My Healthy 50 Cent Dinner! Tomatillos and Bean Mix.

In my last post, I wrote that I am able to buy a large amount of produce for just $10.

I had plenty of tomatillos that I didn’t quite know what to do with.

Well, I am not scared to experiment with my culinary skills. A quick search online showed that some people put tomatillos into chili.

It said to put the tomatillos into a pan with a bit of olive oil to soften them up. That’s about as close as I followed the recipe.

(If you have never had a straight tomatillo, like me until this past weekend, think of a granny smith apple as a tomato and you will be pretty close to the taste of one. A firm, tart tomato thingy.)

It did get my thinking of what I could do, though.

Looking in the fridge I saw some leftover corn and a little bit of red pepper. They would be added.

In the cupboard was a can of black beans that had been purchased at a reduced price of $.39 because the can was double labeled. Back in the fridge was a bag of shredded cheese and a few cooked Italian sausages from lunch the day before.

I cut off about 1/5th of the sausage and chopped it up. I used a sprinkle of cheese at the end to top it off.

My estimate of the cost of this dinner.

Ingredients from $10 veggie box:

  • Corn .04
  • 1/4th Red Pepper .06
  • 1lb Tomatillo .16

Other ingredients:

  • Black Beans .39
  • Splash of Olive Oil .10
  • Spices .04
  • Cheese .07
  • 1/5th of an Italian Sausage .14

The total cost was $1 but it ended up being two meals worth. So each meal was 50 cents AND healthy!

The beans said 110 calories per serving, with two servings in the can – no fat. Add in the rest of the ingredients and I think around 250 calories and 6-8 grams of fat is a good estimate. (Google said a tomatillo is about 11 calories and .3g fat)

I’m not saying that this was some amazing out of this world meal. It was a nice, healthy meal that just cost me very little.

If I was to change anything, I would add a bit more sausage as the tomatillo is tart and having something spicy to balance it out works well. I had a lot of tomatillos and not so much sausage. Still, I won’t mind having the rest for lunch tomorrow.

If you want to try out this recipe, here it is fast and loose.

1lb diced tomatillo and red pepper in pot with a splash of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir as needed.

Add corn, beans, cooked chopped sausage and spices. Cook until most of the water is evaporated.

Put in bowl, and top with a sprinkle of cheese.

You probably could make this vegan by removing the sausage/cheese and instead put in a diced hot pepper of your choice to balance the tart tomatillos.

My $10 veggie haul!
What do you guys do to have cheap but healthy meals? I am always looking for new ideas to add to my frugal cooking portfolio.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I’ve never had tomatillos in chili! I’ll have to try that out when they’re in season.

    Oh gosh, I have so many healthy, cheap meals that I love. Fried rice with veggies, asparagus artichoke pasta, and veggie minestrone soup are my favorites.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…7 Ways To Cut Your Grocery Bill In HalfMy Profile

    1. MrDD

      Artichokes are another thing I have never quite figured out. It would be nice to have them offered in one of the weekly veggie boxes. Thanks for the direction to research a couple more cheap meals besides the common stuff like rice and beans.

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