Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cauliflower & Green Bean Linguine

Do these ingredients look familiar?

They should. Because they're the same basic ingredients I used in last night's curry, only put together very differently. This, my friends, is how you cook for one person without wasting food. You commit to a couple of key ingredients, then make them do new tricks with each meal.

To get everything I needed at Whole Foods for the curry (plus a couple other staples and random items), I spent $30. Sounds expensive for what basically amounted to one meal. But it was so much more than one meal, my friends! The curry made three servings (that means dinner, lunch the next day, then another dinner), and this pasta made three servings (same math, same meals). So that's 6 meals for $30, which comes out to $5 a meal.

Granted, both meals were meatless, which helps save money, but if you were to throw in a three-pack of fresh chicken breasts, you'd only be up to about $6.50 a meal - not too shabby, especially considering a healthy, fresh, organic lunch at Hannah's Bretzel will set you back about $12 once it's all said and done. I also keep several ingredients on hand at all times (lemons, cans of diced tomatoes, and pasta, to name a few), but I hope you see my point: you can cook fresh, healthy, and yes - even organic - meals for less than you think.



1 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 head orange cauliflower
1/3 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 can diced tomato with juice
1 red chile pepper, seeded and minced
salt and pepper
6 oz. whole wheat linguine
~a dozen kalamata olives, chopped
freshly grated cheese (any gratable kind you have on hand)


Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the white wine, cauliflower, tomatoes and juice, green beans, chile pepper, and some salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-high heat.


Meanwhile, cook the linguine until al dente. Drain and set aside.


Uncover the sauce and let it cook until the liquid reduces a bit. Stir in the olives, then the cooked linguine. Toss, then transfer to a serving dish or bowls. Top with the grated cheese. Enjoy!

This pasta came out great! It was well-seasoned, light yet satisfying (love that), and super-easy. I'm sure you're probably wondering about the orange cauliflower; basically, it was between that and the purple variety, and I just couldn't bring myself to buy a purple veggie that wasn't an eggplant.

As it happened, I also bought this month's Real Simple, which had an article about the nutritional differences between different colors (different strains) of vegetables, citing specifically that orange cauliflower has roughly 25 times the amount of Vitamin A than regular cauliflower. Sweet! And it just looks so darn bright and gorgeous in a tomato sauce - win/win! (By the way, taste-wise, there is no difference.)

I hope these couple of cauliflower-centric meals have inspired you to create healthy, veggie-packed meals for the same price as a Super Value Meal. Thanks for reading! More soon...

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