Frugal Recipes for the Epicurean

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As I mentioned in my last podcast, the Austin Food Bloggers are working in conjunction with the Capital Area Food Bank to raise awareness about hunger in Central Texas. To refresh your memory (because you did listen diligently to my last podcast didn’t you), 48,000 people need help from the food bank each week, and a mere $5 from you can buy $25 worth of healthy food to help those in need. What’s $5? A drink at happy hour? An extra sushi roll? One less visit to Starbucks? Is it really that hard to find an extra $5 to turn into $25 of sustenance?

Throughout the last week, my fellow bloggers have some done some pretty amazing things with a collection of staples similar to those found in a typical food pantry bag. They’ve made a lasagna soup, a Spanish tortilla, and cold chicken salad on garlic toast just to name a few. In the mean time, I’ve had my lunch eaten (no pun intended) by life, so my grand plans to contribute my own unique and interesting take on the food pantry supplies have been thwarted. However, because this challenge is important to me, I’ve taken a somewhat different approach to our campaign. In continuation of my challenge to you to find a spare $5 per week you can convert to $25 of meaningful food for your hungry neighbors, I’ve hunted down a collection of frugal yet thoroughly epicurean recipes. You can make these, feel great about what you’re serving for dinner, and give the proceeds to your local food bank. Everybody wins.

These recipes are just examples of how you can take a frugal ingredient like chicken thighs, masa, and yes, even ramen noodles and create a fun and dare I say fancy dish. What are your favorite frugal epicurean dishes and what are you doing with the money you’re saving when you make them? (Hint: donate it to the food bank).