Sunday, February 22, 2009
I’ve added a Summary Page that gives an overview of what I bought, what I ate, and how much I spent every day. So if you don’t want to bother with the narrative, or if you want to see the food-buying trajectory, you can just cut to the chase with that.
Today I had two more or less normal meals—steel-cut oats with toasted sunflower seeds and a tangerine for meal one and fried rice with carrot, onion, garlic, and chicken for meal two.
Don’t know if most people have heard of steel-cut oats. I get them in the bulk bins at Whole Foods, but they’re also sold under the brand name McCann’s Irish Oats (in a white can with a green label, you might have seen that before). They’re just a different form of oats. Rolled oats—what most people think of as oats or oatmeal—are oat groats that are steamed and then rolled to flatten them. For instant oats, the oats are rolled thinner and/or cut into smaller pieces so they have more surface area and absorb water faster. (And then the food people take those and put them in little foil packets along with all kinds of junk so they can charge you more money. Don’t buy those.)
Steel-cut oats are oat groats that aren’t flattened, they’re just chopped into smaller pieces. They’re much denser and chewier than rolled oats, and they also require much more water (4:1 ratio of water to oats) and take a long time to cook. But they’re really good.
Usually I cook them in a double-boiler so I can put it on the stove then go do other things and not worry about them. I usually cook a half cup at a time (1/2 cup oats with 2 cups water) which makes two good-sized servings.
The first round I eat with honey and chopped almonds and a little bit of milk (or cream, if I have it) and then put the leftovers in the fridge. Then later in the week, I put a little butter in a cast-iron frying pan and heat that up then add the leftover oats when the butter is melted and heat everything through. Then put the oats in bowl and add toasted sunflower seeds and maple syrup.
Today was the bare bones version—no almonds or honey or maple syrup. But I did add the toasted sunflower seeds.
If you have more than a dollar, I would definitely reccomend some kind of sweetener. (I thought maybe the really limited amount of sweeteners I’ve had over the past few weeks would make the oats taste sweet on their own, but alas, they did not.) It wasn’t bad, just could have used a little sugar
For the fried rice, I skimmed the fat off the chicken broth I cooked yesterday and it was enough to make it work but not as much as you would use if you were making it under normal circumstances.
But overall it was pretty good and it was nice to have a dinner with fresh vegetables that were not cabbage.
Both of the meals I cooked today made two good-sized servings so I’ll be eating the same thing tomorrow, and think I’ll probably save tomorrow’s dollar. Today I spent $1.12 out of the $1.22 I had available, so if I don’t shop tomorrow, I’ll have $2.10 on Tuesday.
Not sure what my plan is for the rest of the week. I’m going to think about things and see how I feel.
I have a little bit of millet and a little bit of cornmeal so I might try to get some more of both of those to make a full serving of each and get rid of those. (I’m going to make a concerted effort to not have any food at all left at the end of the 30 days.)
I also have a banana, a tangerine, about a half cup of marinara sauce, one more serving of chicken, 5 ounces of pasta, 4 eggs, one serving of biscuit mix, a cup and a half of dried black beans, and half a head of garlic. Also some odds and ends—orange zest, cornbread crumbs—that I’m going to try to use, but not sure yet for what.
Overall, I feel like I’m in pretty good shape heading into week three.