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Caroline Wright's 5 Ingredients for 20-Dollar, 20-Minute Meals

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Today, Caroline Wright, who writes 20-Dollar, 20-Minute Meals, is sharing the 5 ingredients she always has in her kitchen to help her make quick, easy, inexpensive meals. And to make your meals faster and cheaper, we're giving away 10 copies of her latest ebook!

These five things are the building blocks of my twenty-dollar, twenty-minute recipes. With these ingredients, you can make the bulk of the recipes in my latest book! 

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Fresh vegetables: Fresh produce, without a doubt, is where I begin my cooking. I pick what’s in season at the market, which also means it’s usually the cheapest. Right now I’m trying to eat all the tomatoes I can before they’re gone. (I also keep a few veggies in the freezer for a last-minute meal.)

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Good olive oil: One of my favorite ways to elevate a humble, weeknight meal is to give it a little drizzle of a good olive oil. It adds a fresh, green flavor to whatever you’ve spent those cherished minutes to cook, and it makes your dinner look gorgeous.

Your favorite condiments and pantry staples: I love hard-working ingredients, from the humble pack of spaghetti to the flavor-packed tube of harissa paste I find at specialty markets. A few of my favorite staples include lentils, farro, chickpeas, good jarred marinara, olive oil-packed tuna, capers, and Sriracha. If you have the ingredients you like, most often you can find a way to adapt recipes to your tastes by swapping one bean or pasta for another.

Eggs: I love eggs -- I dedicated an entire chapter in my book to them! They are the perfect quick meal and are incredibly versatile. They are an easy way to bring big flavor to the table, whether they’re simmered in spicy tomato sauce or served on top of a cheesy winter vegetable pancake. 

Salad greens: Salad can change a simple dish into a meal, so I tend to keep lots of salad greens on hand. I wash and dry heads of lettuce on the weekend and wrap the leaves in coils of dry paper towels. Stored in a plastic bag, the greens keep all week in the drawer of the refrigerator.

Want more Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute meals in your life? Enter to win a copy of Caroline's new ebook by telling us your most essential ingredients in the comments. We'll choose ten winners at random on August 30th at 3 PM EST.


Tags: caroline wright, budget cooking, inexpensive