Category Archives: $3-$5 Local Meal Challenge

$2.50:Turkey and Barley Stew

Ann Arbor FoodMy usual go to grain is short grain brown rice. This is a leftover from my days when I ate a macrobiotic diet. Now that I am eating more locally, I am thinking about other grains. Barley is a grain that is grown here in Michigan, along with oats, corn and wheat. I have yet to find whole grain corn available for making pasole, but I figure it is out there.

Here is a hearty stew made from whole barley. Most barley recipes call for pearled barley which is a more refine product like brown compared to white rice. The upshot is that whole barley comes out chewy and takes much longer to cook, about an hour or more, but it has more nutrition.

I provided a vegan option for this meal. If going vegan, the addition of dried mushroom which including the mushroom tea and perhaps some miso could be use to boast flavor. The addition of chopped nuts or seeds can also be added as a garnish for a hearty vegan option.

I forgot to garb an itemized receipt so there is not a 100% official local food cost breakdown for this meal, but I am sure it fits into a $3-5 range per person.

Turkey and Barley Stew

Makes 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound of whole barley, (Hampshire Farms) $1.50

1 pound of ground turkey (can substitute you favor ground meat or sausage), Plum Market $7.00 (Meat is optional, this meal can be vegan)

3 medium size leeks, cleaned and dice, with some green parts (AA Coop) $??$3.00

2 cup of sliced mushrooms (AA Coop) $??$2.50

2 cup of medium diced carrots(Garden works) $1.00

1 quart jar of canned tomatoes with liquid (Home Garden) $1.00

1 cup of frozen peas (not local) $1.00 ???

1/4 cup of organic soy sauce (No Local) $?? 1.50

3 bay leafs

3-4 tablespoons butter (AA Coop) $.50 (Substitute olive or vegetable oil for a vegan option)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Estimated Cost:

Eight servings $2.38

Ten servings $1.90

Vegan Option: $2.50-$1.20 (depending on how fancy you get with the dried mushrooms, nuts and other additions)

Procedure:

In a large heavy bottomed, brown the turkey with the butter. Remove the turkey and add the leeks and mushrooms with a little salt. Stir and cooked them down for around ten minutes. If they start to stick, add a little water. Add the carrots, some bay leaf, the can of tomatoes, the soy sauce, the barley, and turkey. Add about 2-6 cups of water, enough to cover. Barley absorbs a ton of water, so you might need to add more depending if you want this to be more of a soup than a grain dish. Stock can me use to substitute some of the water. Stir in the smoked paprika and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the barley is cooked. Thaw the peas in put into the stew during the last ten minutes.

Garnish with parsley or scallion.

$1.00 Local Meal: Lentil and Sweet Potato with Feta

Lentil and Sweet Potato with Feta

6-8 servings

Green Lentil 1 LB (Hampshire Farms) $1.75
1 Large Onion, diced (Eastern Market) $.50
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (EM) $1.00
2 cloves of garlic, minced (Ann Arbor FM) $.25
2 Lemon (No local) $.50
1/4 LB Feta Cheese, crumbled (Local from Peoples food coop)$1.00
Chicken Fat (Leftover)
Thyme and Oregano, minced (from home garden)
Salt and Pepper

Home Made bread $.50
Butter 1/4 stick $.25 (from people food coop)

Total 5.75

Per Serving $.95-$.72

Procedure:

In a large pot add some of the chicken fat, or 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or unsalted butter. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in the sweet potato, lentils and 6-8 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Place cover on with a small gap to let out some steam. Cook until the lentils are soft, about 30-45 minutes. Add the lemon juice, more chicken fat or butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with hearty bread with butter, and crumbled feta cheese.

Note: You might want to hold off on the salt until you add the feta which is very salty. This recipe also works with yellow split peas and red lentils. Note that the yellow split peas will take longer to cook. For a creamier richer dish, and stir in some heavy cream.

Pinto Bean and Chicken Casserole w/corn biscuit topping: $2.13 per serving

Ann Arbor FoodThis is a great recipe for cheap eats. It uses a bunch of tricks to make an economical meal. My money saver tips are adding beans when using meat, left over stock and chicken fat to add flavor and richness, and using corn meal and/or a baked element.

This meal can also be a base for many variation. You can switch the type of beans, the kind of meat, use sausage, fish/seafood, go vegetarian, and/or add cream for richness. I use a buttermilk corn drop biscuit topping, but you can substitute an biscuit recipe you like.

Ann Arbor Food

Ann Arbor Food

Pinto Beans, Chicken and Vegetables

Pinto Beans (Hampshire Farm) 1 LB $1.50
(Can use an beans you like. Substitute two 16 oz cans of bean for 1 pound of cooked beans)

Chicken Leg, (Sparrow Kerry Town) $3. per pound 21 oz, $3.93
(Can substitute another meat, sausage, seafood, or go vegetarian)

2 1/4 cups left over stock from the other night and some chicken fat.
1/2 cup AP Flour, 5 oz (Westmill) $.62
1 onion (Eastern Market) $.50
3/4 LB carrots (Ann Arbor Farmers Market) $1
broccoli (Eastern Market) $.50
1/2, 8 oz jar of roasted red pepper, jarred at home from FM pepper $1.00
1 small jalapeno pepper (FM) $.25
Garlic (FM) $.25
1/4 stick of butter (Coop) $.25
Dry Thyme, basil and oregano from garden
Smoke Paprika(not local, but could be)
Salt

Procedure:

Soak and cook the beans. Set aside. Brown the meat and set aside. Add the butter to a large pan and saute the onions for a few minutes. Add the carrots and broccoli and cook for a few minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno pepper, and red pepper. Add the stock and the flour and combine. Stir in the beans and meat, and add to a large casserole pan.

Corn Biscuit Topping

Corn Meal (Hampshire Farm) 5 oz $.31
Ap Flour (Westmill) 5 oz $.62
1/2 stick of cold unsalted butter $.50
3/4 cup Buttermilk (Calder Dairy) $1.50
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (not local)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (Not Local)
pinch of salt

Procedure:

In a food processor, combine the corn and AP Flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and diced cold butter. Pulse until the mixture is combined to a crumble. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the buttermilk.

Spoon out the corn biscuit dough in blobs on top of the meat, bean, veggie casserole. In a pre-heated 350 degree oven, cook for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is bubbling and the biscuit are golden brown.

season with salt and pepper to taste and hot sauce (optional)

Total: 12.81

4 Really Large servings: $3.20

6 Big servings: $2.13

$2.95 Local Meal: Roast Chicken, Potatoes and Greens

Ann Arbor FoodI am on my local food on the cheap kick, which is part of my $3-5 (per person) Local Meal Challenge. Here is todays meal of Roasted chicken legs, potatoes from my garden and mixed greens. The real budget miracle was the potatoes. I grew 40-50 pounds of spuds from about $5 of seed potatoes, which comes to about .10 a pound and about .05 per serving.

The other part of the this meal that is not listed is the chicken bones. They are reserved to make stock.

I also add a few cups of water to the roasting pan which collects the dripping and fat from the roasted chicken on the rack.

Here is a picture of the collected pan drippings and fat. Notice the two layers. The top is the chicken fat and some butter from the brushing the chicken. I let this cool then remove the top fat layer and reserve for potatoes and bean dishes. It is kitchen gold. The tasty broth is reserved to make sauces, and add a little flavor for beans, grains, and even mac and cheese.

Ann Arbor Food

Chicken legs have extra fat and skin, which I like to cut off and roast in the toaster oven to create what I call chicken cracklings, or Kosher Cracklings. They make a great little snack with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.

This meal was very filling. I only ate half of my chicken portion, but most in the family had a full piece.

Roasted Chicken Legs w/ potatoes and mixed greens

Roasted Chicken

4 large 10.25 ounce portion
6 good portions

1/4 stick of butter melted to brush on chicken (local butter from Peoples food co-op) .25

4 chicken legs 2.6 pounds, ($3 per pound) $7.8, Sparrows Kerry Town

salt

$1.95 per large serving
$1.30 per good serving

Oven Roasted Potatoes
4 large portions

2.2 pounds assorted potatoes from home garden .10 per pound
render chicken fat from the skin of the chicken
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (not local, but could be) .20
salt and pepper

.10 per serving

Saute Mixed Dark Leafy Greens
6 portions

Collard and Kale One large bunch of each, $4.00 (Frog Holler)
1 onion $.50 (Eastern Market)
1/4 cup of michigan white wine $1.00
salt

.90 per serving

total:

$2.95 Large Portion
$2.30 Good Portion


$3-5 Submissions

I will be posting links to submission for $3-5 local meals

Here is a submission from MK of Motherskitchen.blogspot.com

The recipe is for crock-pot collard with ham hocks , and cornbread

Local Grains and Beans: Detroit’s Eastern Market

Ann Arbor Food

I am back from a trip to Detroit’s Eastern Market. The place was huge, more like a regional distribution center than what I am familiar with at small farmers markets like Ann Arbor and even Portland Oregon. The mission was to stock up on grains and beans from Hampshire Farms. The haul was 26 pounds of assorted grains, seeds, beans and flour.

2# Popcorn
2# Rolled Oats
2# Pastry Flour
2# Bread Flour
2# Sunflower seed
4# Black Turtle Beans
2# Adzuki Beans
4# Green Lentils
2# Pinto Beans
2# Barley
2# Corn Meal

The cost was $40

They had rye grain/flour, whole wheat berry, buckwheat, spelt berry and green split peas (listed on the web site but not at the market)

My focus lately has been trying to create locally sourced meals on a budget of $3-5 dollars. Looking at all of these local ingredients, I see inexpensive meals with a lot of variety. The local beans, grains, seeds and flours sell for $1-2 per pound. I usually use one pound of grains and/or beans for a meal for four, which comes to $.25-.50 per serving.

One thing that stands out is the sunflower seeds because I see as potential for a sunflower oil industry in Michigan. The more people push toward locally sourced food the more I feel we will see a great variety of local food products available like wine, cheese, sauces, condiments, vegetable oils, and other regional specialties.

More $3-5 local meals on the way.

$2.50 Local Meal: Black Beans, Cornbread and Kale

Ann Arbor FoodHere is a cost breakdown of my local meal. I am still trying to find a local source for cooking oil, so I used olive oil. The meal came to $2.58 per serving, but cheaper local beans were available, so the meal could have cost $2.08.

Cornbread

8 servings

14 ounce corn meal $1 Ernst farm

2 cups buttermilk $2 Calder Dairy

1 cup of milk .40 Guernsey Dairy

1 1/2  sticks of butter $1.50 (local)

3 eggs $.75 Farmers Market (FM)

$ .70 per serving

Black Beans

6 servings

 

2 onions $.50 (FM_

1/2 kaboshia squash $1.50 (FM)

3 carrots $.50 (FM)

2 cloves of garlic .25 (FM)

2 pounds of black beans $6 (but have seen beans for 1.50 per pounds)

1/4 olive oil  .6 (not Local)

1/8 rice vinegar .5 (not Local)

Kosher salt and pepper

$1.55 per serving (with cheaper beans could have been $1.05)

Steamed Kale

6 servings

 

one bunch of kale, $2 Tantre Farm

pinch of brown sugar

pinch of salt

$.33 per serving

$2.58 Total per serving