Thursday, November 21, 2013

SNAP Challenge, Day Three #JFSnapChallenge

If you are paying close attention you noticed there was no post yesterday. We cheated. My husband's grandmother was moved to hospice care to live the last weeks of her life and we drove four hours to Des Moines to say our goodbyes. I did not think it was a good day to try to find food in a gas station or fast food restaurant to stay in our budget so we took the day off. 

Not really a valid challenge if you can just go back to your $10 (ok, it was really $14) impulse purchase of candy bars, ice cream sandwiches and beverages at a gas station to hold the four of us over for the four hour drive home. My husband asked as we pulled out of the parking lot how I was doing with the challenge today and I just gave him a snarky grin. He is not participating with us this week.

So let's talk about how the meals from day two went and share some recipes. Tomorrow I will lay out the entire shopping list and show where we made our purchases. I will also share some of the decisions we had to make and what we decided to sacrifice.

Day two breakfast, made the night before.

Day two breakfast, warm and filling.

Day two breakfast, with OJ.
Day two lunch, veggies, fruit, PB, cinnamon toast.

Day two lunch, PB is the best part.

Day two dinner, mirepoix again.

Day two dinner, African Peanut Stew.

Day two dinner, with cornbread.

Audrey and Maurene both eat breakfast at home and then Audrey heads to school. A school-age child receiving food assistance would qualify for free lunch and, in the case of Lawrence Public Schools, have access to a free breakfast as well. Audrey eats lunch provided by school but Maurene eats at home with me before she goes for her half day of preschool. They both have a small snack at school before I pick them up but almost always want another snack before dinner. We almost always eat dinner together. This week my husband has been making other accommodations for himself for dinners.

Now for some recipes!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup oats, rolled or instant, we like rolled
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter, creamy is what we like
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup water, boiling
  • 1-2 tsp sugar or honey, to taste
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so to allow the oats to soften. It is even easier to mix all ingredients and place in a sealed container in the fridge overnight.

Tropical Oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup oats, rolled or instant
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice 
Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so to allow the oats to soften. We like to serve this version chilled. If we are not participating in a SNAP Challenge we add 1/4 cup shredded coconut for a more tropical taste.

Better Than a Jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 jar cheap pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
Chop onion, carrot, and celery. Saute in 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. If veggies dry out before they have softened, as is often the case with me, add water to the pan 1 tbsp at a time to continue water saute. After about 3-4 minutes add minced garlic and continue to saute for another 2 minutes. Add jar of sauce and seasoning and reduce heat to simmer. In the mean time cook pasta. Once pasta is finished toss with sauce. Add salt as desired for taste.

African Peanut Stew
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, if desired
Chop onion, carrot, celery and saute in 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add water as necessary. After 3-4 minutes add minced garlic and saute another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, peanut butter, and water. Reduce to simmer and heat 20 minutes. Add rice to last 10 minutes of cooking time if cold. Stir and serve with a little chopped peanuts.

Basic Muffin Recipe

  • 2 cups grains ( we used 1 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup rolled oats usually)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup liquid, soy milk this week
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup additions
Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add liquid, sugar, and oil and stir until just combined. This week we added about 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into greased or lined 12 cup muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. This recipe works well with so many flavor combos. We are enjoying pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash these days. Use your imagination!

I will share a few more recipes tomorrow as well.


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