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Grow your own sprouts

Monday, March 19, 2012

I found my sprouting jar today. Not that I was looking for it or that it was lost, I just happened to come across it. It reminded me that home grown sprouts are a good, cheap, nutritious veggie, especially in the winter when it can be hard to get local produce.

The local co-op here has several different kinds of sprouting seeds, including alfalfa, mustard, broccoli, mung bean, and some others that I don't remember. When you look at the price for the sprouting seeds, remember that they are going to grow like crazy. A tablespoon or two of seeds may make a quart or more of sprouts. Be sure to get seeds for eating as sprouts. The kind for planting may have been soaked or sprayed or otherwise contaminated with chemicals designed to make them grow better in the ground and/or not to go bad before they're planted.

Rather than try to give directions for growing sprouts, here are a couple of links to directions.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMCHANCE5 9/15/2012 1:05PM

    Thanks for the info!! I am getting ready to try my hand at "sprouting" - I love them in salads and on sandwiches!! And the nutritional benefits are amazing!

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BUDGETMAW 3/23/2012 5:16PM

  I don't like the big mung bean sprouts that are used in Chinese cooking, either.

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NAYPOOIE 3/20/2012 1:53PM

    sprouts always looked like worms to me. As a kid, I refused to eat chinese food.

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MYOWNHERO 3/19/2012 11:12PM

    Hey, thanks for the reminder. Now I'm going to go dig out my sprouter, too. I love sprouts on a sandwich :D

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What I bought in February, what I spent and what I have left

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I spent all but 8 cents of my $100 for February, plus the $2.10 carried over from January, but I have quite a bit leftover, including a lot of meat but practically no vegetables.

Here's what I bought:

1 lb asparagus @ .99/lb
4 lb cabbage @.58/lb
4 lbs carrots @.39/lb
1 lb frozen broccoli @.78/lb
1 lb frozen cauliflower @ 1.22/lb
2 cans green beans @.68/can
1 can hominy @ 1.29/can
2 heads lettuce @ .69/head
2 lbs onions @ .25/lb
1 lb onions @ .33/lb
1 red pepper @ .68 each
1 can tomatoes @.59/can
1 can turnip greens @.10/can

3 lb bacon ends & pieces @4.50/3 lb box
12 oz Bar-S franks @ .68/12 oz
10 lbs chicken leg quarters @ 5.90/10 lbs
72 eggs @ 1.72/18 count box
5 lbs hamburger @2.29/lb
10 lbs pork chops @ 1.49/lb
5 lbs pork roast @ 1.49/lb
1 can salmon @2.49/can
3 cans tuna @.50/can

4 lbs cheddar @4.98/2 lb block
2 qt whipping cream @3.62/qt
1 pint sour cream @1.52/pint

cinnamon 50 cents
curry powder 50 cents
poultry seasoning 50 cents
Dijon mustard 2.00
3 bottles dressing @2.50/bottle
1.2 lb flax seed @1.00/lb
1 lb sunflower seeds @1.58/lb

And here's what I have left at the end of the month:

12 c cabbage
38 oz carrots
2 oz frozen broccoli
1 c canned hominy
2 oz onion

25 oz bacon ends and pieces
4 oz Bar-S frank
4 c (or leg quarters) cooked chicken
4 eggs
40 oz hamburger
52 oz pork loin chops
5 lbs pork roast

5 T butter
32 oz cheddar
45 T whipping cream
1 T cream cheese
16 T sour cream

15 T salad dressing
15 T mayo
11 oz sunflower seeds

Chili powder
Curry powder
Dijon mustard
Garlic powder
Lemon juice
Parsley flakes
Poultry seasoning

5 c homemade chicken broth

I didn't actually run the numbers to get the averages, but eye-balling my daily food tracker results, I'd say I averaged about 1600-1700 calories per day, 90-100 grams of protein, 20-25 net carbs, and 15 or so grams of fiber. Close to a pound of meat (raw weight, with bones and such) per day, more if you include the eggs and cheese in there somehow. And close to a pound of veggies (before peeling, etc.) per day.

Pretty good results, huh? Of course, you have to remember that this is all on paper. You should probably figure a 10% or allowance for goofs and slips and things like that. And remember that I have all the conveniences of a fully equipped kitchen with working stove, oven, microwave, toaster oven, crockpot, etc. A large fridge and two deep freezes so I can buy in quantity and save stuff and can cook in quantity and freeze it. And lots of freezer containers and pots and pans and such. And lots of time and a car so I can easily get to whichever store has things the cheapest. And I haven't included the cost of transportation to and from the stores. I know it would be a lot different if I were working a couple of jobs to try to make ends meet, raising a family, lived in a part of town that had no big discount grocery stores, had to walk or take a bus to the stores, didn't have working appliances or good pots and pans, etc.

But I hope you are getting some ideas for how to do low carb cheaply. Not necessarily interestingly, but cheaply. And these are all recipes that either I make for myself or have bookmarked to make for myself sometime.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    There is a Government program bringing Farmers into a market place that needs fresh...like you are talking about. The Government helps them apply for receiving foodstamps for payment, contracts a site, and a bunch of other benefits for farmers to come to these markets.

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WOUBBIE 3/17/2012 4:01PM

    I believe that the best thing this country (meaning government especially, but private individuals and businesses as well) could do to help distressed areas like the inner cities and areas with extreme poverty/high unemployment is to subsidize and/or invest in REAL grocery stores. At one blow you can improve community health by giving them better food choices and increase employment by providing long-term, stable jobs. As you said, it's one thing to prove that healthy eating does not have to break the bank, but people actually have to have access to food at reasonable prices to begin with.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

I said a couple of days ago that I got back after having been gone for 2-1/2 months and found a couple of dozen eggs in the fridge that I was afraid to eat. So I bought a dozen and a half at Walmart yesterday, and another 2 dozen at the Farmers Market this morning. (The FM isn't real budget friendly, but in real life I do get a lot of stuff there. I have a sort of mental limit of paying up to twice as much for the "real" food there - mostly organic, definitely local and fresher - as I would in the grocery store. For purposes of the Food Stamp Challenge, though, I use store prices.) Then I got home and was trying to figure out how to get rid of the old eggs when I remembered that the test for whether they are still good is to see if they float. If they float, they're not good. So I tried floating all the old eggs and they all floated. Maybe because they were all from the FM right before I left so they're less than 3 months old? Anyway, I now have 5-1/2 dozen eggs! I made sure I know which are the oldest and I'll eat them first. But I'll definitely be eating a lot of eggs for the foreseeable future!

By the way, don't forget that Easter is coming up and you should be able to get eggs on sale. Really stock up on them. They keep a long time as long as they've been kept in the fridge and not cooked. Or they say you can freeze them by taking them out of the shell and mixing them up so the whites and yolks are well mixed, then putting them in ice cube trays. One ice cube is about one egg. I've never tried this. Also, you can make and freeze quiche. I usually divide them up into individual servings before freezing them, but that's just for me. If you're cooking for a family you could freeze the quiche whole. And don't forget breakfast burritos, which can be frozen with scrambled eggs inside. I've done those in the past, in my pre-low carb days. If scrambled eggs will freeze ok in burritos, seems like there should be a way to freeze scrambled eggs outside of burritos, too. Come to think of it, seems like I recently saw a recipe for Breakfast Bowls that said they could be frozen. I'll have to look it up.

You might be able to find medium size eggs especially cheap this time of year. As I understand it, hens tend to lay smaller eggs in the spring so there are more of the medium ones available.

Any ideas for using and/or storing eggs?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 3/18/2012 4:43PM

    You do better if you peel the hard boiled eggs while still warm too.

I never have to worry about my eggs being too fresh, I tend to have them for weeks.

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GLC2009 3/18/2012 3:22AM

    frig, i just peeled a bunch of hard boiled eggs tonight and they were awful and look frightening. was hoping for deviled eggs too, but, not now.
nice to know it's because they are too fresh though. that's a good problem to have.

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WOUBBIE 3/17/2012 3:48PM

    Phew! That's a relief! LOL!

My grandmother raised chickens and we grew up having fresh eggs. We rarely had them around for that long (had eggs for breakfast most mornings) and I was astounded the first time I saw the short expiration time on store-bought eggs. But who knows how long they had been in storage before actually hitting the grocers' shelves.

When our family made deviled eggs we would buy grocery store eggs, because the fresher ones are so hard to peel - they just don't "look nice".

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BUDGETMAW 3/17/2012 2:02PM

  Oops! I meant they DIDN'T float! No way would I eat them if they did float!

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WOUBBIE 3/17/2012 12:23PM

    OK, now I'm confused. They failed the test, but you're still going to eat them? I'd compost them and start "fresh." In my book it's not worth the risk of getting seriously seriously sick to save 2 bucks. I throw away very little in the way of food, but if I would think twice about serving something at a Boy Scout dinner then I'll think twice about serving it to me as well.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

I tried another Bacon MIM, using bacon grease instead of butter and using 1 packet of Splenda. And using a real egg instead of substituting more flaxmeal. It worked much better. I think a whole packet of Splenda is too much. Maybe half a packet would be better. It wasn't really sweet, but did have bit of a sweet undertone. I cut the BMIM in half to make two slices, topped them with some cheddar cheese and broiled them until the cheese melted. I should have "toasted" them first to get them a bit crispy/crunchy, then added the cheese and toasted them again until the cheese melted. It was an ok breakfast, but not great. Not real satisfying. Now that I think about it, at Mom's house I always had a big cup of tea (usually with cream) to go with. That probably added to making me feel satisfied with my breakfast.

If I'm doing the math right (in my head, so it's definitely iffy), the BMIM cost about 20 cents to make - 10 cents for the egg, 5 cents for the flax (I grind my own), and let's say another 5 cents for the splenda and the baking powder. I figure the bacon grease is "free". Putting cheese on it adds protein and calories (usually important for me) but also adds about 16 cents an ounce. But still, 36 cents or so for breakfast isn't bad.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 3/17/2012 4:37PM

    You rock, BudgetMaw

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Salmon Broccoli Chowder

Friday, March 16, 2012

This is an interesting recipe for a couple of reasons.

First, it's quite good, which is always a good starting place.

But what I find interesting is that it's an adaptation of a recipe from an 1894 cookbook! Yes, that's 1894, not 1994. I like looking through old cookbooks and am frequently surprised by the good recipes that I can either use as given or can easily adapt to low carb.

I've also done a Paleo version, using coconut oil instead of butter and canned coconut milk instead of heavy cream. Also very good.

By the way, canned coconut milk (full fat kind, not the light kind) is very comparable to heavy cream in terms of cost and calories and such. Something to keep in mind if you're interested in Paleo/Primal stuff. Not that the kind I use is organic, but then neither are the dairy products.

I included the soup on Saturday, February 18, and you should be able to get to the recipe from there. but here it is, as adapted by me. I used the butter and cream version for my February meals.

(adapted from The New Process Cookbook copyright 1894)

1/2 c onion, chopped
1 can salmon (14.5 oz)
1 T parsley, chopped (I usually skip this)
2 T coconut oil (or butter)
Salt and pepper
3 c chicken broth
16 oz frozen broccoli (or 10 oz or however much you happen to have and want to use)
1 c coconut cream (or heavy cream)
Cayenne (I usually forget to add this)

Saute onion in coconut oil. Add chicken broth, parsley, salt, pepper and broccoli. Cook until broccoli is done. Add salmon and coconut cream and bring to a boil. Serve garnished with chopped egg and cayenne. The egg isn't necessary, but it's nice.


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