iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe oatmeal

Zero Dollars Food Challenge 2

Are you ready for another installment of the Zero Dollars Food Challenge?

Well here we are, Sunday afternoon. The sun is high in the autumn sky but shadows are being cast everywhere, particularly underneath the large mango tree in the backyard. I look out at it from the window in my living room and, determined to spend more time in nature, it’s decided. I’ll go outside and work. I collect some books– which becomes a pile of books, my computer, a couple of notebooks, my phone and a pen. Slanting backwards, I carry everything I’m hoping I’ll need outside and set them onto the swing. I sit down. The day is beautiful. I realize that I am exceedingly hungry.

Of, course, that’s just the sort of thing that happens to me whenever I set out to be productive. Nevertheless, I know that I’m a cranky, unfocused brat when I’m hungry, so I pack up everything and run back inside for a quick lunch. I realize what’s at stake. The longer I’m inside, the louder the couch will call out to me. There’s just so much surface area to spread out inside. And the being half-naked or still in pajamas, it’s up to me, has a strong pull. I’ve got to get in and out, you understand?

The Challenge of Getting In and Out

  1. Most of the food that I have on hand will require a fair bit of time. For some odd reason, it takes me what seems like an hour to assemble my salads. I promise that I don’t use a huge number of ingredients. I think it’s chopping. The minute I have to take out a knife to cut something, the weight of gravity collapses onto me. My blood slows. The world slows. My eyes glaze over. I’ve had multiple friends inform me of this phenomenon but I never saw it for myself, still don’t. I just know that the time I take to make a salad must prove something.
  2. I’ve made it a goal to eat a primarily vegan diet. This means a lot of vegetables, which means a lot of cutting. I ain’t got time for that. There’s a can of alfredo sauce that’s been putting on a strip tease every time I open the pantry door. This is what I’ve been dealing with. My point is, the days of a quick boiling of spaghetti and a few scoops of alfredo sauce will be few and far between. Still spaghetti would’ve taken too long anyway.
  3. I’m on a strict budget lately and don’t want to spend money on food when there are things in the house that I could use to create a meal.

And so, I set out to create a meal that didn’t require too much time, no chopping, consisting of vegan ingredients and didn’t require me to spend any money. Here’s what I can up with. Oatmeal: A Classic.

I can’t believe how much oatmeal is in my house. I feel like my name should be Samuel and I should be living in the American Midwest, circa 1802. Who has this much oats, and why? Oh yeah, everytime I go on a health kick I buy more oatmeal.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

 

Here are some of the other ingredients that I had on hand.

These dried cranberries are my most recent purchase of less than a week ago.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Pecans.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Brown sugar.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Chia seeds.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Nutmeg.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Cinnamon sugar.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

Roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe

I wasn’t sure if adding this salty element would compliment or worsen the flavor, but I figured what the heck. I only added a small amount just in case. Those tv chefs are always saying how a dash of salt brings out sweetness and stuff.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe oatmeal

Next, for the sake of creaminess, I added a splash of vanilla flavored almond milk.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe oatmeal

And stir it all up, and here you have it.

iwannabealady.com zero dollar food challenge quick and easy vegan recipe oatmeal

Yup, it was very good. Not too sweet. The sunflower seeds added texture and weren’t too salty. I had broken the walnuts with my fingers, so no knives were used in the making of this meal. I’d call it a success.

After this quick and easy meal, I was back to the outdoors to get some work done. Will it last me until dinner time? No. But it did allow me to get back out there.

Now I’d like to challenge you. What if you decided not to buy groceries for the next couple of days? What meals could you create with what you already have on hand? It’s not just a beneficial exercise for the sake of living more sustainably and consuming less, but it’ll help you to cut down food spending. I typically make this a week long challenge and allow myself $15 of spending money for ingredients I’d like to add in… or wine. Sometimes it’s for wine.

21 thoughts on “Zero Dollars Food Challenge 2

  1. Now that looks like some oatmeal I would actually eat! I grew up on oatmeal (because it was cheap) and so I have a certain aversion to foods that I got WAY TOO MUCH of when I was a kid. Anyway, thanks for “spicing” up oatmeal!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Samuel-Stephanie has a certain ring about it.

    The way the ingredients go, I like the taste of it already. Nutmeg…so fragrant…and sweet and salty, ah. You are acing it. What are those green tendons with roots in the backdrop of the chia seeds?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah and super low maintenance. I’ve seen them often placed in artful containers or holders a la Etsy.

          Jkaybay referred me to a site with info on them, and it turns out they are being overplucked (from the wild), so they’re better left in nature and bought from harvesters (or something like that. I’m bad with details). This is the case for Florida; idk about anywhere else.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. “There’s a can of alfredo sauce that’s been putting on a strip tease every time I open the pantry door.”
    Haha – love it!

    If the can strips off its label the first time, how do you know it’s alfredo sauce? I guess it’s the only can with no label. Or does it put the label back on when you close the pantry door and then repeat the performance next time?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I love where your head’s at. The answer is simple. It sometimes begins removing its label, but is so into the seduction that it never fully comes off. Other times it removes the label completely and I’m face-to-face with it’s naked glass jar, clear for the eyes to see, if you know what I mean. It always puts the label back on though. It likes to put on a professional show. I won’t even listen to its stage name. I refuse. 😅😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmmm, I so thoroughly enjoy, connect to, and flourish in mind, body, and soul when I am holding fast to my Minimalist Living mantra and MO! This is fantastic Lyz what you are doing! The benefits are sometimes BEYOND what we even first imagined, right? 😉

    Some little nutrional metabolic factoids for you Madame, if I may, from my “Untapped Worlds – Reside” post… 😀

    “…the average human brain requires at least 12.6 watts of metabolic power to operate during an average 24-hours. The rest of our body requires about 50.4 watts for a total consumption rate of around 63 watts, or what nutritionists say is roughly 2,000 calories per day — 1,800 avg. for women, 2,200 avg. for men — and this varies slightly due to height, weight, age, cultural region, and activity level. Care to be educated in what 2,000 calories or 63 watts looks like… for an entire day, all day!?”

    I go on to show pics of meals that are around 1,400 to 2,010 calories, and Lyz, it is very little food… FOR AN ENTIRE DAY! It is utterly mind-blowing how little-to-moderate our minds, bodies, and souls need for one day! And what you’ve shown here in this post is absolutely unequivocally true! BRAVO Ma’am! You got it together, got it right, and you ROCK IT! ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of my favorite reasons to workout is that it gives me an excuse to eat more. I am always, constantly, perpetually hungry. Seriously. And one of the benefits I’ve found to getting a mostly plant-based diet is that I don’t have to worry as much about my calories because a huge bowl of salad dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar has, like, 10 cals. You get my point. A whole lot of goodness with little cost to the thighs… more food for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, yes, YES Lyz! I hear ya, applaud ya, and concure. When I stick to my big, fancy salads — all good correct ingredients of course — topped with almond-slithers, walnuts, pine-nuts, olive oil, fresh tuna fish & freshly ground pepper with plenty squeezed lemon juice in natural well-water to drink… AND working out(?), I drop 20-25 lbs in less than 3-months then plateau at a HEALTHY 180-ish (give or take 5 lbs!) BAAM!

        Great stuff Lyz! 😀😍

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the post:) I love oatmeal and yours sounds very yummy:) I actually end up not grocery shopping for one week each month just to make sure I use up all the odds and ends that collect. I love the challenge:)

    Liked by 1 person

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