Home > Uncategorized > Put food in the budget: recap of day three

Put food in the budget: recap of day three

Faux jambalaya for the win!

Creativity is definitely the answer in this food hamper challenge. Using a brilliant suggestion from a friend, I made what she called “faux jambalaya,” using rice, chickpeas and some hotdogs.

It was delicious and filling. Lots of leftovers was a bonus (used about two cups of rice, half a can of chickpeas and three hotdogs), so lunch for day four was taken care of too. Maybe even dinner for day four, although I’m inclined to try the tuna casserole suggestion she made.

For those who like a little spice in their life, this meal is probably far too bland. I didn’t add anything to it. No spices. No ketchup. No pasta sauce. Just the rice, chickpeas and hotdogs. It works for me, but then too, I’ve been accused of thinking a baked potato is a flavour explosion (it is, provided there’s a bit of butter). Ketchup or pasta sauce probably would’ve made it less bland for the average person. Pasta sauce is on the list, and ketchup could be one of the five pantry items.

Speaking of those pantry items, I’ve only used two of my five so far: tea and vegetable oil. I’ve also forgone the three miscellaneous food items, partly because I wasn’t sure what that could include, but mostly because I seem to have enough food already. What’s on that list will definitely last a week, or more.

Today I had an opportunity to chat with Dominique Paris-Mackay, coordinator in the fight against poverty at the Overbrook-Forbes Community Centre, about the food hamper list. She made some good points, noting that the list we’re working from is only a guideline. Food options at area food banks change week by week. That fresh piece of fruit I can include isn’t always available to someone walking in off the street. That potato might be a green pepper next week. The main staples come in from the Ottawa Food Bank, but the rest depends on donations.

That means those of us taking the challenge are, in a way, in an enviable position. We can choose what we’re going to eat, at least to some extent. That’s worth keeping in mind.

She also asked how I was doing. I mentioned I found myself a bit more tired than usual. Not sure if it’s the food or just the hours I’m keeping, but from tweets and blog posts from other participants, this seems to be something others have noticed. I wouldn’t be shocked to discover it might have something to do with diet, although I’m not convinced either. But there’s a link between poverty and health, as Paris-Mackay mentioned, so it’s something worth considering.

Day three at a glance:

Breakfast – plain oatmeal, tea

Lunch – peanut butter sandwich

Snack – hard boiled egg

Dinner – “faux jambalaya” (rice, chickpeas and hotdogs)

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