Thursday, July 2, 2009


Tonight's dinner was so incredibly delicious - and cheap - that I just had to blog it. :)

Here's what we put on our tostadas:

•The pinto beans that I cooked overnight in the crockpot a couple of weeks ago. Just a bunch of pre-soaked beans, an onion, and some garlic. Then I pureed it with cumin when it was done.

•Grated cheese

•Salsa, from this delicious recipe: 2 cups diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup diced onion, 1/2 cup diced green pepper, 1/2 cup diced red pepper, 1 chopped jalapeno, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp vinegar, small can of tomato sauce mixed with an equal amount of water.

•Pareve (non-dairy) sour cream, from this delicious recipe: 1 package firm tofu, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 cup oil. Puree everything! Incredibly good, and much cheaper than the sour cream substitutes at the grocery store and no weird ingredients.

•Cabbage salad, a perennial favorite. Sliced cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, salt, oil.

•Guacamole, just mashed up the avocados, added some of the salsa, and a pinch of salt.

This was so incredibly delicious. And all but one of us ate it enthusiastically. And that one had already basically eaten beforehand.

We think that half of the family should be on dairy-free or dairy-reduced diets, so we're eliminating a lot of the dairy we eat (and we love dairy!!). Thanks to our "soy cow" (our soy milk machine) we can do a lot of substitutions very cheaply and easily.

And beans are very kind to the budget. Last night it was homemade felafel and the semi-annual walla walla onion ring fry. :) It was so good. I usually make a yogurt sauce (yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, cumin), but we're not doing much yogurt and I didn't have tahini. So I made a sauce with soy milk sludge (the bottom of the jar usually gets a little thick), peanut butter, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cumin. That was pretty good too! We're going to try having a non-dairy bean dish for two dinners every week.

And other exciting news... through our kollel (like a post-graduate school for rabbis, and they provide community education) we now have access to local (low-mileage), grass-fed beef! We're so excited. The prices are almost normal, instead of kosher exorbitant. I generally stick to local, in-season produce, but our meat was coming from the other side of the planet. Having this new alternative is terrific. We're ordering brisket, rib steaks, and ground beef. That'll balance out the beans budget!

Back to the Thursday night shampoo routine, making everyone sparkly and ready for shabbos tomorrow. And our friend JF is joining us for dinner, which always gets everyone jumping up and down from excitement.

Oh, and, pssst, DH has a job interview in Pittsburgh next Friday. A little tefillah, a little prayer, here and there never hurt! :) Great job, and there's a LOT to like about Pittsburgh...

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