Tag Archives: leeks

day twenty-five


(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Here’s what we ate for $2.74 yesterday, January 26, 2011.

BREAKFAST

whole wheat peanut butter waffle $0.18
2 tablespoons maple syrup $0.15
banana $0.25

LUNCH

tempeh curry $0.66
1/2 cup cooked quinoa $0.18

DINNER

leek & potato soup $0.52
1/3 block baked high protein tofu $0.66

SNACKS

2 peanut butter no bake cookies $0.14

total $2.74

Leeks! We haven’t taken much advantage of our rule that stuff from our garden is free during this project. Even though we try to change up our garden, leeks are something we will probably grow every single year. Leeks are not cheap, never mind organic leeks. We have a ton of them despite our less than stellar gardening weather this past year. Go leeks!

This soup tastes like a big bowl of buttery leeks and creamy potatoes. The orange color comes from carrots. We used vegan bouillon cubes instead of chicken broth and omitted the bone marrow. To keep the cost down we also used dried dill. We splurged on organic carrots and potatoes. And with the biggest expense, the leeks, being free, it was only 52 cents per bowl.

Our cost for the day was so low we decided to go for dessert, and our friend Patrice’s chocolate oatmeal refrigerator cookies had reminded me of the cookies my dad used to always whip up without warning when we were kids. There are about a billion recipes online for chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies.

Now that I’ve made them as an adult, I get why my dad loved to make them. They are super delicious, incredibly cheap, and take like five minutes to make. Seriously, you dump a few ingredients in a pot, bring it to a boil, boil for a minute, and then stir in peanut butter, oatmeal, and vanilla. You do have to wait a bit for them to set up, but you can speed the process up in the fridge or freezer. They are sugary, fattening cookies. They aren’t exactly healthy, but as far as cookies go, at least these ones have some protein and fiber.

THE COST:

2 cups sugar $0.50
4 tablespoons cocoa $0.32
1 stick butter $0.63
1/2 cup milk $0.13
1 cup peanut butter $0.64
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal $0.59

Makes 40 small cookies (we made a half batch and got 20).

Total $2.81
7 cents per cookie

The only ingredient I haven’t priced is vanilla. We don’t do Costco, but we buy a big bottle of vanilla at the local restaurant supply store (you don’t have to pay to shop there!) and it lasts an eternity.

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Winter things in the garden

I planted garlic last weekend. The local gardeners say to plant your garlic in October, but I’m always behind. At least I got it in the ground this year! If all goes well, we’ll be harvesting two hardnecks (spanish roja, german red hardneck) and a Washington heirloom red softneck garlic sometime next summer. I got all the seed garlic at Gordon’s Garden Center in Yelm, WA. Since Blacklake Organic is closing at the end of the month (SO SAD!!!), I predict there will be a lot more trips to Gordon’s in my future.

I decided to try to grow garlic for a couple of reasons. First, I love varieties of garlic. The cloves are different colors and the flavors are different. At the grocery store, I can only buy one type of garlic. We love it, but variety is the spice of life. Garlic is not a huge part of our budget, but we do eat it often and could save money by growing it ourselves organically. Finally, perhaps most importantly, I’ve heard that deer don’t care much for garlic. The local deer population has left my leeks alone in the front yard, while devouring the open buffet of cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes and potatoes. They even eat hot peppers right off the plant before they are ripe. So, I planted most of the front yard with garlic!

This winter is about as weird as the summer weather was. The plants are confused. My contorted filbert is creating its male flowers, even though they shouldn’t come out until March. The lilacs are budding out, too. If we get another cold freeze, its’ going to kill all these buds. It’s still early December, so it seems likely we’re going to get more hard freezing weather. My fingers are crossed for all these plants.

We still have leeks & kale in the garden, but everything else has finished for the year. I think of January as the time for seed catalogs & planning the new garden, but that’s just right around the corner! I’m not ready yet! We still have leeks outside, so it can’t possibly be time to start the 2011 leek seedlings, can it? One trip around the sun blends into the next.

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an old favorite done local

Once upon a time, our month long New Year’s resolution was to try a new recipe a day for an entire month. I could have sworn we blogged this here, but apparently we didn’t. You can read all about it on the 31 recipes in 31 days Flickr set. It was a lot of work, but we made it the entire month and some days even tried more than one new recipe. The end result was we got out of a dinner rut and found quite a few new favorites.

So when we were shopping at the farmer’s market this week, it didn’t take long for us to decide we wanted to use local ingredients to make a couple recipes we tried back in January of 2009 that are now old favorites: Martha Stewart’s colcannon and barbecue braised short ribs from Vegan Vittles.

Here’s what we got: Walla Walla sweet onions, kailaan, and leeks.

Those onions were calling to us every week. It did force us to think about exactly how nearby something needs to be to be local. Walla Walla is a good 300 miles from us. The only answer we could come up with was “the closer the better,” and we decided to go for it with the onions that traveled 300 miles.

The kailaan was described to us as a green that is sweeter and softer than kale. We thought it looked a little like broccoli rabe, and it did taste awfully sweet raw. A little help from Google tells us this is also called Chinese kale OR Chinese broccoli. You can basically eat every part of it, and we sure did.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love leeks? I really love leeks. I love them so much I put an entire bunch in this batch of colcannon instead of just one.

And I do think the ribs were better than ever, smothered in all those sweet onions. Since we bought them with the stalks, I used the light green parts, too. I may have used extra onions as well.

This meal is so satisfying. You know it is good when the inevitable, “What’s for dinner?” hour arrives and the kid cheers at the answer.

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