One of the family's specialty foods is "Sketti," which involves butter and ketchup being microwaved together and then poured over spaghetti. The children love it, but are clearly not having a nutritionally balanced dinner. The mom repeatedly declares that she feeds the family on a very tiny budget and that "sketti" is their best choice (see clip below). Exclamations like this have inspired many to take up demonstrating preparations of healthy foods on a budget, and I, too, been compelled to create my own version of "sketti."
My "sketti" brings together simple, inexpensive ingredients, most of which can be stored in the pantry. I use canned diced fire roasted tomatoes ($.80), canned garbanzo beans ($.80), frozen basil cubes (1 cube = $.20), ramen noodles ($.20), and fresh spinach ($1.50). The total cost of my "sketti" is $3.50, and provides three adult portions. My husband and I can both have a serving for dinner and there is some leftover for one to have for lunch the next day. This version is certainly tastier and more nutritious than the TV version, but I am not touting the nutritional value of ramen noodles by any means. This meal is quick and cheap and provides protein (garbanzo beans), phytonutrients (spinach), amino acids (tomatoes and spinach), and carbohydrates (noodles), but is still not for everyday consumption.