Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

Eating Well For One On A Budget

elcome to a new series here on how to cook for one person on a tight budget.  Over the course of the week I’ll be posting what I make with all of this.Berkeley Farmer's Market Finds
all organic, from the Berkeley Farmer’s Market.


  • Bok Choi Blossoms $1.50 (I’d never heard of them before either).
  • Snap Peas $0.50 (a few of which have been snacked on)
  • Baby radishes $1.25 (a few of which will be snacked on)


  • White button mushrooms $1.25
  • Baby red potatoes  $0.50
  • Leek $0.50


  • Golden Nugget Mandarins $1.80 (for snacks or dessert, but will be zested first. waste not’n’all).
  • Broccoli $0.75
  • Radicchio de Treviso $1.50 (huge! going into at least three meals!)

Why cooking for one?  Because there are plenty of people who write about cooking on the cheap for a family, I don’t see many that are for us single people.   And because I want people to see that you can be single, cook for just one and still have amazing, healthy meals that are affordable, balanced, mainly organic, and help support local farmers.

I don’t know yet how much of what I do in this series will have actual recipes, but I will include instructions for what I did at a minimum, which is what I have done below for this first post.

First Meal: Breakfast Scrambled eggs with mushroom, leek and goat cheese; Sauteed red potatoes; Salad of blanched bok choy blossoms and radish.  ~ And yes, nothing overly glamorous to start, just a good, healthy and hearty breakfast.  I was too hungry to be worrying about wowing people, didn’t bother to find the one white plate in the house for the photo, and didn’t stage the shot.
Sorry, but I was hungry!


  • Eggs (3) $1.00
  • Half & Half (2 tbsp) $0.17
  • Goat Cheese (1 tbsp) $0.25
  • Mushrooms (2) $0.31
  • Leek (2 inches) $0.10
  • Red Potatoes (2) $0.20
  • Butter (2 tbsp) $0.20
  • Bok Choy Blossoms (1/3) $0.50
  • Radishes (4) $0.15
  • Olive oil (1.5 tsp) $0.02
  • Salt $0.01
  • Pepper $0.01
  • Vinegar $0.01
  • Hot sauce $0.01
  • Total $2.93

Not really a recipe for all of this, but here’s what I did.

  • Slice potatoes 1/8″ thick and boil til almost fully cooked
  • While the potatoes are cooking, blanche the bok choy blossoms alongside the potatoes for 10 seconds, then remove and place into ice cold water immediately, then slice the radishes thinly, and put on a plate with the bok choy blossoms, set aside.
  • Slice the mushrooms and leek and saute in 1 teaspoon of butter with 1 teaspoon olive oil, when done, turn off the burner and move the mushroom leek mixture to one side of the pan.
  • Beat the eggs with the half and half and set aside.
  • Drain the potatoes, dump the water, then put the potatoes back into the pot with 2 teaspoons of butter, and saute, add salt and pepper to taste. Then plate them alongside the bok choy and radish
  • Put 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan with the mushrooms and leeks, turn the heat to medium, when then butter has melted spread everything around the pan, and pour the eggs over the top.  Crumble the goat cheese into the eggs, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook until you have the desired doneness of your eggs. Plate with the rest.
  • Drizzle your salad with a little olive oil, vinegar and salt.
  • Enjoy.

Until the next meal…