Thursday, September 20, 2018

Vegan Month of Food 2018 Day 20: 4 4 4

Today is feed 4 for $4. I've got some stuff for you, read on (links to recipes at the end, scroll down if I bore you.... no harm no foul)

First, I made a recipe from off their facebook page for Banoffee oats. I wasn't even sure what Banoffee was, I had to look it up. It's an English dessert pie. It contains bananas, cream and toffee. So, ok... easily veganized, and better still someone already took care of that for me. For your information, their social media page is in "pounds" as far as money goes, and I don't have a symbol for that. Here I'm in U.S. dollars, my service price was a bit higher, I used organic. I didn't use almonds on the top, I used pumpkin seeds because I had them. I also added 2 strawberries to mine because, strawberries.

Scroll down to the bottom of the blog for the recipe
This ended up being about $.95 per serving
Maybe just a little less depending on your banana price
Then I got busy making soup for tonight. One of my favorites is a West African Peanut Soup, but it would exceed the budget because it has some extra things in it. I found a similar recipe on Minimalist Baker for Thai Carrot soup. I guess the Thai part of it was supposed to be the basil, funny about that.... she calls for regular basil, but I happened to have Thai basil in the spice drawer, then I forgot to add it. So basically this is carrot soup w/peanut butter (OMG the peanut butter I'm using is a jar of Justin's for $1.00 the other happy vegan found at the market marked way down because they were clearing the shelves to make room for a new floor plan. I used the regular price of peanut butter when I calculated, not many people will find $1.00 peanut butter of any brand lying around). Here's the picture:

Scroll down to the bottom of the blog for the recipe link
This ended up being $.80 per serving
About the bread? Scroll down a bit more!
The soup is SO good! And, because it's soup, really you can adjust for preferences and what you have on hand. No matter though, carrots are always dirt cheap!

Next I made a Thai Coconut Jackfruit Crabless Soup. It's a recipe that is published in the latest VegNews recipe. They don't give it up on the internet yet, I am going to publish it on my facebook page tomorrow for you ok? I've never had crab in any form anytime in my life. No idea what it tastes like, nor do I want to know. I imagine it's got an "of the sea" flavor, which if you know anything about me at all, you already know that "of the sea" ANYTHING is really nasty to me. This includes sea vegetables. Remember Fukishima? I still have one last bag of Kombu that hasn't been opened. I bought a stash right when the disaster happened, and never bought any since. That's how much I use sea veggies.... not much at all. But.... I did break down and pick up a shaker of kelp granules for this particular recipe. And, I have a small shaker of dulse that's also about 100 years old, which I do nothing with. Although over budget,  I've chosen to include it for 444 day because when I was at the Asian Market last week (I'm getting a lot of mileage from that trip for sure) I noted that jackfruit in water was .88 a can! What is typically on shelves here is pushing $5 a can, and it's a smaller can than the Asian Market ones I saw. But.... what we DO get down here is organic and branded. Truth be told, this was one of my 2 last cans of jackfruit that was donated to us a while ago. Diversion story time...

One day when I was picking up messages, a very kind man had left a voicemail of how he just left us a case of jackfruit outside our driveway. I never called him back. I was so far down the rabbit hole of depression I was not speaking to anyone at that time. I sent the other happy vegan out to get the jackfruit and I stayed in bed for like an additional month or 2. I've gotten a lot of mileage from that one donation, having some freedom to experiment with different jackfruit recipes. I don't really like BBQ jackfruit which is the most popular way it's caught on. It's a texture thing for me.... too much like dead. Because I've been able to experiment without financial pressure of this ingredient, I've found quite a few ways I really do like jackfruit. So, anyway, I've included this recipe because the jackfruit was donated to us, and because in so many areas around the world it is extremely budget friendly. I would venture a guess breadfruit will work in this. And, if it's all just too out of reach, use white beans (dried of course for budget reasons..... save the aquafaba for mousse and egg replacer!) But.... as it is, this recipe came in at $1.85 per serving. Which mainly was the cost of the mushrooms, lemongrass and the organic pasta I used. Do not skip the lemongrass, really... it's what puts this over the top. I have a friend who grew lemongrass in her garden like crazy. She used to give it to me for free, and even gave me a few stalks to plant. No more, sad face time. I also liked this recipe because it really does not taste "of the sea" despite having kelp in it. It simply tastes flavorful. The recipe looks complicated, nope, it's just a long list of ingredients as you'll see on tomorrow's post (there is no link, VegNews doesn't give us one, it's in their current issue mag). You can pull the cost down by using garlic powder, skipping the Thai basil (which I forgot to use anyway). One more thing... about that red curry paste. Who the heck can find VEGAN red curry paste? Not me. I used 1/4t turmeric, 1t coriander, a shake of red pepper flakes, and 1tsp Srirachi hot chili sauce (also more budget friendly than premade curry paste). And, holy mother of crap, I forgot to put the coconut milk in the recipe.... My price includes using it, I just forgot to pour it in.  Look at this picture!

This was so good that my before cooking plans were to give it away!
Nope, not anymore... it's mine, all mine.
And, about that bread. We discussed this recipe multiple times through the years on this blog. There's no pictures of the loaf, but you see slices here. There is enough for at least 6 generous servings, or more. On my calculations the serving cost is .33 per person. Do you remember 2 years ago for VeganMoFo I made those veganized BLTs for the other happy vegan, with rice paper bacon. MMMM. This was the bread I used, and if you read that post, you'll see I even made my own vegan mayo using aquafaba. Pennies, just pennies to make!

Let's not forget the aquafaba mousse I brought you a few days ago. I did the calculations and mine was .28 per serving using a good quality chocolate. Incredible!

I make my own broth using scraps from veggies. I toss all my scraps in a container for the freezer, when it's full, I boil it with just enough water to cover and maybe a bay leaf. No salt, nothing else. It's basically free, and you can just season it as you'd like when you use it depending on your recipe.

Used dried beans and grains.

About those oats. It's enough for 2 people. You can put them in cleaned out peanut butter jars, put the lid back on and you've got a "to go" breakfast. The people on had theirs in a really pretty tall sundae dish. I'm lucky to have any dishes at this point in my life. I thought it looked just as pretty in a jar and damn it was tasty. I even had leftover caramel date sauce, I'll use it tomorrow.

Sure it's challenging to eat 444. Most people I know are in different areas of the country where tomatoes, corn and zucchini are growing like crazy in gardens. Here, a single zucchini is $2.50 and they are small. Tomatoes, forget about it.... from Mexico mostly. Corn? Never.... it's feed corn down here and a fortune. So, basically you need to do some planning for cheap meals like using dried beans and grains which are batch cooked and frozen, stocking things on sale, making your own veggie broth, and eating seasonally for your own area. Cheap comes with some preparation, but unless you're eating at Taco Hell every day or buying your home meals pre-prepared, we've all gotta do some prep at some point.


I have to give you the oat recipe, it's off a social media page from and I cannot link, so here:

Banoffee Oat Sundae (this recipe made 2 servings for me, it's a lot of food!)

1 cup oats
2 bananas (1 mashed, 1 sliced)
8 dates
a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla essence, if available
Peanut butter and flaked almonds to serve

1. Soak the oats in enough water (or use all-plant milk if you prefer) to just cover them. Add 1/2 of the mashed banana and stir.
2. Place the dates in a blender with salt, vanilla essence, and enough hot water to blend to a smooth consistency. If you don't have a blender, chopped dates will work perfectly well!
3. Layer the oats, sliced bananas, date caramel, and mashed banana into a glass, alternating. Top with a few dots of peanut butter, and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Hopefully today's great recipes make up for yesterday's disappointment. You'll like all these recipes, really they are great.



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