Pantry Stew – Eating Healthy Economics 101

My husband’s a golf pro.  This means that we live kind of lean in the winter.  I spend the summer stocking up on pantry food, like beans, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta:  stuff that can make cheap dinners to live off of in the leaner times.  I haven’t quite reached prepper status yet, but some people may think I’m a bit excessive.  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Well, we still have a couple of weeks left until he goes back to work so right now I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for creative things to make that are still healthy and tasty.  Beans are definitely the way to go.  Come summer, we have our garden to eat from and, living out in the boonies, we have a lot of farm markets to go to as well for the things I don’t grow.  We have a large freezer that is still full of frozen veggies.

Here’s the economy of eating healthy:  you have to pick and choose what you can afford.  Thankfully, we have a ‘budget’ type of store around here, called Aldi’s.  They’re all along the east coast of the US, and I don’t know where else they are.  But, they just started selling a line of organic things:  canned goods like beans and tomatoes and broths (except they don’t have veggie broth), plus they have a limited amount of organic veggies.  If you’re one of those “I will only eat orgaclean-15-dirty-dozen-287x300nic vegetables and find extreme disdain with someone who doesn’t,”  you can stop reading here.  I buy organic when I can.  I try to buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic only.  Other veggies, I stick to washing them really well and peeling them.  Once again, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The way I figure it, if you’re eating healthy things, I think your body should be able to detox from the pesticides and junk that you’re getting from the non-organic stuff.  I try to eat non-GMO as much as possible, but really can’t afford to shop at the local co-op exclusively.  I just can’t with a family of 5 to feed on a limited budget.  And I won’t even go into my “shouldn’t ‘they’ make the good food cheap to eat so everyone will be healthy” spiel.

So, this was my pantry meal of the day:  a bunch of beans and chopped veggies.  Also, I need some good carbs in me.  Now that I’ve been feeling better for the first time in a long time, I started exercising.  I’ve been weight lifting (arms and upper body 3 days a week a legs twice a week) and walking every day (about 2-4 miles, depending on the route).  On the weekend,  do some sort of cardio.  Today, I did 55 minutes of Zumba (that I took out of the library).  This stew was very filling and fulfilling without feeling heavy on my stomach.  And it gave me some energy post workout.  Plus, it made a really big pot, so I’ll have some quick lunches this week.  Enjoy!

Pantry Stew

Pantry Stew

Ingredients:

28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

15 oz. Can White Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Kidney Beans, not drained

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Lentils

1 Cup Cauliflower Florets

⅓ Cup Almond Butter

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons Cumin

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if it seems too thick.

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