Tuesday, August 04, 2009

$5 Dinner, Kosher-Style

When you come down to the financials of it, I'm poor.

Now, I feel kind of uncomfortable saying that, since when you come down to it I:

-have a 2-bedroom apartment in a posh section of town (thank you, rent control)
-have about a year's-worth of "just-in-case" savings in the bank
-can afford to feed myself and my family 3 square meals a day
-have cable tv, a car, a computer and lots of other "luxury" items
-have an expensive and high-quality education

So really...to call myself "poor" is kind of an insult to actual poor people, and I apologize for that.

But then again...there are those financials. I just make ends meet. Technically speaking, when your income and your expenses match exactly...when you are waiting for a paycheck to clear in order to pay your rent, isn't that technically "hand-to-mouth"?

There's also the business of the Joneses, whom for this forum I'll call the Schwartzes. The Schwartzes have at least one lawyer in the family, or maybe a lawyer and a consultant. The Schwartzes can afford a house. The Schwartzes go out to eat on a weekly, not quarterly, basis. The Schwartzes don't mull over small luxury purchases for ages...they go for it, knowing that it won't cut into their grocery money.

Ah, the Schwartzes. I envy them, it's true. But I'm also a little smug...after all, our small paychecks are mostly due to our choices to work in the non-profit-world and academia, respectively. We are a glamorous, bohemian kind of poor. We were recessionistas before it was stylish.

The good news is that besides being poor, I'm also pretty cheap. Even when I have money, I don't part with it easily. Which is why I am rather in love with this website, 5dollardinners.com. Of course, their recipes--while inspiring--can often be kind of traify.

So, in the spirit of $5 dinners, I submit to you our delicious dinner from last night, cooked by our very own Frugal Chef, Abba.

$5 Curry
1 onion, chopped, sauteed
3 sweet potatoes
2 cans of chick peas
1 can diced tomatoes
a bit more liquid and spices to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, curry powder)
Cook in covered sautee pan until sweet potatoes are soft and delicious, stirring occasionally.
Serve with brown rice.


Anonymous said...

"Frugal Chef"?!? Don't you mean
"Frugal Gourmet, America's Top & Iron & All-around Awesome Chef"?

Tonight's secret ingredient is...

Anonymous said...

Love it. We are experimenting this month with dried beans. I have found a bunch of interesting new types that take forever to cook, but it's cheap, nutritious and if you make a bucket, it lasts forever...