My $3 dinner

Now that I’ve been cooking at home for a while on our self imposed “30-day eat at home challenge” I’m trying to stretch my creativity in what I make.  Enter the eggplant.

I never, ever though that I was an eggplant fan.  It seemed bitter when raw and slimy when cooked.  Gross.  Then we got some in our CSA basket, and they got moldy and rotted in our fridge.  Then, we got more in our CSA basked, and those went bad and ended up in the compost too.  Finally, by about the fifth eggplant I decided that I needed to try it to see if my thoughts were valid.  The only thing I could think of was eggplant parmesan.  I figured the eggplant could be camouflaged a bit, so we could ease ourselves into it.

When I made it for the first time using this recipe, Dan and I suddenly realized what we’d been missing and I regretted not trying it sooner.  We even ate the eggplant crisps without the cheese and sauce, and put some in the freezer for later.

So, the other day I was at the store picking up some basics, and I saw an eggplant that had been marked down to 34 cents which seemed pretty reasonable (I love the 50% off section at Fresh and Easy).  Dan had put in a request for eggplant parm this week, but since we didn’t have any at the time I filled in that meal slot with something else.  When I saw it on sale I knew it was meant to be.

I made it a couple nights ago and after calculating the cost I discovered that it was just under $3 for the whole dish that fed the three of us, and there’s leftovers.

Eggplant: $0.34, Pasta: .50, Sauce: .50, Cheese: .85

Throw in some extra pennies for the oil, breadcrumbs, and eggs, and we’re still under $1/person.  Even a good deal at a cheap restaurant can’t beat that.  It doesn’t always work out to be that inexpensive but it’s a good one to keep in the file.  If you’ve never had eggplant, it’s worth trying at least once, and now I’m on the hunt for more recipes so we can expand our eggplant repertoire.

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