So a couple months ago Mr. O and I moved to a 1780 log house with a tiny galley kitchen, like one that one might find on a non-luxurious sailboat. Except I feel like a sailboat would have a nice propane stove and this house has a godawful electric one. The house makes up for this in other ways such as the 2 fireplaces, the Rip Van Winkle-esque historical neighborhood which is refreshingly free of Walgreenses and Harris Teeters, and the excellent yard where the dog now spends so much of his time that I am starting to take it as a personal insult.
Anyway nothing really happened in a culinary sense in the past 3 months besides that I discovered kelp noodles, spent a ton of money on kelp noodles, then ate too many kelp noodles at once one day and now never want to eat a kelp noodle again. Seriously they are amazing though. They look crazy, like transparent plastic but you just have to soak them in hot water and lemon juice until they get less crunchy and then you can make pad thai or cashew alfredo and the noodle part only has like 6 calories or something, it is crazy. One day I shall eat them again.
But so now I have a new eating project, which is the Weekly Meal Plan from Happy Herbivore. Basically it is a pdf containing 3 meals x 7 days plan with recipes and shopping list for 1200-calorie-per-day whole food vegan meals that you can then bump up with snacks or whatever to your desired caloric intake and it costs $5. Each meal is around 400 calories so you can swap them around easily which is nice. I have the perpetual and typical 5-10 lb I would like to lose but it is more that I feel like everything I cook tastes the same, I throw out tons of leftovers every week, and spend too much time thinking of things to cook and then buying ingredients and eating cereal instead and throwing out the ingredients. Although now I compost them in my excellent compost bin! But in general we could stand to shake things up a bit.
Also the meal plan is also supposed to save you a bunch of money but I don’t really understand that part of it. For example there is this infographic:
which seems to indicate that the monthly cost is $23 but the cost of what? I guess the graphic is comparing the cost of the meal plans to the cost of willy-nilly food buying? But it’s not like you don’t have to buy food with the meal plan. I guess it’s better not to think too hard about this aspect.
When I got this week’s plan my first instinct was the modify all the recipes and swap all the meals around. That defeats the purpose. So I suppressed that urge and decided to do it completely as written for this week and also force Chris O to do it with me. I did take out one day’s worth of meals because there are some things that are never going to happen and one of those things is me eating a microwaved potato with refried beans on it for breakfast (which might be ok but it does not sound like it). Also I am not taking the suggestion of making everything all at once ahead of time because I think appetizingness of foods takes a marked decline after day 4 or so. It turns out you can learn interesting things about yourself from the Happy Herbivore Meal Plan, such as how I learned that I think I know better than everyone else in the world and I don’t like being told what to do. Obviously you will enjoy this type of thing more if you do like being told what to do.
So back to the topic of financials, yesterday I went grocery shopping for all 18 meals x 2 people and I nearly had a head explosion at the grocery bill. Normally I go to the store multiple times per week so I guess the food price shock gets broken up into smaller chunks.
To be fair this is for 2 people and I bought some unrelated expensive junk like $17 worth of K cups. On the other hand I did not get a couple things, like grapes. A lot of the snacks are grapes but conventional grapes are the worst and they hardly ever have organic grapes and when they do they cost six million dollars. I think the snacks are only grapes though because it is easy to use a grape as a caloric unit when making the day come out to exactly 1200 calories. Also grapes are sugar bombs. So we will substitute other fruit. The moral of this paragraph is that I feel fairly ok about the cost aspect. Also that I’m not going to limit amounts fruits or vegetables because Dr. Fuhrman taught me not to.
Ok so we started last night with the first dinner recipe, which was Mexican Cabbage. I did not have high hopes because it sounds punishingly diet-like to have a big bowl of cabbage for dinner. BUT it was actually very good. It was sassy just like the recipe says. Also the recipe makes a TON. There is a whole serving left which is stressing me out a bit because we are on a schedule of meals so how are we going to eat it.
I added 1/2 an avocado mashed up with lime juice and cilantro for an extra 100-ish calories. Also I admit I sauteed the onion in a smidge of oil because I can’t get down with water-sauteeing even though Lindsay, Dr. Fuhrman, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau all want me to. I will keep track of these things though in case I accidentally bring the 1200 calories per day up to six thousand or something.
Today is our first full day and I will let you know how that goes as long as our internet still works this evening. It is raining and that sometimes makes the internet break for a week or more. It is like olden times around here.