$10 Whole Foods Challenge #WFMarket ~ Nik Snacks

Bite it and write it. That's what I do.


If you're a regular reader (which I know you are), you're familiar with my biweekly $20 Challenge at the Dixie Classic Fair Farmers Market. Tanya Rivera of WFMY-2 and 2 Wants To Know challenged me to a duel. No, not really--but she challenged me to create a gourmet meal for 4, only using $10--AT WHOLE FOODS.

There is a reason it's nicknamed "Whole Paychecks". The organic specialty grocery store is more expensive than other stores in the area, including The Fresh Market and they take EBT, which The Fresh Market does not.

This was not my first time creating a meal for four at Whole Foods. I succeeded SIX YEARS ago and the results this time was more fantastic than the first.

*The asterisks indicate items purchased from Whole Foods

Appetizer: Zucchini salad with mustard vinaigrette
Main Course: Chicken chorizo and ground chuck patties with sweet potatoes and rutabaga
Side Dish: green beans with Black Forest bacon and dried cranberries
Dessert: Almond jam bars

That's right. Less than $10, including tax and dessert. Mmm hmm. Dessert.

How did I do it? A little bit of planning and buying exactly what I needed. I purchased my protein first and bulked up my patties with lentils, cornmeal and wheat germ. I could have easily purchased rice, quinoa or other grain, but I liked the color of the lentils.

Also, using simple pantry staples can help you achieve your meal goals with minimal funds.

Want to try your own $10 Whole Foods Challenge? Try it and send me pics to niksnacksblog@gmail.com

Chorizo & Chuck Meat Patties

1 link chicken chorizo sausage*
Scant 1/4 lb ground chuck (85/15)*
1/2 cup raw wheat germ*
3 Tbs cornmeal*
1 1/4 cup green lentils, cooked*
2 Tbs hot wing sauce or other hot pepper sauce
2 Tbs vegetable oil

Split open the chicken chorizo link, take out the forcemeat and place it in a bowl. Add the ground chuck, wheat germ, cornmeal, green lentils and hot wing sauce. Mix with a spoon or your hands. Form the mixture into 2-inch patties that are 1/2-inch thick.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add patties to skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

Sweet Potato & Rutabaga

1 sweet potato*
1 rutabaga*
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper, to taste
Scrub sweet potato and rutabaga and rinse with water. Peel skin using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Cut into even pieces. Discard ends and hard, woody pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock until it is simmering and add sweet potato and rutabaga with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. When chicken stock and water have evaporated, take the pot off the heat and add the butter. Stir to coat vegetables. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Green beans with bacon & cranberries

1 Tbs light olive oil
1/2 lb green beans*
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 strip bacon, cut into small pieces*
2 oz dried cranberries*
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat large skillet with 2 Tbs of olive oil and place green beans in the pan with vinegar and bacon. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add cranberries and continue to cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Zucchini Salad with mustard vinaigrette

1 Large zucchini, cut in thin slices on the bias (cut diagonally)*
2 oz. red onion, chopped*
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of sugar (optional)

Place sliced zucchini in a bowl that can be fitted with a lid. Add red onion, white vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Place lid on top and shake vigorously to mix the liquid ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add sugar for a little bit of sweetness. The longer the zucchini sits, the better it will taste.

Almond Jam Bars

6 Tbs all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 Tbs almond butter*
6 Tbs granulated white sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
6 Tbs grape jelly or other jelly or jam

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line metal baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang around edges and pressing firmly into corners and up sides of pan. Stir flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Mix almond butter, sugar, butter and egg in a separate bowl until smooth. Add flour mixture; mix just to blend. Transfer 3/4 of dough to prepared pan. Spread jelly over bar mixture. Using fingertips or a spoon, place remaining dough on top of the jelly in uneven pieces.

Bake bars until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool bars completely in pan on rack. Using foil overhang as aid to lift bars from pan. Cut into 8 squares. Serve.

This post was NOT sponsored by Whole Foods. No coupons, sale items or limited quantity items were used.


  1. Who doesn't love a good challenge. I don't seem to ever be able to get out of WF for under 100. I could def use this!

  2. You have turned out some amazing food with a great price. Looks great!

  3. What a great spread for an awesome price!

  4. That is a serious skill, being able to budget and make great food. I'm taking lessons from you!

  5. I think it's fair to say you have a gift!! Yum :)

  6. I live at Whole Foods It can be done! Fabulous!

  7. 5 cents away! Great job! I wish there was a whole foods near me. I'd take this challenge as well!

  8. Your creativity with $10 amazes me! These all sound incredible!

  9. wow - I'm impressed! This looks fantastic for any amount, let alone 10 bucks!

  10. What a great challenge especially at Whole Foods, you did outstanding!

  11. You are my new hero! I can't walk away from WF without spending at least $100 and you made a full meal with $10! I bow to you...

  12. I wish we had a Whole Foods!! I need those Almond Jam Bars!!

  13. This is fabulous, love that you did this on a budget. We don't have one near us, but occasionally I head to Toronto for business. When I do I always hit up WF and drop hundreds of dollars. But I justify it by saying I only go in a couple of times a year. lol

  14. In college I studied dietetics (nutrition) and in one of my classes we would have to create a 3-course meal for 4 people within a $5 budget. It does take some planning but it's definitely possible. Plus the meals are so much healthier by purchasing produce instead of for example, processed foods. Congrats on winning the challenge!! :)

  15. I cannot get out of Whole Foods without spending at least $100. I'm so impressed you threw together this delicious meal on such a tight budget!

  16. I'm really impressed that you were able to create a full meal for four on just $10 at Whole Foods!


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