Day 17 – It’s my party…

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June 17, 2009 by missmegany

Happy Birthday! Okay, so this wasn’t the most exciting of birthdays. I celebrated with a BBQ on Sunday, so we stuck to the £2 a day today. It was my second day of work and I managed to tell them that it was my birthday AND about the £2 a day ethical diet. Becky, one of the girls I work with, got really excited (turns out she’s a bit of a foodie!) and they told me about a local abattoir. They say it’s from farms that the guy knows, but I think I’ll have to wait and see. There are lots of “local” farms around the States that are intensively farmed. Despite the fact that people should treat you on your birthday, the tradition in England is that you buy people cakes on your birthday. I think that’s ridiculous, but I guess that ensures that everyone takes a turn and people don’t have to remember everyone else’s birthday. I told them I’ll make cookies and bring them in Thursday. They’ll be the peanut butter and oatmeal ones that I made at the beginning of our February challenge.

Good news is that we got the small box this week, so the cost of our box goes down 10p per person per day. Also, I made us homemade chips, which made me a very happy girl. Don’t they look good?AND then I made cookies (the link has the egg replacement recipe. Use it for ANY cookie recipe and it works perfectly for a lot less money) and we both had one before going to bed.

The bad news is that although Mac was super sweet and cooked for me, he chose an awfully expensive meal (and this is the toned down version of the recipe! The original wanted TWO cans of tomatoes and LOTS more puree. Ridiculous. The version that we made still tasted very tomato-ey and was fine.
Combined with the super expensive pasta and asparagus from yesterday, we went WAY over.

What was organic/local/fair trade?
Organic: potatoes for chips, chickpeas, tin of tomato, tomato puree, cous cous, peanut butter, flour, oatmeal and raisins. Plus the pasta and basil from yesterday.
Local: aubergine, garlic, and butter.

Chickpea & Aubergine Curry
Serves 4 to 6 (Served 5. 2.84 total, 57p per portion.)

1 Large Onion (skipped)
300g Chick Peas (17p or thereabouts because we made it from 1/2c dried)
1 large Aubergine (50p)
2 inch piece Root Ginger (15p)
2 Cloves Garlic (15p)
2 to 6 fresh Chillies (used a sprinkling of crushed chili flakes instead – 2p)
800g Tinned Tomatoes (used only 400g–1 tin- 75p)
100g Tomato Pureé (50g of puree 28p)
125ml Tomato Juice (skipped, used water instead)
2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds (4p)
2 Teaspoons Brown Mustard Seeds (4p)
2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin (4p)
2 Teaspoons Ground Coriander (2p)
2 Teaspoons Ground Turmeric (2p)
1 Teaspoon ground Fenugreek (4p)
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (skipped)
1 Bunch Fresh Coriander (skipped)

300g cous cous (66p)

* Soak the chick peas overnight in cold water. Drain them, rinse and put in a sauce pan covered with cold water on a high light to cook. When boiling turn down to a simmer, cover and allow to cook. Chick peas take a long time to cook, up to an hour so it is best to give yourself time. The good news is that you cannot overcook them even if you try.
* Put your heaviest pan on a high light and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Put all the seeds in a saucer or other vessel and whilst the oil is heating peel and chop the onion. When the oil smokes throw in the seeds, cover the pan and shake it a little to get the seeds really popping. CAREFUL! It is really easy to burn yourself when the oil spits. Turn down the heat and as soon as the initial explosion is over and put in the onions stirring so they do not burn.
* Wash the ginger and chillies, peel the garlic and crush or blend them to a smooth paste, using a little oil if necessary. As with the previous recipe just finely chop everything if you are without benefit of blender. Add the paste to the onion mixture and allow to cook for five minutes or so, making sure it does not stick.
* Add all the rest of the spices except the fresh coriander and carry on cooking, stirring it all well to prevent burning.
* Wash the aubergine and cut into fairly large dice or slices and add to the pan. Leave to cook for ten minutes.
* Blend or chop the tinned tomato and add to the pan along with the puree and the tomato juice (or puree and water if being frugal). Mix it all together and allow to continue cooking.
* Once the chick peas are cooked, drain, rinse well and add to the pan. Stir the curry together and season to taste. Cover and allow to simmer slowly for 30 minutes adding water if necessary.
* Wash and chop the fresh coriander, if using, and add. Stir in and serve immediately.

Breakfast: Both porridge with raisins 13p, Megan had a cup of tea 3p
Riverford: 77p
Lunch: leftover pasta, 68p, Megan had another cup of tea at work 3p
Dinner: homemade chips (potatoes were Riverford, and we’re going to reuse the oil used for frying. I’ll estimate 50mL was used for frying plus then a Tablespoon or so of cider vinegar once they were done – about 13p total!)
Then we had chickpea and aubergine curry (57p) AND a peanut butter and oatmeal cookie before bed (7p)

AUGH! Way over at £2.35 for Mac and £2.41 for me. Sigh…. I guess that’s what happens when you get asparagus in one meal and aubgerine in another all in the same day. Nice to know we still would have gone over even without the chips or cookie, though!

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Less and Less and More is all about enjoying more, all whilst worrying about less. Whether enjoying better health because you eat less junk, having more time for friends and family because you spend less time on acquiring, or lots of other big and little things that we want more of, I look at examples of people doing more.


Less and Less and More

Finding more in our gardens, our plates, our communities

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