This weekend Edmund and I are going to be on staff (and hopefully doing some gaming) at Pacificon Game Expo in Santa Clara, CA. We’re on a very limited budget and we’re also trying to eater healthy meals, so we just can’t live on potato chips and hamburgers from Friday through Monday. So we have planned to make and bring the following menu items:
- Spicy cocoa muffins
- Slow-roasted beef sandwiches with basil, on home-made bread
- Cold soba noodles with shrimp and vegetables
- Hummus, pita and tabbouleh salad
- Oatmeal bars
- Cold-brewed coffee
- Fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks
It sounds complicated but it’s much simpler than it seems because we use the bread machine and the food processor a lot. Edmund has just put the muffins in the oven, and the bread is already done. The beef is currently seasoning and will be roasted tonight, the fruit and vegetables have been acquired, Edmund will make the oatmeal bars after the muffins are baked; and while the beef is roasting tonight, I will be making the hummus, tabbouleh, cold-brewed coffee, and some mustard since we’re out (all of those benefit from sitting in the refrigerator overnight). The soba can be prepared at the last minute.
Sadness: we decided we didn’t have time to make pita, so I bought some at the store. But we didn’t get a single unhealthy item, and except for the pita, everything is home-made, down to the condiments.
That is also a much cheaper way to eat; do you have any idea how much freakin’ hummus and tabbouleh you can make from chickpeas and bulghur? It’s about three to five times more expensive and far less flavourful to buy prepared foods. The slow-roasted beef is made from eye round, an inexpensive cut from Costco which comes out cheaper per pound (or kg) than any cold cuts, deli meats, sausages or hot dogs. Etc., etc…
Time-wise, I admit that a bread machine, food processor and dishwasher make all this food prep much more pleasant, but I have also done this with nothing more advanced than a $20 electric egg-beater in the past, and it was still worth it.