Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cooking for Friends on $6

I've noticed a severe increase in the amount of people bringing in their own food at lunch-time around the office. I guess the financial times are finally hitting them...or perhaps it's that "New Years Resolution" thing that will eventually wear off. Regardless, I like the trend. It's amazing how much money you can save by not shelling out at lunchtime every day. (Not that I ever really did. I think $3.50 for a sandwich across the street is even ridiculous. I've always brought in food at least 2-3 days out of the week.)

I also like the concept of leftovers. You get a bit of variety in the middle of your day that could vary from the typical sandwich or salad that people here get trapped in. Leftovers also tend to be a little heartier and, if it's homemade, it's probably healthier than pre-packaged foods.

Today, I'm eating leftovers from last night's "communal" dinner. A few friends came over and brought the alcohol and I made the dinner. We settled on Chana Masala, an Indian dish made of curry and chickpeas. The ingredients are super-cheap and I was able to make a large portion for all of us. Also...rice and chickpeas are very filling.

I'm also super-stoked on my mom mailing me some jars of homemade apple butter. It goes GREAT on my bagels in the morning!

  • Coffee: $0.60
  • Apple: $0.75
  • Two Cans of Chickpeas: $2.00
  • Two Large Onions: $1.17
  • Bag of Brown Rice: $1.49
  • Garlic: $0.50
  • Tomato Paste: $0.85
  • TOTAL: $7.36

Chana Masala for Two

-one 15-oz can chickpeas, drained

-one large yellow onion, chopped

-three cloves garlic, minced

-half of an 8-oz can tomato paste

-two tablespoons curry

-three tablespoons water

-one tablespoon lemon juice

-salt and pepper, to taste


-one cup brown rice, prepared according to package directions


Saute the onion in oil until translucent. Add the garlic, curry, and tomato paste and saute for a few minutes. Add everything else (except the rice). Stir well. Adjust seasonings to your liking and let simmer for about ten minutes. Serve over rice.

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