A few weeks ago, Slow Food USA challenged Americans to make a meal that costs five dollars or less per person—about the cost of eating fast food—to prove that eating pure (not processed) food doesn’t have to be expensive. It also had the corollary effect of proving that cooking doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as rice and beans. According to Slow Food USA President Josh Viertel, more than 30,000 people took the challenge, and 5,500 events were held that day. Me? I attended Slow Food Urban San Diego’s event in Little Italy and then devoured Chef Chad White’s $5 stew at Sea Rocket Bistro (recipe below). I also asked some fellow San Diego food bloggers to chime in with the $5 recipes they love, and I hope they will inspire you to cook for family or friends tonight. Nothing brings everyone together like a home-cooked meal, and there’s nothing better than being in control of the good ingredients going into it!
I can’t be around sage leaves without manhandling them. Rubbing a few suede-like leaves between my fingers is like my own personal herbal perfume for the day. Fresh basil in the summer; smokey thyme in the fall; piney rosemary in the winter. Fresh herbs make me want to cook, including in the raw, like ripe summer tomatoes with a sprinkling of mint, basil, or chives; a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a splash of vinegar or spritz of lemon, and a little sea salt. Add a tear of crusty bread. Done: perfect summer snack. Here, 20 recipes to inspire you with fresh herbs.
It happens to all of us. You’ve been running around all day and suddenly you’re starved. So starved that you could take down a bag of potato chips, eat a frozen pizza, or—say it ain’t so—find yourself rationalizing a fast food drive-thru. There’s no time to cook—you’d eat a dish towel before the food is ready. Drop that towel. Here, 10 of my favorite snacks that can be made in minutes. (Remember: these are best achieved by always keeping certain products on hand in the pantry and refrigerator.)
So I fell for it. The Olive Press, in Sonoma and Napa, challenged food writers to use four of its extra virgin olive oils in a four-course meal, and there it went: my competitive inner child reared its head. We’re taking this all the way to the end zone. (Sorry, is my football hem showing? Growing up in the Midwest reduces everyday activities to sports clichés, like “That’s gonna leave a mark” and “I’ll have a Leinenkugel’s.”)