A healthy & nutritious meal for only $2.50

Can you believe it? Yes!

Reading David's blog about "Cutting your grocery bill now", I got inspired in The $5 Chef site. I wondered if my meals, which have plenty of veggies, would cost more or less.

I checked all the recipes from previous visit to the produce store and did the math. I made this Roasted Veggies with Quinoa for only $2.50 getting three servings. Not bad, huh?

I have to admit that it was my first time to try quinoa. My son told me about all the benefits of it and gave me a bag he bought in bulk at Whole Foods Market.

So I looked for a recipe online and found a good recipe. And this is my version because I don't use salt:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled & chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled & chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled & chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa seeds
Before you start cooking, soak the grain in water for a few hours, then change the water and re-soak.
1.    Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt, thyme, and pepper.
2.    Arrange vegetables in single layer on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes, turning once halfway through.
3.    While veggies are baking, combine 2 cups of water and quinoa seeds in a pot over the stove and bring to a boil.
4.    Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes; fluff with a fork. I added a few garlic cloves.
5.    Spoon vegetables onto quinoa and enjoy. 
Final dish
And this is what I spent:
Squash small: $0.45
Parsnip: $0.45
Carrot: $0.10
Sweet potato: $0.25
Bell peppers: $0.35
Red onion: $0.40
Quinoa 1 cup: $0.50 (I haven't paid for this but guessed the cost)
Total: $2.50

Serves: 3

Quinoa seems to have good properties even better than rice or wheat. It is rich in protein & fiber.

Quinoa, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 370 kcal   1540 kJ
Carbohydrates         64 g
- Starch  52 g
- Dietary fiber  7 g
Fat     6 g
- polyunsaturated  3.3 g
Protein     14 g
Water     13
Thiamine (Vit. B1)  0.36 mg       28%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)  0.32 mg       21%
Vitamin B6  0.5 mg     38%
Foliate (Vit. B9)  184 μg      46%
Vitamin E  2.4 mg     16%
Iron  4.6 mg     37%
Magnesium  197 mg     53%
Phosphorus  457 mg     65%
Zinc  3.1 mg     31%
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database