Vegan MoFo 2010: Day Fifteen

Day Fifteen: I'm broke
It's week three here in Vegan MoFo land, and I've decided to temporarily abandon my weekly theme: The Five Course Vegan. Before the riot ensues, let me explain myself. With the approaching holidays, traveling expenses are eating up my funds. I'll be flying to south Florida for a good friend's wedding in the middle of Decemeber, and Matt and I have decided to take a road trip to Tallahassee, FL at the end of next week. We'll need to rent a car, pay for gas and food while we're away. In an attempt to save as much money as I can, I'll be featuring some of my favorite recipes that rely strictly on pantry staples. It's been over a week since my list visit to the grocery store and produce market, but I'm determined to make this work. I do plan on going to the produce market for a few vegetables (all I have is a head of garlic, 2 small sweet potatos, and 1 carrot), but I'm not carrying more tha $5 in my wallet. Food and gas are easily my two greatest expenses, and in an effort to reduce my consumption of the latter, I'll be biking to anywhere that isn't work. I drive about 60 miles roundtrip for work, and anything I can do to reduce my car's mileage and my exhaust output is worth my while. 

Last night I conducted a kitchen inventory, excluding items like flours, spices, condiments, etc. because they aren't common purchases and don't play a heavy role in my budgeting. I'll use these items to make meals for two (Matt and I) and try my hardest not to purchase anything from the grocery store. Here is a list of items from which I'll need to make lunch and dinner (for two) for the next week or more:

sweet potatoes (2)
carrot (1)
garlic (1 bulb)
lemon (1 - large)
pasta (3 boxes - opened; farfalle, medium shells and spaghetti)
chickpeas (1 can)
canned tomatoes (1 28 oz. can)
dried navy beans (1 medium bag)
coconut milk (1 can)
lentils (1 cup)
quinoa (1 cup)
frozen corn (2 cups)
frozen peas (1 cup)
frozen stirfry vegetables (1 bag)
frozen bananas (2)
frozen pie crust (1)
Earth Balance
tomato paste
tempeh (1 block)
ackee (2 cans from grammy!)
calalloo (also from grams)

With a little planning and creativity, I don't think this will be too difficult. To kick off my budgeted week, I made an ackee and calalloo quiche. For those of you unfamiliar with ackee, it's the national fruit of Jamaica and one of my favorite foods. The consistency is similar to crumbled tofu or scrambled eggs, making it the perfect stand-in for tofu in a breakfast scramble and it has a tangy flavor. You can't find it fresh in the US (it's illegal to grow or ship fresh ackee) because the seeds are seriously poisonous, but canned varieties are available. Just check out your local caribbean market or a well-stocked grocery store.

Ackee and Calallo Quiche with Peas
If you do happen to find a can or two of ackee, why not try this quiche!? It sets nicely and have a really smooth, velvty texture. I seasoned mine with jerk spice (allspice, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper) and baked it in a premade pie crust that has been sitting in my pantry since my last quiche.

Ackee and Calallo Quiche with Peas
makes 1 quiche

1-28 oz. can of ackee
1-28 oz. can of calalloo
2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
1/2 frozen peas
1 ready-made pie crust, or your favorite vegan recipe
tomato slices

Preheat over to 375 degrees Farenheit. Mash ackee in a large bowl until smooth and uniform. Add calalloo and spices, stiring to combine. Add frozen peas, stirring again. Pour filling into pie crust and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Garnish with tomato slices and black pepper. Place pie in oven for 40 minutes, or until filling has firmed up. Remove quiche from oven and allow to cool for atleast 10 minutes. Enjoy!


  1. Wow, that looks amazing! I'm hoping I can find callaloo here in Australia.

  2. If you can't find it canned, try taro, amaranth or water spinach leaves!