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Saving More Than Money

January 1, 2014

This year I want to make sure I start off on the right foot. So instead of bitching about ingredients or lamenting about a recent eating binge, I thought I might try to be just a little bit more helpful.

Often times people make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve made mine. And it’s not uncommon for people to want to improve their lives. Sometimes this is about losing weight, other times it’s about shoring up their finances, and occasionally it’s about eating better. You may even want to try and save the world.

What if you could achieve all four of those things in one fell swoop?

Eating cheaply isn’t always the path to better health. The dollar menu at McDonald’s may be one of the cheapest, easiest ways to fill your belly, but it’s not a viable long term solution.

Still, there are many delicious foods that are enjoyed by people all around the world of modest means. I think about the amazing variations on the theme of beans and rice. In Italy there is polenta and pasta. In Poland there are pierogies. The list goes on and on.

Most of these dishes are either vegetarian, or only use meat sparsely as a flavoring agent. Many of these dishes involve complex carbohydrates and plenty of protein. The bottom line is that besides being light on the wallet, they are heavy in nutrition. And they are also better for the planet (well, minus the energy required to actually cook them).

Anyhow, these are the kinds of foods that were at the heart of Ellie Markovitch’s successful and delicious attempt at the five-day SNAP challenge. Here’s the good news. If you are in the upstate area this month, you have a chance how to learn a few of these dishes yourself with Chef Ellie as your guide.

Course One: Seven dinners for four for $40
Yes, it may cost you $50 to learn how to do this. But still, that means your first seven meals will only set you back $90. I’m a pretty frugal cook, and that’s still less than I spend on a typical week to feed my family of four. Really.

Date: Tuesday January 14, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Place: 265 River Street, Troy, NY
Cost: Member:$45 | Non-Member:$50
Materials Fee: 10.00
Enrollment Max: 8

Local Chef Ellie Markovitch will crunch some numbers in this class as you learn how to make delicious, nutritious, and affordable meals for your family! In this hands on class you’ll make seven meals using grains, beans, seasonal and local greens and beef… all for forty dollars! You’ll leave with directions and recipes on how to do it yourself at home. Come join Ellie for this challenging and informative class.

Course Two: Cooking on a Budget
Or if that is too steep for you, you can join Chef Ellie later this month for a free cooking class at the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany.

Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Time: 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (EST)
Place: 100 Watervliet Ave, Albany, NY

Local chef Ellie Markovitch will crunch some numbers as she demonstrates how to make delicious, nutritious, affordable meals. We’ll sample her amazing cooking and leave with recipes and directions for using wholesome seasonal ingredients from the Co-op.

These are two classes to help get you started. Now you can’t say that you’ve never had the chance to learn how to cook healthy meals without spending a lot of money. Here’s the opportunity. It’s the start of a new year. Seize 2014 by the horns and let’s get cooking.

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