Nicole and I may not have a lot of our lives put together, but we do pride ourselves in the way we eat. We've been following our weekday vegetarian diet for over a year now, and have explored all sorts of new recipes chock full of vegetable proteins. I will try to feature 10 dishes (not always vegetarian) every two weeks, in hopes of inspiring a few ideas in your own kitchen.
We've been spending a little over $400 a month on groceries for the two of us, and we eat almost exclusively at home, which brings our meals to around $2.50 per person (including in-between snacks). We have a budget ceiling of $100/mo towards eating out, which we use to educate and inspire us with new flavors and ingredient combinations. To translate these values to your own city, check out this nifty Cost of Living Calculator (e.g., this would be comparable to a grocery budget of $324/mo in Salt Lake City or $292/mo in Austin).
We're new to eating at home everyday, so I'm sure we'll get better at it price-wise, but we have felt that our initial investments in better-tasting and healthier foods will be recouped through decades of lower-cost health care. And there's just no substitute for an enjoyable, guilt-free, home-cooked meal, and the hearth and intimacy that accompanies it all. A chance to serve each other together in the home is reason enough to give the habit of eating in a go.
Inspired by our sister-in-law Beth, we've been borrowing cookbooks from the library, most notably those of Dr. Andrew Weil and Alice Waters (2007 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient of Diners Club International, and a personal favorite in my own culinary philosophy repertoire). The library, by the way, has completely revolutionized my media consumption habits! I will never buy another book again before first lending it from the library. It lowers the cost of entry for interdisciplinary, life-holistic education and stokes the fire of vestigial curiosity.
Without further exposition, see below (and above) for 10 recipes we've been devouring in the Cheung home.