Saturday, March 07, 2009

$5 Dinners

This week is going to be a busy one. It's the last full week of this quarter, and several illnesses and household emergencies have sunk my grades to a level where I really need to step it up. Because I don't foresee a lot of spare time for cooking in my immediate future, I am making a huge pot of pinto beans today. This will be stashed in the fridge to make five half-hour-or-less dinners this week:

Saturday: vegan refried beans and Mexican brown rice with fresh corn tortillas and a green salad
Sunday: having dinner guests, so I'll actually cook
Monday: Cuban beans (wrong type of beans... oh well) and rice, more corn tortillas, miscellaneous fruit
Tuesday: Boston baked beans, sourdough garlic toast, salad
Wednesday: Chili with vegetables in it (it's that simple... I just add whatever diced vegetables we have and they cook down into the chili mush), brown rice, cole slaw. We like to put brown rice in the bowl and ladle chili over that. It tastes yummy and makes a complete protein.
Thursday: homemade veggie burgers on whole wheat buns, baked sweet potato fries, miscellaneous fruit. The veggie burger recipe will be up on Thursday.

Tuition is due in a week, so we're basically using up everything in the fridge for the next few weeks. Be prepared to see my dinners get more and more creative. However, we never compromise health or environmental friendliness!

On a related subject, I'm loving former Blog of Note $5 Dinners. This is about my price range as well, and I like to see the fun, healthy, and sometimes even organic recipes the author posts. Many, such as the Moussaka, can be easily transformed into even cheaper vegan or vegetarian versions.

I found this blog after deciding to post my own $5 dinner every Thursday. I'll to keep up with it so there aren't too many similar ideas. Several readers have emailed me wondering why a green blog has so many food posts. Food is a huge environmental issue now. If you are like most Americans, it takes more fuel to transport your food to your local grocery store than it does to power your SUV. Changing to easier-to-transport vegetarian options and local, in season fruits and vegetables can have a huge impact on your health, your grocery budget, and your carbon footprint.