Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Paleo on $100 a month day 16 - I'm very bored

The cherries are gone, but the blueberries aren't ready yet.  There are just a few blackberry blossoms, so it will be awhile.  Meanwhile, all I will get from the veggie garden this week is chard, fennel, onion, beets and lettuce, and the lettuce is about to bolt.  Today I will pick a bunch of it and throw it in the fridge so I can enjoy it for another week.  Hopefully that will put off bolting for another few days, while the predicted heat wave blows over.

Snails ate virtually all of my seedlings, but there is one lone yellow zucchini plant.  All the new cucumbers, winter squash and gourds will have to be replanted and then will be late.  Sigh.  I might have to break down and actually buy a vegetable.

The good news is that I finally found some poultry on sale.  This year's challenge is weird in that there seems to be so much sale beef, and I am getting tired of the same old same old.  The turkey package was 2.07, leaving me with $14.84 in the kitty.

Today's meals

Breakfast:  swiss chard, eggs and ground beef with enchilada sauce from trader Humberto, coffee from trader Gabrielle.
Lunch:  nasturtium blossoms, purslane, beef with fennel and onion, beet and lemon juice, chocolate coconut milk from trader Felix; coffee, cheese and a bite of turkey roll-up from trader Ingrid.  Green drink made from celery, shiso, mint and lemon.
Dinner:  liverwurst (yea, I froze it), bean soup, turkey cooked with onion, fennel, hot pepper and summer savory; beet and lemon juice from trader Gabrielle, butter, bread and butter pickles from trader Felix, potato pancakes made with egg and a mix from trader Felix, cooked in pork fat.


  1. does diatomaceous earth (sp?) work to reduce snail damage, as it's said happens with slugs? ...funny, the things that pop into my head sometimes.

  2. Snails can be an absolute pain - but you have one yellow zucchini plant - so a little bit of brightness maybe?
    I can't believe how well you are doing. Keep your chipper up as some of us say

    All the best Jan

  3. Please, don't take my comment like an attempt to tell other people what to do, but I have an imagination abnormally bent toward culinary, so after reading your post I thought that if you are bored,you can buy some cabbage (actually, you can skip it). You already have beets, and cook a Bortch. Just don't forget two most important things - add raw garlic(any herb could be added) and bacon crashed into a paste with a coarse salt right after you take the pot from the heat, and second important tip - beets should be pre-cooked (boiled, microwaved or sauteed with fat and some acid thing like vinegar or tomatoes) before added to the Bortch after adding an acid sours at the very end of cooking. I usually put in my Bortch whatever I have, like any veggie, remnants of coldcuts, you can put there beans too. I prefer some of my veggies(like onions, carrots, bell peppers) sauteed in my soups, but it is optional.
    For the garlic/bacon crashing I use mortar and pestle, but it could be done between pieces of a plastic wrap.

  4. @Tess, I haven't used diatomaceous earth in awhile. It didn't really work because the snail population was so extensive.
    @Jan, thanks for the encouragement!
    @Galina, I don't have much garlic right now, only onions, but the problem is that the beets are mostly from last year, and tough. I just cut them up and bleed out the juice and mix it with citrus. I also haven't bought bacon during this challenge. I will try your recipe in the fall when I get a new crop of beets. Can I make it with lemon?

  5. Lemon is nice with beets, it just has to be something sour to pre3serve the beets color and flavor. I don't think that old beets unusable by definition. I would be eating exactly such grade beets back in Russia if I were there now. It could be not very deep in color but still very tasty. We used to boil it unpeeled in a water for 40 minutes, if I remember properly, or till a knife could be inserted easily, then immediately took it from the water and peeled under running cold water. I would check the condition out. Wrap one in a paper towel(to avoid juice splashing) and microwave for 5 -6 minutes, peel when cool down and grate on a grater with large holes. If it is hard, but not too fibrous, it could be very tasty to add to sauteed carrots ,onions, and tomato paste or lemon and cook a little bit more till beet is softer. At the end of cooking garlic will be a nice addition. In my kitchen garlic as indispensable as salt.

  6. At this time of the year, I can cut the pressure-cooked beets and pull out the fibers, almost like deboning a salmon fillet. But it is too good to throw away, that is why I juice them.
    Garlic used to be indispensable, but I had a crop failure last year and this year's crop isn't in yet. It is also mostly a failure. Rabbits keep eating the tops off.

  7. Fibrous beet sounds nasty. Amazingly and thankfully, I didn't run across it often, even in Russia. When I was young and we all ate only seasonal food, since October till May we had only root veggies,cabbage,winter apples, imported citruses, fermented veggies and canned ones to provide us with culinary variety.
    I hope you don't feel like I am picking on your food choices. I am just chatting.

  8. Hi, Galina, I am enjoying the chat, too!! My fibrous beets are from last year. I planted a row and it got overgrown with other things. This year I am finding more and more beets. I can't really tell if they are newly germinated, or from last year and just small. I just love beet juice in all sorts of drinks, but not too much, that's why I just chop them and soak them in water. I think even running them through a juicer would clog it with the fiber.

  9. Depends on the type of a juicer. The type like the one my mom has in Russia and uses for grating a horseradish for a souse(it works by grating hard vegetables and separating liquids from solids) wouldn't be clogged. We did marinated beet juice sometimes - it was heated till almost boiling with some vinegar, then salt, cloves, bay leaf, allspice and whole black pepper were added and bay leaves were removed when liquid cooled down. It is also possible to make a beet juice into a beet kvas - a traditional Russian fermented beverage also used as a base for cold summer soups (with green onion, grated radishes, cucumbers, herbs, hard-boiled crashed eggs and sliced cold meat, grated cooked beets and sour-cream ). In order to start fermenting, raw sauerkraut brine or pickles brine should be added. It is also a variation in a consumption to mix beets juice with a brine to make brine more drinkable, but I think for a person who watches carbs it could be to heave in carbs.

  10. I have a Champion juicer, but I mainly just use a blender with water. The Champion can get jammed if there is an extreme amount of fiber. The beet fiber is amost like sinew, it is so tough.
    I used to make kvass but since I have only a few beets left this spring, I didn't want to waste them. Kvass has been so hit-and-miss for me, and only works reliably when I have real whey.
    I just make beet juice like I would kvass, just adding lemon instead of fermenting it. I have to drink it with care. I think the lactic acid would be much better for a low carber.

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