Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010

I'm gone this week, but will be back next week. 


See you then!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.  ~Albert Einstein
Hot Chocolate Shake
serves 1 ~ $.85 per serving

3 bananas ($.45)
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.40)
big pinch cayenne pepper 
pinch salt
10 ice cubes
1 cup water

A bit of cayenne adds a bit of depth and heat to this simple chocolate banana shake. It's a great way to start the day!

In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth and icy.

calories: 345
fat: 0 gr
carbs: 87 gr
protein: 3 gr

Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
serves 2 ~ $2.54 per serving


1 avocado ($.88)
1/2 large cucumber ($.69)
1/4 medium onion
juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon tarragon ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 -1 cup water for blending


1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped ($1.89)
1/2 large cucumber, sliced ($.69)
2 carrots, grated
3/4 medium onion, diced ($.05)
6 radishes, sliced ($.25)
salt and pepper to taste

It's true. Salads are usually something of a vegan staple. And why not? They're delicious and super nutritious. And this salad is light and lemony, perfect for summer.

In a blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. This can be a very thick dressing or a bit thinner, depending on how much water is added. I used all the dressing on two salads, but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.

Toss together the salad ingredients and top with the dressing.


calories: 315
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 43 gr
protein: 8 gr

Peanut Noodles
serves 2 ~ $2.07 per serving

1 eight oz box brown rice noodles ($1.79)

 2 tablespoons peanut butter or nut butter ($.20)
4 tablespoons soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos ($.20)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ($.10)
juice and zest of a half lime ($.59)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated ($.05)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup mung bean sprouts ($.45)
1 medium onion, finely minced ($.05)
5 green onions, sliced ($.50)
wedges cut from other half of lime

This is gooey comfort food for sure, but still nutritious.

Prepare the noodles according to directions.

Whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice and zest, agave, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper. Drain the noodles and pour the sauce over, stirring to coat the noodles. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Squeeze the lime wedges over the noodles and add a sprinkle of additional cayenne, if desired.

calories: 611
fat: 13 gr
carbs: 113 gr
protein: 11 gr

Peach Crumble
serves 4 ~ $.95 per serving

12 oz bag frozen peaches ($2.29)
juice of half a lemon ($.30)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used date palm) ($.80)
1/2 cup unbleached flour ($.20)
1/2 cup rolled oats ($.10)
pinch salt
3 tablespoons earth balance spread ($.10)

It rained nearly all day here. It's great for the garden, and I actually love rainy weather. But dark dreary weather does seem to make comfort food more ... comforting. Also, I used frozen peaches for this because that's what I had on hand. Two cups fresh peaches would work as well. I thawed the peaches before I started.

Arrange the peaches in the bottom of a cake pan or pie plate. Pour on the lemon juice and sprinkle with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Using a fork, mix together the sugar, flour, and oats until crumbly. You can also use your hands for this, which works even better. Just squish it all around until mixed. Then crumble over the peaches. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the topping just begins to brown.


calories: 366
fat: 8 gr
carbs: 69 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.41
total calories: 1,637
total fat: 36 gr
total carb: 312 gr
total protein: 27 gr

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

Instant Oatmeal
serves 2 ~ $.75 per serving

1 cup rolled oats ~ ($.25)
1 apple, chopped ($.45)
1/4 cup raisins ($.20)
1 1/2 cups nut or soy milk ($.60)
pinch of cinnamon

You can't get any more instant than this. And rolled oats are surprisingly good without cooking.

Combine the uncooked oats, chopped apple, and raisins. Serve with nut or soy milk and a pinch of cinnamon.


calories: 321
fat: 5 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 10 gr

Mushroom Sandwiches
serves 2 ~ $1.99 per serving

8 oz mushrooms ($2.29)
2 medium onions, chopped ($.30)
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped ($.59)
lettuce leaves
4 pieces ezekiel bread ($.79)

This is becoming a favorite around here. I "water saute" the vegetables, but steaming would also work. Either method avoids the high temperature of frying.

Add the mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper to a skillet or sauce pan. Add about 2 cups water and let simmer until the vegetables are just soft and most of the water has evaporated ... which takes about 15 minutes.

Serve with fresh lettuce on toasted Ezekiel bread.


calories: 249
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 45 gr
protein: 12 gr

Vegetables with Rice Noodles
serves 2 ~ $3.68 per serving

1 bunch broccoli, chopped ($.89)
1 medium onion, diced ($.10)
2 carrots, thinly sliced ($.20)
2 stalks celery, chopped ($.20)
6 spears asparagus, chopped ($.69)
1 cup mung bean sprouts ($.59)

juice of one orange ($.30)
4 tablespoons olive oil ($.40)
4 tablespoons agave ($.40
3 tablespoons braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce ($.30)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 box rice noodles ($3.29)

This makes two very large servings, or four smaller ones. I used the really tiny rice noodles, but any noodle would do.

Put the chopped vegetables in a skillet with about 2 cups water and water saute until just barely soft and the most of the water has evaporated.

Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, agave, liquid aminos or soy sauce, garlic, cayenne, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and set aside.

Cook the noodles according the directions. The very thin ones I used only needed three minutes cooking time.

Drain the noodles and return to pot. Add the cooked vegetables and sauce. Stir well.


calories: 525
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 69 gr
protein: 9 gr

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream
serves 2 ~ $1.10 per serving

4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.60)
juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds ($.30)
1 cup strawberries ($.45)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts ($.15)
pinch salt

Banana ice cream is wonderful.  And it's amazingly simple to make with just a food processor.

The strawberry sauce should be made first and set aside. In a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and lemon juice and zest until creamy like soft serve ice cream. It can take a bit of prodding and scraping to get the bananas going in the food processor, but it's worth it. Once creamy, add the poppy seeds and give a whir or two to incorporate.

Serve with the strawberry sauce and walnuts.


calories: 345
fat: 6 gr
carbs: 77 gr
protein: 5 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.52
total calories: 1,440
total fat: 41 gr
total carb: 253 gr
total protein: 36 gr

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010

Fruit and Cream
2 servings ~ $1.19 per serving
1 banana ($.20)
1 mango ($.98)
2 tablespoons walnuts ($.25)
2 tablespoons raisins ($.15)
2 cups almond, rice, or soy milk ($.80)

Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Trix ... most commercial cereals try to imitate fruit. Why not just have fruit?

Any fresh or dried fruit combination would work. For this, I've used a sliced banana, diced mango, and some walnuts and raisins topped with almond milk.


calories: 345
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 4 gr


Potato and Bean Soup
serves 4 ~ $1.06 per serving

5 medium potatoes, diced ($1.00)
1 sweet potato or yam, diced ($.69)
1 large onion, diced ($.05)
handful kale, chopped ($.40)
3 stalks celery, sliced ($.10)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
 1 can garbanzo beans ($1.79)

1 potato, pureed in 1 cup water ($.20)

We've been having a bit of cool and rainy weather, which was perfect for soup.

In a large pot with 8 cups boiling water, add the diced potatoes, sweet potato, onion, kale, celery, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add the can of drained garbanzo beans.

My trick for thick soups is chop up a potato and puree it in a blender with a cup of water until smooth. Then add this puree at the very end of cooking. It thickens the soup wonderfully.


calories: 370
fat: 6 gr
carbs: 79 gr
protein: 10 gr


Boca and Fries
serves 2 ~ $1.75 per serving

2 boca brand vegan "burgers" ($1.85)
2 whole wheat buns ($.55)
2 medium onions ($.10)
4 medium potatoes ($.80)
2 tablespoons oil ($.20)

salt, lettuce, mustard, ketchup

Every so often, I indulge in a comfort food meal. This isn't a recipe, I just wanted to document the cost and nutritional information for a meal like this.

I bake my Boca burgers on a rack in the oven at about 350 degrees ... you might prefer yours done in a pan. The directions for that are on the box.

The potatoes are super simple. Just peel, slice into strips, and coat lightly with oil. I do this by stirring them in a bowl with the oil. They get just a bit of a coating, but not too much. Bake on a cookie sheet for at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until browned and crisped a bit. I've also brown the buns for a few minutes in the oven as well.

Top with sliced onions and desired condiments.


calories: 625
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 100 gr
protein: 25 gr

Coconut Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
serves 6 ~ $.77 per serving

1 - 14 ounce can coconut milk ($2.19)
2 ripe bananas ($.40)
4 tablespoons agave ($.80)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder ($1.20)
pinch salt

This is creamy and luscious and so easy to make. This is much better than most soy ice creams, and rivals the Coconut Bliss brand, but for a lower cost.

Coconut milk comes in a can and is coconut meat and coconut water combined. It separates so will look like stiff coconut goo and water when opened. This is how it's supposed to look and it will smooth out nicely in the blender.

Put all ingredients into a blender, or use food processor fitted with an"S" blade. Puree until very smooth. Process in an ice cream maker until firm. The store in freezer. If you don't have an ice cream maker, simply pour into a tub and freeze, stirring every so often until firm. Allow to thaw just slightly, about five minutes, before serving.


calories: 229
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 22 gr
protein: 3 gr


Total cost for the day: $4.77
total calories: 1,569
total fat: 50 gr
total carb: 263 gr
total protein: 42 gr