Lately, you may have noticed a few more posts about food than you may be accustomed to. I hope you’re into cheap recipes with a healthy bent, because when I’m not working, I’m trying to make the best possible food for the least amount of money, and it only makes sense that I share those finds with you guys, too, right? (If you didn’t say “Right!” I don’t care.)
Unlike fashion, you need food to live, and the economics of groceries can make or break your budget. And, unfortunately, the American food industry dictates that the cheapest available food also be the absolute worst for you, as well as the most bountiful, convenient and readily accessible. Sigh.
That’s why Leanne Brown, author and general food lover, felt the strong need to create Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day – a cookbook for the health- and budget-conscious. Perhaps the first of its kind! It also happened to be the capstone project for Brown’s Food Studies Masters program at NYU.
Where did $4/day come from? Well, it happens to be the average budget of a family who receives food stamps or SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Leanne Brown wrote this cookbook with the intention of making healthy food accessible to literally everyone. And “everyone on (SNAP)” means $47 million people, in America. That’s a lot of people who can’t make Ina Garten’s prosciutto wrapped figs, you know?
Earlier this year, Brown ran a Kickstarter campaign for the book, attempting to raise $10,000 to create a print copy of her free eBook so those who didn’t have computers could still access this important info, and ended up succeeding – and then some. She raised $144, 681. The surplus of money was used to donate 26,000 copies of her printed book to non-profit organizations.
Considering some recipes are under $0.75 per serving, the book certainly doesn’t look cheap. It looks as good as any other $40 big brand cookbook, but this one doesn’t list 75 ingredients, the bill for which would likely make my bank account immediately close.
This book, though… This book has an entire chapter devoted to things to put on toast. It also has an excellent chapter dedicated to versatile pantry staples like pizza dough, fresh pasta and tomato sauce and has basic but no-one-taught-you recipes for cheap necessities like dried beans and rice. She even included her own Chana Masala recipe! (Here’s mine.)
This is an awesome step towards self-sufficiency for a lot of families, and healthier lifestyles for… all of us! It’s definitely inspired me to get in the kitchen and start really creating some low-price, high-nutrition recipes of my own.
Do you have a favorite cheap recipe?