Monday, April 26, 2010

Pork Carnitas and Fresh Tortillas

So, my neighbors had a BBQ for their daughter's 2nd birthday a few weeks ago. With fresh tortillas. I love fresh tortillas. So much so that I went out and bought a tortilla press. On occasion, we've looked for them at the thrift store. No such luck. And we bought the tortilla press at Sur La Table. So it wasn't terribly cheap.

On my Fridays, which is temporarily a day off for me, and a day when my son is still in school (didn't make sense to drop a day when it's temporary, and Friday has both pizza and Naitza, who is a little girl he kinda has a crush on. Did I mention he's FOUR??) - I try to make something that is a bit more labor intensive but also will last a long time.

This week, I'd planned to test drive the new tortilla press. My spouse and I made homemade corn tortillas years ago, using two plates and all our strength, without the benefit of leverage that you get from a press. I'd also planned on making black bean fejoida to stuff them with.

Then, I went on my grocery run. And I found pork shoulder (all natural, no hormones, not confined to cages) at Whole Foods. So I bought two pounds. When I got home, I used google as my friend and found this recipe for pork carnitas in the crockpot.

I adjusted it, of course. Because I used the recipe and my recipe for black bean fejoida and combined them. It was easy and DELICIOUS.

And the fresh tortillas....who knew they were so easy? I mean, a couple minutes to mix, then you roll into balls, then you flatten and cook. And they reheat well too. Except one note: even the plastic spatulas that are supposely rated to 500F will not likely survive a really hot cast iron pan. I got to experience how to scrub and reseason a cast iron pan.

This made quite a bit of filling. We had it for dinner Friday, lunch Saturday, dinner Sunday, lunch Monday, and will be lunch Tuesday.

Pork Carnitas
2 lb pork shoulder: $5.98
1 onion, chopped in food processor: 0.33
1 can diced tomatoes, pureed in food processor: 0.62
1/2 can tomatoes and chiles, pureed: 0.62
1 T. chili powder: 0.10
1 T. cumin: 0.10
1 T. cocoa: 0.10
5 piece green garlic, chopped in food processor: 1.00 (you can use a few cloves regular garlic, I had the green from the farm)
4 c. cooked black beans: 0.75 (especially cheap when you cook from dried and put in the freezer for later)

Total: $9.60 for about 10 cups, or $0.96 per cup. The amount that goes into one small tortilla is about $0.20.

Corn tortillas: makes 16
2 c. masa: $0.41 (at $2.99/5 lb)
1/4 tsp salt
2.6 cents each

Sauteed greens: $0.18
chard from the garden (I think this is still last year's chard) and beet greens: $0
1/2 sauteed onion: 0.15
1 Tbsp canola oil: 0.03

All in all, here was our dinner:
8 tortillas: 0.20
8 servings carnitas: 1.60
shredded cheese: 0.31
1/2 batch cooked greens: 0.09
sour cream for garnish: 0.25
1/2 pt. strawberries: 1.50
tortilla chips: 0.50
Total for 3: $4.45

I apologize for the washed out photo. It happens.

Edited to add: I cooked the pork in the crockpot on high for 5 hours. That's where the "easy" part came in. And I added the black beans for the last hour only, because mine were still frozen. Once the meat was fully cooked, I micro'd the beans and tossed them in.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why I keep boxed Mac and Cheese in the pantry

Now, I don't always keep it in the pantry. And it's usually reasonably "healthy" - very few ingredients that you won't recognize. You can substitute "pasta and marinara sauce" for "Mac and cheese" if you like, also, but I'd argue that Mac and cheese is easier.

You see, on occasion (once a month?) there's a night. When, you really don't know what to cook. This week, for me, it was Thursday. We were out of leftovers. And Thursday is CSA pick up day. So I have zero veggies in the house, and I don't know what we will get. So I can't really plan around it.

That's when the answer is boxed mac and cheese. And a frozen veggie would go well too, but we had kale chips. Because we got kale.

Why is it useful? It saves me from Dominos. The thing with cooking is - the more you do it, the easier it gets. Just see yesterday's post to see how you can learn to take a bit of this and a bit of that...and make a delicious healthy meal with little effort. Even then, you may find yourself on a Thursday night (which is my Friday because I'm temporarily working Sundays), tired, with PMS, and not wanting to cook. Friday is grocery shopping day, so the fridge is looking pretty bare as far as "extras" go. All you need is the box and 2 Tbsp of milk. And about 20 minutes.

Not that there is anything wrong with Dominos. But there is the cheap factor. The cheapest pizza from Dominos is about $7 and you have to drive to get it (or pay a tip for delivery) and is generally so good that you'll eat the whole darned thing (i.e., too much). Not so with mac and cheese.

Here's what Thursday's meal cost us:
Mac and cheese (0.99) + 2 Tbsp milk (0.01) plus a little extra grated cheddar (0.24)
Handful of tortilla chips (0.50)
Homemade guacamole with one avocado (free) + 2Tbsp salsa (0.09) + 2 Tbsp sour cream (0.05)
Kale chips with one bunch kale (1.50) plus 2 Tbsp olive oil (0.22)

For a grand total of $3.60 for three people, and extra mac and cheese for my lunch on Friday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kitchen Sink Rice

This was one of those weeks when I didn't actually do a good job of planning my meals a week in advance. I was lucky to hit a day or two. So when I made the rice with the bok choy, I made a 1.5x batch (1.5 cups rice, 3 cups water) to use the rest in a later dish.

That later dish was Wednesday.

Why "kitchen sink" rice? Well, here's the problem with Wednesday. It's farmer's market day. Which would be great, right? Buy some fresh veggies for dinner. But it's also the day-before-CSA day. And I'd hate to buy something, not knowing if we'll get it the next day. I could switch my CSA day to Tuesday. But we've been Thursday since the beginning of time (10 years), and I'm sure that would confuse me.

So what I've been doing instead is winging it. I plan my veggie use when I get them, approximately. And if it looks like I'll get low during the week, I'll supplement with frozen, or pick something up at Sunday's farmer's market. One advantage of working Sundays - I'm really close to the Sunday market. Our favorite apple lady stopped coming to Weds, but she's there on Sunday.

Now that you have my life story of how-to-balance-my-veggie-purchases-without-having-to-shop-every-day...

Wednesday, I had some cooked rice. Two potatoes. An onion. 4 leaves of collard greens. And some frozen edamame. As I opened the drawer to pull out the collards I then discovered a bunch of beets that I'd forgotten about (the perils of not planning ahead). But beets last forever.

I love beets. My favorite way to eat them is roasted with onions and garlic. But I've also made them into latkes. When I'm really busy, which I've been for months now...I go for easy (this blog is Frugal Healthy SIMPLE, right?).

So, into a steamer they went. Just cut off the stems at about an inch, scrub them clean, and steam. For however long, depending on their size. These were medium-sized. And dark red (my favorites, though I will get the candy cane ones too). So they took about 20-25 mins. Then just turn them off, let them sit. Then put them in a bowl to cool. Then peel, toss with salt, pepper, olive oil. And if you like, blue cheese. Or vinegar. And that's it. The easy thing here is that they don't take a lot of attention, so you can play Candyland with your kid while they cook away. The problem with roasted beets is the time it takes to peel and chop makes my kid cranky sometimes.

Onto the rice...

Kitchen Sink Rice
1 Tbsp canola oil: 0.03
1 medium onion, diced: 0.33
2 small potatoes: 0.80
4 leaves collards, tough ribs removed, chopped: 0.30
1 clove garlic, pressed: 0.05
1 cup edamame unshelled, defrosted and shelled: 0.60
2 cups cooked brown rice: 0.28
salt, pepper
1 Tbsp soy sauce: 0.08

Total: $2.47 for about 5 cups, enough for dinner and lunch the next day, about $0.49 per cup.

No picture today. The camera battery died.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Salad Nicoise

Without the little curlicue on the c. I don't remember what that was called. French class was a couple of decades ago.

I borrowed Bittman's book Food Matters from the library. And found a lot of good recipes. And spent a 3-day weekend writing them all down. Salad Nicoise was one of them.

I love salad. I don't know how I never made something like this. I have Spanish salad recipes, Greek Salad, Taco Salad, and "throw everything in the bowl" salad.

So this morning, as I was wondering what to make for dinner, I thought about that recipe. I dug it out and realized that I could make a reasonable facsimile of it with what I had in the pantry and fridge. So here goes. I made much less dressing than the original recipe and adjusted the ratios. The original recipe called for tomatoes and red onion, which I did not have. I roasted the potatoes instead of boiling.

Salad Nicoise:
Lettuce. Lots of lettuce. A big bowl full of washed and dried lettuce: $1.50
1 lb red potatoes: 1.20
2 Tbsp canola oil: 0.08
1/4 lb frozen green beans: 0.66
2 eggs, hardboiled: 0.25
8 kalamata olives, halved (any kind of olive will do): 0.39
3-4 radishes, sliced: 0.10
salt and pepper

1.5 Tbsp olive oil: 0.33
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar: 0.15
1 tsp dijon mustard: 0.15
handful of chopped parsley: free. This is from the plant I planted last year.
salt and pepper

Total: $3.31 for enough salad for three people. Though truthfully, we snacked on some chips and salsa too. But there were extra potatoes and green beans for tomorrow's lunch.

Dice the potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Toss with 2 Tbsp canola oil, salt and pepper. Bake at 400F until desired doneness, which for us was about 20 min.

Steam the green beans for 3.5 to 4 mins. Drain, run under cold water to cool, dice if not already diced.

Peel and slice the eggs.

Mix the dressing ingredients in the bottom of the salad bowl.

Add radishes, olives, green beans. Put lettuce on top.

When ready to eat, toss the salad. Top with potatoes and egg slices. Add freshly ground black pepper.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bok choy

I love bok choy. Last night's dinner was very simple brown rice, bok choy, and scrambled egg. Which still generated an amazing number of dishes, considering.

I used the recipe here, but just had baby bok choy cut in half.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Collard Green Coleslaw

Another gem that originated in Vegetarian times, and you can find it here.

This week, I was cleaning out my magazines. When you have a really small house with no garage or attic, you have to be ruthless. Generally, when I get a magazine, I fold down the recipes that I want to keep. Then a few months later, I review the magazine, tear out the ones that I am still interested in, and recycle the rest. I was pretty impressed that I cut this out this week from a January issue. Then I realized that it's from January 2009.

This was a keeper, due to it being a leafy green recipe, which we get a lot of in the spring. At least, I'm pretty sure I didn't fold down the corner for turnip green ragout.

This recipe has a LOT of sugar. And I added all of it. Just guessing that it might need it. Next time around, I will decrease it a bit, maybe to 3 Tbsp. It wasn't cloyingly sweet, but unnecessary. Also, all the excess liquid from adding hot dressing to the slaw made it somewhat wet.

Still, it tasted very good for a raw collard green recipe. First time I've eaten collards raw. My 4 year old ate it up nicely.

Collard Green Slaw.
1/2 lb (10-12 leaves) of collards: 1.50
3 carrots, shredded: 0.50
3/4 to 1 cup grated onion: 0.20
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced: 0.60

1/2 cup rice vinegar: 0.50
1/3 cup sugar: 0.10
1/4 cup canola oil: 0.16
1 tsp powdered mustard: 0.10
1/2 tsp salt: 0.01
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper: 0.02

Total: $1.89 for about 4-5 cups. $0.47 per serving.

Mix veggies in a bowl. Heat dressing ingredients to boil to dissolve sugar. Pour warm dressing over greens. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This recipe originated in Vegetarian Times, and I tweaked it a bit. Because it's a sickness. I almost never follow a recipe the first time.

This was *very* delicious. You know how soups need to sit for a day to really develop flavor?? Not this one. Wow.

1 T. olive oil (use the oil from sun-dried tomatoes if you've got it): 0.11
3/4 tsp. dried oregano: 0.05
3/4 tsp. dried basil: 0.05
1 stem fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stem: 0.05
1 bay leaf: 0.02
1 medium onion, diced (1.5 cups): 0.49
2 carrots, sliced thinly (1 cup): 0.50
4 leaves collard greens, sliced into thin strips and chopped: 0.25
6 cloves garlic, pressed: 0.30
1/3 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes in oil: 0.67
1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained: 0.89
6 cups water
1 cube vegetable bouillon: 0.38
3 oz alphabet pasta: 0.17
1 cup frozen peas: 0.60
1 cup frozen green beans: 0.60
2 T white wine vinegar: 0.12
salt and pepper to taste

Total: $5.25 for about 12 cups (it's a thick soup) or about $0.44 per cup

Heat oil in large pot. Heat oregano and basil for about 1 min. Add onions, carrots, collard greens, and garlic. Cover and cook 7 min, or until onion is soft.

Add sun-dried tomatoes and cook 5 min. Add white beans, 6 cups water, bouillon cube, salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil. Add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. Add frozen peas and green beans and cook 5-10 more minutes. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in vinegar and serve.

We had this with bread.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Random Recent Food Photos


Kale Chips before:

Kale Chips after:

Fava bean wraps:

Homemade bread (for the carbo loading):

Race Day!

Today is the Chardonnay 10-miler. My friend Monica and I are racing together (and by "together", I mean - we're driving to and from the race together, where she will run the 10 miles in something under 90 minutes and I will do my best to beat 100 minutes).

We're hoping to meet Kalli and her friend Krystle, who are coming up for the 5k.

This is my "warm-up" for the Wine Country Half in 3 weeks. Woo!


Did get to meet Kalli and Krystle (you can see pics if you follow the link above to Kalli's blog). It was really fun to talk to them, but they were off like a shot at the beginning.

I had a GREAT race. Finished in 1:36:09 per the Garmin (probably a bit longer on the clock, 2-3 secs), for a pace of around 9:34 or 9:37/mile. Much faster than I was hoping for. I actually teared up when I saw the clock at the end.

We'll see what I can do in the half marathon in 3 weeks. Here's my stats from the Garmin. I think I should be offended at their very own definitions of "fast jog" and "slow run" (you try being female, almost 40, short, and stocky and tell me that I'm "jogging"). I can also see how my pace lines up with the hills...particularly that last killer one.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fava bean sandwiches with yogurt sauce

Fava beans are one of those veggies from the CSA that are a challenge. I've made some decent recipes on here before (just search for "fava"). They are a challenge because we often get 1.5 lbs of fava beans.

But then you shell them.
And blanch them.
And peel them.
And saute or otherwise cook them.
And you end up with about a cup.

So this recipe, which came in our CSA newsletter, looked exciting. They were supposed to be pita wraps, but I didn't have pita. The recipe is such that they are a main ingredient, but you don't need that many per sandwich. There won't be any leftovers for sure.

I made them last Saturday, and we got more this week, so we're having them tomorrow too.

Fava Bean Sandwiches and Yogurt Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil: 0.22
1.5 lbs fava beans, in pods: 3.00 (just guessing)
3 cloves garlic: 0.15
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon: free (that boss)
4 tortillas (use as wrap): 0.48
lettuce: 0.25
carrots, shredded: 0.30

1 cup plain yogurt: 0.70
1 tsp cumin: 0.10
1/4 c. chopped cilantro: 0.15
1 clove pressed garlic: 0.05
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Total: beans and fixings: $4.40 for four, $1.10 each
1/2 batch sauce (makes WAY extra...use the rest for salad dressing): 0.50, $0.13 each.

$1.23 per serving. Very delicious. You could make it vegan by using soy yogurt for the sauce or making a tahini-based dressing instead.

Shell the fava beans. Blanche for 1 min in boiling water. Cool, and remove tough skins.

Heat oil in skillet. Add fava beans and cook 3 min. Add garlic, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Cook another two minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together sauce ingredients.

Make yourself a delicious wrap with beans, lettuce, carrots, and sauce in a tortilla (or pita).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vegetarian Lasagna

I love lasagna. It's a bit labor intensive, what with the three parts: 1. cook the noodles (I have yet to try it without cooking), 2. cheese layer, 3. red sauce layer. And 4. shred cheese. Usually, my spouse is the lasagna maker.

But on my Friday off, I decided to make it because it really does last forever. We had this Friday night, Sunday for lunch, Monday for lunch and dinner, and we'll probably finish it off tonight for dinner.

I thought it was pretty tasty. I think I needed to add more herbs/spices to the red sauce. I used a jarred sauce this time, which would be fine with meat but with veggies, I think I need more oregano and basil.

To make this cheaper, you'd want to substitute the most expensive ingredient (mushrooms), for perhaps a slightly cheaper vegetable - maybe some broccoli and carrots, or eggplant. Or more zucchini, or peppers. Also making the sauce yourself from canned tomatoes would be cheaper. I learned also to occasionally put carrots and broccoli in the cheese layer (from my mother in law), so that's why the spinach in that layer.

Vegetarian Lasagna
6 lasagna noodles: 0.60
2 c. cottage cheese: 1.75
1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed ands squeezed dry: 1.09
2 oz grated parmesan: 0.69
3 small zucchini, diced: 1.15
1 large onion, diced: 0.33
20 oz mushrooms, chopped: 4.58
1 T. canola oil: 0.03
5 oz shredded mozzarella: 1.40
1 24-oz jar puttanesca sauce: 2.99
1 egg, beaten: 0.13
1 Tbsp dried parsley: 0.05
2 cloves pressed garlic: 0.10

Total: $14.92 for 15 pieces, or $0.97 per piece

Make the sauce: saute the onions, mushrooms, and zucchini in oil until they give up most of their liquid. I usually try to brown a bit at the beginning, reduce heat and cover. Then remove the lid after 10 mins and it will be a big soupy mess. Let the water boil off. Then add the garlic and jarred sauce.

Make the cheese layer: Put the cottage cheese in the food processor and puree until smooth. Cottage cheese is cheaper and lower in fat than ricotta, and it's how I grew up eating lasagna. In a medium bowl, mix the egg, cottage cheese, half the parmesan, and the dried basil. Add in the thoroughly squeezed dry spinach and mix well.

Boil the noodles according to the package directions.

In a 13x9 pan, layer a small bit of the sauce to avoid sticking. Then put 3 lasagna noodles. Top with half the cheese, then half the remaining sauce. Add half the mozzarella.

Repeat layers of noodles, cheese, and sauce. Top with remaining mozzarella and the rest of the parmesan.

At this point I put it in the fridge. Then I baked for 30 mins at 375F, covered with foil. Remove foil and bake 20 more min. If you bake it right away, you won't have to bake it for as long.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Barley "Risotto"

This recipe was something I made earlier in the week and was inspired by a recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for Health. I used chard, because it was the only veggie I had left in the house. And lemon and peas.

Chard Barley Risotto
1 T. olive oil: 0.11
1/2 large onion, chopped: 0.17
2 cloves garlic, pressed: 0.10
1 bunch chard: 1.50
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh thyme: 0.10
1/4 tsp dried rosemary: 0.05
1 T soy sauce: 0.08
1/2 tsp black pepper: 0.01
1 cup pearled barley: 0.50
3.5 cups water
1/2 cup frozen peas: 0.30
juice and zest of one lemon: free
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese: 0.34
1/4 cup grated sharp white cheddar: 0.31
three chopped sun-dried tomatoes: 0.35

Total: $3.92 for about 6 cups, or $0.65 per cup.

This was pretty tasty and filling, but it definitely needed the salt (I tasted it before I added the salt).

First, wash chard. Then remove the leaves from the chard stems. Slice the chard stems. Saute the onions, garlic, and chard stems in the olive oil, covered, for about 5 min or until they soften. Remove the lid and heat until they start to turn brown.

In the meantime, chop the chard leaves into small pieces.

Add the herbs, soy sauce, barley, and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring every 20 mins or so, until water is absorbed. This will depend on your barley. Mine took 50 mins, mostly unattended. I did need to add about 1/2 cup more water.

When barley is cooked and most of the water is absorbed, add chard leaves, peas, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, cheeses, and salt and pepper if you didn't add that already. Stir for a few minutes until chard is wilted.

Sorry no picture. I am about four posts behind...crazy week.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pasta with Lemon, Broccoli, and Cheese

I swear I already posted this. Or I wrote it out on paper so that I could post it. But darned if I can find it.

Pasta with Lemon, Broccoli, and Cheese
3/4 lb macaroni: 0.75
1 lb broccoli, chopped: 0.99
1/3 8-oz pkg cream cheese: 0.45
2 oz parmesan: 0.75
2 cubes homemade pesto: 0.40
2 T olive oil: 0.22
salt and pepper
1/2 oz shredded Irish cheddar: 0.16
juice and zest of one lemon: free from the boss's tree

Total: $3.72 for about 8 one cup servings (there's a lot of food in there...we've eaten 5 servings, there are probably more than 3 left), or about $0.47 per serving

Boil the pasta according to the package directions. Add broccoli 2 mins before the end. Before draining, save 1/2 to 1 cup cooking water.

Drain pasta and broccoli. Return to pot. Stir in remaining ingredients, and add the pasta water to make it as "saucy" as you like.

This was delicious. And I'm having it for lunch again. My son just mowed through it.

12 miles

Saturday I ran 12 miles. With a cold. And no drugs. And I did it in 10:28/mile, which is exactly my last (and only) half marathon pace. Not bad. It felt pretty good too, until the last 3-mile uphill slog (it was getting hot).

It's only the third time I've run that far (the 2nd one being the half).

Two weeks till the 10-miler and five till the half...

Friday, April 2, 2010


You know, sometimes I outdo myself with frugal food. This is one of those times.

You the CSA, times have been a bit light this season. Overall, our yields have gone down. Mostly because the CSA has grown, and I think one of the complaints is that the 1/2 share is "too much food". Which we thought also when we first started. So when Tuesday or Wednesday comes around (Thursday being CSA day), our veggie drawers are empty.

This week, on the way home I was driving past the Mexican grocery store. I haven't been there in awhile because it's not on my normal route. (It's spring break, my son is at his old daycare for the week, it's now on my route). So I stopped in. I forgot how cheap the produce is there.

So I bought some broccoli and cabbage. Broccoli - I bought at Whole Foods last week for $3.50. That's because I made it all the way home before I realized they charged me $2.99/lb for organic broccoli crowns instead of plain old regular broccoli, which was $1.29/lb. I really should pay more attention. Usually do, but I've been tired lately.

At this store, it was $0.99/lb. And the cabbage? $0.39/lb. Major score.

Dinner tonight, which was THIS close to being Dominos (did I mention that I have a cold?) was stir-fried cabbage (from American Wholefoods Cuisine) and tempeh and white bean sausage patties (from Vegan with a Vengeance). Here goes:

Tempeh Sausage Patties: adapted from VWAV, because I didn't have enough tempeh:
8 oz five-grain tempeh (NOT moldy): $1.50
1.5 c. cooked white beans (from dried): 0.25
1 T chopped fresh sage: 0.45
1 T chopped fresh thyme: 0.36
2 cloves chopped garlic: 0.20
1 tsp fennel seeds, chopped: 0.05 (I say 0.05, because we've had these probably for about 10 years, and they are still good. At some point, they are free right?)
1 T tomato paste: 0.03
S&P to taste
3 T olive oil: 0.11
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Bragg's liquid aminos: 0.08
1/4 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs: 0
pinch cayenne and nutmeg
Total: $3.05 for 9 patties, or about 0.34 each

Break up the tempeh. Put in a pot with water almost to cover. Cover and cook 5 min or so, until water is absorbed. Drain remaining water, if any. Mix with beans and mash with fork until beans are almost all mashed. Add 1 tsp liquid aminos. Put in a bowl.

Clean out your saucepan. Add 1 Tbsp oil and saute garlic and fennel for 1 min. Add sage, thyme, nutmeg and cayenne and salt and pepper. Saute 30 more secs. Add to tempeh and beans in the bowl and add the rest of the aminos.

Heat rest of the olive oil in a skillet. Form bean mixture into patties and fry 3 mins per side.

Stir-fry cabbage (adapated from American Wholefoods Cuisine):
21 oz cabbage (that's the size of our head): 0.51
1 T soy sauce: 0.08
1 T honey: 0.09
2 T rice wine vinegar: 0.32
Total: 1.00 for about six 1/2-cup servings. We ate almost the whole thing for dinner.

So this is the amazing thing. We ate:
6 patties: 2.03
1/3 loaf of french bread: 1.00
2 Tbsp earth balance: 0.21
cabbage : 0.83

$4.07. For all three of us. Pretty good deal.

Now, we could have trimmed that even further. I could have made my own bread. But let's be real. I have a full time job that is getting more stressful by the minute (what did I really think, going to a start-up?) And a kid. I'm not making bread unless it comes out of a bread machine.

Also, if I grew my own herbs, or substituted dried, that would be cheaper. In fact, for these herbs to be this cheap, I have to use the rest or diligently lay them out to dry (the sage and the thyme) so that I can use them again. What I generally do, against any kind of recommended method, is to put them on a plate on the counter until they are bone dry, and figure "that's good!"

Today's question: will I be able to run 12 miles tomorrow with a cold? Will I even try?

Bad Tempeh and King Corn

So, tempeh is a food that I've only eaten a few times. I like it. Last time I was at the foo foo grocery store up the hill, it was on sale. So I bought 3 packages. A new brand (to me, anyway), the tofurky brand.

Well, the soy-based ones were bad. Moldy. I looked it up on their website, and black dots are okay, but I'm thinking the long black streaks are not. Bummer. (At least, the previous brands I've tried didn't look like that, and I'm not willing to risk it for the $3 I paid.) I'd go return it if I weren't sick with a cold and home alone with a child. I'll just take it as a lesson, and buy the stuff that's not in a box (so I can see it before I buy it).

So, tonight's dinner is going to be more of an experiment. I only have half the amount of tempeh that I need, so I'm changing the proportion of tempeh and white beans in the "sausage" patties (Vegan with a Vengeance).

Anybody here have experience with tempeh? Good recipes?

I finished watching King Corn (love Netflix!) last night. My friend Kelly recommended it. I think. My memory is going with my old age. I'm pretty sure it was her. We like to talk food, and she does, in fact, have her very own chickens. It is a movie from 2007 where a couple of guys moved to Iowa and planted an acre of corn and attempted to figure out what happens to the corn. They had their hair tested and found they were made mostly of corn. Very funny and informative. Had Michael Pollan in it when he had hair. Which is a bit disconcerting.

Anyway, yet another reminder of why not to eat factory-farmed meat that come from CAFO's. So today I spent $6 on one pound of grass fed beef. The regular beef was $2, but I got to thinking about the ammonia, the corn, the antibiotics...yuck.

Running, Food, and a Cold

Well, I have today off. And of course, I go to bed last night feeling like a cold, hoping that it's just allergies. Bummer.

So yesterday at work, I ran on my lunch break. 3.15 miles in 28:03 minutes (8:54/mile). Which is really fast for me. And, I've been under a lot of stress at work lately.

Work stress + hard run = cold. Happens a lot to me. ON top of that, I've been hitting the See's candy (with a glass of milk) pretty hard, and I think it's causing me to break out. Ugh.

I haven't been posting many new recipes. I've tried a few, but they've been "meh". The carrot soup was okay, but needed a little bit of oomph. More ginger?

The spinach patties needed parmesan. I forgot to put it in there.

The potatoes were good, but they were just steamed, sliced, fried, and tossed with parsley and garlic and a teeny bit of butter. Interesting note: parsley from the garden is reallly dirty. Needed 4 dunkings to get it clean.

Last night's salad was awesome... clementines, avocado (I love my boss. He brings avocados. This one was HUGE and so buttery...), radishes, carrot, olives, walnuts, blue cheese...

This morning I made a bowl of oatmeal with raisins which was promptly stolen from me by my child. So now I'm trying to figure out what to eat, or just wait until he's done and microwave the rest.