$1 Dinners: Roasted Heaven Under Earth at $0.54 A Serving

I love this time of year, and I especially love my neighborhood green-market.  Their selection of vegetables is truly marvelous.  I was out there yesterday and went wild with the beets, carrots, yams and more.  I also found a bag of 10 “aged” red bell peppers with only minor flaws. The bag was $2.  The price of a single “fresh” bell pepper was $2. Score!  I chopped the salvageable bits and put several pounds of bell pepper in the freezer in my bag of peppers for cooking (prices get crazy in the winter for peppers from Mexico, so I buy them early and freeze them).

Here’s my $1 dinner.  I made it in vast quantities so it could be used for several dinners and lunches. This dish would make about 12 meal-sized servings. 

2lbs beets—mixed, yellow and red  $1.

2 aged bell peppers $.40

½ package mushrooms $.94

1 lb carrots $.69

2 lbs yams $1.70

2 Tbs white truffle oil (the cheap kind) $.68 (can substitute olive oil)

2 Tbs olive oil $.38

4 Tbs cheap balsamic vinegar.  $.20.

2 yellow onions $.20

1 head of garlic $.30

Large handful of sage from the garden or other herbs of your choice.

Kosher salt and pepper to taste.


Total cost: About $6.49 Total cost per serving: About $0.54.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large baking pan with deep sides (like a turkey roaster or the bottom of a broiler pan) dump chopped vegetables (about 1”) into the pan, and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. The garlic can be included in its’ skins or whole cloves without skins. Stir 3 times during baking.

Bake for 60 minutes at 400 and then broil for 5 minutes.


This dish is very versatile, and also saves well in the refrigerator. You can vary the vegetables to virtually anything you want, but I prefer root vegetables. Waxy, not starchy potatoes work best if you want to add potatoes. Squashes are great in this dish. (My preferences are pumpkin, butternut and zucchini). There are also many serving ideas for this dish—here’s just a few.


  •         Just eat it like this—it’s delish and a favorite in our house.
  •         Serve as the “meat” to a green salad with crumbled feta cheese.
  •         Serve with a grain like rice, wild rice, quinoa, or barley.
  •         Blend with butter and cream or milk to make a wonderful savory soup.
  •         Roast a chicken right on top of this “mess” of veggies—but beware that you may want to use only golden beets—red ones will turn your chicken funny colors.
  •         Serve over pasta with a brown-butter sauce, or a light sauce with sausage.