Wednesday, February 28, 2007
First off, MONEY. We have $0.23 left. According to our receipts for grocery's for this month, we spent $46.90. The balance consists of food i bought from myself. I started out the month with eggs, butter, onions, and the like that i didn't want to go to waste, so i noted how much they were at the places i shopped (1lb butter=$1.99 @ wegmans; 18 eggs=$1.59 @ h-mart), and took the money out of the envelope.
If we do this again next year (and i think we will), i'm going to change one thing. We're going to start the month off with a USDA food supplement box. I'll have to confirm with some people, but i've packed these things before and i remember a 5lb bag of flour, a quart of vegetable oil, a jar of gov. peanutbutter, a big can of peaches, potato flakes, and a couple of other things i can't remember. I'm not sure what i'd do with the flakes (besides using it to coat some chicken into chicken strips...), but everything else would be EXTREMELY useful. I figure, if you're livin off if a dollar a day, then you probably get some government help...
There are a few things I made this month that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. we've been eating pasta carbonara for the past couple of nights and it's been pretty good. when all you have left is eggs, milk and pasta (garlic and parmasean help!), it's a pretty good option. The other is tempura (although i can't wait to try a beer batter next time), and tofu in brown sauce.
I'm a much better baker than i realized. especially when it comes to muffins. they're awesome. You can freeze the batter in the muffin cups and just bake what you need that morning. So every morning you get FRESH muffins! yaaaaay! i think these are going to be breakfast from now on.
This is the first time in many many years where i've run out of garlic. I ALWAYS have garlic. But from now on I'm not going to buy pre peeled garlic. I'm just goiing to buy it by the head and peel it and store it in a container when I get home. It's cheaper and much less wastefull.
A few words about waste. I'm going to make a committment to myself to try and eliminate food waste in our home. Herbs can be frozen for later and vegetables can always find a home if you bought more than you need. Most importantly, milk never needs to go bad. If you want to buy a gallon or half gallon, just save what you think you'll want to keep in it's original form and make something else with it. Paneer is soooooo easy to make, and dishes that feature it are delicious. Yogurt is easy to make too (especially if you have the little $25 machine). From yogurt you can make lebene - which i LOVE. You'll never need to buy sour cream again. Almost every fruit you don't want can be baked or reduced into a topping. These are things humanity has learned over thousands of year, but it's only taken a generation or two for modern society to forget. We definitely take the things we can just go out and buy in the grocery store for granted.
Anyway, all of the typing is making my blister kinda crazy, so i'll sign off for now. I'll update when I can.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Tomorrow is the last day and we have $0.23 left!
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Chad got the blackbeans. They needed to keep simmering for 30 minutes after I left for work, so I just gave him a time and told him to taste them before turning them off. He did and they turned out pretty well:
1/2 lb dried black beans (picked over for stones and soaked over night)
1 tbl butter
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 large onion - med dice
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 tbl cumin
1 tbl crused red pepper
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp cardamom
1 tbl salt
2 tbl liquid smoke (kinda smells like bacon ;)
Makes 6 servings. Per serving:
Friday, February 9, 2007
I had forgotten how cheap tofu is. There's a brand at H-Mart that's only $0.99/lb. So I bought it with the plan of prepping a quarter of it for the tempura, and saving the rest for when the blackbeans and rice ran out. That's exactly what we did. The whole thing took almost no time in prep besides mixing the batter and cutting the tips off of the beans, and it was pretty good too!
The Batter - I halved the below, and only ended up using a third of it. I just put it in a container in the fridge when I was done.
1.5 cups flour
.5 cup corn starch
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
.25 tsp ground black pepper
1.75 cups ice water
Sauce - There was a lime/soy sauce recipe that I ended modifying a little bit (mainly because it was too tart!)
6 tbl soy sauce
.25 cup lime juice
1 clove garlic, through press
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbl honey (or two packets from starbucks ;)
Nutrition - really kinda suprised me. Maybe it's because the tempura is fried that this meal had such a high calorie count, but it all ended up pretty good:
For 1 serving rice, 2 tbl sauce, 1 tbl sesame seeds, 15 tempura green beans, and 2 slices tempura tofu slices:
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Basically, if it looks like we're going to keep loosing at this rate and send our bodies into starvation mode, then we're going to allow all food that is already in the kitchen into play. However, any new items will have to be paid for out of the $56 budget. If we do that, then we should have no problem keeping to the costs down and the calories up. I have so much food hanging out in the pantry and the freezer that we should have no problems whatsoever.
We'll decide on Sunday.
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon (i never measure cinnamon - i just run it agains my microplane until i think there's enough. there's never enough! i think i used 2 tablespoons. The recipe called for 1 1/2 teaspoons. hehehehehe)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup grated apple
1 tbl lime (this is my addition because there's no tartness to red delicious apples like there are for a green baking apple like a granny smith)
5 tbl melted butter
Nutrition (per muffin):
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Massaman curry paste
1 lb broccoli
3/4 lb potatos, large dice with skin
2 tbl peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
8 oz chicken, sliced
Nutrition per serving with rice:
Monday, February 5, 2007
This is HALF of what a person's daily intake should be, on all factors. ugh.
Chad had more dinner than I did, so at least he had more protein.
Zaatar is middle eastern oregano that's dried and usually mixed with sesame. I found out about it when I lived in Israel, and now hummus doesn't seem right without it. I really also like to eat it on a lavash thats been spread with Lebne and sprinkled with zaatar. It's delicious.
Tahina is probably the most recognizable to people. It's ground sesame paste (like peanut butter), and is a key ingredient in hummus. I decided to add it to the marinade and stew in order to up the calorie count for today.
Quinoa is something that more people should know about. You can find it for $1.99/lb in may places (look for it in bulk bins), and has a better protien string than any grains or legumes (it's actually a small seed). Quinoa cooks up almost just like rice, and kinda looks like couscous. Actually, I used to make this dish to go over couscous, but then I discovered quinoa and prefer it's nutty flavor and high nutritional
8oz chicken, cubed
1 tbl lime juice
2 tbl zaatar (regular oregano if you can't find zaatar)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
3 cloves garlic through a press
1 tbl olive oil
2 tbl tahina
2 med carrots, med. dice
2 yellow squash, coined
1 pound, small head of savoy cabbage
1/2 large onion, med dice
Makes 7 or 8 servings
Nutrition per serving
Quinoa nutrition info (we had cooked half cup servings):
Rolled Biscuits - made 38 (that should have been my first clue - the recipe said 24)
1 3/4 c flour
1 tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbl cold butter
cinnamon, sugar, and a little milk for the glaze
Nutrition per biscuit! (i had 8, chad had 11):
Since it was Sunday we only had the biscuits for brunch, and dinner. With a snack of the leftover lavash in between. Probably not a good idea to skip meals....
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Here's the ingredients for 2 loaves. I cut it in half when I made it yesterday.
1 3/4 cup flour
1/3 butter (a little cooler than room temp)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 tbl beaten egg
topping (get's spread on the loaves before they go in the oven)
2 tbl butter (melted)
1 tsp salt
2 tbl sesame seeds
4 cloves garlic (through a press)
2 tsp red pepper flakes
Nutrition for one serving, the above makes 8
Aaaaand? It's yummy. =)
Today we got plenty of protein, fiber and sodium. Probably too much sodium actually. Oh well. I'm also very glad that we made it through the day without having to buy any groceries. That won't be the case today, i have to buy potatoes and carrots. I hope to keep that to under $2 though.
I have a part time job at a Sur La Table. For people who aren't familiar with it, it's basically a fancy kitchen store. We carry a huge variety of things. While we have some pretty expensive items, we also have a lot of items that are under $5.
So all day long I talk to people about food and cooking. Friday afternoon I was worried that it would difficult for me because 1. I'd be running around, climbing up and down ladders, and burning calories, and 2. I'd be talking about food and cooking all day long. But I was okay, and I only had to work until 4pm, so we had time to come home and relax a little bit before dinner.
I think my body has gotten used to the foods and portion sizes we're eating - Chad's too. We've both lost a little weight, but since our sugar intake is way down, I'm not suprised. I hate not being able to snack on mixed nuts though, especially since they're still in their jar in the kitchen, but the self dicipline is good for me, right?
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tbl butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
I served them with 2 pats of butter and some maple syrup. Yummy, and very filling. I had 3 and chad had 5. =)
Nutrition Per serving (including a little butter and syrup):
Saturday, February 3, 2007
I love chicken and lentil soup. The way I make it yields 6 servings, so we'll be able to have it for 3 meals. Yay. I splurged and bought chicken. 2.5 lbs of chicken breast for $6 at HMart. Ouch, that hurt - three complete days of food. but since the recipe only took 5.5 ounces of that chicken, I still have 2.16 pounds to work with for upcoming meals. I think at least 1.5 lbs may have to go into the freezer on Sunday if I'm going to strech these birds (yes birds, there are at least 3 breasts, and I hope I'm not eating some kind of new, mutant chicken)
Anyway, here it goes:
1 cup rice
2 cups red lentils
5.5 ounces chicken breast
1/2 large onion, small dice
3 cups veggie stock (I drained some of the liquid from the veggie stew for stock)
water (there's no amount because you just keep adding it while cooking until the consistancy is right)
tumeric, cumin, salt, red pepper flakes, to taste
Nutrition, per serving:
I like to garnish mine with lime juice. but i don't feel like counting it in the totals. More later =)
I'm pretty sure that it's because I'm obessing over food all of the time, but I've got this dull hunger in my stomach that I pretty much have to ignore. But since I've always have to think and plan about the next meal, food is just always on my mind. My mouth constantly waters because I'm constantly looking through my cookbooks. Even though our caloric intake is low, I know we're getting enough to eat. But it's just always on my mind. Ugh. I really hope this passes soon. Next up, dinner and the total nutrition count for Friday!
I had the day off yesterday, but I still got up to make sure that Chad got a good breakfast. I halved a popover recipe and i think they turned out okay.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tlb butter
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
Next time I make these, I've got to remember to grease the bottom of the custard cups thouroughly. I had a hard time getting them out.
And now for the nutritional breakdown.
I had rice with Ponzu sauce and sesame seeds (good for you!) for breakfast. Ponzu sauce is basically soy sauce with a little lemon juice. It's nice and tart, and doesn't taste too salty. I prefer it to soy. Here's the nutritional breakdown:
That is all for now! Stay tuned for lunch and thoughts
Friday, February 2, 2007
Foccacia (we split the loaf in two...ok, maybe i gave him the bigger half, but i'm not counting for that here)
Stew with rice (we've quarted the recipe. one serving each for dinner and split the leftovers for lunch)
all around, we didn't get enough of everything that the USDA thinks we should be getting. The part we're closest to 81% closest carbs. Hmmmm - I'm going to have to do something about this.
1 tbl olive oil
1 half large onion
3 small red potatoes
2 med. carrots
10 sliced mushrooms
1 tbl tumeric
10 cloves garlic
1 quart of water
salt, pepper and tumeric to taste
1 tbl cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water
2.5 cups steamed rice.
Nutrition Info broken down into stew and rice. I'll break down our nutrition info for the day in the next post.
Food intake for the day:
breakfast and lunch: mushroom foccacia
dinner: veggie stew and rice
Mushroom Foccacia (adapted and halved from williams sonoma baking)
1 package dry yeast (2.5 tsp)
1/4 plus 2 tbl cup warm water (not hot, baby bottle temp...)
1 drizzle honey (i've had it for almost a year and it's almost gone...sniff - i guess I'll be getting the packets from starbucks now...)
1/4 cup olive oil (i buy it by the gallon!)
2.5 cups of flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbl dry thyme
2 tbl olive oil
5 garlic cloves - pressed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Nutritional Information for the entire loaf:
Chad took a picture, I'll try and post it later. Next up, veggie stew on rice!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Here are Melissa's rules for our $1/day/person deal:
1. Free Food: free food to use are foods that can be obtained by the general public. This includes the sugar and butter that the food court at the mall leaves out. This does not include food that my coworkers will try to feed me. Yes, it's free, but Jane's black beans and rice are not available to the general public.
2. Staples: Staples that I use on a near daily basis, but only have to buy a couple of times a year may be used. This includes oil, salt, spices, condiments and yeast. The stipulation here is that I can only use what I had at the begining of the month. No seperate check for staples. Four, sugar and butter are not included here, since I usually buy those around once a month.
3. Potlucks: We can only participate if we contribute. I have a feeling our contribution will be two loaves of mushroom focaccia.
Since the power at the office will probably go out (AGAIN) at any second, this is all for now.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I landed on this blog about a guy who wanted to see what it was like to eat on $1/day for a month. (http://hungryforamonth.blogspot.com/). It horrified me because he can’t cook and knows next to nothing about nutrition, so he basically ate crap for the month. $.89 hot dogs just don’t do anything for me.
So, since I have the whole ‘anything you can do i can do better’ attitude going for me, Chad and I are going to do something similar in February. We’re basically going to eat for $56 (or less!) the entire month. We will also eat balanced meals, not skip meals, not mess up our metabolisms, and have a little variety in our diet. There will be no ramen.
Today after work we’re going to the bank so I can put the months grocery money in an envelope. Then we’re going to the store to get groceries for the next couple of days. We’ll probably have a nice dinner out since it’s the last one until March. I’ll be blogging it here (hopefully) if anyone is interested in reading about it…