Saturday, September 27, 2008

Breakfast & Lunch on the Hunger Challenge

Hunger ChallengeGoing into the challenge I thought breakfast would be a breeze. I figured I might even save money on breakfast that I could then use on lunch or dinner. Fat chance! If you want to buy premium products, like cage free organic eggs, jam with no corn sweeteners or real butter, you'll be over budget in no time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but forget about fresh orange juice and coffee most days, on this budget.


Lunch was just plain boring. Only a couple of days did I have enough to eat of leftovers. It was hard to come up with interesting recipes on such a tight budget. My experiments with cottage cheese were not very successful. My most creative effort was green pea pesto. I like it so much, I would make it again.

This is my last Hunger Challenge post. I hope you have found my insights and recipes to be enlightening and interesting and maybe even helpful if you are on a limited budget. If you are not on a limited budget, please consider donating to the food bank. Your $1 donation allows the food bank to distribute $9 worth of food. The food that the San Francisco Food Bank offers is often fresh produce and not just canned foods or government surplus cheese. It is also a lifeline for those who depend upon it. As an added incentive, I've donated some cookbooks for top donors.

BREAKFAST

Eggs & Toast
Eggs & Toast
Two slices of toast, 32¢
1 Tablespoon Smart Balance 9¢
2 eggs, 48¢
1 Tablespoon organic, no corn syrup jam, 18¢
Total--$1.07

Oatmeal
oatmeal
1/2 cup quick oats, 13¢
1/2 cup organic milk, 56¢
1 Tablespoon raisins, 4.5¢
Total--73.5¢

Ways to shake things up:

Organic peanut butter, 7¢ per Tablespoon
- Use on toast
- Swirl into oatmeal (tip courtesy of Alanna at Veggie Venture)

Cottage cheese 31¢ per 1/4 cup (but often available from the Food Bank)
- Use on toast, top with banana slices
- Add to scrambled eggs, serve on toast
- Make a banana smoothie with cottage cheese, milk and banana

LUNCH

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
Two slices of toast, 32¢
1 Tablespoon organic, no corn syrup jam, 18¢
2 Tablespoon organic peanut butter, 14¢
Total--64¢

Pasta with Green Pea Pesto
Pasta with Green Pea Pesto
1 cup frozen organic green peas, 75¢
2 cloves garlic, 5¢
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 36¢
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese, 42¢
Total--about 32¢ per 2 Tablespoon serving

1 cup/2 ounces penne pasta 24¢
Total--56¢ per serving

As the challenge progressed I experienced some of the same things my fellow bloggers have:

Genie of The Inadvertent Gardener lost weight on the challenge. While I didn't weigh myself at the beginning of the challenge, I do know I lost some weight on it because of the way my clothes are fitting. While this might be a good thing one week, I'm not sure it would be good week after week for everyone. Luckily I didn't suffer the same caffeine withdrawal that Genie did because I'm not a regular coffee drinker.

Faith at Blog Appetit used her calculator a lot. My calculator and my digital scale were in constant use this week to discover the true costs of my meals.

Gayle of the Been There Ate That blog was inspired to adapt a recipe she found in a magazine, and so did I.

Vanessa of Vanessa Barrington blog thought and wrote about transportation costs that affect those on a limited budget and that also factored in to my shopping choices.

Rude awakenings:
* Even though it seems more luxurious, the egg breakfast was not nearly as filling as the oatmeal. I found myself getting hungry after a few hours

* I would have preferred to buy organic or local eggs, but there is no way I could on the budget.

*Fresh fruit? Practically impossible to manage. The best I could do was a banana for 19¢ or raisins which are a good source of iron.

*Buying products like bread on sale was a necessity not a choice

*Finding jam without corn syrup was a real challenge and bumped the price way up

* To get the most nutritional value, I choose a whole wheat, high fiber bread, cheaper bread=less healthy bread

Have you donated online yet? It's free and easy!

As I mentioned yesterday, after reading one of my "tweets" on Twitter about the Hunger Challenge, Tyson Foods offered to send up to 200,000 pounds of high-quality, protein-rich foods (chicken, meatballs, lunchmeat, etc.) to the six Bay Area food banks! That's six tractor-trailerloads of the most hard-to-come-by foods desperately needed by food banks!

Tyson will donate 100 pounds of food for every comment posted on a special web page, so please go, make a comment and then help spread the word!

1) Go to the Tyson Hunger Relief in the Bay Area post.

2) Read the post and leave a comment. (NOTE: the format asks for an email address to prevent spam, but Tyson guarantees they will not harvest emails or use them for any other purpose whatsoever.)

3) Tyson adds another 100 pounds of high-quality, protein-rich foods (chicken, meatballs, lunchmeat, etc.) to trucks heading for 6 Bay Area food banks!

4) Tell your friends and family, anyone and everyone!


GET INVOLVED!

♥ Learn more about the San Francisco Food Bank

Donate and a receive a thank you special thank you gift!

1. Click on donate to go to the donation page.
2. Fill out the necessary info and make a donation of $50 or more.
3. About 2/3 of the way down the form, look for a header that says, “Food Drive/Event Information (not required)”
4. Use the drop-down box to select “Bloggers Hunger Challenge,” so we’ll know you are participating.
5. Be one of the first 12 people to donate $50 or more and you’ll receive a brand new free cookbook as a thank-you.