As you know, I’m a big advocate for good, healthy local food. I keep up to date on what’s going on in the agricultural world, as well as the local and slow food movement. When Slow Food initiated their $5 Challenge I thought it was a great idea. I’m always trying to tell people that eating local seasonal food is not more expensive and this challenge sets out to prove just that. The goal is to cook healthy meal for less than what you would spend for a meal at a fast food restaurant. They emphasize that the food should fit the Slow Food ideal “food that is good for those who eat it, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet.”
THE CHALLENGE: This September 17, you’re invited to take back the ‘value meal’ by getting together with family, friends and neighbors for a slow food meal that costs no more than $5 per person. Cook a meal with family and friends, have a potluck, or find a local event.
WHY: Because slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food. If you know how to cook, then teach others. If you want to learn, this is your chance. Together, we’re sending a message that too many people live in communities where it’s harder to buy fruit than Froot Loops. Everybody should be able to eat fresh, healthy food every day.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Sign up for the challenge! You can cook a meal with friends and family, find a local event, or host your own event. When you sign up, we’ll send you $5 cooking tips.” Sign up for the challenge! You can cook a meal with friends and family, find a local event, or host your own event.
This isn’t really a “challenge” for me. We’ve been eating local, seasonal, slow food for quite a while. We even try to eat this way when we travel and when we’re on the run.
I’ll be getting together with a few friends tomorrow night and I’m in charge of the meal. Later today, I’m off to Local Roots to see what kinds of meals I could prepare for $5 a person. Of course I could make the entire meal with ingredients from my garden and some of the venison from the freezer and it would cost me only about $2 per person. But I think I’m going to purchase the ingredients for this challenge.
I have a few meal ideas knocking around in my head, like:
- Crispy Sticky Chicken Thighs from Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life
- Braised Beef Sandwiches like those ones I blogged about
- Simple Roasted Chicken with seasonal vegetables
- Pasta Primavera featuring homemade noodles with local eggs topped with seasonal vegetables and local cheese
- Beef Roast with roasted root vegetables
- Homemade pizza with various toppings & local cheese
- Beef Stew with a crusty homemade peasant loaf
- Caramelized Onion Soup topped with crusty bread and local cheese and a side salad
- Ratatouille from seasonal vegetables
- Mushroom Lasagna with local mushrooms and cheese with a fresh salad
Having a small edible garden is a great way to save some cash on your food bill and it’s the ultimate slow food. I have a collection of Botanical Interests seed packs to give away to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment a great meal idea that would cost less than $5 per person using “food that is good for those who eat it, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet.”
So, who’s in? Any great ideas for inexpensive, delicious meals?
Here’s a great Q&A with Josh Veirtel about the $5 Challenge and how it came about.