Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Food Stamp Challenge

Now that the election is over, I'm trying to get back to normal. I was impressed a few years ago when my Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and several other congresspeople took the Food Stamp Challenge. They deserved our votes for doing that alone. Basically, for three weeks they tried to eat on a Food Stamp Budget which is about $21 per week per person.

Like most people, I have tried to cut back on our food budget. Nevertheless, even deducting the nonfood items such as soap, toothpaste, paper towels, etc that aren't permissible Food Stamp expenditures, I failed miserably to cut back to $42 per week. As an aside, the only thing that people can buy with Food Stamps is food. Items we normally buy at the supermarket like dish detergent aren't allowed. Although I failed to get down to $42 per week for the two of us, I cut back considerably by making a point of making at least one vegetarian meal per week. I have enjoyed trying the vegetarian recipes so much that I've increased that to two vegetarian meals per week. One of my favorite vegetarian recipes is Stir Fry. It's very easy. This is one for a family of four. The preparation time is about 20 minutes.

                                                               Vegetable Stir Fry

1 cup brown rice uncooked
optionally use 1/2 cup brown rice and 1/2 cup red quinoa for extra protein
2 cups water
vegetables cut into small pieces - whatever you happen to have in the house - I personally like to use mushrooms, an onion, broccoli, eggplant, zucchini, and green beans
soy sauce, lemon juice, sesame seeds, ginger powder, cumin, and garlic to taste
For more protein, add peanuts and almonds and/or tofu

1. put rice or rice/quinoa mixture in pot with water and bring to boil. Then turn down to simmer and cook covered for about 45 minutes

Now you have 20 minutes. Send an e-mail to your Congressperson telling him or her that no one can eat for $21 a week per person unless they live on a farm where they grow their own vegetables and raise their own chickens.

2. Cut up the vegetables. Saute in olive oil. While the vegetables are cooking, add the seasoning. Then add the nuts or tofu.

3. When everything is cooked, put it all in a bowl and mix it together. Dinner for four and it tastes really good.

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