This week, we made a Moroccan butternut, chickpea, and couscous stew from the Love Real Food cookbook by Kathryne Taylor. This recipe is a great example of frugal cooking. Not only did this stew taste delicious, it is also quite inexpensive. When you cook at home, instead of dining out you tend to save money. Therefore, Your budget and net worth will thank you. Not only that, but the meal is vegetarian and extremely hearty.
Invest in High-Quality Cooking Tools
One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is our dutch oven from Le Creuset. Here we have pictured the finished Moroccan butternut, chickpea, and couscous stew in our 5.5-Quart Le Creuset dutch oven. This is a high end large dutch oven which is perfect for cooking large home family meals.
Owning high-quality cooking tools like this dutch oven makes cooking meals at home a lot more fun. Kathryne Taylor’s recipe calls for using a dutch oven or soup pot, and it makes a difference. This recipe produces a lot of food and you need the volume to hold everything as it cooks. However, any brand dutch oven would do. Yet, I wanted to point out my Le Creuset dutch oven because when I did my research on which one to buy, Le Creuset consistently topped reviews. It’s quite expensive, but it should last a very long time.
Let’s take a quick look at a rundown of the ingredients for this recipe and how much each cost.
- $0.80 – 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (Cheaper olive oil options are available if you want to further save money.)
- $5.96 – 2 cups of butternut squash (We actually used pre-cut butternut squash to save us some time. Also, we used more than the 2 cups that Kathryne Taylor called for in her recipe. If you bought a whole butternut squash and cut it yourself, you could probably cut this cost in half or more.)
- $0.51 – 1 medium yellow onion
- $0.49 – 2 carrots
- $0.66 – 6 cloves of garlic (The price listed is for a whole bulk piece of garlic. The actual amount used was less.)
- $1.66 – 1 can (28 ounces) of diced tomatoes
- $2.00 – 4 cups (32 ounces) of vegetable broth (We used organic vegetable broth, and bought a single container. We could have saved some money buying in bulk and using over time.)
- $0.72 – 1 can (15 ounces) of chickpeas
- $1.99 – 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- $0.65 – 2 cups of chopped kale
- Free – 2 cups of water
- Total Cost = $15.44
- Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1.5 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Estimated total cost of spices used: $0.50
Sum total cost: $15.94 to make one batch of the Morroccan butternut, chickpea, and couscous stew.
This stew by Kathryne Taylor makes about 8 large servings. Therefore, each meal costs about $1.99.
If you’re looking to be frugal and save money, it’s hard to go wrong with this vegetarian stew. As I noted throughout the ingredient list, you could save even more money by buying some ingredients at a cheaper cost. Thus, you could save even more money if you bought in bulk or less expensive versions.
It is worth noting that in addition to being vegetarian, this meal is quite filling. As I normally am used to eating meat in most of my meals, I was surprised at how satiated I was after eating this hearty stew. Each serving size a little under 350 calories. Thus, this meal is a great option for those looking to lose weight or simply watch their calorie intake.
I really enjoyed the meal. The stew has a heat which builds up steadily creating a nice cumulative flavor.
If you’d like to improve your personal finances with frugal cooking, I would encourage you to check out this great recipe by Kathryne Taylor. You can purchase her cookbook Love Real Food on Amazon to get the full recipe. If you choose to do so through my affiliate link here, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Thank you for your support and I hope to continue bringing you great ideas for frugal cooking in the future.
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and share your thoughts on it as well.