We even turned down seductively-scented barbeque meat at Josh's mom's house. Luckily she had plenty of good sides for us to chow down on - stuffed potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, squash casserole, and as many cupcakes as we could stuff in our face.
I felt extra kitchen-accomplished this week because I cooked my first batch of black beans from scratch! It took awhile, but the end result was so much cheaper (and I think healthier?) than buying canned. Have you ever tried cooking them from scratch? All you have to do is:
2. Drain and rinse
3. Cook beans in water (I started with 3 cups water per 1 cup beans and then added more water as they cooked down) and add in any flavorings you want (I added Mexican spice mix plus salt** and pepper)
4. Cook until tender (took 2 hours for me)
So simple! Why was I ever intimidated by this? My 1 cup of dried beans (which I think probably cost about $0.50 - they're about $2.50/lb in bulk) turned into about 4 cups of cooked beans - the equivalent of 2 cans of beans which would have cost $3 total just for the Earth Fare brand!
I think this method will work for just about any kind of dried beans you may find.
**Oops, I just read that it is best NOT to add salt to the cooking water - it prevents the beans from absorbing water and getting tender. That could be why I had to cook mine for so long! (it should have taken more like 1 hour to cook). So if you do this, make sure to only add salt AFTER they are already cooked.
Anyway, on to this week's challenge:
No fast food or deep fried food.
We can totally do this! Especially since we're getting stricter about our budget so I've already got some tasty things planned for us to eat at home, saving money from eating out.
We're also continuing with all the pledges from previous weeks, mostly. It definitely feels good to be reducing our meat consumption by a whole lot (I've got one meat dinner planned this week and four vegetarian dinners, yum).
This week we will be eating:
Vegetable korma and homemade garlic naan (yesterday)
Roast carrots, parsnips // quinoa // Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
Earth Fare vegetarian pizza
Crispy potato & black bean soft tacos
BBQ tofu over cheese grits (yesterday)
Sandwich with cream cheese, sprouts, onion; tortilla chips; broccoli and hummus
Turkey rollup with garlic herb cheese
Breakfast (any combination of the following)
Frozen smoothies (blueberries, raspberries, vanilla protein powder, flax seed)
Gluten-free bagel with cream cheese
Apple and peanut butter
Sausage patties (Italian seasoned sausage from our 1/2 pastured pig!)