Day 3 of my attempt to go vegetarian for two weeks, and I am happy to report that I am faring very well! Here is my ridiculously easy vegetarian meal of the day, all made with my handy rice cooker on a dirt-poor student budget. And guess what? It is so savory and scrumptious that I don't even notice that there is no meat in sight.
Breakfast: Mini croissants, locally grown peaches, cranberry juice
When I crawl out of bed bleary-eyed in the early morning, the last thing I want to worry about is cooking. So I keep my breakfasts very simple; everything is just grab and eat. The perfect pairing of buttery soft croissants and tangy, juicy peaches is a much more satisfying wakeup call than my obnoxious alarm!
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Wheat Thins, a clementine, chrysanthemum tea
My healthier alternative to a greasy meal at the campus cafeteria, all made within five minutes in the morning or the night before. While letting water boil in my rice cooker for the tea, I make an iconic PB and J, pack some Wheat Thins for snacking, and throw in an adorably-sized clementine to satisfy my midday fruit craving. Before I know it, I'm ready to head out with a lunch that conveniently needs no heating or refrigeration.
Dinner: Teriyaki rice with fresh carrots, caramelized onions and steamed yams
I treat myself to a home-cooked dinner after getting back from a long day from work. Everything is still very easy. I chop up half of a large sweet onion, then sauté it in my rice cooker after letting it warm. I peel and chop one carrot then add it to the rice cooker as well with a quarter cup of jasmine rice and two teaspoons of teriyaki sauce. My rice cooker comes with a steam tray, so I pierce my yam with a fork, put the tray in place, and let it all cook for about 15-20 minutes. A rice cooker is perfect for beginning or busy cooks because it automatically switches to the warm mode when the rice is done cooking, letting me catch up on e-mail or do my laundry without worrying about my dinner scorching.
The total cost for all the food I ate today? An estimate of less than $2 for each meal for a grand total of about $5 for the entire day. Compared to the typical $7 per decent meal at the cafeteria, I think I'm doing pretty well. If the next couple of days are as simple and delicious, I think these two weeks will be much easier than I thought!