Potatoes are my main food, so I want to make sure they are easily accessible when hunger strikes. I peeled and boiled 18 potatoes with 2 tsp salt to make mashed potatoes. Many of the potatoes were green under the skin, so I was glad to have enough food to get away with peeling them (peels are food too)! I drained the water (which I saved for later), added 4 T oil, and mashed. I'll use there as a base for other things. The total came to $0.62 as follows:
|4lbs of mashed potatoes|
2 tsp salt: $0.02
4 T oil: $0.24
I'll expect 10 portions from this, or about $0.06 each.
Then I prepped what I'm called "shepherd's pie." I used the salted potato water to boil up 3 helpings of lentils. In another pan, I sautéed onions, carrots, and tomatoes with salt and oil, and added the cooked lentils. I'll top this with potatoes for an easy lunch dish during the week. I made four servings of shepherd's pie filling:
3/4 C lentils: $0.33
3 servings onion: $0.30
|Prepping shepherd's pie portions for the week - $0.37 each|
3 tomatoes: $0.21
3 T oil: $0.18
1 tsp salt: $0.01
Which comes to $0.31 per serving + $0.06 of mashed potato on top.
I also prepped some carrot sticks for snacks at work.
So what did I actually eat today?
2 potatoes: $0.04
1 carrot: $0.07
1 tomato: $0.07
I used so little onion, I'm not even counting it in the calculation.
|Shepherd's pie for lunch - $0.37|
I decided on stuffed cabbage rolls. It's something I've never made, but figured it wouldn't be too tough. I peeled off 5 large leaves from the head of cabbage and boiled for a few minutes in salt water. I cooked one onion in a tablespoon of oil with a dash of salt until crispy. Then added one portion of mashed potatoes and another tablespoon of oil. I cooked 1/2 cup dry lentils. When the lentils were soft, I added those too. This became my stuffing for the cabbage leaves. I was worried that some of the cabbage leaves were pretty torn up when I took them off the head. But this didn't seem to matter when it came to stuffing. Everything wrapped up nice and tidy.
|Stuffing the cabbage leaves. The torn leaves worked just fine!|
Traditionally, stuffed cabbage is cooked with tomato sauce. I quartered 4 tomatoes and cooked them in a pan with oil, salt, and vinegar (these are sweet tomatoes, so I wanted to add some acid). I layered the stuffed cabbages on top and covered. Many of the recipes I found online say to cook for another 40-90 minutes. I think those recipes have raw meat in them. I certainly don't want to cook my cabbage that long! I gave it about 15.
I had so much money left for dinner that I didn't pay close attention to how much I was spending. Let's see how I came out:
|Pretty! Cooking stuffed cabbage with tomatoes - $0.18 each|
1/2 cup lentils: $0.22
1 portion mashed potatoes: $0.06
1 onion: $0.10
4 tomatoes: $0.28
3 T oil: $0.18
1 T vinegar: $0.02
2 tsp salt: $0.02
Whoa, I cut that close. $0.91 or about $0.18 per roll. Bringing the day's total to $1.48, or so I thought. Those cabbage rolls were big! And even though I was really hungry, I only ate two (including the biggest one). I'm saving the other three for a future meal or snacks. So really, dinner was $0.37. That makes my total food for the day $0.94.
You know what that means!? Room for tea!! At $0.16/tea bag, I've never had room for tea in the past. And I'll even have a spoonful of sugar, which the internet tells me is $0.02. Ending the day at $1.12. I'm not hungry - thanks to that lucky 10lb bag of potatoes. I am already getting tired of potato though, and we're on day one! But so far, I'm in good spirits and feeling like I can take out the next four days without a problem.
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