Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm-Broke-And-Cleaning-Out-The-Cupboards-But-Damn-This-Turned-Out-Good Vegan Lentil Soup

(Made this last night and it is sooooo yummy).

1 bag mixed green and yellow lentils (given to me by a friend who didn't want them - so free to me, retail value about $1.00)

5 carrots (the last from my CSA - cost estimated at 60 cents)

1 onion (40 cents)

1 quart bag frozen heirloom tomatoes (from my CSA - estimated value $1.00)

1 head organic elephant garlic (I traded flats of white peaches from my orchard for a bag of organic garlic from a neighbor, so free to me but....I believe these sell for about $1.50 each)

3 wineglasses tap water

Spices: loads of basil, parsley and sage from my garden. Some sea salt, cracked black pepper, and some Old Bay Spice Seasoning. (est. cost 25 cents)

Dump everything in crock pot, turn on high, and go to work.

Come home 8 hours later to amazing delicious food smells!!!!!!!! Cook 2 more hours (while salivating), then eat.

I had 2 bowls. It was awfully delicious for such a simple recipe. No fat, high fiber....I think this would be delicious with rice, too, or could be a filling for crepes or a tortillas.

My cost: $2.25
Street value: $3.75

I estimate that this will feed two adults for 4 or perhaps 5 meals, so the average cost per serving is somewhere around 25 cents.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I stumbled across this amazing blog - The One Dollar Diet Project. Two perfectly sane adults, with reasonable incomes, decided to spend a month eating only $1 per day worth of food (each). It is absolutely fascinating to read about their experiences - they write thoughfully, honestly, about health, food, poverty, making do, and enjoying what you have.

I was thinking about this, because - my fridge is currently pretty darn empty, and I'm looking at it remaining that way for the next week or two. My lifestyle change of eating predominantly local food occurred at the same time (but not because of) as a drastic reduction of the amount of money flowing into my household. I learned the incredible value of a 25# bag of flour, the joy of bulk organic potatoes, how to barter for food, the excitement of free freezers and canning supplies found on craigslist and freecycle, re-discovered the fun and frugality of canning and freezing local vegetables, and the exquisite joy of an orchard producing bushels of fruit - free for the picking. And wildcrafting! Once you open your eyes to the natural world around you, you can't believe how much free, delicious food is available....simply for the taking. (And trust me when I tell you, my homemade pizza with sauteed wild nettles, ramps and morel mushrooms is simply out of this world).

Don't get me wrong. Given the choice, I will still splurge on food. I LOVE food! Imported cheeses, fine wines, great whiskey, and expensive fancy mushrooms make me swoon.

But...... I have also discovered the joy of peasant food, and how to concoct something delicious out of very very little. Have flour, water, maybe some eggs? Make noodles. Have milk too? Crepes! Pancakes! Have dried beans, rice, and a few spices...a myriad of ethnic-inspired dishes are at your fingertips, for pennies. Got veggies from the garden? Vats of healthy, delicious veggie soups await. I simply cannot fathom spending $6 for artisan bakery breads after having discovered the joys of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes. Even using local organic flours, homemade is bread is ridiculously cheap and easy - not to mention fresh, healthy, and delicious. Roasted root veggies with a touch of olive oil, rosemary and sage, are sinfully sumptuous.

I don't know. I'm just rambling, but,'s all very interesting, isn't it?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I love supporting my local fiber industry - and am absolutely delighted to see that the UN has designated 2009 as the International Year of of Natural Fibres! Thanks to Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm for pointing out the link....I can't wait to get my roving from them....they assure us it's soon!

In other news, I'm delighted to be getting some fiber from Willow Ridge Farm in the very near future....I'll post pics when it arrives!