Hey everyone, before we get into this week’s analysis of a recipe, I have some other food news to report. I need all of you to send your good vibes toward NY because Marge is competing in a big macaroni and cheese cook-off this weekend! She created a new and delicious recipe which I’ll share here next week. And as long as the judges’ taste buds are working, I think it is a shoe-in to win.  She was nominated as one of ten contestants and will be making it for the judges at the contest on Saturday. Good luck, Marge!

This week’s recipe shares some qualities with the rice and beans recipe of two weeks ago. Sub out the black beans with green peppers, and replace mushrooms with eggplant and celery and you’re basically there. The recipe calls for baking at the end so it’s more of a casserole, which I think helps its frugality by inflating those cheap rice grains even more. I think it turned out pretty good.

Eggplant Dirty Rice (3)


Ingredient Size of Package Cost Amount Used Cost Per Unit Cost Per Recipe
 Vegetable oil 48 oz $3.49 1/4 cup  $0.15 $0.15
Celery Bunch $1.49 3 stalks $0.12 $0.36
Green Peppers 1 lb $1.99 1 lb $1.99 $1.99
Onion 5 lb $3.99 1 onion $0.40 $0.40
Eggplant 1 lb $1.99 1 lb $1.99 $1.99
Dried Thyme 1 oz $6.39 1 tbsp $0.91 $0.91
Garlic Head $0.69 3 cloves $0.09 $0.27
Tomato Paste 6 oz $0.45 1 tbsp $0.15 $0.15
Soy Sauce 10 oz $1.39 1 tbsp $0.07 $0.07
Rice           5 lb $3.39 1.5 cups $0.30 $0.45
Broth          cube thing $1.69 2 cubes $0.07 $0.14
Total $6.88
Servings 5
CPS $1.37


Incredibly, this time Food & Wine has seen fit to publish the recipe online, so I don’t have to tell you to just guess at how the dish is made!

This is basically your New Orleans style “dirty rice” with eggplant added. I love eggplant, but don’t use green peppers that often, so this was a good opportunity to use them.  Green peppers are normally outshined by their more expensive cousin the red bell pepper.

But wait, did I say cousin? No, they’re actually not related… because they’re the same pepper! A red bell pepper is just a ripened green pepper. Over years, peppers have been bred to stay red for longer in storage, since that is the pepper color and taste consumers are craving so. Green peppers are more bitter and harder to find a good use for in recipes. Hence its use here in flavorful dirty rice.

There are other spices in this besides thyme, but the amounts were so miniscule, I didn’t include them in the cost. Slightly tastier than the rice and beans of two weeks ago, but similarly needing an additional shot of Frank’s hot sauce or Sriracha.

Deliciousness Rating: 7
(Where 1 is gross, 5 is good, and 10 is cookie butter)

The standings so far:

Recipe Cost Per Serving Deliciousness
Frugalwoods' Rice & Beans Plus $0.79 6
Curried Yellow Split Pea & Carrot Soup $0.91 7
Curried Pea & Carrot Soup with Linguica $1.32 8
Eggplant Dirty Rice $1.37 7
Garden Vegetable Stew $1.61 4
Cod Chowder $2.03 7
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup $2.82 6.5


* The stated deliciousness of each recipe is solely the opinion of the author. Cost is objective, but your tastes may vary.