Detoxify With Veggie Wraps from Delicious Living

Detoxification is always a hot topic in food blogs and natural living circles around this time of year.  Spring has sprung!  Time to stop eating savory stews and casseroles, and perk up your diet with fresh fruits, vegetables, and broths.  Start the exercise regime, and eat some chia seeds if you know what’s good for you!

I was exhausted last night and my “meal plan” consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, and, if we were lucky, some organic chard I had in the fridge.  I was perusing this month’s issue of Delicious Living, however, and saw a recipe for detoxifying chard veggie wraps that didn’t look too hard.  I modified them slightly by adding leftover lentils in place of the almond filling, and adding leftover cold chicken and some chopped bacon.  The wraps as written in the recipe are vegan, and I’m sure they would be completely delicious that way.  You could substitute hummus for the soaked almonds, too, which would be pretty awesome!

Here’s a picture of what the wraps looked like unwrapped:

I made a simple dressing for them out of some vinaigrette I already had in the fridge, plus some lemon juice, flaxseed oil, and fresh ginger and garlic for some antioxidant punch.  It was very zesty!  Perfect for spring.

Here is what the wraps looked like wrapped!   They were SO GOOD.  Making wraps is a great way to eat more vegetables, or to include vegetables you know you should eat, but don’t really love, like chard.

Remember the very last post when I was bemoaning the high price of organic peppers?  Behold!  A “dollar bag” of three red peppers, organic, from the Vitamin Cottage.  Now that I think about it, this meal really was a budget meal (especially if you make it vegetarian), unlike the other “budget” meals in the Delicious Living from last month.  You are forgiven, Delicious Living, and thank you for detoxifying me for at least one night!


How Do You Make Coffee Without a Coffee Maker? Broke My French Press Again…

You know how certain words start to look strange after you stare at them for a long time?  I just looked at the word “coffee” for a while… COFFEE… COFF-EE, CO-FF-EE… argh.  Weird!

Do any of you use a French press to make coffee?  I use the Bodum 32 oz press, and it’s awesome!  I specifically decided to buy a French press because I was sick of relying on the electrical wiring of an automatic coffee maker, ever since that one traumatic time when Justin and I were really looking forward to our morning coffee and… zap!  Broken.  What I didn’t predict, however, was the frequency with which I would knock my  Bodum to the floor and smash the inner glass lining.  So far I’ve broken THREE inner linings, and since they’re about $14 each to replace, that’s $28 for two replacements plus whatever the original cost.

Out of a combination of thriftiness and laziness, I’ve been brewing coffee for the past few weeks in a big Mason jar.  Does it work?  Well… you tell me.  Does this setup look like a winner to you?

You’re right, it’s a pretty awful method.  This is what happens when I try to pour it:

And this is on a good day!

Despite the mess, I’m determined to prevail without buying a new glass liner. The pioneers couldn’t go out and buy new liners willy-nilly, and neither will I. The only thing I really need to make my low-tech coffee pot work pretty well is a piece of mesh from the hardware store. I can lay that over the top of the jar and screw it on in place of the lid.  That would make it easier to handle, anyway, but it might still be messy.  My REALLY great idea is to produce some screw-on rings for Mason jars that have SPOUTS!  Imagine that the lid is a solid circle with a mesh portion (maybe 1/2 mesh, 1/2 solid), and the screw-on ring is exactly the same as usual except with a small spout – more like an extension of the ring than a spout, really.  You’d have a nearly unbreakable, super cheap, recyclable coffee maker!  Justin says this is a good idea, but wonders if it would appeal to the general public.  I wonder if the frugal/hippie/canning community is large enough for this one to be a winner?  Anyone else have a good method for making coffee sans pot?

I see a trip to Home Depot in my future!  My only regret is that the hot dog man in the parking lot doesn’t offer gluten-free buns 😦

Most boring post ever, part 2!

I made a batch of garbanzo beans the other day, and I finally took some pictures of the process.  Preparing dry beans takes two days; first, you have to sort the dry beans and then put them to soak overnight.  The next day you simmer them until tender.  You only have to simmer garbanzos for about an hour, but other beans, like black beans and pinto, take 3-4 hours.  It isn’t hard at all, but it is time consuming – another reason why busy people have a hard time sticking to a budget.  Now, though, I have about a quart of garbanzos in my fridge, and another two pints, frozen in Ball jars, in the freezer!  In the end it will save me time and money.  Since I bought these particular garbanzos at Sunflower on sale for $.99/lb, they will probably save me quite a bit of money in the long run.  Photos forthcoming!

Today, though, you get to read about another exciting adventure in grocery shopping!  I went to Whole Foods and found that it’s pretty easy for me to spend $13-14 in one go, but pretty difficult to pare it down to $10.  Why is that extra $3 so tricky?  It must be like trying to loose that last 3 pounds, or run that extra 3 miles a week.  Or to run 3 miles a week, period!

I love Whole Foods.  It is often labeled as snooty, elitist, and above all, expensive, but I love it anyway.  It’s beautiful, vibrant, and just feels healthy.  Sometimes I succumb to feelings of frustration there, though – like when I see a teeny tiny artisan salami that sells for $15.  Today, though, I admired the salami and moved on.  You don’t need salami to live (I’m pretty sure), but you do need things like bananas.

For $13.72, I got:

  • A dozen eggs:  $2.79
  • 1/3 lb sliced Jarlsberg, for omelettes:  $2.38
  • 1/4 lb bulk coconut flakes:  $.88
  • 1/3 lb bulk honey roasted peanuts:  $.81
  • 1/2 lb bulk flaxseeds:  $.88
  • 1/3 lb bulk almond meal ($5.99/lb):  $1.92
  • Bag of corn chips:  $1.99
  • Snack size bag of Sun Drops (m&ms!):  $.99
  • Three bananas:  $.66

I’m pretty satisfied with this, especially the bulk purchases.  The things that got me off track were, as always, treats – the Sun Drops (Justin spied them and said, “Hey honey, can I eat those off-brand m&ms?”), the honey peanuts, the corn chips.  Separately they are pretty cheap, but all together… they turn into my $3 nemesis!  Check out the prices for flaxseed and coconut… both super healthy, and both SUPER cheap.  I love that combination!

With the bulk items, I’m going to make a new type of cookie I learned about yesterday.  You just mash two bananas, add 2/3 cup oats (GF for me), a cup of grated carrot, 4tbsp butter, and some cinnamon.  Bake at 350 for ten minutes.  They’re actually pretty good, considering there’s no added sugar, flour, OR the half stick of butter we’re used to in cookie recipes.  I’m planning to add some ground flaxseeds, coconut, and almond meal.  A high protein, low-glycemic dessert or breakfast.

Pizza Dippers!

Pizza dippers are the easiest snack in the world – place corn (or flour) tortillas on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the shredded cheese of your choice, and cook in a 350* oven until you see the cheese start to bubble.  Take out of the oven, fold each tortilla in half, and voila!  A dipper!  They turn into pizza dippers when you add a small bowl of pizza sauce on the side.

Pizza dippers certainly go well with a frugal lifestyle.  A bag of 24 Mission tortillas costs $2.19 (sometimes cheaper), making each one about ten cents.  This snack is pretty unhealthy though – corn tortillas don’t have much going for them, and cheese is high in fat and sodium. And from the looks of this orange cheese, it has some serious food dyes added to it.  And the pizza sauce… homemade sauce would be healthy, but this sauce is… Ragu!

They aren’t the healthiest, but they are quick, cheap and delicious!  Oh pizza dippers, how I love thee!