Austerity month(s) have forced me to become really creative in the kitchen. I am experimenting and doing my best to empty my pantry and freezer before I go to the market. I could say it’s because I’m trying to conserve money and be more responsible. That’s partially true. I am saving for a house and a few trips. But what’s more honest is that I am afraid of what will happen when I go into the market.
The grocery store is my downfall. It’s my kryptonite. I go to the grocery store and I want to try everything. Literally everything. If I see something new it calls my name and I have to have it. I have to hold it in my hand, I have to let it run through my fingers. I have to smell it. And I have to taste it.
And, I have to buy it.
And there is always more than one new thing in the market. I think it’s a conspiracy to get all money.
Because of austerity month(s) my budget is tight. Like best friends sharing the same hair tie tight. I have to buy enough food for one week on a budget of $60. I have a girlfriend who can spend only $5 in a month but her meals, I think, are typical and not fun. I like to eat creative and well. And creative and tasty meals aren’t cheap. they cost money.
Or so I thought.
These past few weeks have taught me a lot about my resourcefulness and creativity in my kitchen. I can stretch that $60 and eat like I have no budget. I can use up everything in my fridge, create delicious, mostly plant based, meal and not feel deprived. I’m starting to sound like an infomercial.
Not to brag or anything, but this is what I ate this week:
- Veggie calzones stuffed with mushrooms, spinach and vegan mozzarella
- Chickpea spinach curry with cauliflower florets
- Moroccan spinach rice
- Vegetable fritters
- Spicy spinach, mushroom and rice cake stir fry
Sounds amazing, right? All my meals took less than half an hour to make and were so delicious I started eating them from the pot, or pan, before I could plate it for the particularly terrible pictures that I take. And because I never learned how to cook for one person I had enough from each pan for leftovers. There’s nothing better than spicy rice cakes for breakfast. Trust me.
I could go on but I’m in the middle of planning my grocery shopping for the week and that $60 won’t stretch itself. Here’s an easy recipe you can have on the table in less than 30 minutes. It delicious, filling and plant based. And budget friendly.
PS… This recipe is totally customizable. Want more veggies? Throw them in there. Want more butter? Go for it. Do what you want. For the record, my spinach was frozen when I threw it in the pan and I definitely was having a butter-deserved day.