While I was surfing I found this blog, One Dollar Diet Project, via Yahoo news. It reminded me of my $3.00 usd a day blog posts last December and got me wondering how we are doing on our food budget. Actually, we don't have a food budget which may be the problem. It seems like when I get unconscious about food my weight goes up and so does the grocery bill. I still am ten pounds lighter than this time last year and Husband is twenty pounds lighter, so it isn't a failure, just not a rousing success.
I wrote about making granola in the crock pot last post.It's much tastier than just plain oatmeal but probably at least 3 times the calories. I may go back to oatmeal with dried blueberries for a while. I find that when I cook we eat better, and healthier most of the time.
Friday, I made Grantineé de Tomates (baked tomato and cheese custard) from the French Vegetable Cookbook by Patricia Bourne, it was a tad disappointing. When I took it out of the oven it smelled just like pizza! Probably due to the fresh basil I sprinkled on top, but the taste was too bland. The tomatoes didn't have enough flavor, it probably would have been better with canned tomatoes but those aren't often found here. I also think that I over cooked the onions.
Doesn't that look good? It smelled even better than it looked! I used fresh grated Parmesan instead of the Gruyére cheese, since that is what we had. Unfortunately, I made a lima bean dish that contained cream, the limas were dried and I over cooked them, I used too much cream so it became a soup. Probably a thousand calories, I may as well have just served straight media crema. The salad was good though, red and green cabbage, shredded carrot, craisens (dried cranberries) and chopped apple sprinkled with caraway seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
What struck me about the dollar diet project was that they weren't in the habit of cooking so their diet was pretty limited. They complained about not being able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables on their budget, but frozen is sometimes better. They bought broccoli at the Dollar Store and it was mostly stems not florets, if they had a little more knowledge of Chinese and other Asian cuisines, they would have seen this as a plus. Also they discovered soup about halfway into the project.
They ate beans and rice a lot, but what about lentils? I love lentils and they are so versatile, dal would have been a good option for them or spicy lentil patties. They did make their own tortillas (probably flour) which is quite a savings. That reminded me of when I was making chapatis, definitely a savings and not much different than whole wheat tortillas.
I am going to be thinking about food a little more these days, what I eat and what I spend.