Last year I started learning how to cook. This year I seek to continue building that skillset by attempting more difficult, and varied, dishes, as well as configuring the cost for eating healthy. My grocery bill has definitely increased as I focus on fresh and organic (where possible) but I'm not dining out as much so I hope to see it balance out. For example: earlier this week, I calculated that the turkey rice soup I make averages about $4.20/bowl (I get about six bowls per batch). In comparison, Tim Hortons charges $2.99/bowl for a serving of similar size with a side of bread. At face value, it appears to be a better business decision to continue dining out. But when ingredients are compared, the playing field shifts. My soup contains rice, humanely-raised turkey (breast), organic broth, heirloom garlic, white onion, carrots, celery, lemon, fresno pepper, turmeric and summer savoury seasoning. The equivalent Tim Hortons offering contains ingredients such as maltodextrin, artificial flavour, disodium insinate and caramel colouring (amongst other unpronounceable components). 

I want to know what I'm eating. I want to be able to pronounce and identify what I am putting in my stomach. 

For my first new dish of the year, I was inspired to take on something that has previously been an addiction of mine. KFC, Popeyes ... fried chicken tenders are VERY tasty but notoriously bad for one's health (and I don't dare look into their actual ingredients). I found an online recipe to replicate the former's famous eleven herbs and spices and decided to attempt them from home. Instead of frying in oil, they are baked in oven. Because of this, taste is not exactly replicated but this alternative is equally as good in its own right. I served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and seasoned carrots. 

Total cost for this meal was about $8.00/serving, not including the two bottles of wine also consumed. 

To learn this recipe, check out RecipeTinEats.