, this is how they are. We don’t usually use standard measurement forms, but for my readers sake and for cost analysis I’m going to start recording my recipes in cups, tablespoons, ect. And in bold next to all the ingredients I’ve added a estimate for about how much it cost.

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Cheap Curry with Veggies and Chickpeas

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of dried chickpeas (more about the preparation below) $.30
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced into 1 inch pieces  $.50
  • 2 spoonfuls of coconut oil $.25…or something like that
  • 1 red onion, a quarter of it diced finely for the sauce, and the rest sliced into uh, strips? like you’d slice it for fajitas $.50
  • a few splashes of white wine (optional, I just had it lying around)
  • 1/8 cup of curry powder $.40….I’d say all these spices were about this much total
  • 1 tbsp. of turmeric
  • 1 tsp, or a few shakes of cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (would have used fresh garlic but I am out)
  • Unsweetened coconut milk, like about 2 cups of it $1.00
  • About 20 green beans, with the ends snipped off $.50
  • 1/4 of an eggplant, diced in about 1 inch pieces (not necessary to this dish, just had it lying around and wanted to use it up) $.30
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins (again, not necessary to this dish, but have them in my cupboard) $.25
  • 4 leaves of kale, rinsed and torn into pieces without the stem $.30
  • 2 cups couscous $1.25
  1.  Dried beans rock. Not only are they way more cost efficient then canned beans, you can season them just how you like. I soaked about a cup of dried garbanzos for about 18 hours, then rinsed them and boiled them for about 20 minutes. I kept them in my fridge for about a day until making this dish. I decided to boil both the potatoes and chickpeas (which were at this point tender, but still not quite done enough) for about 20 minutes. I put in saucepan with water to cover plus about 2 inches more. I added a shake of turmeric and a shake of garlic powder, which was amazing because it really went a long way in pre-seasoning the potatoes and chickpeas. So which this was boiling I started on the sauce. Oh don’t forget to stir and all that.
  2. Okay, sauce. First I melted a spoonful of coconut oil (if you don’t use coconut oil yet, buy some, its amazing) over like medium heat and then added my diced onions. I let them brown slightly before adding just a splash of wine to them to sort of caramelize them. Then I added all my powders to toast for a few minutes. If you haven’t done this before, this is a great way to really enhance the flavors of your spices. Make sure you stir around to keep them from burning. You’ll notice them getting really fragrant. Then add about a cup of coconut milk. I used a carton of “SO Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk”. I use this stuff in my coffee and as a milk substitute of all sorts, usually I have this and a sweetened carton of coconut milk in my fridge at all times. So stir, bring to a slight boil, and then add the rest of the milk. I left this simmering on a low temperature while I started with my veggies.                                                                                                                                                  
  3. Big stir-fry pan, started heating another dollop of coconut oil on med-high heat. Added green beans and eggplant to fry first, then after a few minutes added onion. This is where I take the potatoes and chickpeas off the heat, drain BUT reserve the water from boiling in a separate bowl. Then I add the chickpeas and potatoes to the veggies, stir around, and start to add spoonfuls of the sauce one at a time to the mix. It absorbs quickly and I don’t want anything to burn so I make sure there’s adequate sauce and I’m stirring everything around enough. After I’ve spooned in almost all the sauce, I added the raisins and kale. Cooked for a few more minutes, added the rest of the sauce and then switched on a super low heat.
  4. Couscous is my favorite grain. “The food so nice they named it twice”, as I always giggle while I’m cooking it. It’s easy to make, quick and delish. So I took 1 cup of water and then 1 cup of the reserved chickpea and potato broth and boiled it, then added 2 cups of dried couscous, flipped off the heat and covered. 5 minutes later, I flipped off my veggie heat, ladled into my bowl and enjoyed a tidbit of my tasty vittles. Topped with nutritional yeast, (which again if you don’t use, check it out) it was amazing.

The end result, yum :)

Cost analysis: $5.55

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This dish made about 5 portions. I’m sharing with my roommate and my boyfriend so I’ll update how much of it I will factor into my weekly calculations as it goes. I have to note that this is a great use-all-the-leftover-veggies-in-the-fridge recipe, the curry sauce goes great with anything. And I pretty much always have the sauce ingredients on hand, as I’m sure a lot of vegan households do too.

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Breakfast Smoothie

  • About 8 whole frozen strawberries $.35
  • About uh, 2/3 of a cup of frozen pineapple tidbits from Trader Joes $.35
  • 2/3 cup sweetened coconut milk $.35
  • 1/2 grapefruit, peeled and torn up into about 4 chunks $.25
  • A tsp. of flax oil $.15
  • A tsp. of bee pollen

Cost analysis $1.55

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I made this smoothie along with my morning coffee and packed both up into to-go containers to take to work. I also brought along an orange ($.30, never ate it, brought it home)and pita bread quarters with some awesome garlic hummus I picked up at Whole Foods the other day ($1.00) . I added some tomatoes and onions from my work to eat them as little sammies, and snacked while I counted money. I brought a to-go container of curry, but didn’t ever really get a chance to eat it. My smoothie had me pretty revved up all morning, and I stayed busy until the end of my shift where I ate a late lunch of pita bread and hummus.

When I got home, I heated up some of my curry and devoured it, then heated up some more. I added some Tapatio for a kick this time, along with nutritional yeast. Yummy. I ate about 2 portions, about $2 worth.

I feel pretty darned good. My cold is about 90% better, I coughed and blew my nose considerably less than I did yesterday. My energy levels have been great today, and I never felt a crash. I came home from work not feeling exhausted which rarely happens.

I wanted to post this early, but I might add some food later, as I’m trying to stay up as late as I can tonight (I work 5pm-4am tomorrow night). Super messed up sleep schedule. I’ll add it in as an edit if I end up late night snacking.

Also, I probably might forgo getting new food for the next few days and try to use up my food stock at home. I like getting creative with what I got. I love going grocery shopping, so the longer I wait the more excited I’ll be. Fridge and pantry (and my body :p) clean-out week.

But anyway, I think I might like this vegan thing. :)

TOTAL FOOD COST FOR TODAY: $4.55  after late night snacks $6.05

EDIT: I did eat about one more portion of my curry ($1.00) and a Kashi pumpkin flax granola bar ($.50) because I was really craving something sweet. I knew I would get late night munchies.

Have a blessed and healthy day :)

TheFrugalVegal

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