Day 22 – Back to (budget) normal


June 22, 2009 by missmegany

Today we had our first meeting for the next half of our ethical food project–an ethical food conference. It will feature fair trade (and trade justice in general) more heavily, but will still hopefully tie into the ideas about eating ethically on a budget. I’d like to get someone in to talk about saving seed in developing nations and in the UK, to talk about the ethics of buying from a supermarket (which often supports Fairtrade suppliers, but can hurt the power of UK farmers) and getting through the idea that EVERYONE can afford to choose fair trade and organic/local produce at least some of the time.

One of the group members mentioned making clear the distinction between choosing to spend £2 a day on ethical food and having to spend $2 a day on living–food, shelter, medicine, clothing, everything. I hope that it will go well.

We’re looking at doing it in the spring next year. In other food news, I’m hoping that my friend Hannah and I will start up a food zine. I don’t know what would be in it, but I’ve wanted to write a zine since I was 14 or 15, and still haven’t. I’d like some wartime recipes in there, and maybe an interview. I think Hannah said I could be the “vegetarian correspondent” and she has a Norway correspondent and a London correspondent. Maybe she thinks there is a country called Vegetariana?

Anyway, we ate well today, and under budget. As I write this, the costings have all been done, Mac even managed to take some photos, AND we’re about to settle down, watch a film (from Lovefilm–we never remember to watch the films and send them back in time so it’s more like a £10 donation to their company) and have some popcorn with butter with the money we have left over from today.

White Bean Risotto
Serves 4
£1.36 total, 34p per serving
1 medium onion, chopped (skipped)

2 tbsp Rape seed oil (30p)
2 cloves garlic, minced (9p)

5 mini plum tomatoes, chopped (Riverford)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (70p)

28 ounces stock (4p)

80g (1/2 cup) Dried Haricot Beans (16p)

5g freshly grated Lyburn cooking cheese (3p)
Fresh mixed herbs to taste (we used a bit of fresh oregano, fresh basil, and fresh thyme from the garden)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Soak beans overnight, and change water in the morning or a few hours before cooking, simmer for 1-1½ hours until tender.
2. Coat a large skillet with rape seed oil. Saute garlic of 1 minute, add tomato and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Stir in arborio rice and cook for another minute. Add stock and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to simmer and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until broth is absorbed and rice is tender. This will take between 25 and 35 minutes. Stir in white beans, cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook until all ingredients are hot, probably an extra one or two minutes.

Breakfast: Mac had porridge with honey and cinnamon (11p), Megan had hers with raisins (13p) Riverford: 75p
: Leftover lentil stew (36p because it turns out there was only enough for 5 portions, not six) (plus Megan had one of the savoury muffins our friends brought over)
: Risotto (34p) and the last two savoury muffins Plus popcorn with our film!
56 for Mac (before popcorn) and
£1.58 for Megan (before popcorn)… although I’m now considering all the other things I can eat with my extra 40p! I can’t believe we had filling lentil stew AND a lovely risotto and still have so much money left. What on earth have we been eating for the last week?!?!?
Mac settled on 110g of broken cashews (at £3.50/kg, broken nuts are the way to go!) with a tiny bit of soy sauce and salt to bring him to just under £2.00
Megan went with 50g of broken cashews (18p), also roasted, AND 50g of popcorn (7p) with butter
(7p) for a grant total of £1.90

2 thoughts on “Day 22 – Back to (budget) normal

  1. Robin says:

    Oh dear god, I am afraid to come visit you. You are going to torture me with all sorts of weird food.I think I need to up my boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats from 3, to 8.

  2. Sam says:

    Ok- so, you have impressed me with your weird "Food- Zen" ways- but was there really an excuse for the Vegetariana joke? On a serious note, does this affect your waistline or health? Whilst, some might argue one is a good thing it would wory me a little… the only answer is to invite me, The Beast and the husband over to try out one of your delicious, ethical but cheap meals… I am game if you are – (quick pause to see if she realises which one of us is getting the best deal here…)

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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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