You know what’s cheap? Cabbage. You know what’s cheaper? Cabbage from an Asian grocery store. You know what’s even cheaper? Cabbage on sale at the Asian grocery store.

Thank goodness, because I love cabbage. And even more importantly? Thank goodness, because it means I can live off of less than $1 worth of cabbage plus whatever I can scrounge out of the freezer or cabinets this week. Luckily, you can eat the same thing every day without, well, eating the same thing every day.

I love proving you can eat well for cheap, so I’m also going to prove you can eat well for cheap and easy. Each of these is a complete meal in under ten minutes and under a dollar! Without eating the same thing every night. The recipes below are guaranteed to be inauthentic and easily adaptable to whatever ingredients and close-enough spices you can find around your house. Enjoy.

Mexico: Repollo Fajitas

(Cabbage Fajitas with Tempeh)


Saute onion and cabbage. Toss in tempeh slices, seitan strips or what have you. Sprinkle liberally with cumin and chili powder.

Cabbage: $0.12. Tempeh: $0.75. Total: $0.87.

Germany: Ei and Kraut

(Eggs and Cabbage)


Saute onion and fennel seeds. Add cabbage until wilted. Whisk egg whites, parsley and black pepper together, add to pan. Scramble and cook. Serve with a generous blob of good mustard.

Cabbage: $0.12. Eggs: $Free  (from backyard chickens). Total: $0.12.

Japan: Kyabetsu Udon

(Cabbage “Noodles” with Seitan)


Stir-fry sliced cabbage with some garlic and a little soy sauce. Add homemade or store-bought seitan. If you want a noodle-like experience, eat with chopsticks.

Cabbage: $0.12. Homemade seitan: $0.30. Total: $0.42.

India: Patha Gobi Channa Masala

(Chickpea and Cabbage Stew)

(Imagine picture of stew here. I’m really hungry when I get home from work. Taking pictures takes time that could be spent inhaling food instead.)

Put water or broth, canned chickpeas, cabbage, garlic, curry powder and cumin in a crock pot on low. Go to work. Come home from work. Eat.

Cabbage: $0.12. Chickpeas: $0.15. Total: $0.27.

And if you’re interested in, well, not cabbage, check out the rest of the What I Ate Wednesday gang at Peas and Crayons.

How do you spice up the same old, same old? Favorite cheap, easy and complete meals?