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Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week are excellent examples of how even the best laid plans can get derailed. By Michael Jackson.

Well, moreso if you work at a magazine, which Brian does. Friday was a marathon day for him due to the King of Pop’s untimely passing (rest in peace, Michael), and while he forgot to bring his leftovers, his office also ordered in food (pizza, I’m told). So I ate grits gratin all day, using up the rest of the leftovers and not cooking anything new. I can’t really calculate what he spent, or count it against my total – extenuating circumstances! But I guess it would be unnatural to assume that we could get through an entire week with no emergency meals, changes of plans, or unexpected circumstances. We’re busy, and we live in New York.

Total for the week plus 4 recipes after the jump!

So Friday’s costs looked like this:

Breakfast: cereal + scone = $.40 + $.44 = $.84
Lunch: Grits gratin + brown bread = $.63 = $.23 = $.86
Dinner: Grits gratin =$.63

Total = $2.33 + unknown amount for Brian’s food…

Saturday:

Breakfast: Cereal = $.40 x 2 =$.80
Lunch: Grilled cheese + arugula salad w/ leftover white beans, celery, & cucumber = $.70 + $.80 = $1.60
Dinner: BBQ at a friend’s house — we brought white bean & green garlic dip + baguette = $5.33

Total = $7.73

Sunday:

Breakfast: Cereal = $.40 x 2 =$.80
Lunch: Corn on the cob from the Smith St. Street Fair = $3
Snack: Ice Cream from Blue Marble = $3.85
(Brian’s lunch was paid for by his work)
Dinner: Curried Lentils with Potato, Rice, Flatbread, and Raita = $1.17 + $.32 + $.27 x 2 = $3.52

Total = $11.17 – I totally blew it here, but I knew what I was doing when I bought that ice cream cone, and it was completely worth it.

So, what was my total for the week? Drumroll please….

$46.04!!!!!

Now, OK, let’s be honest. I had at least $5 in random unrecorded snacks, food uneaten that was thrown away, etc. But I know I came in pretty close when it’s all said and done. Feels pretty good! OK, now on to the RECIPES.

White Bean and Green Garlic Dip
(adapted from the Kitchen Sink)

1 can cannellini beans = $.89
1 stalk green garlic (farmer’s market) = $1
1 small onion = $.20
1/4 t. smoked paprika = n/a
Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper = n/a
Juice and zest from 1 lemon = $.25
Olive oil = $.20
1 baguette = $2.79

Total = $5.33 / multiple servings, but all $5.33 counts against the budget

(Recipe at link above — I added some cayenne pepper because I thought it needed a little kick.)

Curried Lentils with Potato and Rice
(adapted from How to Cook Everything)

1 1/2 c. long grain white rice = $.75
1 c. brown lentils = $.85
3 1/2 c. vegetable (or other) stock =$.93
1 T. curry powder = n/a
1/2 t. cumin = n/a
1/2 t. ground ginger = n/a
1 small onion, chopped = $.20
2 cloves garlic = $.05
1 carrot, diced = $.16
3 small-med. yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks = $1.75
Salt and pepper = n/a

Total = $4.69 / 4 servings = $1.17 / serving

Cook rice according to directions.

Saute onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil until they begin to soften. Add lentils, spices, and stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the carrot and potatoes and cook, completely covered, for another 10 minutes or so. Stir, season with salt, and if the lentils have become too try, add a bit of stock or water. Continue to cook another 5 – 10 minutes or until the lentils are very soft and the potatoes are soft to the center. Serve over rice.

Ground Coriander and Cilantro Flatbread
(from Bon Apetit)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat) = $.28
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander = n/a
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder = n/a
3/4 teaspoon salt = n/a
1/2 teaspoon baking soda = n/a
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro = $.25
3/4 cup (or more) plain whole-milk yogurt = $.75
Olive oil (for frying) = n/a

Total = $1.28 / 4 servings = $.32 for 2 flatbreads

(recipe at link above)

Raita
(from Bon Apetit)

1/2 c. plain yogurt = $.35
1/2 c. chopped cucumber = $.50
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro = $.10
2 t. chopped green onions = $.16
1/4 t. ground coriander = n/a
1/4 t. ground cumin = n/a
salt, to taste = n/a

Total = $1.11 / 4 servings = $.27 / serving

Seed the cucumber before chopping. Mix the ingredients together and keep chilled until ready to serve.