Food Yoga – Meatless Monday! (Daal Tadka)

daal


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Happy Meatless Monday!!

This week you may want to try lentils. My recipe this week is brought to you by the blog Zenfully Delicious. I love Indian food and Daal is an easy way to try something new. For those of you new to the idea of removing meat from your diet creating interesting meals is good plan to keep you on track. Finding ‘meat’ substitutes wash’t something that worked for me. Generally speaking, I found that having great meals that didn’t need meat was the best way to me to enjoy a meatless lifestyle. While Daal is considered to be an accompaniment to an Indian meal, I had it as a main dish with some salad.

The key to Daal is the tempering of the spices at the end. Tempering spices in Indian cooking is an essential step and depending on the dish is either done at the beginning of cooking or at the end. In the case of Daal it is done at the end.

With Daal you can spice this up as much as you want. I added Garam Masala, smoked Paprika and a few drops of mustard oil to my tempering mixture.

Today’s Special is a cute indie flick I saw on Netflix. The scene with the tempering of the spices is particularly funny.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1½ cups yellow split lentils or toor lentils
½ a medium onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of half lemon

3-4 cups cups veggie stock (or water) (this depending on how soupy you’d like your daal. More liquid = more soup)

Tempering ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 clove or ½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 whole Serrano pepper
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder

Directions

  1. In a large pot add 2 tablespoons olive oil ( you could also use butter or ghee but I’m keeping the dish vegan).
  2. Saute onions, tomatoes and garlic
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro
  4. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat.
  5. I deviated from the recipe here and added a little more spice. I like lots of flavor into the pot went more cumin, curry powder, red pepper flakes, freshly grated ginger and lime juice)
  6. Prepare tempering ingredients by measuring them out first.  Don’t mix them all together. I placed them on a flexible cutting board. The process happens quickly and it will burn if you try to gather the spices and temper at the same time.  Ask me how I know this.
  7. Simmer lentils for 20 minutes (or longer if you like them softer)
  8. Temper the spices and add to the daal as it is finished cooking.
  9. Stir in the tempered spices.
  10. Serve over rice immediately.

Tempering Spices

Heat canola oil in a pan on a stovetop till it shimmers (should be hot). Turn off the heat. To this hot oil, add the cumin seeds, garlic, Serrano pepper and dry spices. Everything should sizzle in the pan. (Watch out for splattering spices during this process.)

I added a dollop of cilantro chutney which can be found in most grocery stores. In my pantry I also had some chickpea chips. Perfect for a garnish!

Enjoy!!

Namaste y’all!!

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Meatless Monday – Baby Kale Salad with Spaghetti Squash and Ginger Tahini Dressing

S squash salad

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Meatless Monday is more than an idea, it’s a movement. Check out the history below (From MeatlessMonday.com)

 

Meatless Monday is not a new idea. During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. “Food Will Win the War,” the government proclaimed, and “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part. The effect was overwhelming; more than 13 million families signed a pledge to observe the national meatless and wheatless conservation days.1

The campaign returned during World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt relaunched it to help that war’s efforts on the home front. In the immediate post-war years, President Harry S. Truman continued the campaign to help feed war-ravaged Europe.

Meatless Monday was revived in 2003 by former ad man turned health advocate Sid Lerner, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. Reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign, Meatless Monday addresses the prevalence of preventable illnesses associated with excessive meat consumption. With the average American eating as much as 75 more pounds of meat each year than in generations past, our message of “one day a week, cut out meat” is a way for individuals to do something good for themselves and for the planet.

Since 2003, Meatless Monday has grown into a global movement powered by a network of participating individuals, hospitals, schools, worksites and restaurants around the world. The reason is twofold: the simplicity of Meatless Monday’s message has allowed the campaign to be embraced, talked about and shared by participants around the world, while the health benefits of reducing meat consumption are regular stories in the nation’s news outlets.

At The Monday Campaigns, we believe Monday is the day all health breaks loose. Research shows that Monday is the perfect day to make small, positive changes. The repeating cycle of the week allows Monday, 52 times a year, to be the day people commit to all kinds of healthy behaviors.

To that end, we have launched other campaigns that leverage the Monday concept for positive outcomes, like The Kids Cook MondayMove It Monday, and Quit and Stay Quit Monday. In addition to Johns Hopkins, we’ve partnered with other leading public health schools—Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and the Maxwell School at Syracuse University—that serve with us as scientific advisors and work with us to develop evidence-based models using the Monday concept.

1. History of the United States Food Administration, 1917-1919 By William Clinton Mullendore, Ralph Haswell Lutz  (Stanford University Press, 1941)

2. Conservation and Regulation in the United States During the World War: An Outline for a Course of Lectures to Be Given in Higher Educational Institutions, Volume 2 By Charles R. Van Hise (United States Food Administration, 1918)

 

 

Here’s this week’s meal!!!

 

It’s a hearty salad. But the dressing is the star. Over the weekend someone mentioned a tahini salad dressing that was out of this world. However, the recipe is in a cookbook not yet released. So, I decided to do some homework and play around with one of my own.

 

This dressing be used on sandwiches or as a sauce for veggies and pasta.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • splash apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)
  • splash tamari (reduced sodium)
  • splash rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • medium hunk of fresh garlic minced

Blend everything until smooth.

 

To the dressing I added:

  • baby kale
  • thinly sliced onions (next time I’ll use red or vidalia, but white is what was on hand)
  • spaghetti squash*
  • baby tomatoes quartered
  • fresh garlic- minced
  • green apple chopped
  • sea salt
  • pumpkin seed pepita (pistachios would be a tasty addition)

 

* I steamed the squash in the microwave. I sliced the squash lengthwise and removed seeds. I leveled the squash by removing a strip of skin so it would wobble and added a little less than 1/2 cup water to one half. I placed the other half on top and microwaved for 12 minutes (1.5 lb squash). Carefully I took the squash out of the microwave and let cool. Then I took a fork to pull out the ‘spaghetti’.

I tossed everything until coated and devoured as it hit the plate. Delish!!!

 

Namaste y’all! May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

What’s on your dinner menu?

Cucumber Gazpacho

cucumber gazpacho

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Summer weather.

It’s my favorite time of year. Not just because I can zip around on my bike without a balaclava but because summer veggies make dinner easy and delicious. Gazpacho is refreshing dinner that can double as lunch the next day. Though traditionally made with tomatoes I decided to green it up a bit with tomatillos and cucumbers.

Whaaaaat? So good. So healthy.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers- 3 roughly chopped
  • Green bell pepper- 1 roughly chopped
  • Green chiles- 2 chopped
  • Tomatillos – 4 medium
  • Garlic- 2 cloves
  • Shallots- 2
  • Lime- 2 juiced
  • Mint- one bunch
  • Broth- 1/2 (I used veggie)
  • Balsamic vinegar (use a higher quality if you’ve got it- definitely can taste the difference)- 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro- one bunch
  • Black pepper
  • Coarse sea salt- Maldon is my fave

*Optional 1/2 cup of white wine in place of 1/2 cup of broth

 

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor or vitamix blend the veggies, mint, cilantro, balsamic, lime juice. (You’ll have to do this in batches as it won’t all fit.)
  2. Once one batch is done pour into a large soup serving bowl- if the soup is more smoothie like- add more liquid…
  3. Refrigerate for 45 minutes
  4. Stir before serving- I garnished with mango and cilantro- but whatever floats your boat will do just fine!
  5. Serve with salad!

What are some of your favorite cold soup recipes? I’m always looking for new ones!!

 

Namaste y’all.

The Whole 30

doing-the-w30-IG

 

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned my friend Patrice. Fate has a way of bringing people together and from the moment I met her I knew we’d be friends. She listens to my rants, tells me when I’m being silly (as in stubborn) and makes me feel better if I’m feeling low. So when she asked if I’d do the Whole 30 with her I said yes instantly. A program that helps you feel great and focuses on real food? That’s what I preach, bring it on!!!

And then I saw what I couldn’t have red wine (or any alcohol, boo) for a month and was less enthused, but sticking together and all that I’m still on board. I like the idea of doing something for 30 days. In a week I’m launching a 30 Meditation Journey- it’s for folks that want to try meditation, but have felt a little nervous about doing so. Partnering meditation with whole eating sounds like a fine way finish up healing from abdominal surgery.

 

So back to the Whole 30. Here’s some scoop from the site.

The Whole30 Program Rules

Yes: Eat real food.

Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural and unprocessed. Don’t worry… these guidelines are outlined in extensive detail in our free shopping list.

 

– See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.Q0ru9FdQ.dpuf

No: Avoid for 30 days.

More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat during the duration of your Whole30 program. Omitting all of these foods and beverages will help you regain your healthy metabolism, reduce systemic inflammation, and help you discover how these foods are truly impacting your health, fitness and quality of life.

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits (chips and fries) and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold, and fingerling potatoes off your plate.
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • No Paleo-ifying baked goods, desserts, or junk foods. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no banana-egg pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.

One last and final rule: You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)

– See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.Q0ru9FdQ.dpuf

 

I’m skeptical about some of this. I’ve read through the site and some of the language is a little too tough love for me. I’m already the chick who used to live her life without moderation- so I’m not really sure if the Whole 30® program is a good fit for someone like me. Life in extremes can play to my addictive nature and if I’m not careful I could be looking down the abyss. So, I’m keeping a watchful eye on me. This isn’t to say that this isn’t a great thing for lots of folks who need a serious kick in the ass to stop some healthy habits and/or thinking.

My eating habits are pretty good- but keep a mindful eye on what I’m eating may be a kind of food meditation. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

 

I’ll keep you guys updated weekly.

 

Let the games begin.

 

Namaste y’all.

 

Have any of you done The Whole 30? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Mushroom Farro Stew

mushroom farro

The polar vortex has temporarily lifted. In the NYC area Sunday greeted us with 40° temperatures. In the background though, a snow storm is brews. I want to be prepared so off to the grocery store I went.

Since moving to my new place I haven’t been playing around with recipes. However, cold weather and especially snow has a way of bringing out the comfort food fanatic in all of us. And yes I realize that this particular Sunday is a big deal in my area, bit I’m not a football fan. Making a stew while listening to a book sounds like a perfect plan.

This recipe requires a bit more prep than some of my others, but it’s worth it. This stew freezes well- so make a ton and store it!

Mushroom Farro Stew

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of your favorite mushroom blend (I used oyster, shitake, cremini and baby bellas)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 stalk celery stalk diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red potato minced
  • 3 cups kale finely chopped
  • one heaping pinch sage
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ cup cooking sherry or red wine (or grape or pomegranate juice if you don’t cook with alcohol)
  • ¼ cup brown roux (recipe included in this post)
  • 6 cups of your favorite stock
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup faro

How to make roux (from Vegetarian Times)

1. Stir together equal parts melted or hot liquid fat (butter, oil, or margarine) and flour in wide-bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat.

2. Cook the roux, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, to desired color (the darker the roux, the deeper the flavor):
WHITE 2 to 4 minutes; add milk for a béchamel (the basic French white sauce) or broth for a velouté (a stock-based light sauce).
BLOND 5 to 8 minutes; used for veloutés and chowders.
BROWN 10 to 15 minutes; used for espagnole sauce and stews.
DARK BROWN 20 to 30 minutes; used for gumbo.

3. Add liquid preferably warmed to prevent the roux from seizing up. For sauces, cook, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is reached.

Directions for the stew

  1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large soup pot
  2. Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes and mushrooms until onions are translucent
  3. Add red wine- keep stirring – scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (cook for another 5-7 minutes)
  4. Add sage, salt and pepper
  5. Add the roux- keep stirring constantly scraping the bottom on the pan
  6. Add half of your stock- gently stir and bring to simmer
  7. Add remaining stock- reduce to very low heat and cook for 45-60 minutes checking frequently
  8. Add the faro 30 minutes before completion- add 1/2 cup of water and raise heat to medium. Check frequently to make sure faro cooks through and doesn’t stick to the bottom of your soup pot.
  9. Add the kale 15 minutes before completion

Serves 6-8

Enjoy!

Namaste y’all.

Food Yoga- Roasted Curry Potato Salad

This isn’t your grandma’s potato salad. Hey, don’t get me wrong- I love mayo. Alas, my booty doesn’t allow it very often. I’ve talked a lot about cutting carbs our of my life. It’s an affair that is hard to end (and quite frankly one of my most successful relationships, see: why I do yoga). But biking has taken over my life (in the best way possible).

It’s been a great addition to my yoga practice, but without carbs I’m crampy and crabby, a lethal combination to be sure. So I decided that once in a while I can splurge on carbs that are healthy yams, quinoa and beans. This potato salad has curry for a unique flavor and can be served warm or cold with lettuce added. I like it with lettuce because the cold lettuce, warm potatoes and honey mustard balsamic dressing- WOO HOO!!! I’m getting excited just typing it!!!

 

Ingredients 

(serves 4)

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes cubed
  • curry powder- I use a curry powder recipe that I’ve doctored up. I’ll include it, but those who really like curry know that it’s a personal experience. So I’m not here to mess with yours, but if you don’t care- use mine, because it’s awesome. Ok, onto the next thing.
  • your favorite lettuce – 4 cups (I used a spring mix)
  • salt – to taste
  • olive oil spray – (use a mister, you can use real olive oil and cut down on calories if you don’t like the spray!)
  • apples – 2 cups cubed (not to be a redundant but what I said about curry applies to apples so rewind and play that then, use what you like. Gala was on sale, so that’s what came home with me.)
  • golden raisins  1/4 cup
  • pistachios (optional) 1/4 cup crushed
  • onion – thinly sliced
  • broccoflower (or cauliflower, I was feeling daring so…) – 2 cups roughly chopped

Dressing

  • honey 1 T
  • dijon mustard 1T
  • olive oil 1/4 cup
  • balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup
  • salt and pepper to taste
Blend or whisk ingredients in a bowl

Preparation 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425
  2. Coast the potatoes and broccoflower with the olive oil and toss with the curry powder
  3. Spread the veggies evenly on an oiled cookie sheet
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  5. Toss veggies with apples, lettuce, raisins and dressing

 

 

Vegan Diaries – Roasted Cauliflower White Pumpkin and Leek Soup

Roasted-Cauliflower

I have such a feeling of gratitude over how I get to eat. The past few weeks opened my eyes. It may be what kept me from acting like a damn fool in the grocery store. Though I did pick up some dark chocolate, because I could. And some Pumpkin Ale. It’s fall, had to.

With Autumn on my mind I went to my local Shop-Rite. I many have mentioned but they have a local produce section. It’s not huge, but the prices are good, food is fresh and I’m supporting local farms. Hat trick. Not to mention the reduction of my carbon footprint. Extra 3 points. I know, I mixed my scoring comparisons. It’s all good.

Anyway- I left with:

  • Cauliflower
  • Leeks
  • Mini White Pumpkins (2)
  • Garlic

At home I pulled out

  • Olive oil
  • Veggie stock 3 cups
  • 2 fingerling potatoes

Preparation

  1. I cut the head of cauliflower in half. I’m saving the other half for tomorrow (chickpeas, eggplant and cauliflower curry- say what?!)
  2. I gave it a rough chop and then got to work on the leeks. I only used the light green and white part.
  3. I moved onto the potatoes. You could leave these out, I was looking for a creamier texture. It was a comfort food kind of day.
  4. After peeling three cloves of garlic I put the veggies in a roasting pan. I tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil and some sea salt and pepper.
  5. The veggies roast for 30 minutes at 425°
  6. I transferred the mixture into a dutch oven (or you can use a soup pot of big pot)
  7. I added another tablespoon of olive oil and sautéed the mixture for about two minutes.
  8. In went the stock and I brought the mixture to a simmer for 20 minutes. (I added another 1/2 cup of broth- but water would do fine- it just looked like it would be too thick)
  9. Then- very carefully I transferred the soup to my blender. I don’t have a vitamix- but my blender still got the soup smooth.

It was all I hoped for. Creamy (without the dairy reprucussions- lactose intolerant), hearty and smoky because I added a pinch of smoked chipotle pepper on top.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

In other weird Wednesday news. I found this strange fact about soup (check the vid below). Enjoy.

Namaste y’all.

photo-12

Food Yoga- Food Deserts

food-desert-1

Living on less that $35 weekly (for food) in the middle of Hunger Action Month helped me understand what it means to live on an near impossible meal budget.

In this fast paced world driven by instant gratification it can be easy to consume processed foods because that’s what’s readily accessible. Compound that with the stresses of everyday life and healthy habits can take a back seat.

I made a conscious effort to find foods that could support a vegan lifestyle and met the budget restrictions I was under.

But, there was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. Healthy food was outside my doorstep. Across the street there’s an ethnic grocery store that had fresh bok choy for 2 bucks. More Thai basil than I know what to do with for 1.50. Peeled garlic that will last a week for 1.25.

And I haven’t even mentioned the large grocery store that is within biking distance.

Or the green markets on Wednesdays.

You get the picture.

But if I lived 1.5 miles away, it’s an entirely different story. There are parts of my hometown that don’t have the bus service that I have or the easy access to the markets and stores. Have a craving for Mickey Ds, KFC, Wendy’s, White Castle, or Taco Bell. Well then my friend, you’re in luck. You will need to hold onto that luck to find some decent veggies and groceries that are marked up (If you can find a grocery store)

Welcome to a food desert. A food desert is defined by the USDA as :

Food deserts are defined as parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.

Check out the map below, all over the country there are areas where people in both urban and rural settings don’t have easy access to fresh food.

no car and supermarket

So now let’s take another look at that $4.50 a day that many folks can spend on food. If you can’t get to the store and you are surrounded by fast food a Quarter-Pounder with Cheese off the Dollar menu seems like a viable option. The next part of the story is fairly obvious, no?

Teaching Tolerance has done interesting research on obesity and access.

Studies show that certain racial groups are disproportionately affected by obesity. These problems may be worse in some U.S. communities because access to affordable and nutritious food is difficult. This is especially true for those living in low-income communities of color and rural areas with limited access to supermarkets, grocery stores or other food retailers that offer the large variety of foods needed for a healthy diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh dairy and lean meat products. Instead, individuals in these areas may be more reliant on convenience stores, fast food or similar retailers, or they may not have enough money to afford the higher prices. These areas of limited access are called “food deserts.”

But there are groups of people out there that are taking steps for change.

Yoga has a place in all of this. when you move your body, learn how to breathe and take time to connect you start to make better decisions. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that a chain reaction can happen in the other direction.

September is Hunger Action Month.

Namaste y’all.

*Do you live in a food desert and maintain a vegan lifestyle? I’d love to hear how you make it work- send me an email or leave comments.

Vegan Diaries 21 Meals $5 Day (Days 8-12)

photo-9

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.

liz-lemon-eye-roll

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)
  • scallions
  • iceberg lettuce
  • onions
  • soba
  • eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • 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)
  • tortillas
  • oatmeal
  • 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’.

Day 8

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal (why didn’t I think of this last week?)

Lunch

  • Hummus wrap

Dinner

  • Veggie Stir Fry with Soba (Snow peas, scallions, onions garlic)

Day 9

Breakfast

  • Apple (leftover)
  • Oatmeal

Snack

  • Popcorn

Lunch

  • Leftover soba noodles (I had them cold and they were oh so, so good)

Dinner

  • 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).

20130913-091408.jpg

Day 10

Breakfast 

  • Oatmeal

Snack 

  • Popcorn

Lunch 

  • Leftover soup (didn’t finish it. But Dakota liked it over her kibble)

Snack 

  • Popcorn

Dinner

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)

Ingredients 

  • 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

Preparation

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!)

photo-10

Day 11

Breakfast 

  • Oatmeal 

Lunch

  • SOUP! Whoop!

Dinner

SNAP pea soup

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*

Ingredients 

  • 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)

Preparation

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.

Day 12

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal

Lunch

  • Leftover soup

Dinner

riceandpeas

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.

Namaste y’all.