Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day One

It's the first day of my project, and conveniently the first day of 2009.

It's interesting to suddenly be so aware of cents in addition to dollars. Prior to this, I didn't care too much if something was $3.49 or $3.79 or $3.99. Now, that fifty cents matters.

I'm in Reno until Sunday night (visiting my boyfriend), so I am away from home and any "stocked" foods that I usually have at home (potatoes, rice, pasta, etc) so I made sure to stop by the store last night and grab a bag of brown rice, a box of linguini pasta, a loaf of bread and a 5 lb. bag of potatoes. (This was all relatively cheap, though...under $10 for sure.)

We rang in the New Year at his house with his housemates and a few of their friends. One of his housemates made an awesome vegan spinach dip from Tofutti cream cheese, so I used the leftover "dip" as a spread this morning on a bagel I got for fifty cents at supermarket Raley's here in Reno. The rest of my bill at Raley's included a bag of frozen peas and carrots, a box of tofu, and a small yellow onion.

Around 1 p.m., I got a little hungry, so I made homefries out of two potatoes, half of the onion and some garlic his housemates had. I plan on living on these homefries as a side quite frequently through this whole thing, because they are super cheap to make and super tasty.

Later on in the day, we went for a walk through downtown Reno to make a stop at my bank atm and withdrawal the money for tomorrow and Saturday. There are two corner-stores in Reno that carry Little Debbie pies that happen to be vegan, and they are only $0.75. I munched on an apple-stuffed one.

When we got home, I started on dinner: my first foray into fried rice (vegan-style). The experiment was hugely much so that Boyfriend asked how I made it, as it was so cheap and tasty. We killed the entire batch and now I rest at the end-of-the-day. I don't predict leaving the house at all, so I believe I can make note of today's expenditure (and save a few super-cheap vegan recipes).

  • Frozen Peas & Carrots: $1.25
  • Tofu: $1.49
  • Small Yellow Onion: $0.43
  • Onion Bagel: $0.50
  • Little Debbie Apple Pie: $0.75
  • TOTAL: $4.42

My only complaint is the health aspect thus far. The only veggies were spinach in the spread and the peas and carrots in the rice, and there's no real fruit to speak of. (I have an apple in the 'fridge. I might indulge in it later as a snack.)

Recipes for the day:

Yell's Homefries

-2 medium potatoes

-5 garlic cloves, minced

-1/2 onion, chopped

-salt and pepper, to taste

-oil (I usually use olive for health, but any others work fine)


Saute the onion in the oil over medium-high heat until onions are transclucent. Add the garlic and saute a few more minutes. While the garlic and onion saute, chop the potatoes into squares about a cubic inch in size. (No need to peel the potatoes.) Add the potatoes to the garlic and onion and mix well. Sprinkle salt and pepper (be very generous!) onto the mix. Stir well. Saute the mix for about twenty minutes, stirring frequently.

Vegan Fried Rice

-1 cup brown rice

-1/2 onion, chopped

-1 box Firm Silken tofu

-1/2 bag frozen peas and carrots

-soy sauce

-seasonings (I used salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and a little bit of curry.)



Bring 1.75 cups of water to boil. Reduce heat to low and add brown rice. Cover and let simmer for 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let set for 10 minutes before removing lid. DO NOT LIFT LID WHILE RICE IS COOKING - IT WILL LET THE STEAM ESCAPE. Stir rice with a fork.

Saute onion in a little bit of oil until translucent. Crumble tofu into the onion and sprinkle with a tablespoon-or-so of soy sauce. Season to your liking - but don't over-season! Saute for about five minutes, then transfer mix to a bowl. Pour about two tablespoons of oil into the pan and add the rice. Add a little bit of soy sauce and stirfry the rice for about five minutes. Add the half bag of veggies and mix well. Add in the tofu mix and cook for about five more minutes.

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