$2 menus: a “greatest hits” collection

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the $2-a-serving anti-Wal Mart challenge for charity?  A few of my blogger friends have taken me up on the challenge so far, but (cringes with embarrassment) I haven’t even been able to post any menus myself.  Things have been very hectic with the band lately (lots of rehearsals and shows) and although I have been cooking a little, I haven’t been able to be organized about it enough to photograph and write up any blog posts.

So, I thought in the meantime the least I could do was visit the archives and post links to some of my past recipes that fall under the $2-or-less per serving category.  Obviously I can’t give exact costs, but I’m only posting recipes that I am very sure would fall under the $2 maximum.  I’ll even refrain from including any of the “takes hours to make” recipes (even though I have several that would qualify price-wise), since part of the point was that it would be accessible to the average working person.

If you’re interested in participating in the challenge, please do so!  I am also excited to announce that I received word from Gleaners Food Bank that whatever I donate will be doubled, so please submit your links ASAP! I have set a deadline of Dec. 20 so I can send in the donation before Christmas.  If you don’t have time to do a “new” recipe, I would accept a blog post similar to this one that mentions the challenge and gives links to some of your past recipes.

Ants on a Tree (stir-fried pork & bean thread noodle) from the book Hungry Monkey- the author touts this as his family’s favorite quick weeknight meal.  For a green vegetable, whip up a quick batch of my Chinese-style Kale to go alongside.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad You could make a meal of this by wrapping it in a pita with a dollop of plain yogurt.

Pizza on the Grill The pre-made dough I get at Trader Joe’s is 99¢ and makes 2 “medium” pizzas.  If you wanted, you could make your own dough and get the price down even more.  If we generously call one pizza one serving, that leaves $1.50 per pizza to spend on toppings, which is plenty unless you’re being ultra chi-chi.  You could even (and should) throw a green salad on the tab and still be under $2 a person.  Plus, these cook up in minutes, making them the ultimate fast food.

Black-Eyed Pea & Collard Green Soup This soup is modeled after one at Russell Street Deli, a restaurant well known for their delicious soups. Add a side of cornbread or biscuits like I did, and you’ll still be under the $2-per-serving mark.  While it’s not necessarily the fastest thing to make, it’s definitely very simple to throw together.

BLT Salad with Mayo Vinaigrette Perhaps I’ll have trouble convincing some of you that a salad can count as “dinner”, but if you make them big like I do, and have a nice hunk of baguette on the side, I don’t think you’ll go hungry.  Even if you use high-end bacon from responsibly-raised pigs (which I implore you to do), this meal still rings up at less than $2.

Basque-Inspired Peasant Soup Like many of my recipes, this uses meat as more of a flavor component rather than the main attraction.  Not only does this keep costs down, but it’s just a healthier way to eat overall.  Don’t worry though; this soup is still plenty hearty.  It also uses a few canned/jarred “pantry staples” so it’s doable for a weeknight supper.

Mujadara with Mushrooms This might be stretching the guidelines I set forth, since it’s not exactly super quick to make, but it’s too good a recipe to leave off the list.  As with the chickpea salad, you can wrap it in a pita with some yogurt, or just eat a big scoop of it with some sautéed spinach alongside.

Italian Sausage & Pepper Pasta Sauce This is one of my decidedly less “glamorous” posts, but it probably fits the bill more than any of the other recipes for being affordable and very easy to throw together. (I made it in less than an hour total, and I am the world’s pokiest cook.)

Smoky Chorizo Chili We’re getting deep in the archives with this recipe- it was one of the first I posted, back when my photography standards were much lower than they are now! 😛  This is a great chili to throw together on a weeknight since it uses canned beans, tomatoes and chilis.  In spite of it not being a long-simmered chili, it still packs a ton of flavor.


One response to “$2 menus: a “greatest hits” collection

  1. One of the most rib sticking (and satisfying) meals I know would be chicken and sausage gumbo over rice. I make a batch fo about $3.50 and it makes about 6 genourous servings (about $.60 a serving).

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