3.17.2011

Dollar 'n Sense #1: Farm to Table

We've all heard it (and possibly experienced it): It's expensive to buy food at farmers markets.

Yes, there are produce that cost more than what we wish to pay. But more often than not, they're more reasonable than you might think. Take my red chard and mushroom that became a delicious and nutritious pasta dish, for example.


Cost breakdown:
$1.50: 1 bunch of red chard
$3.50: 1 bag of mushrooms
$1.79: whole wheat spaghetti from Whole Foods (only used half)
Yield: 3 sizable servings 
For under $6, I was able to make lunch for 2 people + leftovers for lunch the next day.

I was most impressed with the earthiness from the mushrooms... this kind of woodsy smell and flavor are hard to replicate if prepackaged mushrooms were used.


Red chard is full of antioxidants because of their fire-engine red stems. Instead of throwing them away (or better yet, composting them), chop off the dried ends and then rough chop through the stems and leaves. Saute with olive oil and minced garlic then add in sliced mushrooms. Serve over hot pasta and top with grated cheese (pictured is English sharp cheddar).

Other bargain buys from this week's farmers market: $1 pre-diced nopales (cactus pads), $0.75 mini butternut squash, and $2 yellow chard!

This is the first of many posts to come about eating well on a budget, particularly using affordable finds from farmers markets. Stay tuned for more scrumptious finds and recipes labeled under "Dollar 'n Sense."

5 comments:

Jme said...

Yum!!!! I've been wanting to try making chard or kale and this sounds delicious. Does the chard really have a longer cooking time then the mushrooms? Wow.

j said...

this looks awesome!!

HEALing Foodie said...

@ Jme: I cooked the stem part of the chard first then the sliced mushrooms. The chard leaves went it last.

@ J: It was really delicious! And no fuss!

delwin said...

our weekly visit to farmers market =D

Courtney said...

thanks for this recipe Eliz! Kale and spinach make regular appearances in our kitchen, but I'm excited to find a way to use red chard! Now... my challenge to you is to find a way to use mustard greens (yuck!).
-Beans

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