Sunday, January 20, 2013

Organic Meals for Six Under $15

I hear it too often - "Eating organically is too expensive" - I am here to prove that that is just not true! The key, in my opinion, is finding a local organic farm for your produce. The prices of organic fruits and veggies skyrocket in the grocery store (milk, eggs, and meat are reasonably priced at store), but remain as low as conventionally grown produce when bought locally. 

Here are my family's three favorite budget organic meals (under $15 and feeds six), with our local cost (prices vary by region).

"Unstuffed Cabbage"

Ingredients:

1 head of organic cabbage ($2.50)
1 lb organic ground turkey or beef ($5.50)
3 cans organic tomato sauce ($3)
2 cups organic rice ($3)
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to season

Total Cost: $14



Instructions:

Brown meat and set aside. Chop cabbage and place with rice in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with ground meat and seasonings. Pour tomato sauce over all, making sure to fill in  corners and gaps. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Tip - It is OK to overfill baking dish (see image below), as cabbage cooks down.


"Stretch the Jar" Organic Spaghetti

Organic spaghetti sauce costs about $5 a jar. In order to stretch that, add a mix of colorful veggies to the sauce.

Ingredients that I used:

1 box organic whole wheat and flax spaghetti noodles ($3)
1 jar organic sauce ($5)
about 10 organic crimini mushrooms (baby bella) ($3)
1 organic zucchini ($0.50)
organic spinach ($3)

Total Cost: $14.50




Instructions:
This one speaks for itself, but I sauteed the zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms in coconut oil and added the sauce, simmer. I followed package instructions on spaghetti, and voila! Spaghetti for 6-10 with only ONE jar of sauce!



Salad/Potato Bar

This is my "on a budget" or "crap, we have people coming over and I don't know what they like" or "I REALLY don't want to cook tonight" dinner. 

Ingredients I use:

Organic Romaine Lettuce ($3)
Organic Avocado ($1)
Organic Tomatoes ($2)
Organic Potatoes  ($3)
Organic Eggs, Hard Boiled ($3.50)
Organic Cucumber ($0.50)


Total Cost: $13.50

I simply bake the potatoes, hard boil the eggs, chop the veggies, and stick them out in a buffet format. I also make my own dressing and add some sour cream and whatever cheese happens to be in our fridge at the time (usually bleu or cheddar) for our guests. It's always a hit. 

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