Leanne Brown Makes Cooking on a Budget Easy and Delicious

Leanne Brown Makes Cooking on a Budget Easy and Delicious

good-and-cheapMANNA FoodBank will host Leanne Brown, author of the cookbook Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day, for a series of events on Friday, September 4, 2015. Leanne’s visit to Asheville is part of a month of events hosted by MANNA for Hunger Action Month™, a nationwide initiative designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger and to help join the movement to end hunger. Hunger Action Month™ is the month of September.

Leanne will be in Asheville on September 4th for a meet-and-greet luncheon with select MANNA partner agencies and local media, and will be doing live demos of recipes from her cookbook with the help of the YMCA Healthy Living Mobile Kitchen. The Mobile Kitchen will be at Pisgah View Apartments, from 2:00-4:00 P.M. on Friday, September 4, 2015.

Leanne will also appear at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC at 6:30 P.M., Friday, September 4, for a book event, including book signings, cooking demonstrations, and an author Q-and-A.
Both events are free and open to the public.

Read these fabulous interviews with Leanne to get an in-depth look at why she wrote the book, and what its impact has been so far:
“Small budget, big flavor: An interview with cookbook author and food activist Leanne Brown,” by Gina Smith for Mountain Xpress
“Eat on $4 a Day with the Good and Cheap Cookbook,” by Mackensy Lunsford for the Asheville Citizen-Times

MANNA purchased a large quantity (927 copies) of Leanne Brown’s Good and Cheap from Workman Publishing, made possible by a generous grant from UnitedHealthcare, and is distributing copies of the book to food pantries and agnency partners throughout MANNA’s 16-county serving area.


When Leanne Brown moved to New York from Canada to earn a master’s degree in food studies at New York University, she couldn’t help noticing the big problem of food insecurity: 46 million Americans have to survive on only $4 a day, the amount provided through SNAP (the US government’s food stamps program). In addition, millions more live under similar constraints—from students, to grads entering the job market, to young families, and even retirees.

Struck by these alarming numbers, she asked herself a critical question: How well can someone really eat on $4 a day? To determine the answer, she took to her kitchen, developing resourceful recipes made of whole, unprocessed foods that promote the joy of cooking and that show just how delicious and inspiring a cheap meal can be when cooked at home.

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day (Workman; July 14, 2015; $16.95) is a cookbook like no other, demonstrating why kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food. Good and Cheap is not a challenge to live on so little—it’s a resource for those who face this reality, or anyone in need of stretching a tight budget. It teaches a general strategy, and shares flexible, approachable recipes—from mains like Vegetable Jambalaya, Broiled Tilapia with Lime, and Spicy Pulled Pork, to sides and snacks like Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas and Broiled Eggplant Salad—even drinks and desserts, like Watermelon Smoothies and Peach Coffee Cake.

In addition to sharing tasty, nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Brown gives tips on shopping, setting up a basic pantry, mastering staples, and even repurposing last night’s dinner. One page, titled “Leftovers,” offers tips on the myriad ways to make good use of old meals, like turning almost anything into a sandwich, or putting the fixings from last night on top of toast, in a wrap, or on a pizza. Eating well on $4 a day also requires a stocked pantry—reserves like garlic, canned vegetables, and dried beans can go a long way towards flavor. And although butter, a crucial kitchen component, may not be the most inexpensive fat, it creates flavor, crunch, and richness in a way that cheap oils never can.

Good and Cheap is more than a book of recipes. It is a book of ideas, made to prove that
cooking has a powerfully positive effect.