All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Friday, October 16, 2009

Eat on $30 a week: vermicelli with kale, garlic, and rosemary

I just love food bloggers. Not just for their considerable talents in the cooking and baking departments, but for their empathy and concern for others. A few days ago, I became aware that a food blogger, Running with Tweezers, had decided to try living on a food budget that reflected what a normal food stamp recipient would recieve: $30 a week per person, or $4.29 per day. She put out the challenge to other food bloggers to come up with not only creative recipes, but to try to meet the challenge for a week.
Yesterday, I decided to try just one day of the challenge, and here is the result.
rolled oats with diced pears and a teaspoon of honey: 35 cents
1 cup instant coffee: 25 cents
1 fried egg : 17 cents
Total: 77 cents
Because I'd picked some wild pears, the pears were free, and because I had a large jar of honey, the cost was minimal.
poached chicken: 55 cents
cup of instant coffee: 25 cents
hunk of swiss cheese: 35 cents
slice of good bread: 21 cents
Total : $1.36
Again, I'd bought a large piece of cheese, and slicing off a piece was obviously cheaper than buying by the slice
Snack: homemade applesauce
Cost: free
I'd picked some windfall, semi -wild apples a week before, so I had several jars in the freezer.
I never did eat this, since I was full, but it it was a good backup for, say, hungry children.
I loved this! Much of it was free from the garden, though.
2 cups kale: free
1 T. butter: .13 cents
2 T. parmesan, grated: 30 cents
rosemary: free
vermicelli pasta: 50 cents ( which I bought on sale)
2 cloves garlic: free from a friend's garden
Total: 93 cents
Total for all three meals: $3.06
This is just one day for me, with considerable help from free food from the garden. To buy food in bulk requires putting out much more cash, not often available. And to do it day after day after day - is it any wonder carbohydrates figure so strongly in restricted budgets? So now, I'm going to challenge YOU to eating on $30 a week, per person, along with your recipes and thoughts on the challenge, if you would. And many thanks to Running with Tweezers, for her thoughtful challenge.
Oh, and here's that Pasta with Kale recipe:
1/3 box vermicelli pasta
2 T. fresh rosemary, stripped from stem
1 T. olive oil ( oops, forgot that in the figuring) for the pasta water
2 cups kale, stripped from stems and torn
more olive oil for the finished pasta
parmesan for the pasta
2 cloves garlic
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Throw in the torn kale and the vermicelli and cook for 8 minutes.
Drain the pasta and kale.
Sprinkle the rosemary on the pasta and gently toss.
Press the garlic and toss into pasta and kale.
Drizzle some olive oil on top and a little unsalted butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pass a bowl of parmesan, if desired.
Enjoy the challenge!


Kelly said...

It's interesting to see the menu that the challenge inspired. It always makes me sad to see how the foods that are the lowest in quality nutrition are the cheapest, but your chlalenge shows that if you're smart and frugal you can eat well. However it's definitely still a challenge.

katrina said...

Kelly, I have a few things in my basket - one being cooking knowledge, and the other being free food from the garden. Clearly, encouraging both is the best solution, but I have my doubts that will happen. I did, however, see several folks using coupons for farmer's market produce during the summer: a good thing for sure! Look forward to your meeting my one day challenge!

Sophie said...

I so loooooovvvvvvveeee Kale!!!

What a tasty dish!!

Thanks again for the info on cornbread: much appreciated!! Now, I know!

katrina said...

Hi Sophie! I'm with you - kale is one of the best greens I know; I eat a lot of kale and spinach. Delighted you liked this quickie of a recipe.
I forget that corn and cornbread are Native American, and fairly local to the US, so no reason you'd know about it in Belgium!

Barb said...

I've had a bit of catching up to do (again!) but I did make your Tuscan Vegetable Soup w/White Beans and garlic for dinner today - Oh My! Perfectly delicious!!! and now I have my eye on those lucious-looking gingerbread witch hats! (can't ignore the call of something sweet, can I? and they are so cute, too!)

Hope you are doing well. How's physical therapy going?

katrina said...

Hi Barb!
Glad you loved that soup! I was soooo sorry when it was all gone, and next time plan to make twice as much of the white bean garnish, because it tasted so wonderful. And delighted you liked the gingerbread cookies, too! A plate of those cookies ended up at my local bank, to thank them for, well, being such helpful people. Gone in ten minutes:)
PT is going fantastically and I'm just thrilled - no more back pain. Hope all goes well with you these days, as well.

Barb said...

Hi Katrina ~ Happy to read that PT is going well and helping you so much.

Your lucky bankers are hoping you come in anytime (especially with cookies!). I'd want to bank there too.

katrina said...

You've got that right, Barb! The ladies at the bank are already dropping hints about their favorite cookie and cake passions:)