This was dinner tonight:
(sometimes I eat on the couch, okay? I don't have a table for two in my room, so if I want to sit next to someone and eat in the dorm, I'm eating on the couch.)
We ended up going through two of the little hummus cups, because they're little. And it occurred to me, "wow, these little sabra hummus cups are $1.05 each. That is expensive or something. I bet if I had $1 worth of hummus materials, I could make more! But wait, self. How would I blend together my hummus? I have no food processor or blender!" So I went on my way for a bit, until I thought "Man, I have all these chickpeas in the fridge. Like a shelf full. I should make chickpea cutlets or something. But wait, these aren't buttery soft, so I can't mash them with a pastry blender very effectively... what should I do?"
So yeah, I decided to get a food processor. I found a mini 4-cup one on amazon for about 47 dollars, but that was a little bit much for me, a bit of a splurge that I wasn't willing to make. But then I remembered I had an amazon gift card from my birthday (2 months ago...). So yeah, I'm going to have a mini-processor on Wednesday. And then I'm going to make hummus and chickpea cutlets ...
Meals, and how I plan them
So a lot of people have been talking about how they plan meals. I like planning meals, because I like thinking about food. I used to be really, really bad at it. I would actually spend more because I tried to plan meals... But now that I'm older and wiser, and have a really small fridge that prevents me from buying too much that will go bad before I use it (holy carp, how do other college students do it? it's maybe 4cubic feet, but I've seen some that are like, 2 cubic feet? how do they do it? do they not EAT?), meal planning is more effective.
Since I have to haul everything back by bike up lots of hills*, I'm trying to plan for \3-5 day chunks (go Friday or Saturday, go again Tuesday or Wednesday). Normally, after class or whenever I get the idea to go grocery shoppin', I sit down for a bit and think about what I want to eat, what I've seen lately that looks good, etc. For example, sometimes I get jealous that everyone else on campus can get a good burger, and I can't, so I decide to make black bean burgers. Another: I saw some really really good-looking chick'n and dumpling soup the other day on a mofoing blog, so I decided to make some too.
After I decide what I want (usually at least two or three more ideas than is feasible to make in the time span), I figure out everything I'd need. For example, with the chick'n and dumpling soup, I already had on most of what I needed, but I didn't have any seitan or kale. Usually, there's at least one recipe that I want to make that just requires way too much stuff, or a bit too much expensive stuff. That recipe, I'll cut from the week. At the end of it, usually I have enough for however many days I planned. I don't usually say I'm going to do something on a specific day; I just try to be sure I have at least a short recipe or two in case I get swamped.
Meals this week?
So I'm not completely sure what I'm making this week, but these are my candidates so far: Spaghetti and Meatballs (Veganomicon) (much to the chagrin of the tomato-and-pasta-disliking J**), Chickpea Cutlets (veganomicon/theppk blog) (how have I not made them yet? Oh, because every time I make chickpeas, they come out too hard to mash easily by hand), and tacos I'm hoping for the spaghetti and meatballs to last 2 meals (not hard, since there's a hater in the house), the cutlets to last at least 4, since I'm doubling, and tacos, hopefully 2 or 3 more. And so, since from tomorrow night until friday night isn't more than 8 meals (only counting lunch and dinner here), I have enough***. Hopefully I won't eat all the chickpea cutlets; it'd be nice to have some to freeze and save (and take home with me for thanksgiving...?) And then to the grocery store again on Friday to get stuff for the weekend and Monday and Tuesday (and then thanksgiving, which means going roughly in the direction of home!). This weekend should be fun, since I might be making some stuff for a thanksgiving potluck. (Or I might not).
Holy carp, I've written a lot.
*One time I had too much stuff in my backpack. I was going up a hill. I instinctively stood up a bit to make it easier, and then when I pushed on the petal, my weight shifted all to that side and I fell. I thought it was a fluke, did it three more times, then I said "self, you need to stop this..."
**He says tomato and meatballs are boring, but would be better with a vegetable on the side. But I'm out of vegetables, that's why I'm going to the grocery store on Wednesday, but I'm hoping to make the spaghetti and beanballs on Tuesday. I will go forth to my neighbors, and say, "neighbors, havest thou a cup of vegetables that I mayest borrowth?" (WUT.)
***Dear Mom, the meal plan isn't going to waste. I usually get breakfast on it. Sometimes J gets a meal on it. That works out really well for me, because I've used a lot of his dinex****.
****Dear J's mom, I haven't been using too much of his dinex. Only amounts roughly equivalent to the blocks he's used from me.