Because I'm still easily exhausted from last health scare, I wasn't feeling all that creative for my first day of the Hunger Challenge (which was Monday; I'm doing my challenge during the workweek again). On Sunday night I'd prepared a few cups of brown rice - one of the best bare bones staples out there in terms of nutrition and affordability - so that I could make a few different dishes from that one pot, like my Brown Rice, Veggie & Tuna Salad.
picked straight off the bush - added a burst of sweetness and healthy antioxidants. Total breakfast cost (including milk): $1.10. A bit on the high side because of the blueberries, but I still had plenty to get me through the rest of the day.
My lunch of Brown Rice, Veggie and Tuna Salad is filling, nutritious, and full of flavor, so I knew I'd be set for the rest of the work day. At just about $0.85 per serving, this counted just slightly towards my $4/day allotment. A small box of raisins for snack ($0.17/box in a 6 box snack), and I was up to $2.12. Unfortunately, I wasn't up for much more than serving myself a leg & thigh quarter ($0.76) and some brown rice with tomatoes that first day, so there's nothing fun & new to share from my first day of the Hunger Challenge. Good news is that I got through the whole day on just $2.88. Not bad for Day 1.
Quick & Easy Fried Rice with Asparagus, this dish was another good example of how to make one bare bones staple turn into a giant, tasty meal that could be stretched out for ages...
Chicken Fried Rice (makes 4 servings; total cost per serving: ~ $0.60)
1 c brown rice (cold leftovers work best)
1 c cooked chicken, diced
1/2 c frozen peas & carrots
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T soy sauce*
2 T plus 1 t cooking oil
Heat a small fry pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add oil followed by the eggs, and cook until fluffy and no longer moist. Set aside.
In a larger skillet, heat the remaining oil and add the diced onion. Sauté over medium high heat until the onion just begins to soften, then add the frozen veggies and rice. Cook until the vegetables have thawed and the rice has softened. Add the scrambled eggs and soy sauce, and stir fry for another 3 minutes, or until the entire dish is completely heated through. Garnish with chopped scallions (if you have them), season with extra soy sauce if you like, and enjoy!
*Hunger Challenge Tip: If you don't have a bottle of soy sauce on hand, don't fret! Putting together a few packets of soy sauce will do the same job in a pinch.