I have honestly been a bit surprised at the cost of our total meals this week – I thought it would have been more. We do buy quite a bit in bulk, which I always knew helped, but it has become even more apparent this week. (We buy in bulk via a few local co-ops – let me know in the comments if you’re local and want more information).

Tuesday

Breakfast
Organic quinoa, cinnamon, fair trade banana (I make this at the beginning of the week to last us all week) + splash of organic milk
$0.60 x 3 servings = $1.80

Lunch
Leftover enchiladas from the night before – freebie
Organic romaine salad with balsamic vinegar and oil – $1

Dinner
Sausage gumbo (recipe below) with rice $9.65 total
Romaine salad with apples $3.65

Snacks
Organic grapes $2

Total for the day: $18.10

Sausage Gumbo
A Sara Original

I’ll give the prices below for the sake of this week’s project. All ingredients are grown organically unless otherwise noted. And I’m going to count spices as freebies, which I know they aren’t, but I think spices are a great way to make real food taste even better and most kitchens would have them on hand.

Ingredients
2 TBSP oil – $0.50
2 TBSP flour – $0.15
2 green peppers, diced (we had these already diced in the freezer from our CSA peppers over the summer) – $0.50
2 onions, diced – $0.30
2 celery stalks with leaves, diced – $0.40
4 cloves local garlic, minced – $0.50
1 tsp paprika, oregano, and thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth – freecycled from chicken carcass and veggie scraps
Local, happily raised sausage (four links in casing) – $4
2 cups chickpeas – $1
2 cups diced tomatoes – freebies from our garden*
Salt and pepper

4 cups of cooked rice – $2

Directions
If you haven’t already, cook two cups of rice (equal to four cups cooked).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the sausage on a cookie sheet, poke a few holes in the links with a fork, and place it in the oven until cooked throughout and a bit crispy on the outside (about 20 minutes).

In a large pot, preheat the oil until shimmering, and then add the flour. Cook the flour and oil until a golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Then add the green peppers, onions, and celery. Cook until the onion is softened. Then add the spices and garlic, cooking just until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer. By this time, the sausage should be done cooking. Slice it down the middle and then in one-inch pieces. Add to the pot. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas to the pot. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Excuse the crummy phone picture – we were too hungry!

*I realize that there are still costs to things that we grow in the garden, but I’m terrible at math and there is no way I can figure out the value of our time + how much watering we did + the cost of the compost that we used to fertilize the plants…and the list goes on.

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