Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 34 - Value Eating on 02/25/2010

Today I wanted to get really serious with the “Green Smoothie” for breakfast. I used about ½ bunch of organic spinach (1$) and an organic apple (75c). Although I added some organic yoghurt for some smoothness (0.15c), I did not particularly like it. Too grassy and not a very pleasant consistency. What’s worse is that I was so hungry after an hour or so. I wonder how important the act of chewing is for us actually feeling full, cause usually I am perfectly fine with some fruit cut into yoghurt for breakfast. Need to research that more.

Anyways, I was on the road and starving. Seriously. So I paid a visit to a Libanese cafe a friend had recommended. I liked the texture and balanced taste of the falafel and the sauces, but it would have been significantly better if the falafel would have been freshly deep-fried, rather than plucked from a mountain of ready made falafel under a heating light. Especially as it was stuffed in a cold pita bread. I prefer a warm bread, hot falafel and cold salad for some contrast and to best present the beautiful flavors of the falafel itself. Oh well. (3.5$)

For dessert at home I gave the “green smoothie” a second try – the spinach & apple had resulted in ca. 3 cups of smoothie, of which I had only managed to drink half. I added a lot more yoghurt, threw in an organic banana that had come with my weekly produce box and finished it all off with a teaspoon of local honey from the farmers’ market (although the banana added some nice texture, it suffered from the “green import syndrome”, which left it pretty tasteless, so the smoothie needed some sweetener). After all these additions, the “green smoothie” was good. But if all green smoothies have to come with bananas by default for texture, I do not think I will be a smoothie girl – at least not as long I do not live in some tropical, banana growing country. The taste of mealy bananas, that were picked tasteless and left to “ripe” in my kitchen does absolutely nothing to me. Anyways. Cost for additions: yoghurt (37c), banana (49c), honey (10c).

For dinner I fixed up a tasty, thick rice based soup. If I had to choose my favorite ever dish, I would say it is thick soups & stews. I had bought some broccoli the week before at the GreenGrocer and saw no chance of eating it all, before it would go bad. So I briefly blanched the broccoli and froze it for future use. I then fried some chili flakes and garlic in a dash of olive oil (0.29), sautéed 1.5 carrots (25c), added ½ cup of Fabio & Nicoletta’s beautiful Originario rice (an heirloom variety on the brink of extinction, 45c) and cooked all of it in the water left from blanching the broccoli. At the end of the cooking time for the rice (ca. 18 minutes), I finished it all off with Cosimo’s fragrant Extra Virgin Olive Oil from The Scrumptious Pantry (45c). Very comfortable, but I was amazed at my craving for carbs today. I wonder if this has something to do with the whole “green smoothie” thing….

Total Food Cost For Today: 7.08$

Tomorrow, I will be headed abroad for 10 days. During these days, I will suspend the “Value Eating” posts, as I do not want to falsify the results using other country’s grocery prices and a unfavorable exchange rate to the dollar. More “Value Eating” on March 9 – in the meantime, check back for regular posts, especially a conclusion to the first 30 days of “Value Eating”!

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