Day 22 Saturday, 2/27/2010 Surf ‘n’ Turf for $20

Inspiration:  I’ve been watching the cost of what I eat every day, even when I’m splurging.  I’ve also been watching quantities, even when I’m overeating.  I realize that after all these years I don’t have the simple convenience of a scale to measure the weight of what I eat.  I can measure volume via cups and small measures.  (Aside:  Holita or Sara threw away the three plastic 1 cup measures for some reason.)  So I’m going to buy a scale.

Follow up:  I just ordered a food scale and a people weighing scale (EatSmart off of Amazon).  For the first time at home I’ll be able to accurately weigh what I’m eating.  I expect this will save 20-30% of my food intake right away (we’ll see).

Inspiration:  I want to see how many different things can be cooked in the microwave.   Why:

  • It saves energy
  • It’s convenient
  • It’s fast
  • It saves cleanup time

I suggested to two people that I want to try to cook pinto beans in the microwave and they both looked at me and said something like, “I don’t think you can do that.”  I’ve cooked sweet potatoes, salmon, spaghetti and quinoa in the microwave and so want to experiment with more stuff.

Breakfast:  cup of coffee.

Microwave Pasta (this does not include cooking the sauce):

  1. Add a pinch of salt to water in a microwave bowl.  Why salt:  it raises the boiling point of water.  You can heat up the water to a hotter temperature, better for cooking the pasta.
  2. Heat up for 6 minutes (5 is not enough in my microwave)
  3. Add 1/2 lb (250 grams is a little more than 1/2 lb.) thin whole wheat spaghetti noodles.
  4. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat up the whole bowl for 4 minutes.
  6. Let steep for another 4 minutes.
  7. Fork out a few strands and test.
  8. Microwave a little longer as needed.
  9. Strain the water out of the pasta.

I didn’t actually eat any breakfast.  I didn’t eat any lunch.

Late afternoon I went to Safeway and explored food prices.  For $35 I got:

  • 1.6 lbs top sirloin steak ($4/lb)
  • .67 lbs frozen prawns from Thailand ($4/lb)
  • two nice pork chops
  • A quart of Dannon yogurt
  • three fruit cups (bigger than lunch type)
  • 1.2 lbs sausage (for pasta some time later)
  • a thing of blackberries (6 oz., $5 ouch).
  • six bananas
  • a few lbs of fake crab (Pollack processed fish)

When I came home Holita wasn’t too happy about my food meddling but I learned how to sautee the shrimp in butter and a little white wine, then added them and some Classico tomato and garlic sauce to the spaghetti.  I had sauteed the sauce after cooking the shrimp and then adding the sauce to the same pan.  I’d warmed up the pasta in the microwave for two minutes.  Holita, Rachel and each had a small dish of this (4-5 oz.).  I had a second helping.  Sara came home and also ate a helping.

Holita and Sara fried up the top sirloin with some garlic on top and made a nice Grecian salad with Feta cheese.  We each ate small portions of the steak and salad.  The steak and prawns cost about $11 so I believe the whole surf, turf and pasta cost less than $20 and there are leftovers.

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