November 25, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Sweet Potato Hand Pies
I have a fridge full of pie crusts and I am happy to report that my family and I ate and loved all the recipe-testing pies! On Monday, We made Sweet Potato Hand Pies with Kitchen Sanctuary friends for the Missing Link A.M.E. Zion Church Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner. Thank you also to the friends who could not be there and are donating delicious treats– Phyllis Capparelli, Lia Farrington and Dawn Graham.
Pastor Willie and volunteers will deliver hundreds of meals on Thursday and serve hundreds more from noon to 3pm at the church located at 101st Street & 5th Avenue in North Central Troy. See flyer bellow for how to volunteer.
making hand pies with Eleanor Goldsmith
Here how we made them!
2) Peel the sweet potatoes. Use a mixer, I used a food meal to “mash” them and catch and remove excess strings.
3) Measure for the Filling, clockwise:
You will need:
2 cups cooked, mashed, sweet potatoes
1 large egg, light beaten
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon Balsamic syrup (balsamic vinegar reduction)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 inch of ginger, finely chopped
1/4 coconut milk
1/3 cup of sugar
4) Mix all spices with coconut milk and simmer for a couple of minutes
6) Mix by hand or with a mixer
7) Open pie crust, made with 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 11 tablespoons of butter, 4 tablespoons of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar
8) Open half of the crust into about a 14×10 inches and cut into 8 hand pies or 16 mini hand pies. Add filling to each rectangle. Open the leftover crust, repeat the process, add to seal each hand pie. Bake at 375F for 25 minutes.
9) Serve with a drizzled of icing if desired. For the icing mix 1/2 cup of powder sugar with 2-3 teaspoons of milk.
Let them cool, eat them fresh or store in the fridge.
November 13, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Food Stamp Challenge:
Bellow is a photo of what I am eating the next 5 days=$22.32. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) averages $1.50/day/ per person. I am taking the challenge. You can see my blog entries for each day.
I got an e-mail mid-week from Linda O'Malley, director of Oakwood Community Center, that she was doing the Food Stamp Challenge.
November 9, 2013 § 3 Comments
I am thankful for having taken this challenge. How could I have eaten this week with $22.50 if I did not know how to cook? Cooking on a budget brought back so many memories of my mom in the kitchen. I love sharing my love for cooking and I hope if anyone reads and makes any of these recipes that they know I was having fun in the kitchen. Cooking does take time and so does the clean up, but it is something I do because I believe nourishes more than my body and my family — it creates healthy traditions and build communities, I believe that. I went to the store closest to the Oakwood Food Pantry in Troy, NY. and I did not shop with recipes in mind. I just got ingredients I could afford, like to eat, and thought it would be filling and nutritious. The fun was to figure out how to use them so they would be tasty, but I did rely on years of cooking experience to make that happen. These are simple recipes that did not take long to put together. I did not get garlic and I missed that a lot this week. My ingredients looked like the groceries I usually bring home to feed my family, minus coffee, nuts, chocolate… and because of that, I did have trouble staying alert in the afternoons without good snacks, but I was not hungry. I felt thankful and blessed. I do have a lot of grain leftovers, but most of stores we shop at does not offer bulk shopping. This is very hard if one is shopping for one or two people. I did figured out a few more recipes for my recipe box and I am also happy to learn more about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)
Here are the leftovers: 1 qt of cooked brown rice and lentils, 1 cup of cooked rice pilaf, 2 cups of cooked frozen pinto beans, 1 1/2 cups oats, a couple of serving of noddles, 2 carrots, 1/2 cup broccoli, 1 cup of black beans and 1 cup of brown rice, 1/4 cup of lentils, 3/4 of an onion, 3 eggs. I made 3 cups of sauerkraut of leftover cabbage and grew lentils in a jar–1 cup yield 6 cups.
and what I ate today:
Breakfast: Frozen Banana-Oat Smoothie »12 ounces — on the go, it works.
Lunch: Broccoli Lentil Sprout Frittata with carrots sticks
1. Set oven to broil to preheat
2. In an oven safe pan (I used a 8 1/2 inch cast iron), add olive oil to coat the pan and cook 1/2 cup of chopped brocolli, 1/4 chopped onion, onion and lentil sprouts until soft, a couple of minutes.
3. Add 2 beaten eggs to the cooked hot veggies.
4. Place the oven safe pan under broiler in the middle rack of the oven, for about 5 minutes until golden and eggs cooked. Check around 3 minutes as ovens may vary in temperature.
Dinner: Veggie Chili
This was so good on this cold night–cold and we saw the first snow flurries of the season. I took the chili to bible study to share since I was not having the pizza. I added to the crock pot on low for 4 hours: 2 cups of cooked pinto beans, 2 cups of cooked black beans, 1 cup of the tomato sauce, 1/2 onion, 2 chopped carrots, broccoli stems, and the other half of the jalapeno. I added my taco seasoning, chipotle powder and salt to taste. Yum!
November 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Today I have really been thinking about my childhood. Taking the challenge reminds me how I grew up in Brazil and the great teachers I had. My mom and dad were so good accounting for every cent and I watch them save every coin. “When you have 4 of those–that’s a pound of rice,” she would say. She even reused matches and we made fun of her, but I so appreciate those lessons. Thank God we did not experience food insecurity, but looking back I can see how we could have or we came close at times. Food and resources are very precious. There is a Brazilian song ( Água No Feijão by Jorginho do Império) that says “add water to the beans that one more person has arrived”. For several years, relatives came to live with us. Some meals had to be stretched and my mom was very creative in the kitchen. I am blessed to have watched her cook on a budget my whole life and it is the touch, the spices, the care and the love she adds to those beans that makes them so tasty. Circumstances changes…so many may find themselves in need of help and we hope we can be compassionate…
I had to stop at the store yesterday and tried to by food with my leftover cents and was not able to. I was looking for the smallest garlic bulb and still could not do it. One thing that I am reminded in this challenge is that I want to reach for all those ingredients I add to make meals tasty and nutritious. With my $22.50 I could not get cheese, olives, nuts or have chocolate and yes, no good coffee! Also missed my garlic! Almost everyday I use a head of garlic on my cooking and we grow our own. We also have been growing potatoes, herbs and beans. We have canned tomatoes and pickles and gleaned apples and canned lots of apple sauce–it is a great feeling to have food in our pantry.
While I was making rice pilaf using broccoli stems I was watching my children eating raw brussels sprout leaves. Hope they will remember these days.
For breakfast I made the blender pancakes again and for lunch I refried Monday’s beans. I can not express how happy that 20 cents jalapeno made me feel!
Breakfast: Blender Pancakes ate 5, have 4 left for snacking
Lunch: Refried Bean with Massaged Cabbage Salad
Add oil to a pan, sautee onions. Add beans and fry until it releases from the pan, let it cool. Massage salt into the cabbage to soften and release juices. (I learned this from my husband when we got married.) I topped with some tomato sauce I still have and a bit more onion and half of a Jalapeno, diced and pan fried.
Dinner: Brown Rice Pilaf with Grilled Banana
I use a dutch oven pan to saute the onions, broccoli stems and carrots. I added the 1 cup of brown rice and saute for one minute. I added 1 tsp of turmeric and 12 ounces of water. Cover the pan with the lid and baked on 375 oven for 50 minutes. I served with 1/2 grilled banana.
November 7, 2013 § 1 Comment
Throughout the day I thought a lot about how can we get clean food we can afford? We can grown at least some of it! I am sprouting lentils in a jar for this challenge. It was a simple action I learned in a visit to Soul Fire Farm. I wanted to remind myself how powerful “growing food” is. One cup of lentils will make 6 cups of food! I also had nice conversations while eating my leftover brown rice and lentils at the Sanctuary for Independent Media. Someone at the table brought up the point that people can use their SNAP benefits to buy seeds to grow food. This challenge makes me consider even more the role of food and media literacy. We are bombarded with advertisements with the newest and greatest foods that saves us time or stay “fresh” longer, but it is in taking time to grow, cook, and share the knowledge that we can change our lives and our health.
Wednesdays are very busy days for our family. We usually eat pasta or grains. I was at work most of the day and came home after 6:30 with hungry kids. We love eggs. We really love good eggs and I felt so blessed tonight that we can spend the extra money to get them. Tonight I made “Ovos no Purgatório” or eggs in purgatory and the family was fed and happy with a quick dinner, but I can taste the difference on the eggs I am using for myself to make the same dish for the challenge.
Breakfast was also yummy and on the go. What can I say? Bananas and oats are pretty amazing foods. I am not feeling hungry and I think it is because the whole grains are giving me the energy I need, but I still feel very tired around 4pm. so I ate some leftover pancakes — they sure held me until dinner.
Breakfast: Frozen Banana-Oat Smoothie »12 ounces
Blend: 1 ripe frozen banana
1/2 cup milk and few cubes of ice
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
cinnamon to taste
Lunch: Leftovers Brown Rice and Lentils
Dinner: “Ovos no Purgatório” or Eggs in Purgatory
For the eggs, heat up some oil, onions and garlic. Add tomato sauce to the pan. Next lower the eggs in enough sauce to leave the egg yolks uncovered. Cook covered for 3 minutes.
November 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
I was very much looking forward to breakfast. Just the thought of the sweet taste and smell of a banana on a pancake got me in the kitchen. Well, my children got me in the kitchen before that! I just used a simple recipe with some substitutions and so happy that I will make this again probably during the challenge if I have oats left. I have been making blender pancakes and waffles soaking grains for a while, but it was my first time using old fashioned oats and no oil.
My lunch was delayed and I just thought I would make one of my favorite late night bowls when I use to work nights and come home hungry. Simple noodles, eggs and something green would do the trick and that was lunch. But it made a large pot so I ate the leftovers as a snack around 4pm before going exercising.
Tonight I did have to share my stir fry dinner with the family, which was okay by me since it was more than I could eat. I decided not to eat rice or noodles with it, the cabbage julienne was like having noodles and I love the taste of lentil sprouts in a stir fry. I am happy I am growing them for the challenge (see last photo)
I am still missing a good cup of coffee, oh my
Breakfast: Oat Banana Blender Pancakes
Add to the blender cup:
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
add 1 egg and re-blend
Pour the batter onto the griddle or cast iron pan on medium heat. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
Lunch: Noodle Egg-drop Soup with cabbage
4 leaves of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 of one onion, chopped
5 cups water
1/3 box of whole wheat noodles
2 Tbsp. oatmeal mixed with a little water as a thickener
salt and pepper to taste
Dinner: Stir Fry with Sprouted Lentils
Stir fry: 1/4 onion, 1/2 cup lentil sprouts, 1 small head broccoli, 2 carrots, sliced, 1 cup cabbage julienne, salt, pepper, ginger and garlic powder to taste.
I am using one cup of my lentil to sprout. Here how I do it.
November 5, 2013 § 1 Comment
I had a slow start as a little pouch of instant coffee did not do much for me. And even with all the whole grains I ate today, I really could have used the second cup of coffee right after lunch. Of course on this budget I can not have good coffee, chocolate, or nuts, my usual pick me up, so by 5pm I knew I needed something, but even with low energy and the temptations while making popcorn for the kids, I stayed the course and really enjoyed the dinner. For lunch I cooked the same meal for the rest of the family. I made two separate recipes and we will have great leftovers. My recipe made a total of 10 cups and I also have another 4 cups of pinto beans for the rest of the week. See how I did it bellow.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup of milk with instant coffee, 1 boiled egg, 1 banana, 1/2 cup of oats cooked with 1/2 cup of milk and pinch of salt.
Lunch: Oven Rice and Lentils with Carrot Onion salad
Oven Rice and Lentils
Mix 2 cups of brown rice, 1 cup of lentils, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp thyme, one splash of oil and bake 375F on an oven safe dish with a lead for 55 minutes. It makes about 10 cups
Carrot Onion Salad
Mix 1 Cup of grated carrots, 1/4 of one onion (about 1/3 cup), reserve. Heat 1 TBSP oil, 1 tsp of mustard seeds and add to the salad. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. I really wished I had juice of a lemon for this one, still tasty!
Dinner: Bean Tomato Soup
I soaked 1 pound of pinto beans last night. This morning I rinsed them and I placed them on my crockpot, covered with water and cooked on low for 8 hours. For the soup, I measured 2 cups of cooked beans, 1/3 cup of tomato sauce, 1/4 of one onion, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp dried basil and several large shakes of hot pepper flakes.
Blend 1 cup of the beans with the tomato sauce and onion. Add to a pot with the remaining 1 cup, spices and simmer until very hot. Serve.
My whole family tried and wanted my dinner tonight. It was good.