All right, here it is. My food for the week. Lunch and dinner, anyway. You'll notice I'm eating Indian food. This reflects an early cost-saving strategy of buying cheap rice and beans from an Indian grocer. This plan didn't pan out as the rice was more expensive per pound than at my local supermarket, and beans were only available in large quantities beyond what I could have eaten in a week, and therefore cost prohibitive for this challenge. But once I had worked out the menu plan and researched the supermarket pricing of the ingredients, I decided to stick with it.
First, of course, is a big pot of brown rice. It will go with everything. I have about 20 servings. Eight servings to go with lentils, four for a chickpea collard dish, and another eight to go with a chickpea potato stew for some carb-on-carb goodness.
Next is eight servings of lentils, which should give me complete protein when paired with the rice. These are just brown lentils cooked with some cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic, finished with some lemon slices (worth the dollar I spent on that fresh lemon!) and cumin. I think I also may have snuck a little cayenne in here for good measure. I reserve the right to doctor it as the week goes on.
For variety's sake I made four servings of this riff on chana saag. Normally a chickpea/spinach dish, this time I used frozen collards for the green. It has an interesting array of whole spices including cardamom, cinnamon, and coriander, plus fresh ginger, ground turmeric, and garam masala. Should handily mask any freezer taste.
With the rest of the chickpeas and a couple pounds of potatoes I made eight servings of this hearty but simple stew with tomatoes, turmeric,ground ginger, and garam masala. (Put 6 cups of water in a pot; add chopped potato, a 28 oz can of tomatoes, the above spices, and 2 15oz cans of chickpeas. Et voila!
Finally, I made a Bengali root-veggie and green dish known as chorchori. It makes use of any combination of veggies you have on hand, all made delicious through the magic of a spice mixture called panch phoran. This was my go-to dish when I lived in New England and subscribed to a farmshare that brought me endless root vegetables and kale from October through May. Many turnips and countless bunches of that brillo variety kale were made palatable this way, so why not carrots, potatoes, and a block of frozen greens that make me long for the days of fresh brillo kale?
You may note that I have more than two "servings" a day here, but I will be mixing and matching these four dishes in hopes that I don't get too sick of any one of them over the course of the challenge, which was an issue for me last year. My black beans and rice became very unappetizing by day 6 in a row. So I have enough here to have two dishes at each meal most of the time. I will mix it up with dal and chorchori, or stew and dal, or stew and chana saag, etc. Remember that per my nutrition analysis, even doubling up on these dishes doesn't get me to recommended daily allowances for Calories....