Posts Tagged ‘share our strength’

When Meatless Isn’t By Choice {Coconut, Kale and Sweet Potato Stew}

Monday, April 8th, 2013

food bloggers against hungerI’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:

organic at the supermarket from Colleen | GlassBottle on Vimeo.

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!

2. See the film A Place At The Table in your city or on demand through iTunes and Amazon. (Watch the trailer below.)

3. Spread the word. Share this post, or the link to contact Congress, on Facebook, Twitter (#TakeYourPlace), or through good old-fashioned email.

~

And now for the recipe…

coconut kale sweet potato stew ingredients

Recipe: Cocount, Kale & Sweet Potato Stew
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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.

coconut kale and sweet potato stew foodietots

Share our Holiday Table

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Today we wrapped up the Share Our Holiday Table progressive dinner to support Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The dessert course features more than a dozen recipes, from maple cheesecake to a pomegranate mousse tart and croquembouche. The complete menu of recipes is below; I’m sure you’ll find something to add to your own holiday feast, and maybe a few new blogs to tempt your taste buds as well. And if you haven’t yet, please take a moment to sign the No Kid Hungry Pledge and/or make a contribution. Thanks, and happy holidays!

(more…)

Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)

Spiced Pecan, Pear and Pomegranate Salad

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

This is my favorite holiday salad — fresh pomegranate arils sparkle like little jewels to make any meal festive. It was my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner (at my brother and sister-in-law’s new home), and will likely make a repeat appearance on Christmas Eve as well. If you have time, roasting the pears makes it even better.

Recipe: Spiced Pecan, Pear and Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 hearts of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 pears
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (about 1/4 to 1/3 of the arils from a fresh pomegranate)
  • spiced pecans (see below)
  • French dressingFor the Spiced Pecans:
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions: Thinly slice the onion and cook in a skillet or saute pan over medium low heat, with a drizzle of olive oil, until golden brown. Meanwhile, in another saute pan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add the sugar, salt and seasonings and stir to combine. Stir in the pecans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pecans have darkened. Remove to a wax paper or parchment lined plate to cool.

To assemble salad, tear the Romaine lettuce into small pieces and place in your salad bowl. Top with onions, sliced pears, pecans and pomegranate arils. Serve with French dressing. Makes 6-8 servings.

Note: I use the under-water technique to seed a pomegranate, as seen at Steamy Kitchen.

P.S. FoodieTots is joining other bloggers to host a holiday progressive feast for Share our Strength – sharing a virtual meal to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger. Check back Friday for our official contribution, or go straight to the menu at SOS to find today’s salad dishes.

Bake Sale for Kids a Sweet Success (and Lemon Cupcakes)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The DC Food Blogger Bake Sale for Share our Strength, held this past Saturday at Eastern Market, was a great success. We got off to a slow and chilly morning, but business picked up as the crowds grew throughout the morning. I’m pleased to report that we raised $612 to fight child hunger right here in DC — plus a sizable donation of leftover goodies to The Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria. And overall, the National Food Blogger Bake Sales raised … over $16,500!

We had about a dozen bakers providing tasty treats that included cookies, cake balls, biscotti, pound cake, whoopie pies, lemon bars, pretzels, cupcakes, granola and even dog biscuits. Here are some of our volunteers as we set up in the morning:

Ken of Indoor Garden(er), Colleen of FoodieTots, Sally of Come to the Table, Cathy of Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen, Martha of A Measured Memory, Amber of Live Love to Bake

My contribution was lemon cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. I had a hard time finding a simple lemon cupcake recipe, but the Barefoot Contessa came through with a cake recipe that was easily adapted to make yummy, moist, pound cake-like cupcakes. I got too late a start baking to put the Foodie Tot to work in the kitchen, but he contributed his artistry on our signs.

Recipe: Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Ina Garten/Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon (1/4 cup juice)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cupcake liners in lightly greased muffin tin. In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest and mix until combined. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon extracts. Gradually add flour and buttermilk mixtures to the mixer bowl, mixing until batter is just combined. Bake 17-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cool thoroughly before frosting. Makes 2 dozen.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (Organic)

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-ounce boxes of organic cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

Instructions: Cream butter and cream cheese in bowl of mixer until smooth. Add sugar, mixing at medium speed until smooth, then add vanilla and lemon extracts and mix another minute. Add additional sugar if needed to reach desired consistency. Frosting will be soft, so you may want to refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting cupcakes. Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes, and then some.

Here are some of the other treats shared on Saturday: Cathy from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen’s Fregolatta and Nutty Fruity Granola; Martha of A Measured Memory’s Oatmeal Cherry Pecan Cookies; Dskco of Lunching in the DMVs Pound Cake; lemon bars and whoopie pies from Sally of Come to the Table; and the strawberry rhubarb jam that filled Jenna of The Modern Domestic’s oatmeal cookie sandwiches. Thanks everyone who baked, shopped and helped spread the word!