I recently tightened up my budget as I came to realize how much money I was spending, and wasting, on food – both at the grocery store and by eating out. Seeing in real numbers how much money I was spending on eating out recently (thanks to my new credit card bill), I’ve become very motivated to strictly limit spending in that area. Which obviously means I’ll be needing to eat at home much more often.
The trouble with me eating at home more is that I tend to buy a lot of food that I don’t end up eating, usually because I’m too lazy to do the meal prep and cooking to feed just me by myself (since I live alone). I also am squeamish about eating leftovers, so while it makes sense to make big meals and then save some for other meals, I have to be sure I’ll actually get to it within a day.
Long story short, I have two new recipes I’ve been using that I want to share.
First is that I’ve been making sandwiches for lunch lately, as they’re quick and easy, and cheap (but unfortunately not very filling… I’m working on figuring out some healthy and easy side dishes I will feel comfortable storing in the fridge for a week or so. Maybe macaroni salad…).
I’m vegetarian, mostly vegan, and I try to eat as much whole foods as possible. I’ve been wanting to quit using processed mayo substitutes like my favorite Vegenaise. Recently, I made hummus for the first time! I’ve been making it regularly ever since, and it’s super easy and cheap.
I use one can of chickpeas, which you can get for like .89 cents – $1
A clove or two of garlic, which is always less than a dollar for a bulb.
A good dose of extra virgin olive oil, which can be really cheap or really expensive – I usually pay no more than $8 for a bottle.
And that’s basically all you need. I recently decided to also buy some tahini to add in, which is pricey but I felt it would be a worthy addition.
The hummus is super delicious without the tahini, but I love tahini so it was worth it to me! I paid about $11 for a 16 oz jar, I think.
My only issue with the hummus has been that I only have a magic bullet to process it in, and it tends to be too thick. The magic bullet is so loud and my apartment is so small, I actually get really anxious every time I decide to make hummus.
The other thing is a homemade salad dressing.
My family has a ‘famous’ salad dressing that is my grandmother’s recipe. It is AMAZING. We whip it up for every special family occasion – it’s everyone’s favorite. But in my experience it doesn’t really store very well. The ingredients are so simple, it’s almost not worth storing. But, it’s more work than I’m willing to do every time I make a salad to whip it up in individual portions.
So I looked up a different recipe that I can keep in my fridge.
I basically mixed a cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of spicy mustard, 1.5 tablespoons of raw honey, two tablespoons of lemon juice… and I think that was it. I shook it up in a jar with a lid on it and put it over my salad with a little salt and pepper… very tasty! A dollop of the hummus goes well over a salad as well, and adds some body to the dressing/salad.
Now I’m headed home for lunch. 🙂