Thursday, September 16, 2010

#2 in the series of How to eat Cheap and Alone

Yesterday I went to the farmers market. Oh, how good it was! It makes me feel amazing being able to go there, touch the vegetables, talk to the vendors, smell the smells. It is one activity that always puts a smile on my face without fail.

Yesterday I didn't buy much. I am cooking for one, after all, and yesterday was only a Wednesday. (If I run out of goodies post-Yom Kippur, I can always go down to the Cortelyou market on Sunday.) I bought a beautiful head of orange cauliflower, some carola potatoes (that supposedly taste like butter), purple carrots, orange carrots, beets, SPINACH, and some button mushrooms. Oh and a cute, cute, cute orange squash about the size of a large orange. I can't wait to eat squash! (I am going to try to stick to farmer's market fare for as long as possible, although I predict stopping at some point in the dead of winter, sick of potatoes, apples, and squash.)

OK so tonight's edition of how to eat cheap (and alone) is spinach and mushroom quesadillas. Easy Peezy. My ingredients were either from the farmer's market (all of the veggies) or here, at home, but I want to emphasize that buying vegetables from the farmers market is typically cheaper and better quality than anything you will find in a store--the veggies used for this meal cost less than $3 all together, and they tasted like what they were, instead of like "COLD" (which is how I find supermarket veggies tend to taste!). It is entirely possible to cook healthy, wholesome, tasty meals for cheap.
Here's what you need:

1/2 T butter
2-3 T chopped onion
8-10 big button mushrooms, sliced
a few fresh oregano leaves (or any herb. or none.)
salt and pepper to taste
3 small bunches (about 2 c loosely packed) spinach, washed well
cooked or canned black beans (optional)
1 oz cheddar cheese (optional)
3 tortillas

In a medium saute pan, heat butter on medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their juices and then cook down, about 10 minutes. Now add oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir. Add spinach and cook, tossing ingredients, until wilted. Remove from heat. In another pan, heat tortillas. If making quesadillas, assemble one at a time by layering shredded cheese, veggies, and beans into a tortilla and either folding after several minutes or laying another tortilla on top (I use both methods).**

**These quesadillas are messy. A better way to eat this messy food may be to make straight up cheese quesadillas and then eat your veggies on the side, with a fork.


  1. What farmer's market do you go to? Grand Army? Is there one in Brooklyn that stays open past 7? And which ones are on the weekends? I need guidance, Meg!

  2. Jennifer-
    Grand Army Plaza is on Saturdays and is my favorite. Sundays there is one in Park Slope on 5th ave, and one on Cortelyou in Ditmas Park.
    There are more, you can find out by going to the Grow NYC website at
    I'm not sure of one that's open past 7. Hope this helps!