For those who don’t know me or my daily habits, cooking for the week is something I do on Sundays like clockwork. I even pre-apportion each breakfast and lunch into separate, meal-size containers (jars) so I can grab them on the way out the door each morning and not have to spend my evenings thinking about it during the week.
The cleanse started a bit differently than I would have liked, as I was in Portland for a conference and only just returned to Encinitas on Wednesday evening. I ate a weird hodgepodge of foods at the conference, but it ended up being pretty easy to stay within the bounds. The vegan tamales saved me.
I didn’t pay for any of the food at the conference, besides some carrots and yogurt that I kept in my hotel room just in case. This challenge has shown me that I am incredibly fortunate to have access to a lot of free food. Without a garden plot, community/work events with meals and snacks, or farmer friends with surplus, there is no way I would have been able to stay within the budget.
I drove straight to the grocery store from the airport and spent $33.41 (splurging on a scoop of olives from the olive bar, and rice cakes – $6 just for those two items).
Instead of going in to shop with a plan, I let the sales on fruit and veg determine my destiny, and purchased herbs, bell peppers (3 for $1), cabbage, green onions, cucumbers, winter squash, a giant beet, apples, yams, peaches, plain org yogurt, and dried chickpeas.
Here’s what I made:
- Cucumber + garden tomato + green pepper salad with olives, scallions, lemon verbena, basil, and chives from garden= $2.23 / 4 servings = $.56/serving
- Simple roasted kabocha squash – tastes like candy = $3.26 for the whole squash – a lot!
- Roasted large beet for breakfasts = $.82 / 5 servings = $.16/serving
- Cookies: Puree of roasted sweet poato + raw apples, mix in raw oats, tahini, salt, cinnamon, and some soaked chia seeds. Roasted in the oven @ 350 for 45 minutes. A few drops of coconut oil + salt on each. = $2.92 / 6 servings = $.49/serving
- Chickpeas – to make a squash/chickpea curry with some dark leafy greens that I’ll pick this weekend = $1.06/ 6 servings = $.18/ serving
- Saurkraut with leftover cabbage, some seeds, scallions, chilis = $.52/ 5 servings = $.09/serving
- Squash and cabbage soup with crunchy mustard seeds – recipe here. $7.27/ 5 servings, = $1.45/ serving
- Cleanse jam: three chopped peaches, and a few handfuls of mushy strawberries that a friend wanted to throw out. Slowly boiled with a little salt until reduced into sweet syrup+fruit, with a little vanilla extract. Perfect on yogurt or a rice cake with peanut butter. $1.53 / 8 servings = $.19/serving
All in all, I will eat about $5.11 in food today. I’m over budget.