August 22, 2010

serves 2 ~ $1.84 per serving
1 cantaloupe ($1.50)
2 cups watermelon ($1.00)
1/4 cup walnuts ($1.00)
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener ($.18)
This is an easy and fresh way to start the day. Just cut the cantaloupe and watermelon into chunks. Top with chopped walnuts and a small drizzle of coconut nectar.
Coconut nectar is delicious. It has a pretty distinct flavor, almost like caramel. I keep it in the fridge so it stays thick and gooey and use it like a syrup, although it can be used in the place of any liquid sweetener.
calories: 304
fat: 10 gr
carbs: 53 gr
protein: 7 gr
Mango Watermelon Soup
serves 4 ~ $1.95 per serving
8 cups watermelon, chopped ($2.50)
2 mangoes, chopped ($3.00)
1 large cucumber, chopped ($.50)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced ($.10)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped ($1.00)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
crushed pepper flakes (see below for how-to)
It’s just not summer without some kind of fruit soup, and watermelon soup is one of my favorites. I make it several time or more in a summer. I wanted to change it up just a bit but still keep the watermelon in there and this is what happened.
Chop five cups of the watermelon into small, bite sized pieces. Chop and mince the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red bell pepper, and onion and add to a large bowl.
Put the remaining three cups of watermelon in a blender with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend well for a few minutes. The oil will combined with the watermelon and make a nice, creamy base for the soup. Once blended, pour over the chopped ingredients and stir. 
Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and some crushed pepper flakes (use purchased crushed red pepper flakes or see below to make your own). A small drizzle of olive oil goes well, too.
This soup can also be served in the shell of the watermelon, as shown below. Just take care when getting the flesh out. Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the shell to get most of the watermelon out .. although it doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. Cut a small flat part on the bottom so it will stand up right, and wrap with a dish towel at the base if you need more stability.
calories: 357
fat: 11 gr
carbs: 68 gr
protein: 5 gr
 Crushed Pepper Flakes
It’s simple to make crushed pepper flakes of your own like I’ve done here with some extra Jalapenos from the garden.
Just select your favorite pepper or mix of peppers. Cut off the stem end. Dry in the dehydrator for about 24 hours. Once entirely dry and brittle, put the peppers in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or something similar. These can be used in the same way as crushed red pepper flakes, although they will look just a bit different and usually be hotter. I like using just a pinch sprinkled on … well, on just about anything.

The flakes can be stored in a bag or jar and will remain fresh for several months or more if kept cool and very dry.

Make sure to protect your hands if they’re sensitive. And never touch or rub your face or eyes after working with peppers.
Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.79 per serving
2 ripe tomatoes ($1.00)
6 pieces sun dried tomatoes (see below for how) ($1.50)
1 small onion
1/2 red bell pepper ($.50)
 1 tablespoon coconut nectar ($.18)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon dried basil ($.10)
1 teaspoon dried oregano ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 medium zucchini, noodled and marinated ($1.00)
This marinara sauce tastes just like I remember Spaghetti-Os tasting. I haven’t eaten them in many years, so excuse me if my memory isn’t totally accurate. A little bit of sweetness is the trick, I think.
Puree the sauce ingredients in a food processor fitted with an “S” blade. Let process for a few minutes until very creamy (or don’t process as long if you like it more chunky, but it won’t be like Spaghetti-Os!).
Make noodles in your usual way from the zucchini. I marinated mine for about an hour in a tablespoon of the basil and oregano flavored olive oil from last week, with a bit of salt. Serve with the marinara sauce and a dash of basil and oregano.
calories: 286
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 7 gr
Sun Dried Tomatoes
It’s so easy to make your own “sun dried” tomatoes, and they taste so much better than what you’ll find in the store.
Just cut tomatoes in half and place on a dehydrator sheet with the skin side down. Dehydrate for about 24 hours until leathery and deep red … they need to be dry but still slightly pliable.
Because they’re not entirely dry, for maximum freshness these are best stored in zip lock type bags with as much air as possible removed, in the refrigerator. The tomatoes will keep for several weeks. Check for condensation and if there is any, pop them back into the dehydrator to dry them a bit more.
Fruit Punch Pops
serves 1 ~ $1.85
1/4 watermelon, cut into chunks ($1.25)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1 dropper stevia (optional)
This tastes just like fruit punch to me.
In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon chunks. Add the lime juice and a bit of stevia and pulse a few times. Stevia’s are different as far as how sweet they are, so you’ll have to experiment to find the right flavor for you.
I like this just as it is … for a drink. But it can be frozen into popsicles for some cold treats. Just use a popsicle mold and pour in and freeze. To unmold, run the sides of the mold under hot water for a few seconds and they’ll pop right out.
Also, a quarter of a watermelon will make several popsicles. I count this as one serving because I can eat a big pile of them. It’s really convenient to have them in the freezer to snack on through the day.
calories: 294
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 74 gr
protein: 6 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.43

total calories: 1,241
total fat: 39 gr

total carb: 257 gr
total protein: 25 gr

12 Responses

  1. griffen says:

    yum, i wanna try the watermelon soup.

  2. HiHoRosie says:

    Yummy! Great summer menu! We dry our own chilis and jalapenos too. There's more "pop" to them. 🙂

  3. lauren says:

    I love your blog. Everything you make is so good and creative. What kind of dehydrator do you have? I need to invest in one, but I don't want to unnecessarily drop a couple hundred bucks if I don't have to.

  4. Nelly says:

    i love making sundried tomatoes!!! they are super amazing…and less salty…


  5. suzi blu says:

    Holy Crap you are doing raw!!!! awesome.

  6. Earth Mother says:

    I'm knee deep in tomatoes here. Fab idea to pop some into the dehydrator and stock up on "sun dried" for the winter!

    Ooooooh, sneaky sneaky mixing in some jalapeno + onion into the watermelon/mango soup. Sweet 'n savory! I like.

  7. bitt says:

    Very inspiring.

    Thanks for your comments on my veganism post.

  8. Chibi Vegan says:

    I really enjoyed the zucchini noodles. The marinara sauce didn't turn out that creamy, unfortunately. I think my food processor is a little to big. But the tomato flavor was very rich and I liked that. Thanks a lot.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I made the zucchini noodles & sauce last night – I loved it so much that I am making another batch for tomorrow!

  10. I'm drooling all over my keyboard!!

    I LOVE your blog!!

    Be back soon,

  11. Anonymous says:

    Oh my goodness, the watermelon soup is my new favorite thing! I LOVE all of the flavors together. Thank you!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is great work you are doing, thank you! I did notice that you included agave nectar in one recipe. According to Dr. Mercola: "Shocking! This 'Tequila' Sweetener is Far Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup." You might want to check into this and substitute something else for agave.