Monday, May 7, 2012

What's Cooking? The Plan


That day has arrived, the first in a week of eating below the poverty line. Some of my friends have voiced concern over nutrition, and others are convinced I'll just starve. I will let you judge; here is what's on the menu (dry quantities):

Breakfast:
1/4 cup millet
1 banana

Lunch:
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup green lentils
1 carrot

Dinner:
1/4 cup millet
1/2 cup soybeans
1 carrot

So because it is a bit monotonous, and lacking in leafy greenery, a day's repertoire provides a pretty skewed nutritional profile. It is low in calories, fat, calcium, vitamin B12, and fresh produce. It is high in protein and fiber. Calories: 1500; Fat: 23g; Protein: 76g; Fiber: 60g. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA): Calories: 2200; Fat: 70g (30%); Protein: 70g (active female); Fiber 20-35g. And so while this is not ideal, people can subsist off of these grains and legumes (see tomorrow's post on what the world eats!).

So, cost. Amazingly, I purchased almost everything from Whole Foods! I did my homework, checked different grocery stores, and ultimately found the bulk beans for certain staples to be the most economic. And guess what? I even had seven whole cents to spend on sea salt! Here's the breakdown:

16 oz bag carrots (organic), Trader Joe's - $0.89
6 bananas, Trader Joe's - $1.14
16 oz green lentils (bulk dry), Whole Foods - $1.49
15 oz yellow soybeans (bulk dry), Whole Foods - $1.28
16 oz pearled barley (bulk dry), Whole Foods - $1.39
14 oz millet (bulk dry) Whole Foods - $1.24
35 g salt (scaled price), Trader Joe's - $0.07

Total: $7.50

Finally, even though it is really not much of a recipe, I do want to mention my week's breakfast option - Banana Millet Morning Mush! Take 1/4 cup millet and boiling 1/2-2/3 cup water, cook until millet has absorbed all water and is soft. More water means more mush. Either slice (my preferred, not very ripe banana) or smash the banana and add along with a pinch of salt. Voila. Cheap, filling, relatively nutritious (oh, walnuts would make this!), and vegan, gluten and sugar free!

Despite its simplicity, I'm still posting it on Wellness Weekends.
Also, check out A recent NPR article on rice and beans as a major staple dish in the world.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

Good luck Rachel! (as I write I'm eating my version of a mush-and banana-breakfast!)