I had big plans for this week. This was going to be my time to go on my super-charged, vegan, raw foods, organic, locally grown, vegged out and vegged up diet extravaganza. Turns out diet extravaganzas are expensive, though, and I am in a state of post-Christmas personal financial recession.
I’ve come to the conclusion that January is a bad time to try to go locavore anyway. Last January, I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and got all excited about becoming a locavore, but even Barabara Kingsolver said January is a bad time to start. I am going to try to score some local greens when I visit my parents, and I am going to check the fruit stand near my office for some decent veggies, but beyond that I’m adopting a whole different set of rules for January dieting than I originally intended. My vegetable extravaganza will have to wait for May. I have other priorities right now.
I am back on my diet, and for a time at least I will probably try to do a more relaxed version of South Beach than the one I was on last fall. I want to work on more than just carbs, though. I really want to focus on healthier eating all the way around. The reason I wanted to do my vegetable extravaganza was so that I would quit eating things from cans and boxes. I don’t want the preservatives in my food, and I don’t want the extra packaging that comes with it. I want to be more earth-friendly and more health conscious at the same time.
However. However. I don’t think it is precisely earth-friendly to refuse to eat the food items already in the pantry just because they don’t fit my current diet program. It certainly isn’t checkbook friendly. Therefore, my January and February rules are to eat as balanced and low cal and low carb as I can while eating my way through the food I already have.
My cabinet is full of cans of soup and corn and green peas and boxes of couscous. My freezer is full of cartons of leftover casseroles and bags of frozen snow peas and broccoli. I’m going to just start there.
I’ll allow myself a small grocery store budget for purchasing salad fixings and fruit. I do want some fresh items. I’m just not going on a “no canned foods” diet until I’ve eaten what’s here. That should help me save on grocery costs through the lean post-holiday times in addition to helping me empty out my kitchen in preparation for changing my diet more significantly later in the spring when the “clean foods” I want to eat are more readily available.
Pictured above: Black-eyed pea salad
I used about a cup and a half of leftover black-eyed peas, a can of corn, some green salsa, a can of sliced black olives, and chopped green onions. I think I added a little garlic as well. That’s it. This doesn’t fit the diet I wanted to be on, but it was made entirely from ingredients I already had on hand. It’s also tasty and nutritious.
Don’t knock cheap and easy. Sometimes that is the best laid plan.