Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pantry Basics-Day Two

Breakfast this morning was crock pot porridge. I added an apple to the basic recipe. We also had yogurt and some really nice persimmons that the GH brought home from his parent's house. I guess they came from a neighbor.

I totally forgot that I had to think about lunch, since we don't have any easy protein, like cheese or peanut butter on hand. I cooked up some quinoa in chicken broth and while that was cooking I fast boiled some brown lentils. When both were cooked I drained the lentils and stirred them into the quinoa with salt, pepper, and ground cumin.

1/2 cups quinoa $0.50
chicken broth-made from leftover chicken
3/4 cup lentils $0.40

It tastes especially good with my husband's own special blend of apple cider vinegar, with a dash of cayenne, salt, ground mustard, minced fresh garlic, thyme, oregano, and a little bit of sugar drizzled over the top. He makes it a jarful at a time and we just keep eating it. Apple cider vinegar is supposed to be good for colds and metabolism as well as digestion. Cayenne has health and immunity boosting abilities and has been shown to help in weight loss. Oregano is an anti-bacterial, okay it's good for you, and delicious. You get the idea.

apple cider vinegar-$0.70/jar we used less than a quarter of it.

Cost of lunch $1

Before leaving for the library I put some black eyed peas, 3 cups, in the crock pot with water and salt.
On the way home we passed the farmer's market and I needed something green and fresh. (The sprouts I started won't be ready until tomorrow at the earliest.) I spent $4 and came home with a shopping bag full of kale and lettuce and 5 limes.

Tonight for dinner I tried to recreate something my friend from India gave me once, I think I came pretty close.

I started with a spice blend called Panch Phoran. You can get it at Cost Plus, or in bulk at an Indian grocery store. It's a spice blend containing mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds.

1 tbsp vegetable oil-negligible
1 tbsp panch phoran- $0.30
1/2 onion, chopped fine $0.20
1 tsp minced garlic-$0.05
6-7 cups cooked black eyed peas $1.50

Heat the oil in a skillet and roast the spices for two or three minutes. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic. Continue stirring and cooking until the onions are cooked through. Add the beans and fry about 5 minutes more. Serve with rice, and yogurt. (My friend also added a lot of chili which made this really spicy. I didn't this time because I wanted the kids to eat it.)

I chopped up a few stalks of kale and tossed them with apple cider vinegar, honey and olive oil. My kids asked for seconds. I guess that starving them continues to work. :)

Two kale stalks $0.20
1 1/2 cups rice-$0.40
1/4 cup homemade yogurt $0.15

Total cost for dinner $2.80

Lunch and dinner for 4 $3.80

I'm too tired to figure out breakfast today. Baby's teething and has a cold, Maybe tomorrow I'll have the energy to do a cost analysis on our porridge.


Sandstone said...

Was kale an add-in or part of the original recipe? Just finished reading both The Namesake and A 1000 Splendid Suns and grew interested in this region of food after reading about so many interesting dishes in the books. Just last night I made my first attempt at Indian food -- Rice with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, onion and at the end cashews and yellow raisins. Kids loved it and tasted sweet even though there wasn't any sugar. If you're interested I'll write out the recipe . . .

Carrien said...


The kale was actually on the side. I just wanted a vegetable.

I'd love the recipe, thanks. What you describe sounds a lot like something we make called Persian rice. Only our recipe has madras curry powder in it and butter also. It's one of my favorite comfort foods.:)

Sandstone said...

I getcha. (re: kale) Here is the rice recipe ... from a simple childrens book about Indian foods. They called it Spiced Rice or "Pulao".
1/3 C peanut oil, 1/2 med onion thinly sliced (I minced), 5 whole cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 5 cardamom pods, 1/2 t ground coriander, 1 C basmati rice, 2 C boiling water (i just used hot from faucet), 1/2 t salt, 1 T butter, 1/4 C yellow raisins, 2 T blanched slivered almonds or cashews. In heavy sauce pan, heat oil over med-high heat. Add onion, cook 5 min until soft. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander. Reduce heat to med low - cook 1 min. Stir in rice and fry until rice is well coated w/ oil. Add salt and boiling water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook rice 15 min. Then, heat butter in sm. skillet over med-high heat. Add raisins & nuts and fry for 1 to 2 min until raisins are plump and nuts are golden. Stir raisins & nuts into rice and serve! yum.
Saw your link to Slow Food. I just picked up two books Slow Food Nation and Slow Food. Can't wait to get into them!

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