Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day 3 -- Saturday

Each weekend I look forward to doing some cooking. Something fabulous. Maybe it's a new recipe or something I want to pair with a certain wine I've been eyeing. NOT today. This is the third day of my "Can you eat on $25 a week" quest and my meals are starting to look very similar.

There is a shelf in the refrigerator that I have allotted to my challenge as well as a special spot in our pantry. It's the same stuff that was there yesterday. Duh, of course it is because I only have $.01 to spend until Thursday!

I didn't realize how much of my waking life revolves around food. I think, plan, dream, talk about, garden and tend, eat and enjoy it ... a lot. But when you see the same thing each day, the joy wanes and it's just not as fun. That thought alone makes me feel incredibly small. Of course, this isn't fun. The crazy thing is is that I THOUGHT it would be fun and well it's really not.

But I have already learned so much about myself and budgeting that I know the result will be positive so while the enjoyment levels wanes the learning and growing level increases. Isn't that the way so many important things in our life progress anyway?

To clarify, it's $25 per person for the week and only I am doing the challenge in our household. It's extra difficult because you can't use anything you already had in your house. No spices to zip up those beans, no salt and pepper to enhance rice or no vinegar to liven up that spinach salad.

So here's what was on the menu today:

Breakfast: I lingered over my GV black coffee and skipped breakfast. Not typical but we headed out to run errands. I am liking this black coffee! I am surely saving calories as I usually add half and half and Torani.

Lunch: I was hungry when we got home especially since we picked up pies at Jack's school for a fundraiser. For lunch, I heated up lentils and rice and poured in some leftover pasta sauce / water combo as well as some sliced carrots. The sauce did the trick! It was delicious and very filling. I also had some yogurt with the left over 1/4 of a banana. There is no wasting food here! Really, who would save a 1/4 of a banana that, while I did have it in Saran Wrap in the fridge, was rather brown? Yours truly. Yes, it was brown but I just mushed it in the yogurt. I then remembered my Charlemagne (from the 3rd Indiana Jones) -- I had three pounds of potatoes which I had totally forgotten about! I was giddy. I micro'd one and with nothing to put on it, I really enjoyed it. Maybe because it was organic? Or just maybe because it was different.

Dinner: As you can see, dinners are starting to look the same. There's that leftover pasta from Thursday with a little scoop of lentils and rice and a few carrots slices. Again, I added a spinach salad and another half of an egg and another micro'd potato. Here's something that was cool! I zested an orange and mixed that with my spinach with some of the orange juice. It really made the salad. I also chopped up a half an orange and added it to my nonfat plain yogurt. Okay, you must try this. It was so delicious I could have this for dessert every night.

Because I am such a planner, I fixed up a cup of dried black beans for tomorrow and took two big spoonfuls. Delicious! Of course, Through my kitchen window, I see my amazing herbs that have made it through 15 degree nights and three feet of snow and longingly stare at my beautiful sage that would have been perfect with the black beans. ARGH.

What I learned today: Food adds joy to our lives and it's amazing to realize that when that joy is diminished, you really, really miss it. I can't be the only one here. The enjoyment of food is important to everyone.

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