Cooking dinner on the cheap is only easy when you have tons of (admittedly basic) ingredients in your kitchen. Nothing makes me more annoyed than when I have a great recipe idea, run to the store for ingredients, use about half of them for dinner, and then watch as they sit and rot in my fridge. (I have a theory that ordering delivery actually makes perishables go bad quicker…) But this recipe is every lazy chef's constant friend — assuming all lazy chefs really like mushrooms and couscous.
The white wine and butter come together so nicely (duh) with the Baby Bella mushrooms and onion, and the couscous acts as such a welcoming vehicle for those subtle flavors. It’s the kind of dish that can be either a light (and cheap) meal in front of the TV or paired with some yummy grilled fish for a heartier dinner. It happens to be super quick and easy to put together, as well.
But perhaps the best part of this dinner is how much it cost to put it together — the box of couscous ran me $1.99, the mushrooms cost $1.99, an onion was 65 cents, and the bottle of white wine I had opened the night before was a mere $13. In the end, I used half the box of couscous, half the mushrooms, and ¼ cup of white wine… Grand total? $6.39!
Total cost: $6.39
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 white onion, chopped ($.65)
- ¼ cup white wine ($1.00)
- ½ box Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced ($2.85)
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup couscous ($.41)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Handful of sliced almonds, for garnish ($.50)
In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and onions and let them cook until tender. Then, stir in your white wine followed by the mushrooms. Cook all together until the mushrooms are tender and slightly brown. In a medium sauce pot, bring salted water to a boil. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat. Add the couscous and cover, letting it sit for 5–6 minutes or until all the water has been completely absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork and immediately add the white wine and mushroom mixture as well as salt and pepper to taste. Cover again and let sit for 2–3 minutes. Garnish with a handful of sliced almonds just before serving.