Slow Food Takes Back the Value Meal with The $5 Challenge

The biggest complaint I hear about local and organic food is that it’s too expensive. For that reason, I think Slow Food’s $5 Challenge is brilliant. It’s like Myth Busters for food – an entire day dedicated to making and sharing meals made from scratch with real ingredients that cost no more than $5 per person.

Are you up for hosting your own $5 Challenge event? It can be as simple as making a meal with your family or for a few friends where everyone helps prepare and cook the food. Or host a potluck event where each guests brings a dish. A helpful list of $5 Challenge ideas is available on Slow Food’s $5 Challenge website. Please click here to register your event on Slow Food’s website.

To help you out I’ve put together a list of my top ideas for keeping meal costs down.

  1. Start by designing the meal around what’s available in your or a friend’s backyard garden (or school or community gardens if you’re a member). Tomatoes, corn, eggplant, squash, kale, swiss chard, cucumbers, and fresh herbs are all in season.
  2. Go heavy on vegetables, preferably local/organic, and seek them out at farm stands and farmers’ markets. A head of cabbage can make cole slaw or an Asian cabbage salad for a large group and generally run about $3.
  3. Use meat and cheese as condiments or eliminate them entirely and serve tofu or beans instead.
  4. Buy brown rice and other whole grains in bulk.
  5. Buy beans and lentils in bulk. (if you don’t know how to cook beans, head to the event in Fairfield listed below.)
  6. A pound of pasta can feed 6 people, leaving you about $26 for other ingredients.

If you’d rather attend an event than host your own, there are several in the area to choose from and the list is growing. Click here to find an event in your area. Be sure to visit the events under Slow Food’s Metro North chapter, which now encompasses Fairfield, Westchester, and Putnam Counties. I am delighted to share that I was recently invited to join the Board and now serve as an auxiliary board member. You can be certain that I’ll be keeping you up to date on the chapter’s events and initiatives and inviting you to participate. (read more about Slow Food Metro North below).

Whole Foods Market Fairfield will be hosting a $5 Meal with Chef Michelle at 12:00 noon on 9/17
You are welcome to attend this unique event where Chef Michelle will be teaching guests how to make $5 meals as part of the Slow  Food Metro North $5 Challenge! Slow food cooking doesn’t have to be time consuming or have high costs. Come learn how to  cook up some high quality meals at a great price!

Mexican Chicken Chili

Come feast on Mexican Chicken Chili, melding the flavors of roasted mild chili peppers, onions, tomatoes, and Mexican spices with rice and beans.  The dried beans will be freshly cooked, taken from their our own bulk section.  Nutritious, delicious and completely satisfying.  Only $5 a plate. RSVP here.

Join the $5 Challenge conversation on Twitter using #5Challenge and please follow me @GreenFoodGal and the local Slow Food chapter at @SFMetroNorth.

About Slow Food Metro North


The Westchester chapter of Slow Food was started several years ago by a few dedicated, hard working individuals who championed the Slow Food mission by fostering change in the quality of the food we eat and our food systems. Their work organizing, hosting and co-sponsoring community events stirred interest in good, clean, fair food in schools, with farmers and chefs, gardeners, houses of worship, community organizations and folks in general throughout the lower Hudson Valley.  They connected to individuals and organizations who care about heath, food, food policy, agriculture, and the environment.   “We would like to publicly recognize these leaders for their outstanding commitment to making change by making a difference, one person, one workshop, and one community event at a time.  Thank you for your leadership, your time, and enthusiastic advocacy to the Slow Food mission”.

  • Lisa Cohn
  • Peggy Clarke
  • Susan Rubin
  • Christopher Roberts
  • Jan Frazier Maltby

In early 2011 the first official board of this chapter was formed by Mimi Edelman and Kathryn Dysart as Co-Chairpersons.  They assembled a group of people with diverse backgrounds qualified to meet the goals of the chapter as well as the strategic plans set forth by Slow Food USA. This group of talented people quickly realized the name of their chapter was not inclusive of all of their members, some of whom reside outside Westchester county.  “We are excited to announce we have changed our name to Slow Food Metro North to embrace our entire community of members”.  The Slow Food Metro North chapter includes the geographic region of the lower Hudson Valley and Southern Connecticut, which includes Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties.

Please visit the Slow Food Metro North website at

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