Days 24, 25, 26, 27… Almost there!

I really truly have been trying to keep my diet varied this month, partially to show that vegans have a lot of choices, but mostly because 31 consecutive, identical posts would be pretty freaking boring. Unfortunately, a certain co-worker of mine is forever ordering pizza which makes refraining from eating pizza very difficult! I want it. Also, as I have repeatedly mentioned, Rochester has a new All Vegan (!!!) restaurant. This simply does not happen and the timing could not have been worse for this budget. So, in case you haven’t noticed, we have an ongoing pizza/The Red Fern theme in our food lately.

 

Days 24, 25, 26, 27:

Starting Cash:     $71.97

Spent:     $15.06

Ending Cash:     $56.91

 

Purchases:

fresh broccoli @$2.50, 1 head cauliflower @2.99, mushrooms @$2.00, 1 bag shredded lettuce @1.50, Arnold whole wheat pita pockets @$1.99, 1 bag whole grain flat breads @$3.69, Pillsbury whole grain pizza dough @$2.89, 2 cans black olives @$2.58, 1 lg can crushed tomatoes @$0.99, Follow Your Heart Mozzarella @$4.99, Wegmans Don’t Be a Piggy sausage crumbles @$3.99

all divided by 2… because if I didn’t have to share with my hubs it would last twice as long (in case you forgot the logic there).

 

 

Breakfast:

What breakfast? Coffee sometimes. Candy mostly. It’s Halloween. Leamealone.

 

Lunch:

So, I may have gotten a $30 tip from a customer that I might have pretended was free money to spend and I could have bought lunch at The Red Fern for a co-worker and myself on Thursday, but I’m not sure if that really happened. If you consider that cheating that I must have dreamt that. It was a really good dream though.

Friday was the stuffing, potato and Tofurkey leftovers meant for Thursday.

Yesterday was pitas stuffed with hummus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and black olives. We each had 2.

Image

omnomnom

 

…and today was flat bread pizzas with mushrooms and soysauge.

pizza1

x 2.5

 

Dinner:

Thursday was pizza with soysage, mushrooms, onions, and black olives. This is why I started this post with a warning. We will try to be more creative for the next few days. Promise.

It is never a good idea to try to make food look pretty when you’re drunk. Also, never stir the cheese into the sauce on a pizza you’re intending to photograph. Lessons learned.

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Who wants to watch A Nightmare on Elm Street?

 

Friday’s dinner was mock duck (from the Asian market) sauteed with onions and Wegmans Buffalo sauce, served on top of buttered corn with seasoning salt. I’m drooling thinking about it. This is not diet food.

Image

*drooly face*

 

Last night we were pretty full from the 2 huge stuffed pitas for lunch. I wasn’t planning on making anything for diner, but then hubs started getting hungry later at night. We have a ton of cauliflower left, and about half a bag of white potatoes, so I winged a meal and it turned out really good! It was so good that we (mostly he) scarfed it before I thought to take a pic. *sad face*

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whoops

 

This Particular Cauliflower and Potato Recipe (tasted better than the name implies)

Preheat oven to 425. Melt margarine in a big pan over med heat (I used a wok). Add ground cumin, coriander, cilantro, a splash or 2 of vinegar, and some curry powder. Throw in 4 or 5 c chopped cauliflower and stir to coat and cook in the flavor for 4-5 min. Dump the cauli onto a baking pan and roast for 45 min or so.

In the meantime, boil water and add 4 chopped medium white potatoes. Boil 15 min or until tender. Drain.

Once the cauli is finished, heat a little marg in the wok to med-high heat. Add potatoes and let them get a little crunchy. Add cauliflower and stir well so seasoning gets on the potatoes. Salt everything and serve.

Today we will likely still be full from the pizza lunch, so I’m just planning on making a big salad with all the leftover veg and shredded lettuce for dinner.

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Days 20, 21, 22, 23…

Oops again? Whatevs. Here goes…

 

Days 20, 21, 22, 23:

Starting Cash:     $93.61

Spent:     $21.64

Ending Cash:     $71.97

 

Purchases:

2 large zucchinis @$2.02, 1 purple eggplant @$2.66, white mushrooms @$1.69, 1 pkg firm tofu @$1.79, 1 lg can whole plum tomatoes @$0.99, 1 pkg Follow Your Heart Mozzarella @$4.99, Bag o’ Stuffing mix @$2.99, Tofurkey slices @$2.49, brussels sprouts @$1.94

all divided by 2…

plus…

1 Amy’s Indian Spinach Tofu Wrap at $2.49, 1 cup of McDougall’s Teriyaki Noodles @$0.99, 2 Taco Bell fresco bean burritos @$1.98, 1 Subway FootLong Veggie Delite @$5.40

 

Breakfast:

Black coffee, except Monday. I actually made a PB Banana Smoothie.

 

Lunch:

SUN– Hubs bought us The Red Fern. I might be spoiled.

MON– Amy’s Wrap and Teriyaki Noodles

TUE– saltines with FYH cheese slices and leftover tomato mix from dinner, FootLong Veggie Delite from Subway

WED– egg drop Soup… kinda

We have had a bag of tofu skin in our cupboard for quite a few months from when hubs went through his tofu-skin-experiment stage. I loved it; he didn’t.

 

Tofu-Skin Drop Soup

Saute a chopped onion and Tbs garlic in oil over med heat until translucent. Add 8 c broth; I used Better Than Bouillon No Chicken… luckily we were well “stocked” on bouillon already. Bring to a simmer. Drop in 2 oz dried tofu skin (we got this at the Asian market). Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

tofuskindrop

 

Dinner:

SUN– Zucchini Pizza

day20

Oh yes.

Zucchini Pizzas

Cut ends off zucchini and cut in half lengthwise. Slice a thin piece off the base of each half to keep it stable. Salt and garlic powder the surface areas. Top w cheese (I like the Follow Your Heart for this better than Daiya) and tomatoes.

For the tomatoes, we chopped up a can of whole tomatoes and sautéed them in garlic, oil, basil, salt and oregano, but fresh slices with herbs sprinkled on top would be easier and just as good.

Bake at 400 until Zucchini is tender… our crappy little oven took 40 min plus 5 under broiler to melt the cheese.

MON– Eggplant Pizzas (because the zucchini pizzas were so good)

eggplantpizza

We used the same recipe as for zucchini, but added tofu and mushrooms.

TUE-

2 bean burritos from Taco Bell (no cheese, extra onion)

WED

Tofurkey slices simmered in homemade mushroom gravy, boiled potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts and carrots, and stuffing.

We were hungry. Good thing I love leftovers!

dinner

Day 15: $160 Challenge

 

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. I had been craving v-con’s cheesy sauce, so had to split groceries with hubs again. Besides, we needed margarine.

 

Day 15:

Starting Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $5.78

Ending Cash:     $105.01

 

Purchases:

Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread with Flax @$2.99, 2 packages firm tofu @$3.59, 1 jar minced garlic @$2.49, 1 bag baby spinach @$2.50.

all divided by 2.

 

Breakfast:

  • PB Banana Smoothie

Lunch:

  • Leftover Split Pea Soup

Dinner:

  • Tofu Florentine

We have a ton of nutritional yeast, so this recipe was actually very cheap and easy to make. I’m not going to write it out since it is from a cookbook, but you can easily find it in a Google search if you’re so inclined.

As you can see, we used raw spinach. I will def be sticking to cooked spinach for this dish in the future.

We still have half a loaf of Food For Life Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted flax bread, so that’s what we used. I love Ezekiel, but really would have preferred an english muffin, or home fries.

 

day15

look at that liquid gold.

Day 14: $160 Challenge

 

Halfway through on slightly less than $50! There will be Halloween this year!

 

Day 14:

Starting Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $0

Ending Cash:     $110.79

 

Breakfast:

  • Banana
  • Espresso
  • Coupla cookies

Lunch:

  • Leftover Split Pea Soup

Dinner:

  • Vermicelli with Peanut Sauce
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Pretend there’s something green in there to make it pretty.

 

It is kind of fun to be creative and use whatever is already in the house… and this recipe is high class, yo.

 

Vermicelli with Peanut Sauce

ingredients

1/2 c peanut butter

1/4 c soy sauce

1/4 c water

2 Tbs rice vinegar

2 Tbs lemon juice

3 Tbs chopped onion

1 Tbs ground ginger

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

2 big handfuls dry vermicelli

1 lg carrot

1 med onion

4 oz chopped mushroom

directions

Blend together the first 9 ingredients (peanut butter through crushed red pepper). Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Add vermicelli and stir for 5 minutes or so, then strain and set aside.

Heat a pan to high heat. Dry fry the veg for 3-5 minutes until they are hot and have sear marks.

Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Super-delish.

Day 13: $160 Challenge

He made the cookies!

A few days before we decided to do this blasted food budget challenge hubs bought ingredients to make these cookies. I have been waiting patiently for 2 weeks… o.m.g. They are totally worth the wait. Earth Balance is the only ingredient we did not have, so he subbed in 1 cup oil. This is definitely not a healthy recipe, but oh wells.

 

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Try saying no to these babies.

 

Day 13:

Beginning Cash:     $110.79

Spent:     $0

Ending Cash:     $110.79

 

Breakfast:

  • Espresso with rice milk and maple syrup

Lunch:

  • Toooo many Coooooooookies
  • Glass of rice milk
  • maybe I had a cocktail or 2…

Dinner:

  • 2 big bowls Split Pea Soup. This makes up for the rest of the day, right?
  • In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll probs have more cookies later.
day13

Who wants to watch The Exorcist?

This Particular Split Pea Soup (tastes better than the name implies).

ingredients

1 med onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped (optional)

1/2 Tbs or so garlic powder

1/2 Tbs or so Berbere Ethiopian seasoning (optional)

1 tsp or so ground cumin (optional)

3 Rapunzel Bouillon cubes or 6 servings any vegan bouillon

splash white cooking wine (optional)

16 oz dried split peas

6-7 c water

directions

saute onions and carrots in oil over med-high heat for 2 min. Dump on seasonings. Stir. Pour in wine. Stir. Add bouillon and split peas. Stir. Add water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer. Cover 45 minutes. Uncover, remove from heat, and stir. Wait 10-15 min before serving.

The same recipe can be made with dried yellow split peas, or any kind of dried lentil. I just happened to have a bag of split peas in the pantry.

Day 11: $160 Challenge

Day 11:

Beginning Cash:     $123.71

Spent:     $3.78

Ending Cash:     $119.93

 

Purchases:

Split groceries with the hubs:

1 block firm tofu @$1.79, 1 quart Wegmans rice milk @$1.69, 1 can chickpeas @$0.59, 1 jar peanut butter @$1.69, 1 bunch bananas @$1.08, 8oz. sliced mushrooms @$2.00, fresh broccoli @$1.98, 1 lb carrots @$1.29

minus money from recyclables returned for deposit (keepin’ it classy)…

all divided by 2.

 

Breakfast:

  • black coffee
  • a banana

Lunch:

  • 2 waffles
  • the rest of the bag of Gardein seven grain crispy tenders in the fridge at work

Dinner:

  • tofu scramble
  • toast

 

day11

Not the most photogenic of foods

This Particular Tofu Scramble (tasted better than the name implies).

Heat oil in a skillet. Add a rinsed and drained block of firm tofu to the hot pan. Chop tofu with a spatula and evenly spread it out in the pan like an omelet. Raise heat to high. Cover the surface of the tofu with garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, nooch, and black salt. Let the bottom of the tofu brown before stirring. Push tofu to the edges of the pan so there is a hole in the center of the pan. Dump a chopped onion, 1 shredded carrot, and a couple of handfuls chopped mushroom into the center of the pan. Press everything down so the bottom will brown. Once the veggies start to sweat, lower heat to med-high. Stir veg together with scramble. Press everything down into pan and wait while it browns more. At this point we stirred in some Vegg, but I think it would have tasted better without.

Eat.

 

Day 10: $160 Challenge

Day 10:

Beginning Cash:     $129.50

Spent:     $5.79

Ending Cash:     $123.71

 

Purchases:

1 box Blueberry Waffles @$1.79, Split 1/2 tip @$4

 

Breakfast:

coffee with rice milk.

Lunch:

4 waffles.

Dinner:

We used those gift cards for The Olive Garden. The waitress assured us there was no egg or dairy in the bread sticks, salad, or pasta. The vegetarian minestrone does not contain cheese, but still somehow comes with a dairy allergy warning, as does the Italian dressing. I got the unlimited salad and bread sticks with plain oil and vinegar and specially made plain bread sticks. Hubs got the Capellini Pomodoro (plain pasta with marinara) and salad. The food was nothing special, but it was fine; the experience was pleasant. We probably won’t go back, only because Rochester has so many more exciting options! We split the $8 tip. Dinner was free with gift cards.

day 11

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