The first full day of the Hunger Challenge has gone to bed and so must I. I ate well, stayed on budget, and feel ready to take on day two of the challenge again tomorrow! Here’s the scoop on all I savored along with a price breakdown of each meal:
Breakfast was peanut butter banana oatmeal, my favorite morning meal.
¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats (.99/lb in the bulk section), cooked in water 0.33
1 Banana 0.25
2 tablespoons peanut butter 0.15
Breakfast Total: $0.73
Mid morning grapefruit: $0.59
Chicken and spinach salad with leftover chicken and asparagus that I roasted last night to have for meals throughout the week. See dinner below.
The dressing was a simple Asian-inspired mixture of one and a half tablespoons creamy peanut butter whisked with one tablespoon fresh lime juice and one teaspoon sesame oil. I would have loved to add soy sauce, but it wasn’t in my budget this week. Delicious, nonetheless.
And a crisp, sweet apple.
4 cups Baby spinach 0.60
1 carrot 0.10
¼ of a red pepper 0.30
¼ of a cucumber 0.10
1/5th of a whole roasted chicken (breast meat) 1.19
1 ½ tablespoons peanut butter 0.22
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 0.10
1 teaspoon sesame oil 0.05
1 Apple 0.40
Lunch Total: $3.06
**Mid afternoon I had an orange and a whole wheat English muffin toasted with 2 ounces cheddar cheese.
Snack Total: $1.00
Last night I roasted a 5 lb chicken so that I could use it for meals throughout the week. I chose to make it ahead of time for two reasons: 1. It saves me nearly 2 hours of oven time during the week when I come home from work at 6:30pm, and 2. It means I can portion it out now for each of our planned meals. Surefire way to prepare a whole 4-5 lb chicken: rinse it with cold water, pat it dry with paper towel, place in a wide, shallow baking pan, rub all sides with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt, bake for 1 hour 45 minutes at 400 degrees F. Works every time.
The chicken will stretch to be used for 5 separate meals (white and dark meat included). Tonight, Daniel and I ate our tender chicken breast with mashed butternut squash and brown sugar, a simply prepared organic boxed stuffing mix (that I do not recommend because the taste is beyond bland), and asparagus roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Altogether a hearty, comforting meal. Forgive me for reviving Thanksgiving in March. I never promised to be seasonally appropriate.
1 whole roasted chicken 5.95
1 bunch asparagus 1.91
2 lbs butternut squash 3.50
¼ cup brown sugar 0.05
1 package organic stuffing mix .99
1 tablespoon olive oil 0.25
1 tablespoon butter 0.25
Makes 5 servings at $2.67 per serving
And because I cannot make it through a week, much less a day, without dessert, I baked almost three dozen dark chocolate chip cookies.
They are gooey, chewy, and soft centered. I love them. No, excuse me, I loooove them. There, that’s better.
2 cups flour 0.25
2 sticks butter 1.00
1 ½ cups brown sugar 0.40
2 eggs 0.30
baking soda 0.02
1 bag (2 cups) dark chocolate chips 2.50
Makes 30 cookies, at $0.14 each
I ate three cookies because I hear scientists say eating warm chocolate chip cookies is a direct flight to happiness. And that dark chocolate stains on your (once) white pajama shirt improve brain function. I never stray from science.
Total for the day: $8.42
I’m happy that I bought all of my groceries yesterday (assuming the $12/day that Daniel and I would be allotted), because knowing we’ve already spent our allowance takes the pressure off of eating below the $7 limit each day. I imagine some days will cost a little less, some a little more, but in the end it will all balance. Or, at least, we hope.
Goodnight all! Stay tuned for Hunger Challenge Day 2 tomorrow!