Vegan Diaries – 21 Meals, 35 Bucks (Days 6 and 7 and Recap)

Brussels sprouts with balsamic

This week didn’t turn out as I planned.

I wanted to repot that this was super easy and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be eating a yummy vegan life on the cheap.

It was hard. With my teaching schedule, practice, projects and the meager social life I try to have seamless transition aren’t the first words that jump out.

On Days 6 and 7 I grabbed a few apples for breakfast and lunch. I had soup on Day 6 and another hummus wrap on Day 7.

Dinners were easy and I think that was my biggest takeaway. Focus on one meal that will be the most satisfying. It doesn’t have to be the same meal, but one meal is the biggie nonetheless.

I’m an oatmeal girl when it gets cold so oatmeal that’s a no-brainer.

Other things that made me hmmm:

1. Beans. This is going to be another post. Dried beans are the way to go. Sure they take time to soak, but they are hella cheap. And frankly, my hummus is better with chick peas I’ve made myself. This is also due to Nadia Zerka’s recipe, but I can expand on that in the beans post. Back to my point, beans are a great way to get protein into a vegan diet. As I also read in a NYT food blog, they are back in fashion. Beans are the new black and all that.

2. Eating well on a budget is definitely possible, but it takes time. I’ve mentioned the pantry issue. My pantry is pretty well stocked. I’ve spices, grains and though I dumped a lot of condiments when I moved, I slowly building back my stash.

3. I’m also fortunate because I don’t live in a food desert. I have access to farmer’s markets and big grocery stores that have great prices on fresh food.

4. I enjoyed eating more and was more mindful because I knew it took time and thought to prepare something good in a budget.

Day 6

Breakfast

2 apples

Lunch

Dinner

Brussels sprouts roasted with balsamic over brown rice

This was very tasty. But I used balsamic, not on the list and from my pantry.

The recipe itself is super easy.

1. Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil, chopped garlic, balsamic. Add salt and pepper.

2. Roast in a 425° oven for 25-30 minutes. Toss midway through cook time.

3. Serve over a bed of brown rice.

Day 7

Breakfast

Apples and hummus

Lunch

Leftovers from dinner.

Dinner

I skipped dinner which is a terrible idea, but by the end of the week I was low on groceries and wasn’t inspired to make anything. Next week I’m planning on making soup. This should take care of skipping dinner because nothing is handy.

So there you go. It was harder than I thought.

Stay tuned for week 2.

Namaste y’all.

Advertisements

Vegan Diaries – 21 meals 35 bucks

21 meals 35 bucks

Post by Oneika’s Yoga Life.

So, Eat Well on the Cheap was a great post what wasn’t well thought out.

I decided to go back to the drawing board.

7 days. 21 meals. 5 bucks a day.

Grand plans of menu planning danced in my head- but here in reality I ended up at Trader Joe’s. In actuality, this is a better plan because I want to see how reasonable it is to eat well with a few bucks.

My cash went further than I thought it would at Trader Joe’s.

I spent $25 there. I need some tortillas (1.89), beans (1.49 for two bags) and Thai basil (1.50 for 1 giant bunch)  from my favorite Asian grocery store.

That leaves me with $3. I’m going to save that to see if some veggies jump out at me at the farmer’s market this week.

Here’s what I scored:

  • bag of Gala apples
  • 4 bananas – biggest steal at .19 ea
  • bag of Brussels sprouts
  • frozen green beans
  • 2 large onions
  • bag of greens for salad
  • Carrot Ginger Soup (4 servings) This was $2.79 and I figure an easy lunch.
  • Groundless Beef
  • 2 large sweet potatoes

I did already have quinoa, brown rice and a bag of chick peas.

Here’s the menu for tomorrow.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • Banana
  • Apple

Lunch

  • Hummus sandwich

(Hummus, handful of greens, onions, oil, lemon juice and spices)

  • Apple

Dinner

photo-4

  • Stir Fry- brown rice, kale, onions and chick peas

This recipe is super easy.

  1. Sauté onions and minced garlic for 5 minutes
  2. Add the brown rice and kale and chick peas
  3. Sauté for five minutes add a few splashes of water. I probably would have added some lemon juice, but they weren’t in the purchased items list.
  4. I did add salt and pepper. Hot pepper flakes would be nice too if you have them in your pantry.
  5. The leftovers will be great in a wrap!

Almost 9 months ago, I watched Vegucated and decided to give a vegan lifestyle a go. Since then I’ve adopted completely vegetarian, and mostly vegan way of life. I do confess to eating artisan cheese once in awhile. I also indulge in honey.

Overall, it’s been a game changer- I feel great. My skin looks great and I’ve reduced my carbon footprint- which in turn is good for you.

Alas, I still have people saying, “But I can’t eat healthy without spending lots of money…” and “Eating healthy and cheap doesn’t taste good.”

Right. I’m calling bullshit. So for the next two weeks I’m going to eat for less than $5 a day. I’m doing two weeks because anyone can suck up a week. I’m not doing a month because that too will get boring (not for me, for you my friends).

I’ll include recipes that aren’t complicated, but they will all be tasty (at least I hope, when they aren’t, I’ll share that too).

And here we go.

Namaste y’all.

Vegan Diaries – Roasted Veggie Salad

 

Here’s a salad to boast about! On some nights the problem is finding something to make that won’t taste run of the mill but is idiot-proof.

 

The solution? Roasting and grilling!

 

Roasting and grilling brings sophistication to veggies. Broccoli for example is boring and waiting for dip or hummus when it’s raw, but after a drizzle of olive oil and some heat it becomes something altogether different (and exciting)!

 

I looked like a cartoon character with my head in the frig and giggling like a maniac as I pulled out vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, corn sailed overhead and landed on the granite counter top like astronauts ejected out of the space shuttle…

 

A great salad has fresh greens and a light dressing in order to savor the individual flavor of each ingredient. The result was just perfect.

Crusty bread is a nice addition.

There’s a local pizzeria that sells organic baguettes- I’m pretty sure it’s made with rosemary infused oil. The outside is textured and crusty without being too hard. When you break a piece off the inside is fluffy and dense at the same time. Amazing, right?! And when you take a bite, you inhale.

The rosemary wafts in your nose and then….you chew. 

I call it magic bread. 

Ooops sorry- I digress. But yeah, bread with the salad. Go for it. It’s tasty.

 

Ingredients 

  • Brussels sprouts (sliced in half)
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots (cut in 1 in. pieces)
  • Fresh corn (cut off of the ear)
  • 2 T olive oil (or non-stick spray)
  • 1/2 T oregano (dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

For the salad

  • Spring greens
  • Cucumbers (sliced)
  • Red onions (very, very thinly sliced)
  • vegan feta or regular feta cheese (optional)

 

For the dressing
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon Juice
  • Salt and pepper

 

Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450-475 ( or heat grill, or use a grill pan- see so many many ways to dress this up!)
  2. In a bowl coat vegetables with olive oil and spices
  3. Place vegetable on a cookie sheet
  4. Roast vegetables for 35-45 minutes checking them every ten minutes and turning them after 20 minutes
  5. Combine vegetables salad ingredients
  6. Dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil
  7. Add salt and pepper and toss

 

Namaste y’all.

Farmers Markets Syndrome (FMS)- Food Yoga

Green Market Union Square

 

In my neck of the woods farmers market season is around the corner. Confession time, I can go crazy at a good farmers market. They have bright colors, people buzzing around, pretty packages, shiny objects, food samples and great prices! How can you go wrong? You also get to support local businesses.

Color. Me. In. Love.

I don’t know about you, but I get suckered in by the fresh veggies. Walking home from yoga when it’s warm I spy kale in that bushel or on a table and it’s like I’m in a trance. Maybe it’s the yoga high, maybe it’s the vibe, but I always buy something. Usually, too much. Everything seems priced at a dollar and before you know it I’ve only spent 7 bucks but I have 20 pounds of green goodies.

You can’t stop the inevitably train (Yeah that’s right- Mr. Smith). Like many things, much of it can go bad (Like my Matrix joke).

I get through kale, but the spring greens are bad. I think corn is good for a longer time than tomatoes? What about asparagus? You get the picture. Train wreck.

I’ve decided to help all of us who suffer from farmers market syndrome (FMS). I may not be able to stop you, but I can help. I’ve done research on the shelf life on some of the most popular characters we see in those tempting bushels and gingham lined baskets (the little vixens).

 

With the help of Still Tasty- Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide I was able to get the support we need. Still Tasty has answers to all of the food questions that you think you should already know the answers to but don’t ask. So check them out.

Back to our program. Here is the shelf life for some items commonly purchased veggies at farmers markets:

1. Kale- 5-7 days in the produce compartment of your fridge

photo credit eatrealbutter.com

2. Arugula (rocket, roquette, rugula) 2-3 days in a plastic bag (This doesn’t not include the stuff you can get at your grocery store in the plastic box. That expiration date is fine)

3. Cucumbers- 7 days

photo credit the dailygreen.com

4. Green beans (all kinds) 3-5 days

5. Butternut squash (and other whole winter squash like acorn, spaghetti, hubbard) 1-2 months

photo credit thedailygreen.com

6. Zucchini (and other whole summer squash like scallop, crookneck) 4-5 days

7. Tomatoes (I know it’s really a fruit) 1-5 days in the pantry until ripe or 2-3 days once ripe

8. Beets 1-2 weeks

9. Broccoli 3-5 days

10. Brussels sprouts 3-5 days

photo credit onthegreenfarms.com

11. Parsnips 1-2 weeks

photo credit dietsdessertsanddogs.com

12. Spinach 3-5 days

photo credit the-kitchenette.com

I feel better having this information and hope you do too. So go ahead veggies, I see you flashing that green smile. I’ll probably even take you home. But you’ll never go bad on me again. Good luck to those with FMS. Be strong.

 

This is yoga. And it’s about to be in full bloom.

Namsate y’all.