Thursday, March 05, 2009

$3.33 a day: Rediscovering the library and hot dogs

Millet Polenta, Lentils, Raw Green Goddess Pate and Kale Salad

I'm playing catch up here! (as I am with most of my posts)..

This dish was composed of my raw kale and sprout salad, lentils, millet polenta and topped with a raw sunflower herb cream/pate.

I cooked up a cup of millet (which you will be seeing in future posts) and a cup of lentils. The pate was and is delicious. It is a mixture of several spices, including tarragon. I will probably use the leftovers for a pesto rice pasta dish in the next day or so as it will not keep much longer. I also made a millet polenta lasagna type dish (which I have not uploaded yet).

Raw Crackers and Green Goddess Pate

Homemade Vegan Hot Dogs!

I am not quite ready to share this recipe here. I am still tweaking it. I am very sensitive to vital wheat gluten, so I will probably play around with this around once a month or so.. or whenever my kids want hot dogs! We had a snow day on Monday and my younger son wanted hot dogs.. due to my budget I was not about to go out and spend 3 bucks on a package of vegan dogs.. so I created this recipe. If any of you want to test the recipe, please email me and I'll give it to you as is. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it is pretty good and my son loved it and said it hit the spot.

Simple Marinara and "Meat" Balls

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I cooked up a cup of dry lentils. That cup produced around 3 cups of cooked lentils! I used 1/2 cup for the first dish and 1 cup for these delicious meatballs! I am still in the testing process to make sure they hold together in the sauce (and 24 hours later they do!) I usually make my meatballs with a TVP mixture, but the lentils are proving themselves worthwhile competitors!

I also used 1 cup of the lentils to make 4 burgers. No pics of those yet. I still have enough burger mix for 2 burgers though, so you can expect some in the next day or so.

1 cup of dry lentils retails for around $.60. I have been able to use that as a base for 16 meat balls (4 balls per serving), 4 burgers and 1 lunch protein portion!

Very frugal and delicous!

In non-food related news... I have recently rediscovered the library! It's like a dream come true!

As a child, I LOVED the library and spent hours and hours reading... and as an adult not only do they have tons of books, but DVD's, books on CD and music to check out! I am fortunate that my library also offers a lovely and comfortable place to use my computer (wireless)...

I am thinking I should go there daily and designate a "work" time for my website.

In budget news.. I haven't been shopping yet this week.
The cabbage and some frozen veggies are good for now.. and I am finishing the cauliflower. I really want to keep my budget down to $60 this month... not sure if I can pull that off? I know I could if I was only feeding myself.. my kids are very supportive, but they are teen boys who eat a lot!


  1. Lentils are great, aren't they?! They are one of my favorites! Everything looks amazing--especially those "meatballs" and sauce!

    I love the library! I am so glad you rediscovered it :o)


  2. As always, everything looks amazing. Your polenta reminded me that I used to make a tofu quiche with millet crust--must try it again! And looking forward to these recipes--esp. the meatballs, too.

  3. Oh, forgot to say that I also love the library and use it all the time--great for testing out cookbooks, too. :)

  4. your food is so beautiful! it's incredible how far you can stretch what you make...i suppose i should try to do it more often.

  5. I can't wait for your cookbook! We've been trying to cut down our food budget and still eat well. You are an inspiration!!

  6. I am glad I live so far away from you. Otherwise you would have another person to feed. Because I would visit you and just never leave!

    I would love to test your recipe, by the way.

  7. HAHA and me both! I'd happily pitch in to the Melody fund to enjoy such quality meals. :-)

    Hey Melody, if you're ever in the NW Panhandle of Florida.... :-)

  8. I take my son to the Library every thursday night while his sister goes to judo - it's free, it's fun and helps estalish early-on a love of books. Those hot-dogs look good, my daughter is a fanatic so could you email me the recipe to try out? wrongasaurus at yahoo dot com. Thanks!!

  9. I can't wait for your hot dog recipe. that is what DH misses the most and the store ones to me are nasty and expensive. Way to go. Lentils are our friends too!!!

  10. your green goddess pate looks awesome! i'm love'n the millet yumminess, too! i loooooove millet! never discovered it until just last year - i wish i had known about it sooner! :)

    hooray for the library love! i used to love go'n to the library with my mom & my sister every week when i was little! it was my favorite place - isn't it awesome how much they have to offer!?! this makes me want to go check out our local library again - thanks! :)

    good luck on your budget for the month! i think it's totally do-able!

    have a wonderful weekend, Melody!

  11. I look forward to your e-book, and will definitely buy it (hurry up as it hopefully will provide a nice little extra $$ for you), because your recipes sound and look great.

    Can't wait to see recipes for the Green Goddess pate and lentil meatballs.

  12. The color on that green goddess pate is so pretty!

    3 cheers for the library. We make a couple of trips there a week. Setting aside a 'work' time there is brilliant.

  13. Again your food is so bright and looks so appetizing. The green goddess pate, oh my gosh I want to dip something into that. The lentil "meatballs" you must post that recipe, I make a veggie "meatloaf" using lentils.

  14. I keep thinking I need to cut down on my food spending, so you are an inspiration! Your food always looks great.

    One way I save money is using the library. Books, music, DVDs, magazines, all for free! I don't know what I'd do without a decent library nearby.

  15. I am a BIG devotee of the local library (and I thank Mom & Dad for instilling that love in me as a child).

    When I began this whole foray into the Land of Raw Foods, I wanted to look at every recipe book out there. There's no way I could have afforded to purchase even half of them. But, sink into a comfy corner arm chair and curl up with Matt Amsden for a couple of hours...heaven, I'm in heaven...

    And, the DVD selection is as good as Netflix and it's FREE! :D

    In other news...I started a new Friday feature on my site today, and YOU, oh queen of food porn, are first up. Swing by when you get a chance.


  16. How lovely, that first dish looks like it came from a fancy restaurant!

  17. Ooh ooh, pick me! Pick me! I'd love to test the recipe! I don't know how to email you, but you can email me at phillipsbianca[at]gmail[dot]com.

    Your stacked food is so beautiful! What do you use to mold it like that?

  18. I love your blog. Your food always looks so tasty.

  19. oh god PLEEEZ come out with a cookbook soon!! I'm dying here looking at your photos!!! especially the raw goodies!