Sunday, October 31, 2010

Big Challenge This Week and Last Weeks Shopping List

I have a huge challenge this week budget-wise and I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it. I will be attempting to feed 3 people ( two of them teen boys ) for $3.33 a day. Can I do it? I'm not sure. I did quite a bit of freezer eating last week and fortunately still have some staples leftover; namely 1 pound of black beans, one pound of chickpeas, canned tomatoes, some lentils and two pounds of brown rice.  I also have enough dahl for 3 dinners leftover from yesterday.  Before I go any further here's my shopping list for last week:
  • Black Beans
  • White Beans
  • Lentils
  • Collards
  • Onion
  • Soymilk
  • Oatmeal
  • Cilantro
  • Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Brown Rice
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Apples
I bought a huge can of crushed tomatoes for $2.99 which served as a base for both marinara and salsa. I still have some of both of the sauces frozen.

My plan this week is to serve Oatmeal, Raisins and Chia Seeds for breakfast. I will make burgers out of leftovers for lunches and we'll have lots of soups and homemade bread/quick breads for dinner. I will also make a Sugar Free Breakfast Bread with some sort of legume in it for snacks/breakfasts. 

I looked in my grocery circular for the week to get an idea of what's on sale. Bananas are $.39/lb so I will stock up. Limes are 5 for a dollar. 

Tip of the Day: Check out your local grocery stores weekly sales and plan your meals around what's on sale. 

I think I can do this. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raw Wednesday Nutritional Information and Raw Protein Source

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or doctor. I use to calculate nutritional information.

Every Wednesday, I am going to eat raw and post the nutritional information on my blog.  One of the biggest concerns with the raw diet is can you get enough protein? My personal opinion is that, yes you can!

One of my favorite ways to get high quality protein in a raw diet is to sprout lentils or mung beans. I usually sprout 1/2 cup of lentils for per person per day.  Half a cup of lentils costs approximately $.35; you can't beat that cost wise! Sprouting lentils is simple. Soak them for 8 hours, drain and place in a colander lined with a towel for 24 hours, sprinkling them with water every 12 hours. In a pinch, you can just soak   the lentils for 12 hours, drain and eat.

Nutrition Facts per 1/2 c dry lentils:
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin B12

As you can see, you this a great bang for your buck.  You don't need any special equipment or even much time. The protein and fiber helps stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full. You can add the sprouts to pates, salads, wraps or just pop them in your mouth. They have a pleasing texture. One of my favorite ways to enjoy lentils sprouts is to make a sprout salad with red clover, broccoli and lentil sprouts. Add cubed avocado, fresh tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lime juice.

My Food Intake Yesterday
Breakfast: Green Smoothie with Chia Seeds
Lunch: Collard Wrap with Sunflower Pate and Sprouts
Dinner: Big Salad with Sprouts and Apple Crumble

Total Calories 1827
Fat: 65 grams
Carbs 280 grams
Protein 69 grams
Fiber 83 grams ( holy SH*T haha )

According to Fitday's in depth nutritional analysis,the  only nutrients lacking were Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D,which I supplement daily.

I highly encourage all of you to log your food and see what nutrients you might be lacking in your daily diet. One of the biggest reasons I write here is to debunk the myth that you can't eat healthy on a budget. It can be done, even while eating RAW!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Cake and 10 Minute Soup

5 Minute Chocolate Mint  Cake

Sometimes, you want something sweet, but you don't want to turn your oven on or in my case, I don't want to have a whole cake or batch of cupcakes tempting me. The other night, that was the case, so I whipped up this little chocolate cake in the microwave. It took 5 minutes from start to finish and made two perfect little servings. I am not 100% thrilled with the recipe, but it's pretty good and I'll tweak it a bit the next time I make this. 

1/4 c all purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t baking powder
pinch salt
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 c non dairy milk 
2 T coffee
2 T oil 
1/4 t vanilla
several drops peppermint oil 

Mix everything together well and pour into 2 ramekins sprayed with cooking spray. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes before eating. 

I obviously didn't frost the cakes, You could make a quick chocolate glaze with coffee/soymilk, cocoa powder and powdered sugar if desired. 

I mentioned on twitter I would share the method for my 10 minute Creamy Broccoli Soup. This post seems to be all about the microwave, which actually is something I don't use very often, but it does come in hand now and then.  You can make the soup on the stove in around the same time. It tastes better cooked on the stove. 

For the soup I used my 4 c pyrex measuring cup. I placed around 1/2 c of the Nutirtional Yeast Base Sauce, 1/2 a chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, dried roseamery and marjoram, 2 c broccoli, 1 carrot, 2 T quinoa and 1/2 c cooked white beans. I poured enough water to cover the mixture by 1/2 inch or so, then microwaved for 10 minutes. I let it sit for another 5 minutes then added some chipotle, balsamic vinegar and seasoned it with salt and pepper to taste and pureed it with my hand blender.  ( this is an old pic ) You could add uncooked pasta or any other fast cooking grain instead of the quinoa.  A yukon gold or red potato diced would work really well too and add to the creamy texture. 

It is a beautiful day today! I think a long walk with my dog is in order. 

Who can resist this face??

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Making a Base Sauce and Using it Throughout the Week

We are all busy and who wants to spend even an hour in the kitchen to prepare a healthy dinner? I sure don’t! Here is a simple recipe you can use as a base for several dishes throughout the week. Think Vegan Mac and Cheese, Twice Baked Potatoes and Enchilada Bake!

This sauce is based on the Melty Nutritional Yeast Cheese recipe from the Farm Cookbook. There are many different variations around the web and here is mine; it can be used as a cheese sauce or as a base for gravies, cream soups  and even as a spread on sandwiches.

Nutritional Yeast Base Sauce

1 C Nutritional Yeast
½ c cornstarch or arrowroot ( arrowroot will make it stretchier )
1 T salt
2 t garlic powder
2 T Dijon mustard
1 t smoked paprika
4 c cold water
½ c olive oil  or Earth Balance
1 T vinegar

Whisk everything together in a pan, making sure all lumps are gone. Turn heat on to medium high heat and bring to a boil, whisking well. Allow mixture to bubble for 1 minute continuing to whisk, turn off heat and let cool.

Now you have your base. For a quick Queso like sauce, add some salsa and serve warm or use it to top enchilada bake. For gravy, sauté some mushrooms, garlic, onions along with some poultry seasoning ( or parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme ) add 2 c vegetable stock and around 1 c of the sauce and whisk over medium heat until bubbly. Serve over mashed potatoes, fried tofu or seitan. Mac and Cheese is simple; mix with almost cooked macaroni or your favorite pasta. Add peas or other veggies along with a big of nutmeg, and lots of pepper. Top with breadcrumbs if desired and bake til bubbly.

The possibilities are endless. Stay tuned this week to see how I use the sauce.

As you can see in the picture, the sauce gets pretty gloppy when it cools.. and that's OK. it will thin out when it's re-heated.

I usually make 3 base sauces for the week ( or month actually, I do them in big batches for the freezer. )
Having these three sauces on hand along with 2 different types of cooked legumes and at least 1 cooked grain allows me to make 30 minute meals most of the time. You can cook up your pot of grains or pressure cook beans  while you're doing other things, so it doesn't require a huge time investment up front.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

French Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is super tasty and has an unexpected flavor due to French influences.  I use regular, brown lentils, but you can certainly use French Lentils for a more authentic presentation

French Lentil Soup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • healthy pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • healthy pinch salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or 2 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 4-6 cups veggie broth or water
  • 2 tbsp grey poupon
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper to taste

  1. In a heavy bottom soup pan, over medium heat add the oil and mustard seeds until they pop.  Then add the tarragon, coriander, nutmeg, onion, garlic, carrots and celery along with a pinch of salt and white pepper.
  2. Saute for 5-10 minutes, then de-glaze with the wine or vinegar, add the lentils and broth; turn heat to high and bring to a boil for two minutes.
  3. Turn heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, then stir in the mustard, fresh tarragon and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Chickpeas, Shopping List, Vida Vegan Conference

Curried chickpea burgers with cranberry chutney and cultured almond cheese

A Chickpea Story continues. I make leftovers out of leftovers and it's a good thing because $3.33 a day does not go very far these days. Wow. I am hoping for some inspiration to make something interesting, and I do have it, I just don't have all of the ingredients to make what I want to make. I'm not sure if shopping once a week is better than shopping more often? It seems I may be more creative if I shop daily; ride my bike to the store so I'm not wasting resources? 

I'm getting very low on spices, but didn't fit them in the budget this week. I will need to make a trip to the bulk spice store soon. Most health food stores sell spices in bulk. They are often much better quality and often organic and so much cheaper than buying them at the grocery store. I spice heavily, so this is a very good thing!

So, for the burger above, the other day I made some curried chickpeas with potatoes and collards. I had ( and still have ) some leftovers, so I mixed them with dried oats and let the mixture sit for a couple of days. Today, I formed them into patties and cooked them up in my cast iron. I had cranberry chutney on hand as well as my almond cheese which turned into a delicious sauce for the burger. I crumbled it up and wrapped it up in a chickpea flatbread with lettuce and onions. Pretty good if I do say so myself.

This curried chickpea dish is going to be used in yet another way either tonight or tomorrow. I'm not sure if my son is sleeping here or at his dads house tonight, but if he's going to be here for dinner, I'm going to puree the mixture and thin it out with some rice pasta cooking water and use it for a sauce for Spicy Noodles. I'll add siracha and sesame seeds. I'll also saute up some Sesame Seitan for him ( I will just have the noodles ) and steam some broccoli.

Can you believe my younger son does not like chickpeas? I sneak them into his food by pureeing them. He loves hummus now; for years he wouldn't touch the stuff. I believe very strongly in trying food you don't like once or twice a year to see if your palate has changed. That's how he realized he loved hummus. 

I think I mentioned it before, but I'll pimp the Vida Vegan Conference again!  I'm going to be speaking there along with a bunch of awesome people including Urban Vegan, Bryanna Clark Grogan and many more! Jess of Get Sconed has helped to organize this and it's going to be so cool.  Do try to make it if you can. It's in Portland, OR August 26 - 28. 

Here's what I bought at the store yesterday. I have $5.00 left for the week and I'll need to buy beans and veggies with it. 

  • Almonds
  • Soymilk
  • Coffee ( I just can't give it up. I'm down to 1 cup a day )
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Garlic 
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mustard
I've got a pot of French Lentil Soup on the stove. It will act as a filler for meals/lunches.  

Have a great day people! I'll post my other shopping lists... ( I just need to find my receipts .. I carry way too many camera bags instead of purses! )

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chickpea Fried Rice and stocking up for the week.

Chickpea Fried Rice with Collards and Carrots

This was a quick lunch today. I had some leftover raw slaw, cooked brown rice and chickpeas so I threw together a fried rice in my cast iron. I used 1 t toasted sesame oil, an onion, ginger garlic and some of my Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing for flavor. 10 minute meal baby! Siracha and toasted sesame seeds finished it off. 

I did cooking for the week this morning. My son likes setian, so I made 6 seitan cutlets. Tonight for his dinner, I'm making cornmeal crusted seitan and salad with cornbread. I also made some whole wheat buns and veggie burgers. 
I don't mind eating leftover soup for many meals, but my son does. Veggie burgers and seitan allow him to have some variety in his diet and can be used in several dishes throughout the week. 

I used bean cooking liquid in the seitan along with some cajun seasoning. Very simple. Here's the recipe for the cornbread. This batch contained gluten.  The buns were made from flour, yeast, water, salt and a pinch of sugar and the burgers were TVP/Oat based. 

I still haven't been shopping, but I have to because after tonight I will be out of produce.  I'll post the shopping list for the last 3 trips in my next post. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Corny Chickpea Pancake Recipe

Corny Chickpea Pancakes

I'm not a big breakfast person, but the last two days it's been cold and I've had long days scheduled, so a hearty breakfast has been in order. Plus, I'm getting sick of oatmeal.  
I wanted to create a recipe that is full of protein, low in fat and sugar and still tastes good. I think I hit the nail on the head with these simple pancakes. Now, these are not your typical fluffy diner style cakes, nor are they crepe like. They remind of the healthy, whole wheat pancakes my ex used to make. For the topping, I had some leftover sauted apples from yesterday. Apples, golden raisins, cinnamon and stevia cooked down with a tiny bit of water. The sauce is a cultured almond cream.

Corny Chickpea Pancakes 

1 c cornmeal
1 c chickpea flour
1/2 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t Kal Stevia or 2 T sugar
2 c water

Mix everything together very well with a whisk. In a non-stick skillet coated with oil  over medium heat ladel in 1/2 cup at a time. cook around 3-4 minutes on the first side, flip and cook another minute.

Simple, easy, healthy and good. You can save the leftovers and use them for peanut butter and banana sandwich wraps.  You could probably cut them into triangles, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on them for a sweet treat. 

I just love chickpea flour. It is so versatile in replacing both gluten and eggs in so many recipes. Do you have any interesting ways of using chickpea flour?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Re-introduction, Roasted Chickpeas, Vida Vegan Conference

I am so excited to be blogging in a regular basis again. I figured a re-introduction is in order so if you are new to my blog I can explain how Vegan for $3.33 a day came to be.

I started this blog in 2006. At the time, I was married and cooking daily for my family. My sons were 13 and 14 at the time. I did a lot of big batch frugal cooking, but was not on a budget. During those years, my marriage ended. I moved out of my house and into an apartment. I shared custody of my sons with my ex. Life changed a lot! I went back to work full time at several chef jobs.

December of 2008, I was laid off from my job and had to get serious about my budget and realized I could only afford to spend $100 a month on food for me and my two sons who lived with me part time. That worked out to around $3.33 a day, so the focus of my blog changed.

After 5 months of unemployment, I found full time work again in kitchens. Over the next year and a half, I started to hone my photography skills and discovered a new passion; one that is now is part of my full time career. I am diving off the deep end; doing what I love to do. Creating healthy and delicious recipes and doing photography.

I am seriously writing my Vegan for $3.33 a Day cookbook and am going to start looking for a publisher soon. I've also started my business, Melody Polakow Photography.

Being is business for myself, I am on a very strict budget again. This is an amazing, exciting time in my life and every day, I am learning new things and connecting with wonderful people.

I am super excited to announce that I have been asked to speak at the upcoming Vida Vegan Food Bloggers Conference in Portland, Oregon in August! Not only will it be a fun time, but I get to meet so many of my favorite bloggers! I can't wait!

OK, now onto some food which is why you are here, right?

I love roasted chickpeas. Simple, healthy and delicious.

 Chipotle Roasted Chickpeas

  • 2 c chickpeas, drained
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1/2 t chipotle powder
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T olive oil

Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes. Make sure the peas are in a single layer on a sheet pan.

I made a Vegan for $3.33 a Day page on facebook! Come check it out and tell your friends!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sugar Free Carrot Raisin Bread with Gluten Free option and Vegan for $3.33 a Day on facebook!

Sugar Free Carrot Raisin Bread 

2 c Bob's Gluten Free Flour Mix or Whole Wheat Flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t cardamom
1/2 t Kal Stevia powder
1/4 t salt

1/2 c golden flax meal
1.5 c non-dairy milk of choice
3/4 c oil
1 T vinegar
4 c carrots
1 c raisins
Method: Preheat oven to 375
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well and pour the wet ingredients into it and stir very well if using gluten free flour or stir until just mixed if  using wheat flour.
Bake at 375 for around 30 minutes in a 9 by 13 pan or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I haven't posted my shopping list for the last week yet. I did two separate shops and have $14 left this week, which I will spend on produce mostly. Once I do my final shopping, I will post the last two weeks list.

I made a page on facebook! Come find me at :

Vegan for $3.33 a Day

I want to get discussions going and have a place where people can ask questions, post their tips and recipes and maybe we can all put our heads together and figure out ways to made organic , sustainable food more available to those on budgets. That is probably one of the biggest dilemmas for me; I believe in sustainable farming and organics, but it is hard to fit it into such a strict budget! What are your thoughts?

My thoughts right now is that ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING when it comes to organics/sustainable products. Eating a raw collard slaw, even if it is conventional is better than ramen noodles!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Besan Flatbread Pizza

I am sensitive to wheat. I wouldn't call myself allergic to gluten, but I avoid it as much as possible. Tortillas are a great inexpensive staple; easy to make and delicious, but decidedly on my do not eat often list.

For lunch today, I was really craving a tortilla, so I decided to make one out of chickpea flour. Chickpea flour ( also called Besan or Gram flour ) is an excellent staple to keep on hand. It has many uses, from egg replacer to these delicious tortillas. You can purchase Besan inexpensively from your local ethnic grocer. Bob's Red Mill sells smaller bags in most of the grocery stores here ( New Hampshire ), but they are more expensive than the ethnic grocers. If you have a vita mix, you can grind chickpeas in the dry container. Finally, you can make a substitute flour from yellow split peas ground in a coffee grinder.

What I love about using this flour is that you are improving the nutritional profile of your meal with extra protein and fiber! Oh, and it's delicious too.

I took a cup of the flour and added some cajun seasoning, garlic powder, nutritional yeast and around 1/2 cup of water. That's it. No baking powder. No fat. I cooked it in a very thin layer over medium heat in a non - stick 12 inch skillet. I brushed the skilled with oil. The key to perfect tortillas is patience. You swirl the batter around in your pan like a crepe and then wait. The sides of the tortilla will pull away from the pan and you will know it's time to flip when they lift up easily. This took around 4 minutes a side. Flip and cook for two more minutes.

Video Tutorial:

You can use these like any tortilla. I added marinara, cultured nut cheese, carrots and jalapeno to mine. I actually rolled it up and ate it like a wrap after taking the picture. They would be delicious stuffed with tofu basil ricotta and topped with marinara. I'm thinking a quesadilla would be GREAT too!

Adding cinnamon, stevia and sauted apples would make a healthy and delicious breakfast.

I got 3 large tortillas out of the cup of flour. Each tortilla had approximately 120 calories, 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.

I'd love to know what fillings you guys would put in your chickpea flour tortilla!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


For the last three days,  I have been eating the same things over and over. Oatmeal for breakfast, a one pot meal soup for lunch and dinner and green smoothies as a snack. Boring! My son has only been here for two meals, so it's been very simple.

I have mixed it up a bit though. I cooked up a pound of white beans and have been using them in various ways, one being my green smoothie. I like to get some protein in whenever I can, so I used 1/2 c white beans, collard greens and frozen banana along with cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia. The beans are so creamy it lends a nice texture to the smoothie.

This morning, I did yoga and wanted something more brunch like, so I threw together this delicious raw collard salad. I used cooked white beans, carrots, raisins, chipotle sunflower seeds and my low fat balsamic dijon vinaigrette.

I plan on making some Indian food in the next several days. I will go grocery shopping tomorrow. Also, I will be making my sugar free banana bread and posting that recipe. I was going to make it this week, but my son was at his dads more and wanted to wait for him to be here so I didn't eat it all myself! ( even though it's healthy, I don't need the extra calories! )

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sample $3.33 a day menu

I have been enjoying smoothies made from oatmeal. I take about 1/2 cup cooked ( cold ) oatmeal, water, 1 frozen banana, ice , stevia, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg along with a scoop of protein powder. It tastes like a milkshake.  I imagine you could add a carrot too. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow?

Hummus Collard Wrap

Breakfsat: Smoothie
Lunch: Chickpea Veggie Ragu over Soft Polenta
Dinner: Collard Wrap with Hummus, Carrots, Sesame Ginger Dressing and Sunflower seeds

I made a batch of Chipotle Raisin Carrot Salad this morning to have on hand. I used shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, cilantro, sesame ginger dressing and some canned chipotle. I added a touch more acid in the form of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of stevia. Yum!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing and Hummus

Hummus is such a versatile food. I like to stir some into soup at the end the way many people use parmesan. It is a great alternative to mayonnaise or vegenaise on a sandwich and if pretty fabulous in a collard stuffed full of veggies.

This hummus recipe is very simple and frugal. I bought lemon juice at the store and it is OK with that, but if you have fresh lemons,  it is even better. Add a bit of lemon zest to really make the flavors pop.

It is important that you cook your chickpeas and that they are hot when making this. Reserve the chickpea liquid for both thinning this out ( instead of oil ) and for the Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing recipe I will be posting later in this post.


  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 4 c hot chickpeas
  • ¼ c tahini
  • 1/3 c lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • Chickpea cooking water to thin if necessary

Method: Cook chickpeas and reserve cooking water.
In a food processor, add the garlic, salt and chili powder. Pulse until garlic is a paste. Now add the chickpeas, tahini and lemon juice. Puree until totally smooth. Add chickpea cooking water to thin mixture if desired.

This is delicious after it sits for a good 12 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Using the chickpeas creates an amazing creamy texture and the heat brings out the flavor in the spices and garlic.

I recommend cooking an entire pound of chickpeas. If you don't think you will use them within a week, you can always freeze them in 2 cup batches.

So, you've cooked your chickpeas and you have all of this liquid leftover. Don't throw it away! Cool it down and use it instead of broth or water when you make seitan. Use it as a base for gravy or soups. Its texture is very similar to chicken stock.
I like to use the broth as a base for salad dressings.  Here's a recipe for my Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing. This can be used as a marinade or stir fry sauce in addition to a salad dressing. It will keep for 7 days and freezes well.

Sesame Ginger Dressing
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 T grated ginger
  • 2 T hummus
  • ½ c soy sauce
  • 2 t wasabi (or Dijon mustard )
  • 2 c chickpea cooking liquid
  • ¼ c vinegar
  • 2 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 t Kal stevia or 2 T sugar, maple syrup, agave or honey
  • 2 T golden flax meal or 2 T chia seeds
  • 2 T Sriracha ( optional )

Blend everything together. Allow mixture to chill for several hours before serving.


Jorda approves this blog post!!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Shopping List and Daily Menu

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers 

I went grocery shopping yesterday. I spent 24.58; here's what I bought:

  • 5 lbs onions
  • 5 lbs carrots
  • Peeled Garlic 
  • Collard Greens
  • 5 lbs potatoes
  • Green Beans ( I scored 2 lbs for 1.00 from the reduced produce bin! )
  • Cilantro
  • Summer Squash
  • Jalepenos
  • Canned Chipotle
  • 2 lbs Brown Rice
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 lb Chickpeas
  • 1 lb Split Peas
  • 1 lb White Beans

I am going to attempt to quit coffee. I have enough left for several pots and will start gradually reducing how much I drink. I drink two big cups a day at this point. As much as I love coffee, it is too expensive to fit into my budget, plus I want to give my body a break from caffeine

My menu yesterday was pretty simple. 

Breakfast: Green Smoothie ( collards, chia, oats, banana )
Lunch: Southwestern Stuffed Peppers with Sunflower Sour Cream
Dinner: Rice Pasta with Marinara, TVP, Raw Slaw

Our local ethnic store  ( Lo's ) has rice pasta for $1.19 a package which is a great deal. I have 2 packages of rice pasta in my pantry which will definitely come in handy in the future.  I went through my freezer yesterday and I do have a nice stock of frozen bananas. My local Market Basket has them on sale 3 lbs for 1.00 about every 6 weeks or so and I buy a bunch to freeze. I have all the makings for my Sugar Free Banana Bread, so stay tuned for that delicious recipe!