Finding More Cheap Eats

Potato & Green Bean SaladWho would’ve thought that the new foodie fad of 2009 would’ve been cheap eats? Sustainable, green, eco-friendly, yes. Finding a way to eat fabulously for less than a three course meal from McDonald’s dollar menu, maybe not. But that’s where some of us find ourselves treading the waters of gourmet on a budget. Let gourmet mean whatever it means to you. To us, it’s not so much fancy; just fresh, varied, not quite ordinary, invigorating to the taste buds. And now that we’re in this current recession/depression/money flow cessation, gourmet’s going to also be wallet friendly. Because when the government sends you an I-O-U instead of your tax refund, you’re going to wish you’d been frugal rather than frivolous. Let the coin counting commence!

From one of our local grocers, the total cost of this meal (not including our pantry staples of olive oil and salt) was $4.29. Usually we don’t calculate servings with our recipes, but this salad as a side dish could serve 8-10 people. That’s pennies folks!

Potato and Green Bean Salad – Serves 8 to 10
2 pounds red and white potatoes, chopped into 1 inch cubes
3/4 pound green beans
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dill, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Kosher salt

1. Boil potatoes in salted water until fairly soft but not mushy, approximately 10-15 minutes.

2. While potatoes boil, roast tomatoes and red onion in 400 degree oven until onions soften and tomatoes begin to burst, approximately 20-25 minutes.

3. When potatoes are ready, drain in a colander and place in a large bowl. Drop green beans into potato water and cook until bright green and firm, approximately 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Add to the bowl with potatoes.

4. Once tomatoes and onions are done, stir into green beans and potatoes. Add garlic and herbs.

5. Just before serving, douse with olive oil and salt to taste.

And so we’ve entered this baby into the Potato Ho Down for February.  Hopefully we’ll see it in the round up!

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


46 thoughts on “Finding More Cheap Eats

  1. You’re right. Being a gourmet doesn’t mean you have to eat oysters and fillet steak every day. For me being one is to eat quality, fresh and fabulous food every day, every meal. Now whether it costs ÂŁ100 or ÂŁ1 doesn’t matter.

    Potato and bean salad is right up my alley!

  2. Brilliant and delicious looking! I had heard from my parents when I was down in Cali that there were concerns about the gov’t having the cash to cover tax refunds – yikes! Looks like you will be well prepared to stretch those dollars for a while though. I’ll be checking back regularly to pick up some tips myself. Tasty food on the cheap is good for all of us!

  3. There’s something comforting about the simple and clean flavor of red potatoes with a sprinkle of chopped dill. With a little salt and pepper, it looks as delicious as it tastes. On a side note, I agree with you that we will see a trend in “affordable gourmet,” especially after seeing long-lived giants like Gourmet Magazine go six feet under. Here’s to creating deliciously creative gourmet dishes on a budget. 🙂

  4. That salad looks good. I think salads are quite under rated, especially by people like me, who think they aren’t enough to fill you up. Things are changing now, especially since I’d like to lose a little weight. Give me a salad and fresh bread any day now. 🙂

  5. man, cheap (and tasty!) food has always been on my “trendy list” not b/c it’s trendy, but b/c i’ve had no choice! this is super simple and you made me realize how much i miss the flavor of dill.

  6. I love the bright colors! What a healthy and fabulous alternative to regular old potato salad. I bet this would be great with some grilled chicken.

  7. This looks delicious. I’m not one to object to including cost per serving in the recipe! It shows that healthy food doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and that dining on a budget doesn’t have to mean cans of “beef” stew cooked over a can of Sterno either.

  8. This sounds so light + fresh! I can see it being perfect for a warm summer BBQ! Ahh, fabulous.

  9. It’s funny that I should read this now because when my husband and I did some major grocery shopping, we noted that we had no meat on the list — everything was vegetables! But being the carnivore that I am, I simply HAD to buy something to offset the ton of veggies so I settled for a chicken. My only dismay was that I couldn’t find any organic hens. Bleh!

    I’m all for counting coins!

  10. I always forget to use dill!! It’s such a cheap and easy way to add a different flavor to a simple dish like this.

    Aaaaaaaaaaand yeah, my shopping list has been especially recession-proof these days. Then again, I wasn’t exactly eating caviar before, but still…..

  11. That looks delicious!

    I recently met my friends out at a Cheesecake Factory, and the place was packed with people waiting up to an hour for a seat? I thought everyone was pulling back on eating out but it doesn’t look that way to me!

  12. I just love dill in potato salad (or with steamed baby new potatoes for that matter) and the roasted tomato and red onion absolutely get my vote! If this be recession eating, bring it on 🙂

  13. Your witty words make depression era cooking sound fun … and your salad is most definitely fun! I love the combination of beans and potatoes and had a similar dish the first time I was in Paris. Have loved it ever since. If this is gourmet on a budget, then count me in. Well done, Duo!

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