A friend of mine used to decry what she called “inefficient frugality”–that office practice of inexplicable cost-cutting measures like monitoring Post-It note consumption or shaking the last tiny bit out of every toner cartridge. Fred and I practice a version of this called “erratic frugality.” We’ll spend $5 a pound for a locally raised, cage-free chicken without batting an eye but freeze up at the prospect of shelling out more than $3 on a bottle of shampoo.
Lately, though, our desire to escape from the Jerry Springer show that is our neighborhood has spurred our efforts to economize. These people aren’t kidding around–today, for instance, I discovered that the murder rate in our neighborhood is 7 times the national average.
Thank goodness we’ve put an offer on a house, in a neighborhood where the murder rate is only twice the national average. (Please don’t tell my landlord. It’s a short sale so she probably won’t lose us as tenants until 2015.)
To afford this we’ll need to scrape together about $10,000 extra dollars a year, and the first step will entail reducing our total monthly food bill (including eating out) from somewhere north of $1,200 a month to a more reasonable $900 or so. Plus, we both still need to lose weight.That should be easy because Atlanta was recently voted the 18th healthiest city in the country. I’m not sure how our neighborhood’s murder rate factors in there, but perhaps the joggers in Grant Park help balance that out.
So, to help our budget and improve our chances of survival, we are eating cabbage. There’s a reason the poor eat a lot of it. It’s high in fiber, vitamin C and calcium, and it tastes pretty darn good. And the smell may deter the murderers.
Joking aside, I love this dish. The herbes de Provence and carrots lend a sweetness to the cabbage, and it’s tender without being soggy and drab. It’s lovely as a side with chicken or pork.
Cabbage and Carrots
1 tbps. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into thin strips, the strips cut in half1 clove garlic, minced
4 carrots, sliced lengthwise into thin strips, the strips cut into pieces about 3″ long
1/2 head cabbage, sliced lengthwise in strips about 1/4 inch wide, the strips cut in thirds
About 1/2 cup chicken broth, or enough to cover the bottom of a 10″ skillet
Generous tbsp. of herbes de Provence
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in 10″ skillet on medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic carrots, and herbes de Provence, stir, and continue to saute for a few more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and cook until cabbage is sweet and tender, 15 – 20 minutes.