Maple-Dijon roasted sweet potatoes, apples & sausages: $1.51/serving

I offer little by way of explanation for the quality of this photo, other than to say the accompanying audio track, if it were to exist, would consist of me shrieking hysterically after the last clean cooking utensil in the entire house had just fallen into a crack between the oven and the counter. To put it mildly, the past few days have not been going very well for me. But instead of running out to McDonald’s, here I am, BY GOD trying to throw something—anything—together to create some semblance of a home-cooked meal for under $2 a serving. Sincere apologies to Frugal Feeding, whose beautiful roasted celebration squash and sausage dish served as something of an inspiration.

That’s not to say what I ended up creating isn’t worth re-creating; it was actually very good, or else I wouldn’t be telling you about it in the first place. Just use your imagination when it comes to visualizing what it will look like coming from a kitchen much calmer and cleaner than mine. Given that I made this meal up on the fly, I’m sure there are countless improvements in both ingredients and technique to be made; if you happen to try any, let me know.

• 1 lb. spicy link sausage, sliced into chunks: $2.99
• 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes: $2.07
• 2 large apples (I used Granny Smith, but any baking variety should do), cut into large cubes: 80 cents
• 2 T olive oil: 11 cents
• Pinch salt: 1 cent
• 1.5 T Dijon mustard: 5 cents
• 2 T maple syrup (cheating! we received two homemade bottles of this as a gift several months ago): $0
TOTAL: $6.03/4 = $1.51

Toss the sweet-potato cubes in olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees until almost all cubes are roasted through. (Be sure to check and stir to prevent sticking every 5 minutes or so.)

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausage, browning on all sides. Remove to a large bowl. Add the apple to the sausage grease (why waste oil? free fat!) and cook until softened somewhat. Remove to the bowl with the sausage.

Whisk the Dijon, maple syrup, a pinch of salt, and about 1 T of oil together in a small bowl to create an emulsified glaze. When the sweet potato is close to cooked, remove to the bowl with the sausage and apples. Add the Dijon mixture and another pinch of salt and toss to coat. Spread the mixture out on the baking sheet and roast for another 10 minutes or so to set the glaze. Serve immediately.

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