Preparing for Live Below the Line

SOURCE: culturepop.com

SOURCE: culturepop.com

In my previous post, advocacy-inspiring superhunk Ben Affleck’s decision to support the efforts of Live Below the Line helped me to accept the challenge of feeding myself for just $1.50 per day between April 29 – May 3.

Now, I’m trying to prepare for what that means. I’ve already begun to say goodbye to chocolate, meats, cheeses, baked goods and my ultimate best friend — red wine, but I’ve also begun to plan for what I’ll be saying hello to — rice, whole grains, beans, vegetables, minimum amounts of spices and LOTS of water.

I was inspired by a friend who has been making his own soymilk and, short of frantically texting him to find out what the name of that by-product pulp stuff was after making soymilk, I found some helpful blogs through a network of trusty Google searches.

Okara is a pulp made after (really easily) making your own soymilk. I don’t particularly enjoy soymilk, but since I’ll be devoid of cheese, butter and dairy products for a week I thought I’d get a little comfy with its step-cousin a few times removed. The real inspiration came from what my friend did with the okara. He used it to make muffins. DELICIOUS muffins.

If I can figure out a way to use this magical soybean pulp in place of the regular emulsifiers (see: my best friend, butter) like he did, I might not have to forgo baked goods after all. AND I’ll be using a by-product of something else which means I’ll stay true to the challenge of making $1.50 worth of food per day go farther than most Americans have ever considered.

Eating Rules and La Fuji Mama have given me some great inspirations in low-budget health eating; things I can translate into low-cost efficient meals for the week on a $7.50 total budget.

Foodstorming list so far:

Staples: Rice, cornmeal, wheat flour, pasta

Proteins: Kidney/black Beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, eggs (not a huge fan of)

Fruits: Avocados, apples, cherry tomatoes, lemon/lime, dried fruit(s)

Vegetables: Kale, mixed greens, onions, potatoes, broccoli, sweet pepper mix, carrots, celery, garlic, peas, arugula

Spices: Sea salt, cracked pepper, olive oil, canola oil, cumin, thyme, rosemary, paprika, dill, basil, curry powder, fennel, parsley

And the destination of choice to find all of these things at EXTREMELY reasonable prices: the Dekalb Farmer’s Market!

p.s. Poet extraordinaire Daniel Hurst has decided to join me in the endeavor which, by combining our resources, will help to greatly expand our already limited choices.

EDIT: Additional grocery list items, because I like to keep my options open: Cinnamon, honey, sugar, rolled oats, nutmeg, oranges, coconut oil (maybe if budget allows), garbanzo bean flour, chicken/vegetable broth cubes, spinach, MUSHROOMS (how did I forget you?!), walnuts/almonds/pistachios (probably won’t make it in the budget), leeks, cabbage

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