I am motherfucking tired. As I learn to cook healthier, I’m discovering that there are a whole lot of things that are damn near impossible to make in Benin. Anything that requires steal cut oats, flax seeds, or whole wheat, for example. There are a lot of substitutes that I make:
- crème épaissé for sour cream
- homemade buttermilk for sour cream (when I’m too broke or too busy for a grocery store run)
- citrons for lemons and limes
- tomato puree for tomato sauce and tomato paste
- parsley for cilantro (only in a pinch!)
- flour tortillas for corn tortillas
- etc. etc. etc.
But there are a lot of things that really can’t be substituted: chicken broth, apple sauce, canned pumpkin, store bought tomato sauce, taco seasoning, bags of prewashed and presorted greens. If there’s no substitute, I make it from scratch.
Today, I made several cups of pumpkin puree, granola bars, pumpkin butter, and smoky chicken stock. It took me forever. Tomorrow, I’ll spend a few hours making tortillas and prepping salad ingredients so that I can throw together healthy meals during the week.
It’s a choice, I know. I could pay for expensive processed food at Erevan or order it from the States. I’ve decided that being frugal is more important than having free weekends, and that eating healthily is even more important that eating frugally. But days like today? I’m beat!