I’ve said before that one of the reasons we participate in Meatless Monday is to allow our budget to accomodate better meat when we do eat it — local, grassfed meats are significantly more expensive than your average supermarket selection but it’s something I believe very strongly in. After all, I believe the farmers who grow and raise our food deserve to earn a fair living so they can feed their own families. Today, though, I’m joining other bloggers to once again raise awareness of the critical need for food assistance for far too many children and families in our communities — and attempting to make a healthy family meal for under $5. While there are ways to stretch your budget at the farmers market, it’d be nearly impossible to eat meat seven nights a week on a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) budget.
The good news is that there are a growing number of farmers markets that take SNAP dollars, and better yet, markets that offer matching dollars (including several FRESHFARM Markets here in DC) that can help those receiving assistance to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets. The recipe below uses sweet potatoes and kale which are still in season at local markets, but I bought the ingredients for this meal at Giant, a local supermarket chain. It was disappointing to see how difficult it is to buy organic produce on a budget. Many organic items are pre-packaged — which is fine if you can fit five onions into your weekly menu, but I only needed half of one. Same with the sweet potatoes. In canned goods, the store brand organics were more in line with conventional. And when it came to the coconut milk, one Thai brand in the Asian section was significantly less than the American brand (yet the coconut comes from Thailand regardless).
Here’s a quick price check at the supermarket:
And here’s how my recipe added up:
1/2 bunch organic kale ………….. .38
1/2 yellow onion …………………… .47
1 sweet potato …………………….. 1.34
1 can organic garbanzo beans .. 1.29
1 can coconut milk ……………… 1.69
= $5.17 ….
and that’s assuming you have olive oil, chicken stock, curry powder and brown rice on hand/in the pantry.
Get the recipe for my coconut, kale and sweet potato stew below — but first, here’s how you can help.
TAKE ACTION: Charity is not enough. The only way for hunger to be eliminated in America is if policies change, so it’s important we make our voices heard.
1. Take 30 seconds and send a letter to Congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation. The more letters we submit, the better!
And now for the recipe…
Recipe: Cocount, Kale & Sweet Potato Stew
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 15 oz. can coconut milk
- 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 1/2 bunch (about 1/3 pound) kale, rinsed, steams removed and coarsely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook rice according to package instructions.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add curry powder and stir, cooking 1 additional minute.
2. Add sweet potato and stock and bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender when pricked with fork.
3. Add garbanzo beans, coconut milk and kale. Stir and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, season with salt to taste. Serve over brown rice.