The $10 Whole Foods Challenge: Feed A Family Of Four

GREENSBORO, NC -- Eating on a budget might bring to mind PB&J sandwiches or Ramen noodles.

In March, 2WTK showed you how a former top chef contestant used $10 at the dollar store to make a gourmet meal. He cooked up "Southwestern braised chicken with sweet potato puree" and his dinner guests were impressed.

2WTK if it that same $10 challenge could be done at higher end grocery store-- like Whole Foods.

Private chef Nikki Miller-Ka (@niksnacks) raised her cast iron skillet and said she was up for the challenge of dinner for 4!

" I bought green beans, lentils, red garnet sweet potato, a rutabaga, zucchini, almond butter, wheat germ, a little corn meal, dried cranberries, one slice of bacon,chicken chorizo sausage and ground chuck.And it came out to $9.95 with tax!"

Yes, Nikki wasn't content to just do dinner, she made plans for dessert too! She used a few staples out of the pantry to round out her meal: an egg, sugar, flour, jam, butter, oil and baking powder.

The menu-- appetizer: zucchini salad with mustard vinaigrette

dinner: meat patties with sweet potatoes and rutabaga

side dish: green beans with bacon and cranberries

dessert:: almond jam bars

"Knowing you can can go and pick and choose and on a limited budget you can do it!"

Chorizo & Chuck Meat Patties

1 link chicken chorizo sausage

Scant 1/4 lb ground chuck (85/15)

1/2 cup raw wheat germ

3 Tbs cornmeal

1 1/4 cup green lentils, cooked

2 Tbs hot wing sauce

2 Tbs vegetable oil

Split open the chicken chorizo link, take out the forcemeat and place it in a bowl. Add the ground chuck, wheat germ, cornmeal, green lentils and hot wing sauce. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch patties that are 1/2-inch thick.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add patties to skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Green beans with bacon & cranberries

1Tbs light olive oil

1/2 lb green beans

1 Tbs white wine vinegar

1 strip bacon, cut into small pieces

2 oz dried cranberries

salt and pepper, to taste

Heat large skillet with 2 Tbs of olive oil and place green beans in the pan with vinegar and bacon. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Zucchini Salad

1 Large zucchini, cut in thin slices on the bias (cut diagonally)

2 oz. red onion, chopped

1 Tbs white wine vinegar

3 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch of sugar (optional)

Place sliced zucchini in a bowl that can be fitted with a lid. Add red onion, white vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Place lid on top and shake vigorously to mix the liquid ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add sugar for a little bit of sweetness. The longer the zucchini sits, the better it will taste.

Sweet Potato & Rutabaga

1 sweet potato

1 rutabaga

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

2 Tbs butter

salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub sweet potato and rutabaga and rinse with water. Peel skin using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Cut into even pieces. Discard ends and hard, woody pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock until it is simmering and add sweet potato and rutabaga with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. When chicken stock and water have evaporated, take the pot off the heat and add the butter. Stir to coat vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Almond Jam Bars

· 6 Tbs all purpose flour

· 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

· 6 Tbs almond butter

· 6 Tbs granulated white sugar

· 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

· 1 egg

· 6 Tbs grape jelly or other jelly or jam

· Preheat oven to 350°F. Line metal baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Stir flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Mix almond butter, sugar, butter and egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture; mix just to blend. Transfer 3/4 of dough to prepared pan. Spread jelly over bar mixture. Using fingertips or a spoon, place remaining dough on top of the jelly in uneven pieces.

· Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack.

· Using foil overhang as aid to lift bars from pan. Cut into 8 squares. Serve.


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