quinoa for breakfast, I awoke feeling energized and ready to take on Day 3 of the challenge. How could I possibly go wrong with a quinoa-filled day? The mother grain has saved me from many a food crisis with its versatility and nutrition profile, especially in past Hunger Challenges, so I knew it would help me out this time, too.
I started off with a rather stripped down version of my Cranberry & Raisin Quinoa breakfast bowl (the lack of dried cranberries, yogurt & almonds will do that, lol), then proceeded to make my new favorite Hunger Challenge dish: Tangy Coleslaw & Quinoa Salad. With the last of my hard boiled eggs on hand for snacking purposes, I was set for a day of eating quite well for less than the allotted $4/day budget.
But how is that even possible, Poor Girl? Isn't quinoa ridiculously expensive?
As I mentioned in my last post, quinoa is swiftly gaining popularity and, consequently, in availability, making it possible for more people to reap the benefits of this nutrition powerhouse. Regular grocery stores are now starting to carry quinoa, and even stores like WinCo, FoodsCo and other discount grocers are bringing the mother grain to the masses in their bulk sections. I've even found boxes of quinoa at the Grocery Outlet!
Quinoa is versatile, healthy and once it's cooked, it yields far more than you started off with. The best way to get the most bang for your quinoa buck is to buy it in bulk. Even at Whole Foods, which is notorious for its high prices, you can purchase quinoa for about $4-5/lb. And since one cup of dried quinoa can yield close to three cups of cooked product, those $5 can go a very long way. Add to that the fact that quinoa is usually enjoyed with add-ins like vegetables & legumes, and you can see how you can turn one cup into a small mountain of food.
bare bones staples to have around the house. Again, if you purchase items like these in bulk, you will see much greater savings. But even if you can only buy packages of pasta or rice, it's still a much more cost effective, nutritious option than processed foods & fast food. They all yield quite a bit of cooked product and they're all incredibly versatile, making eating well much less boring than people may think.
So after all that, what exactly did I spend on food for Day 3? Since I didn't have all the fixings for my Cranberry Raisin Quinoa with Yogurt, my modified version only came out to about $1.55. My snacks came out to $0.17 apiece (don't you just love eggs?), and my lunch - Tangy Coleslaw & Quinoa Salad - was just $0.89. With some veggie scraps, some of the beans I cooked up on Day 1, and my remaining quinoa, I made a tiny batch of my Quinoa, Black Bean & Summer Squash Salad for dinner. Grand total for Day 3: $4.03. Not too shabby!
If you're looking for more fun examples of what you can do with things like quinoa, kamut berries, and other fun grains, check out the recipes under the Quinoa & Other Grains label. The recap for Days 4 & 5 - as well as a couple new recipes - are all coming soon, so stay tuned!