Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cheap Eats Part II: White Beans & Smoked Sausage

When I calculated the cost per serving in this dish, I almost fainted. I could not believe that a little over $8.00 could feed at least six people (or two people thrice) and still taste pretty darned good - kiss it, Dollar Menu! This recipe was born from a contemplative look in the pantry and fridge and a strong desire to put off going to the grocery store for just one more day.

Here's what I saw sitting around:

a couple of cans of Great Northern white beans
a can of diced tomatoes
one pound of smoked sausage
white rice

Here's how I put it together:

1 lb smoked sausage, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 cup of diced onions (you could also add diced green bell peppers)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
2 cans white beans (Navy/Great Northern)
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley (optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

In a large pot, cook the sausage over med-high heat till browned. Add onions, lower heat to medium, and cook till translucent.
Add minced garlic and cook for a couple of minutes (taking care not to burn it).
Add the beans and tomatoes and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, mix in the parsley and sprinkle with a little lemon juice. These two ingredients add freshness and brighten up the dish.
Serve over rice.

This is what I would spend if I went out today and bought all the necessary ingredients:
sausage, $2.50 (it's even cheaper if you use smoked turkey sausage)
2 cans of beans, $1.16 (if you cooked your own beans, you'd spend less money but it might take a bit longer)
1 can of tomatoes, $.63
1 onion, $.79
1 head of garlic, $.99
1 bunch Italian parsley, $.79
1 lemon, $.30
1 lb rice, $.98

$8.14 total ($1.36/serving), and you'd still have ingredients left over for your next cheap eats recipe.
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