serves 1 ~ $.85 per serving
1 banana ($.25)
1 teaspoon spirulina powder ($.10)
1 tablespoon almond butter ($.30)
1 tablespoon chia seeds ($.20)
1 1/2 cups water
It was gorgeous today. Almost 80 degrees. I feel like maybe summer will really get here (eventually). It was even sunny enough to get a sunburn. The local frogs were also appreciating the day, croaking away. Maybe that was why my morning smoothie reminded me of, well, pond scum. (In keeping with that theme, for my menu card I used the image above, which is an 1834 illustration for the fable, “Le Soleil et Les Grenouilles,” which means, “The Sun and the Frogs.”)
Spirulina is also known as cyanobacteria.
Cyano means blue. Their blue green pigment is even older, from an evolutionary standpoint, than the green chlorophyll. It contains “complete” proteins, and is a good source of iron and the amino acid lysine, which can enhance iron absorption.
The color is greenish turquoise and some chia seeds will add omega-3s … and the look of frog eggs.
To make this smoothie, add all ingredients to a blender and puree until very smooth.
fat: 17 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 10 gr
serves 2 ~ $2.48 per serving
1 mango, cubed ($1.49)
1 papaya, cubed ($.99)
1 cucumber, chopped ($.69)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped ($.05)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped ($.89)
1 jalapeno, minced ($.20)
2 tablespoons lime juice ($.45)
red pepper flakes
Even though this is made of fruit, it has a hearty feel and is surprisingly filling.
In a food processor fitted with an “S blade, puree about a third of each of the mango, papaya, and cucumber and the olive oil and salt until very smooth. This is the stew base. In a large bowl, add the remaining chopped mango, papaya, and cucumber, along with the onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeno. Stir to mix. Add the lime juice and stir again. Serve with a bit of black pepper and a few crushed red pepper flakes.
Most of the heat of a jalapeno is found in the seeds. I like this kind of spicy so I include most of the seeds from the jalapeno. If you prefer a bit more mild taste, just leave out most or all of the seeds.
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 43 gr
protein: 3 gr
“Hey, That’s Not Raw!”
serves 3 ~ $3.89 per serving
1 box firm tofu ($3.99)
3 tablespoons olive oil ($.30)
3 tablespoons agave ($.30)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ($.30)
1 zucchini, sliced ($.69)
1 head bok choy, chopped ($1.89)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.10)
1 carrot, grated or ribboned ($.10)
4 radishes, sliced ($.40)
Nope, it’s not raw, not at all. But I wanted to show you this nifty little gadget I just tried out. It’s a tofu press, from TofoXPress
(I know the use of soy foods is somewhat controversial, and is also a common allergen, but it seems there is good reason to believe it’s a healthy addition to any vegan diet for those without allergies to it.)
TofuXPress’s tofu press is really easy to use. Just put the block of tofu in and press and lock the spring loaded lid. In just a few hours, or overnight, much of the water is squeezed out of the tofu, making it a much denser product. It will be as much as 1/3 its original thickness when finished.
Once the tofu is pressed, slice it about an eighth of an inch thick. Whisk together the olive oil, agave, and balsamic vinegar (yes, I do eat this on just about everything!) and pour over the tofu slices to coat well. Then fry gently in a pan or skillet until just crispy. Remove to a plate. Then add a bit more oil to the pan, if needed, and a half cup water, adding more if necessary. Saute the remaining vegetables until just tender. Serve with the tofu.
Edited to add: This is an excellent article on soy, by Jack Norris, RD.
fat: 30 gr
carbs: 33 gr
protein: 27 gr
Soft Serve Chocolate Ice Cream
makes one large serving ~ $.95 per serving
2 bananas, frozen ($.20)
1 cup nut milk ($.40)
2 tbsp powdered rawcocao (or cocoa powder) ($.20)
1/2 tsp vanilla ($.15)
1/2 tsp salt
Break frozen bananas into pieces. Puree until smooth in blender with the nut milk, cacao powder, vanilla and salt. This will have the consistency of a very thick chocolate shake or pretty loose soft serve ice cream. Pop into the freezer for an hour or so to firm up, if desired.
fat: 10 gr
carbs: 54 gr
protein: 4 gr
Total cost for the day: $8.17
total calories: 1416
total fat: 71 gr
total carb: 172 gr
total protein: 34 gr
Starting seeds indoors is easy. But I find taking care of seedlings indoors and giving them optimal conditions can be a bit more challenging. One of the most pressing concerns is how to ensure seedlings are getting enough light. I have grow lights, but I use them mainly for things that I’ve planted very early, or are more sensitive to cold, like peppers and moonflowers. Nearly everything else will do fine outside on a sunny deck or porch, as long as it’s above freezing and they’re brought in at night. I germinate my seeds indoors where it’s warm, and put them outside as soon as the first seedling pokes through. Getting them out right away also eliminates the need for hardening off.
The larger tomato plants, which I started from seed at the end of February, were transplanted into buckets. These are my best hope for tomatoes in June!
My plant photos turned out less than stellar, so I’ll leave you with an image from the book “Sunflower Houses,” by Sharon Lovejoy. It’s definitely on my reading list.