Organic On the Cheap: This Recipe Costs Less Than a Fast Food Meal


Bestselling author Sophie Uliano serves up easy, eco-friendly diet plans that don't cost a fortune. This information is taken from her new book, The Gorgeously Green Diet: How to Live Lean and Green. For more tips, visit Sophie's website.
By Sophie Uliano
I used to think that it was okay for people who could afford to shop in health stores to eat organically, but what about the family of five who doesn't have the time to go anywhere other than a fast-food burger joint and get what's on offer? I decided to do a bit of research, convinced that I could cook a large, organic dinner for a family of five for less than a Burger King meal. I took myself off to the burger joint and did my calculations based on each member of the family having a large burger, large fries, and a drink.

I then went shopping for a good, healthy, delicious meal, and here's what I came up with: Tuscan Chicken Stew—serves five. It came in at six dollars under the fast food bill.

I also can't accept the argument about not having time, because this meal takes ten minutes to prepare in a slow cooker, and if you can't afford a slow cooker, there are plenty to be found on or, or in thrift stores.

This stew is infinitely more nutritious, kinder on the planet, and less expensive than fast food—so if anyone gives you the "all right for those who can afford it" argument, give them the "all right for those who can afford it" argument, give them the following recipe—and there's a lot more where this one came from.

  • Next Page: Get the recipe [ pagebreak ]1 large yellow onion
  • 2 leeks or 1 head of celery
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 8 chicken thighs (approximately 2 lbs.)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • Pinch of mixed dry herbs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Chop the onion, leeks or celery, and carrots and place in a slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the boiling water in a measuring cub and add to the slow cooker. Mix everything around, then add the remaining ingredients. Set the cooker on low heat and cook for 5 to 8 hours, then smell the gorgeous aroma filling your home when you return from work.