Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10-minute summer pasta dinner

People think eating healthy is expensive. I can agree to some extent, but not tonight.

On my way home, I considered picking up Chinese veggie stir-fry, easily a $15 commitment and ~4,000 mg of sodium for two people. Tonight's dinner really did take 10 minutes and wasn't a recipe.

Dinner was this combination of kitchen supplies:

- Four diced tomatoes (seeded, which just means that when chopping, you keep the firm parts of the tomatoes and throw away - or save for later - the seeds / juice)
- One pound rigatoni
- One large bag frozen broccoli
- One can (thoroughly rinsed to save sodium) mushrooms
- 1.5 oz crumbled (or chopped) feta cheese

You wouldn't even need to scam for Publix coupons for this price: $6.07

We saved $8.93.

My supplies were a can opener, cutting board and one knife plus:
- Feta ($3 for the whole 4 oz) $1.50
- Broccoli $1.10
- Mushrooms - off-brand $.80 for the large can
- Pasta $.67 on a buy-on-get-one-free deal
- Tomatoes (usually the expensive part but these four were my last from a 20-pound box for $12, and you could always get canned diced for lots more sodium) $2

Spices excluded from the price since they are staples: fresh ground pepper and red pepper flakes. The fresh tomatoes, cheese and sodium from the mushrooms gave it enough flavor. No salt needed.

I cooked the pasta and added the broccoli at the end - when the noodles were still a little firm. I strained all the water out, added the tomatoes, mushrooms and feta, and served. This no-recipe made easily enough to serve 5-6 very hungry people and will be a summer combination we try again.

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