Food is an important part of a balanced diet. - Fran Lebowitz
My loan check finally came!!!! Finally I can buy produce again! See, just days after inauguration and the economy is rebounding already!
I have to say though, that this recent bout with poverty, while not especially thrilling (particularly all encounters with my hellish bank) did teach me some lessons about surviving on little to no food except what's already in my pantry. Its been a while since I've had to think about what I'm going to eat so much, and I got some good new ideas, and pulled out a few good old ones. They say necessity is the mother of invention. At any rate, here are a few....
TIPS for SURVIVING a (temporary) CASH FLOW PROBLEM*
1. Drink Tea. When Eva Peron was a young aspiring actress, not an iconic and controversial martyr married to a semi-dictatorish Argentinian President, she maintained her budget by drinking lots of Mate. Its a natural energy booster and appetite suppressant and is pretty delicious with some agave nectar. Similarly, I drink mate and peppermint tea to stay awake-- and its cheaper than coffee. (Especially effective when combined with a good book, pictured above.)
2. Bake. This should be obvious, but I always forget about all the whole wheat flour, yeast packets, and other baking accoutrement hiding in my cupboard. When you've got nothing but time and flour, you can always come up with something. (And a lot of recipes that call for soymilk work ok with water...)
3. Reconsider your condiments. I found myself relying more and more heavily on condiments the last few weeks, since they are always plentiful in my fridge. Can I eat a barbeque sauce and onion sandwich if it comes down to it? Yes, yes I can. Soy sour cream and fried bananas? Yes, please. A grilled mango chutney sandwich? You betcha. An even better option though?
Secret grilled sammies: Mix up a good knob of earth balance with some nooch, salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Spread it thick on the bread of your choice, and grill it, buttered side down, in a pan. Once its brown and crusty (and scrumptious!) fill it with tomatoes, avocados, or whatever else you have. These are good enough to eat even when you're rolling in cash.
4. Lie. For some reason, people are more likely to buy you a drink/ dinner if you lie and say its your birthday or someone just broke up with you. I didn't try this one, but I feel like one could procure some beer or cupcakes out of the deal...
5. Try the magic one pot combo. I have developed a formula that combines the grains and canned beans on hand in every cupboard with spare veggies, hopefully ones you might have in the freezer. Here it is:
Garlic + bean of choice + spices + frozen veg + liquid + grains= dinner for two days, at least
Basically, all one need do is fry some garlic or onion in a little oil, add in the beans, veggies if you have some, and spices, cook until a little browned, and enough liquid (veg broth or water) to cook the grains, which is the last thing you add. At the end, cover with nooch and hot sauce and it will (probably) be good.
-garlic, chickpeas, asparagus and sundried tomatoes, white wine and cous-cous! (pictured)
-onion, black beans, canned pineapple, frozen broccoli, water and quinoa!
-garlic, kidney beans, frozen peppers, hot pepper, veg broth and yellow rice!
Combos are finite, but very likely to use up every last can in your pantry.
6. Pretend. When you go on a fast or detox you don't have a lot of solid food on hand either, right? Might as well make the best of things, drink a bunch of juice and nettle tea and just pretend this whole "broke" thing is an illusion... you're just intentionally detoxing for a few days!
*Ummm, you probably shouldn't use these if you're going to be out of money for more than a week or two, or you might starve/ get scurvy/ alienate your friends.
Song of the Day: Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk- Rufus Wainright