Food ideas for leaner times

My recent trip to Tucson found me on a very tight budget for food. It’s tax time and I’m re-organizing my approach to tracking my expenses and business travel. This means establishing a solid foundation for future trips that are within my means as a small business. I’m always pretty budget aware, but travel expenses can sneak up on you.

Thankfully the University of Arizona Honors College put me up during my visit in the guest lecturer/speakers apartment at their newest residence hall, Arbol de la Vida; they stocked my fridge and cupboards with a few essentials and great snacks, too (thanks Susan!).

While I had a full kitchen , I was missing some essential cookware and cooking utensils. I made do, thanks to one of my college-time faves, a hot cereal that I’d completely forgotten about. The general set-up (I followed the microwave directions on the box) wasn’t ideal for my regularly preferred-microwaveless life, but over my 5 day trip, I was able to craft 7 meals from a $4.29 box of Quinoa Flakes*, and I have more than half the package left for future meals. Adding nuts, raisins or other dried fruit, savory spices, veggies, yogurt, whatever you have on hand, turns this protein-packed porridge into a fine make-do meal. Check out some fun facts about quinoa below.

What are some of your best bets for lean times proteins?

Fun facts: Quinoa!

(see references linked in the post resource section below)

  • Many starches/grains don’t supply a complete protein (e.g. why beans and rice combined make perfect bedfellows), but quinoa contains the amino acid lysine, a unique situation that forms a more complete protein.
  • Pronounced kee-nwa, it is a pseudo cereal related to spinach, buckwheat and amaranth, meaning it’s not a true grain.
  • It’s gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-glycemic and chock full of other good stuff that can help to fill you up and stock your body with vitamins and minerals.

Stay tuned for a more thorough Tucson recap post!

*I was not asked by, nor was Ancient Harvest even aware of my posting on their Quinoa Flakes product. I support this product of my own choosing and I purchased the product with my own money.