Day Twenty-One

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring in Durham

Spring in Durham

As you can see, it did in fact snow here today but it was just snow, no ice, and was mostly melted by the afternoon. The streets were clear and the stores were open so I was able to get out and spend today’s money. In case anyone was worried about that.

What I Bought on Day Twenty-One

What I Bought on Day Twenty-One

Summary Page

Today was a big day—it was fresh tortilla day! La Superior Supermarket, my friendly local independent Latino grocer, in addition to having a butcher shop with good prices on meat, also has an in-store bakery and tortilleria. And the best part of the tortilleria (well, other than the smell, which is definitely the best part of the tortilleria) is that you can walk up and ask for a dollar’s worth of tortillas and they weigh it out and give you this pretty little package. And no one looks at you funny or anything.

I also bought a small cabbage for $0.77, so that I could make a bare-bones version of a recipe my mom sent a few weeks ago out of Bon Apetit magazine. (She didn’t send it for the project, she just sent it because she made it and said it was good and thought I would like it.)

The recipe is for Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw. My version is Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw.

What I Ate on Day Twenty-One

What I Ate on Day Twenty-One

It was good and I have a lot of food remaining from what I cooked, since I went ahead and cooked all the rest of the black beans I bought on Day Two (which was just under a cup and a half, dried).

I was thinking about saving them and using them the last week but then wasn’t sure that I’d get everything timed right to be done with it all the last day and decided to work through them this week rather than waiting.

For Meal One, I had steel-cut oats and toasted sunflower seeds, and I also had some Jiffy cornbread muffins along with the tacos for Meal Two.

When I was at La Superior, the guy in front of me bought this giant (and I mean giant) bag of roma tomatoes for $5. I think they were $0.69 a pound. I’m hoping to get up there again later in the week to get some onion and tomato and lime to make a little salsa to eat with my black beans.

I have a little more than half of the tortillas left (I had a couple as snacks when I brought them home, then three tacos, then one more after I was done with the tacos, then another one more after I was done with the first one more—they were good, and it was a long walk up there) and since I have eggs, I’ll be able to have some wth scrambled eggs and black beans. I also might be able to do an enchilada thing if I get a can of tomato sauce.

But not sure what my schedule is going to be or what I’ll feel like as the week goes on. We’ll have to see how it goes.

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10 Responses to “Day Twenty-One”

  1. pk Says:

    I think most of us have been spoiled on exuberant flavor. We choose excessive salt and refined sugars over having our stomachs being full. We choose greasy burgers and strawberry milkshakes over whole grains, fresh vegetables and protein rich beans. How do we get back to basics?

  2. lessisenough Says:

    I’m not sure I would call all the salt and sugar we’re used to exuberant flavor, but I think I know what you mean.

    The thing is that food like that tastes good when you’re used to it (if you’re not used to it, some of it can be pretty awful), but you get sort of inured to it. I don’t think people who eat greasy burgers all the time ever have a greasy burger and think “Man, that was so good.” They just get used to it and don’t really even think about it. But things that don’t have a lot of fat and salt don’t taste very good once you’re used to processed food.

    I think you can’t make the switch instantly, but I think if people are committed to improving their health, they can gradually reduce the amount of processed foods they eat and increase the amount of whole/natural foods. And I think if people would do that, they would see a lot of their health problems decrease. Things like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis (which are all among the most expensive health problems to treat) can be significantly improved through changes in diet and exercise.

  3. Sharon Says:

    I like how you make your meals appealing to eyes as well as to the body’s nutritional needs. I think quite a few of them including the Idaho Sunrise and the multicolored pasta and pilaf dishes are great examples of adding the WOW factor to food that Amy Dacyczyn talked about in The Complete Tightwad Gazette.


  4. cmcg Says:

    I am having a hard time believing that you allowed a news crew into your house….How did they find out about this?

    You looked good, btw. Not withering from malnutrition, as I had feared…

    How do you feel?

  5. lessisenough Says:

    The internet is an amazing thing, all kinds of people have found out about this.

    I feel good, though I didn’t anticipate how much effort the documenting component would take — on top of the shopping- every-day component, and the talking-to-reporters component (which I really hadn’t considered at all).

    All of which has meant that I haven’t gotten a lot done these past few weeks.

    Other than that, it’s been fine.

  6. marilyn Says:

    i keep up with you most days. today victor and i googled you and are pleased to find a few cites for your blog. when he watched the video of you and saw what you’ve been eating, victor said he wants to go to your house! now! at nearly 3 years old, he’s a wonderful eater and he’d be happy with your cooking. if you split your two meals into four and added milk, yogurt or cheese a few times a day, he’d stay.

    folks who study the business cycle know that in good times bad habits get established, excesses and mistakes are tolerated. in economic downturns good businesses can learn much more, become more productive and become highly innovative.

  7. greenquark Says:

    Hi there,

    I am following you blog. I am an American leaving in Montreal, Canada. Let me tell you, I have checked your prices over there, they are really cheap compared to the prices up here. I don’t think is doable here, not even 2 dollars per day buying exactly what you have bought.

    Last weekend, I made the Idaho sunshine potato for brunch accompanied with a few other goodies. My wife asked about the recipe, surprisingly simple and yummy! and I showed her your blog.

    She has a question for you which might have been asked before:

    What do you do for the Iron intake?
    What about Calcium?

    I know this is not very important if it is only one month project… But, are you planning of continuing beyond the month?

  8. lessisenough Says:

    Thanks for your comments — the Idaho Sunrise seems to be a big hit. We should all thank Marion Cunningham for that, it’s a great idea.

    The prices I’ve been getting are very low, in fact much lower than what I was used to paying. I looked all around in preparation for the project and discovered some real bargains in my neighborhood.

    Because the project is only for 30 days, I haven’t worried too much about being low on particular nutrients. I’m not planning on continuing after the 30 days, I’m planning on returning to my usual budget of $3/day, which I think is sufficient for me to get good nutrition.

    Obviously prices are different everywhere, but I bet if you looked, you could find stores that have things cheaper than what you usually pay — prices tend to vary widely from store to store even in the same area.

  9. Natasha Says:

    Will you be growing any herbs or vegetables to use with your meals? I just made the crisp black been and cabbage recipe myself last week it is really good with cilantro. Which grows really well in warmer climates.

  10. km Says:

    That burrito is very similar to something we eat regularly. I usually use cabbage instead of lettuce in our tacos (less to buy and more nutritious). Your bare bones version leaves out the cheese and plain yogurt (again, in place of sour cream because of less things to buy and more nutrition).

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