Week 1 is done. Some hits, some misses. But all in all I was pleased with what I got out of it.
Applying what I’ve learned is on the menu this week. This is not as easy as it seems (see past mistakes), but I will do my best.
I have decided to lean on my pantry more this week (I’ll note the cost per serving).
A pantry building post is on the way.
But first let me do a rundown of the groceries I bought this week with my $35
- snow peas (2 servings)
- iceberg lettuce
- split peas
- black eyed peas
- vegetable stock (this was on sale wee ha!!!! I bought 2 quarts for 3 smackers)
- popcorn kernals (this was my splurge item at 1.79, but I miss a snack)
- apples (Trader Joe’s on sale a bag for 2.29 10 in the bag)
- 2 lemons
I have 8 bucks left that I will use midweek. Leftover from last week: brown rice, white beans, chick peas, kale
Since I had chickpeas left I made a big batch of hummus. I think this is my biggest win so far. Hummus is full of protein, filling and frankly, freaking fantastic on everything. Throw in lettuce and have it on a wrap. A big bag of carrots on sale will cost you $1.59, paired with hummus perfect for snackin’ and relaxin’.
- Oatmeal (why didn’t I think of this last week?)
- Veggie Stir Fry with Soba (Snow peas, scallions, onions garlic)
- Leftover soba noodles (I had them cold and they were oh so, so good)
- White bean and kale soup (This was only meh. I would have added lots more veggies or some pasta or even some ‘shrooms to give it some umph but I didn’t want to spend the money to beef up this recipe).
- Leftover soup (didn’t finish it. But Dakota liked it over her kibble)
Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup
Another win. I have a tried and true recipe that I love. I was worried that it wouldn’t be so great. I was hoping that eating on a very tight budget could be tasty, but it’s been less that successful in my opinion.
Bah! This version was 6 ingredients and freaking awe-some. Do you hear me? Awe-some.
This recipe made dance inside (also on the outside, I couldn’t help but bust a move when I slurped my first sip. My apologies to the people across the street who may have seen me)
- One Eggplant cubed (keep the skin on)
- Large can whole crushed tomatoes (Cento was on sale, score .79)
- 5 (peeled) cloves fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tomatoes (this is optional- but if you’re from Jerz…you should still have a few) cut in quarters
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place all veggies and garlic on a cookie sheet. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
2. Roast for 25 minutes in a 425° oven.
3. Place veggies in a large pot or dutch oven with remaining olive oil.
4. Sauté for 5 minutes and then add stock
5. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Carefully transfer soup in small batches to a blender and blend.
That’s it. It had an elegant taste but hearty feel. And it freezes well (whoop!)
Split Pea Soup
Another easy peasy (you see what I did there?) recipe.
So good. In fact, after I made it I forgot to take a photo for this post. No worries I thought, I’ll just get another bowl, take a photo and save it for tomorrow.
Cut to: Oneika slurping. Camera app open but off to the side. Yikes! I’m supposed to take a photo.
I managed to get it *wipes mouth*
- one bag split peas
- small onion- chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups water
- salt and pepper
- smoked paprika or smoked chipotle pepper* (this is a pantry usage)
1. Saute onions and garlic
2. Add split peas
3. Add 4 cups of water
4. Bring to boil then immediately reduce to medium low
5. Add 1/2 cup water after 20 minutes
6. Stir frequently for another 35 minutes adding water if soup is too think
7. Transfer in batches to blender **
* I debated whether to use this or not. I opted to used it for a few reasons. First, smoked paprika adds richness and meaty flavor to vegan dishes and gives them depth. Second a little goes a long way, so it’s worth getting.
** You could skip this, but I was feeling silky smooth. I’ve also had made split pea without blending and it’s still just as bad ass.
This second week has been a lot easier on the palate.
I know, you’re saying can this chick really eat soup every night for dinner?
The answer is yes, yes I could. I still had a few bucks left so I guess I could have grabbed a roll or some fresh bread. There’s a bakery across the street that sells fresh whole wheat loaves for 1.50.
But honestly the soup is plenty. I think a lot of American eating habits are too heavy, focusing on the size of a meal as an indication of success rather than the quality and flavor.
It takes a bit of work. But it can be done.
I felt short changed last week. I kicked rocks a few times. Yeah, yeah, non-attachment.
But I shopped this second week with a determination to make some meals that I could stand behind and say, these are things you can get everywhere.
With two days left, I feel that I’ve done that.
It’s still pretty sobering to know that this is the budget many families have every single day, year after year. This was no game to me. However, next week if I feel like grabbing a green juice after a hot yoga class, I can.
There’s a lot to think about and so much more that we can do to end hunger.
Stay tuned for the last few days (recipes) and my final thoughts about the whole process.
September is Hunger Action Month.