$5 Slow Food Success!

This past Saturday 6 friends and I participated in $5 slow food challenge and it was one of the nicest evenings I’ve had in a while.  I shopped, cooked, and ate with friends. Each person contributed one $5 dish and we all shared pot luck style.  We ate delicious food, drank yummy ($3.50!) wine, told good stories, laughed, and enjoyed the food and the company

The menu included:
2 variations of homemade focaccia bread
radish dip with whole grain crackers (recipe below)
curried red lentils and tofu (recipe below)
chick pea and potato curry
zucchini and green beans
apple cinnamon muffins

All in all, I found cooking for $5 to be pretty easy.  We decided that each dish would be under $5, and we had 7 people at the dinner party.  We figured that way it would work out to be about $5 per person.  What we didn’t consider was the possibility of leftovers.

We easily could have fed about twice as many people with our $5 dishes, making it closer to $2.50 a person!

So, here are the recipes for the dishes I provided.  They were both very good.  I’ll list prices for things I bought specifically for these recipes, but not for things I already had in my kitchen.

Radish dip
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened ($1.69)
4 radishes, minced
1 green onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
crackers ($1.99)

Just combine everything in a bowl and serve with whole grain crackers or sliced veggies.

Curried Red Lentils and Tofu




2 cups red lentils ($1.79)
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated with a microplane
1 box, 32 oz, veggie stock ($1.99)
1 carton firm tofu ($1)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
a couple shakes cayenne pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add one tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions and cook until they are soft.  Meanwhile, rinse the lentils well and drain then in a colander.  Add the garlic and ginger to the pot and cook for another minute until they are fragrant.  Then add the lentils and the vegetable stock to the pot and simmer until the lentils are soft and starting to fall apart, about 30 minutes.  While the lentils are cooking, slice the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and set them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.  Heat up the remaining oil in a large skillet and add the tofu, cumin, and curry powder.  Pan fry the tofu, stirring occasionally, until it is golden on all sides.  Pour the tofu and the seasoned oil into the lentil pot, along with the sugar and cayenne, and mix well.  Let everything cook together for a few minutes so that all the flavors can meld.


3 thoughts on “$5 Slow Food Success!

  1. As the maker of the curry, I can confirm that it was enough to feed 12 people — after the 7 of us ate it at the party, I got another 5 meals out of it!

  2. Hi! I am Alida’s Mom; she sent me the link to this post. My husband and I did a 2-person $5 meal that day, no guests — partly because we had very short notice. (I’m not blaming Alida, I’m just glancing in her direction ….)

    Anyway — I would like to do a blog post about this on Friday 9/30. Would you mind if I linked to this post on your blog?

    If my email doesn’t show up in this reply, it’s thatoldhouseblog@gmail.com

    and I hope to hear from you. Good luck with the job search. It is particularly tough in California, isn’t it?

    Best wishes — Cass

    • Hi Cass, I would love to have you do a blog post about the dinner. Alida and I had such fun organizing everything, and the dinner turned out great! Not sure if this system will alert you of the reply, so I’ll email as well.

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