Posted on Saturday, January 30th, 2010 at 9:40 pm
When I was a kid, my stepmother made a mean vegetarian chili, and my dad has since adapted the recipe by adding okra, vegetarian ground beef, and more of everything else. I guess I’ve learned that you can pretty much include whatever you want when it comes to chili. So here’s what I came up with this week:
No recipe—just beans, diced tomatoes, onion, green pepper, celery, TVP chunks, quinoa, garlic, and spices. (To taste.) It cost about $7 for four large servings, and the cost of the biscuits was negligible (seriously, look up a recipe for drop biscuits—it’s quick and easy and definitely better than storebought). Last time I bought a large chili in Manhattan, I spent $6.50, so using that cost, this saved me $19. And the proceeds go to…
The International Fund for Animal Welfare was involved in the formation of ARCH (Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti), which has been assisting in the relief efforts in Haiti where animals are concerned, including food, water, and vaccinations. It’s important that both people and animals continue to be protected, since it’s not over yet just because people stopped tweeting about it.
Posted on Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 at 12:57 pm
I was hoping to learn a few things about cooking by starting this blog, and I have. And then there are some things I haven’t learned yet. This week’s example: seasoning by feel. I’ve noticed that most recipes include detailed amounts for every ingredient, followed by a vague “salt to taste.” Now, I grew up without any extra butter or salt, so I need a stricter guideline than that. I mean, a recipe wouldn’t call for “oregano to taste,” right? Anyway, this week I made lentil soup from this recipe:
See there: “Salt to taste” and “Pepper to taste.” And thanks to my bad seasoning instincts, the soup turned out somewhat bland, and quite unlike the picture in the article.
Also, I should learn to garnish.
Unimpressiveness aside, this soup was cheap to make—about $4.50 for four large servings. I’d pay upwards of $6 for a bowl of soup like that in the city (assuming it was seasoned properly), so I’ve virtually saved about $20.
This week, I decided to donate the difference to Mercy Corps. They provide humanitarian aid, including an impressive response to the Haiti earthquake. The effects of the disaster are far from over, but I’m still going with the “Where Most Needed” option. Maybe at this point “Haiti Earthquake” is its equivalent anyway.
Posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 10:41 am
One of the unexpected challenges of this project is finding a recipe online that I can trust. I know recipes from certain cookbooks will turn out decent, but, as we know, the internet has content ranging from great to awful. Fortunately, this recipe for Curried Nut Butter Tofu with Noodles turned out pretty good.
I see now that I should have added the red bell pepper.
This recipe cost about $5.50 for four big servings, so compared to the $28 I would have been likely to spend instead for four deli lunches, I’ve just saved around $23. Obviously, I want to put this money toward helping Haiti recover from this week’s earthquake. Here’s a great charity for that purpose:
Direct Relief International focuses on improving health, and their special projects include disaster relief. With a four-star rating on Charity Navigator and PCRM’s Humane Seal of Approval, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. And since I skipped a week, I’m going to round up to $40, because it’s important, and do my best not to skip a week again.
Incidentally, you can text Give10 to 20222 to make a $10 donation to Direct Relief International. For more information: