This is a deceptively easy and satisfying dish that can be made using ingredients you probably already have on hand. It’s chewy, lightly crunchy, briny, and sweet, and works perfectly as a lunch (provided you’re having an equally inexpensive dinner), light dinner, or side dish for you non-budgeting folks. It’s also vegan and sit out for long periods, which makes it perfect for potlucks. As with the cabbage rolls, any whole grain—farro, barley, oat groats, rye berries—can be used.
Adapted from Bon Appetit. As below it makes 2 servings.
• 1 cup whole grain of your choice (I used oat groats here): 55 cents
• 1 cup thinly sliced celery, plus 1/4 cup celery leaves: 18 cents
• 1/4 cup quartered green olives: 50 cents
• 1/4 cup raisins (brown or golden): 50 cents
• Juice from about half a large lemon: 35 cents
• Salt & pepper: 2 cents
TOTAL: $2.11/2 = $1.05/serving
Combine the whole grains with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until soft but still slightly chewy, about 45 minutes.
Drain grains and toss in a bowl with the celery, celery leaves, green olives, and raisins. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.