The $5 Challenge Dinner


I decided to take the $5 Slow Food Challenge and cook an easy, healthy, vegan, and most importantly, CHEAP meal for a few friends this weekend. This is a recipe from a previous post, Mexican Pizza but with black beans this time, and some leftover corn on the side. I chose it because it was the cheapest thing I could think of to make from scratch without having to buy too many ingredients, and everyone loves pizza (duh.) Plus, it went perfectly with my new Mexican tablecloth that I just got while on vacation last week!

The goal was to spend less than $25 to feed five people, and I was actually under budget if I don’t count the spices and olive oil that were already in the cupboard. The flour, cornmeal, and yeast were bought in bulk from the Bushwick Food Coop, which is why they’re so cheap. It pays to join a local coop!

I froze the bananas and put them through my champion juicer on the homogenizer setting to make a custard for dessert. I know not everyone has a juicer, but you could also just use a food processor or blender to make a creamier pudding.

Here’s a recap of what I spent, including for dessert:

  • 3 bananas – $0.93
  • 2 green peppers – $1.91
  • 1 bunch of cilantro $1.79
  • 1 avocados – $2.00
  • 1 bag black beans dry – $1.29
  • 1 tomato – $0.88
  • 1 bag yellow onions – $1.99
  • 4 ears corn – $2.67
  • 1 block tempeh $2.00
  • 1 cup cornmeal  – $0.36
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour – $0.68
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast – $0.12
  • 1 can tomato paste – $1.29
  • 1 bag daiya cheddar cheese shreds – $4.49

And my total was just $22.40 (plus pizza leftovers for breakfast and lunch yesterday!) I did my best to use organic, local stuff, but I don’t get my CSA share until Wednesday so I went to my local grocery store for the veggies. Surprisingly, they had a small selection of local vegetables.

So all and all, success. And Paul got to toss the pizza dough.

Look how happy everyone is to eat a $5 vegan dinner. Take that, value meals!

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. berrin
    Oct 01, 2011 @ 13:26:33

    Hi Tasha!
    I’ve been following your blog ever since i got back from NYC in july and i must say, even though i hate black beans (i forgot to mention beans when we were discussing food we hate in class. turns out its not only artichokes and zucchini) i love your recipes! i love corn its the MOST DELICIOUS FOOD along with tomatos! i’m moving to constance at lake constance tomorrow – google it! its amazing! im moving to lake constance! – and i’ll be happy to follow some of your “cheap food tips”. we dont have to pay a ton of tuition in germany but managing school, work and PAYING RENT is a huge challenge, but i’m sure you know much better than i do what i am talking about, considering you live in new york city. by the way, instead of english and business i’ll be studying CHINESE and business! anyway i’ve been meaning to send you the picture of us that we took on our last day.
    http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/ii230/flashing_spots/IMG_2159.jpg and

    what have you been up to? did you go to mexico last week? i hope you had TONS of tacos and enjoyed the sun!
    hugs, berrin

    Reply

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