Monday, May 19, 2014

Third World Eating: Day 7

Have you ever had Madras Vegetables? It makes such a tasty breakfast. This was made with a bag of coleslaw mix--98c a bag and it was buy one, get one free! There are also frozen peas, a bit of oil, a single arbol chili, and turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper, black mustard seeds, cumin, and madras curry powder. With all of these ingredients, it is still about 60c a serving. It is cool, fresh, and lovely for a spring or summer morning. And speaking of that...
Just look at the view outside my kitchen window this morning. The Seattle area is absolutely gorgeous this time of year! I feel so lucky to be living where I do, where it is nice and green, and where I have access to all of the different foods that are such a pleasure to eat.

I was reading more about Pierre Ferrari's experience of eating on less than $1.50 per day and realized that the challenge he participated in was called "Live below the Line." I read about his experience shopping, where he took $7.50 in cash to the store to spend for his weekly groceries. He was able to buy so much less than what I have been using, because I already have so many grains and spices and such in bulk. When you buy a small bag of rice in the grocery store, you pay so much more per serving than if you have a 50 pound bag.
Take, for example, this Thai purple rice (also known as "forbidden rice") that I had for lunch. This is my absolute favorite rice, and it is one of the more expensive rices. In my nearby grocery store, the Lotus Foods brand of organic forbidden rice costs $4.49 for a 15 oz bag! But when bought in bulk it is $2.89 a pound. Thus, I was able to have about a half-cup of this delicious rice and stay at 35c a serving.
I rounded out my lunch with a filling bowl of lentil soup, 15c per serving. Once again, the lentils were purchased in bulk, and therefore cost less. I imagine it would be much harder to purchase in bulk if you didn't have some start-up money to buy the large bags of rice and beans.
For dinner, I was once again craving fruit, so I had a 40-cent apple.

Total for the day came to $1.50. I could have eaten a lot more if I'd had lentils only, but I really liked the variety I was able to eat today. Come back tomorrow and see the culmination of this experiment of living below the poverty line!


Brooke R. said...

This is brilliant to read. You are inspiring me to maybe try the same thing. That lotus purple rice looks beautiful! I will google how nutritious it is.. say, is it more like white rice or more like quinoa? Hmm..


Brooke R. said...

Ooops! That's the Thai purple rice that you referred to finding at a place called Lotus foods..

Pierre Ferrari said...

Thank you so much for sharing my posts, and for joining in solidarity through Live Below the Line. I'm impressed with the variety of the dishes you made.

Bored in Vernal said...

Thanks, Pierre! I feel so blessed to live in a place where such abundance and variety is available at low cost. I know that's not the case all around the world. I hope to be a small part of making things better everywhere.

Bored in Vernal said...

Brooke, this is the Lotus foods brand available at my local grocery store:

Bookslinger said...

Thanks for these recipes!

Purple rice is also known as black rice, and is often available at Korean or other Asian grocery stores.

I love shopping at ethic grocery stores. The myriad varieites of beans and varieties of rice and varieties of chili peppers and other spices makes things interesting.

I also love red rice and brown rice.

Whole grain rice (white rice has the bran removed) takes longer to cook, usually 40 minutes instead of the standard 20 minutes for white rice. But the red, brown, and black varieties are so much healthier.

They just require a little more advance planning. And a tight lid on the pot lets you turn down the heat.

If I'm cooking for more than one, or planning on leftovers, I'll get out the pressure cooker, and cook the beans in half the time. I think every variety of beans, except lentils, benefits from a long overnight soak to soften.

Thanks for the reminder. I got some 10 year old beans in stoage pouches that I ought to start rotating.