Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Fiber Box of a Different Sort

Those bananas and pears are
looking might-y good!

Well, it's Wednesday - the third day of my $1.64 per-day-for-food challenge. While I am starting to really want some fresh fruit, and I'm about to run out of the coffee beans I still had in the house prior to the beginning of the week, I'm hanging in there. It's a good thing I like tea, because no coffee in the house could definitely incite rebellion - even if it is the decaf variety.

First things first: I'm so thrilled with everyone's response to this challenge. I am particularly pleased with your stories of where and how you get your food. Both Mumma Troll and Useless Beauty (on the English side of the pond) get their veggies delivered via weekly veggie box. While we certainly can get home delivery of organic veggies, I'm with Erin in Boston - I like to support local farmers' markets. I'm incredibly lucky that come summertime, I have three to choose from that are very close to my home. Additionally, I belong to the local food cooperative that's sort of like a big supermarket, only greener, with way fresher food and humane employment practices. Ok, maybe not so much like a chain supermarket.

However, each of the options I mentioned above will get you great veggies - at a grand and glorious price. This week's challenge precluded such options. I can usually also purchase fish and chicken at both the co-op and the farmers' markets, but again at a steep price. Over $14 for a free-range chicken makes one blink at least twice. Even at the big, bad grocery store, the least expensive whole chicken I could find was over $10 - had it been on special, I would definitely have opted for the whole bird.

I usually relegate turkey to Thanksgiving -
so that it's special. However, Kathryn's Brain
has given me pause - maybe I'll roast
one soon and see how it goes?
Which leads me to my grocery package of chicken thighs. I paid $6.88 for 13 chicken thighs. I froze five of them for next week, which will be used in one recipe and probably yield three servings. Of the remaining 8 thighs, I baked 3 of them last night (using reserved chicken drippings that I save each time I cook chicken - very tasty and economical) and used up my Yukon golds for some mashed potatoes. I'm eating the left-overs as I write this, so I got two servings from that recipe. I've got the final five thighs earmarked for another dish later in the week, which should yield an additional three servings. Eight individual servings from one $6.88 package of chicken thighs ain't too bad.  

Finally, as promised, here's the recipe for my "pumpkin pie pudding" that I made for breakfast the other day. First, it's not really pumpkin - I used fresh garnet yams that I roasted whole in the oven, then skinned while warm. Next, it's not really pudding (at least, not to me). As you'll see, I use 10-grain pancake mix, so it comes out more like the consistency of oatmeal, and therefore really awesome for breakfast. Additionally, one can control the amount of sugar used, which allows for just the right sweet note at breakfast, but not too much to send you into the sugar stratosphere. And the best part: it cooks in the crock pot overnight! Yes, wake up to breakfast already made:

Crockpot Pumpkin Pie Pudding

15 oz. freshly roasted garnet yams (or a 15 oz. can solid pack pumpkin)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
1/4 - 3/4 cup regular or brown sugar (to taste - the yams will release their sweetness as they roast, so adjust your sugar amount accordingly)
1/2 cup 10-grain pancake mix
1/2 cup dried fruit of choice such as raisins or cherries
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick spray; pour pumpkin mixture into crock pot. Cover and cook on low for six to seven hours.

It's that easy!

I'll tell you more about this tomorrow - stay tuned.


  1. We pick up veggies from the local farmers market every Tuesday as part of a CSA. We LOVE it. Salads are a must at every meal (if it's not the whole meal itself) since we get so much greens now. It's very affordable.

    I love that you're doing this. I think it's a huge learning experience. I never thought to do this until we saw Food Stamped, a documentary where a couple tried to eat healthy for a month on a food stamp budget. It was really neat.

  2. Interesting read! That squash is so neatly colored; what an inspiration it could be for a beanie.

  3. Oooh, that yam pudding sounds very yummy.

  4. Thanks, ladies. Please note that I initially forget the dried fruit when I posted the recipe ... but it's there now. :)

  5. And if only I could spell "forgot."

  6. I'd love to have the option of a farmers market but sadly I live in a rough area so they tend to stear clear of us and head for the more leafier parts. ie. where all the ritch folk live,lol.
    You have such cool ingredients that are just not avaliable her in the UK, I always end up dribbling over US recipes.


  7. I wasn't able to comment yesterday, but I was able to copy the Pumpkin custard recipe. I can't wait to try it! I always eat breakfast, but it has to be something very quick and easy because I always wake with low blood sugar and feel dizzy until I get some food in me. This sounds perfect since it will be cooked and waiting for me.