The End of Hunger Action Month

Happy Last Day of September, everyone!

Can you believe how fast this month has gone?

But today is not just the end of September, but the last day of Hunger Action Month.

This month allowed us to discuss a big issue here on the blog and come together to help our communities fight hunger through our challenge of donating one meal’s worth of groceries to our local food banks.

Hunger Action Month

And it allowed me to share three recipes that I developed for my local food bank, which shows that low-cost food can also be healthy food.

Thank you for joining in on the conversation surrounding hunger in America and helping out in your communities. Hopefully, as we head into the holiday season, you continue to reach out and support your community food programs (Meals on Wheels, food pantries). And show me how you are reaching out to help end hunger in your community using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together, we can end hunger.

oxox,

C

Hunger Action Month: Fiesta Corn Salad

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Happy Tuesday, kiddos! Hope you are having a good week.

This is the last full week of Hunger Action Month, which means this is the final food pantry-friendly recipe that I am sharing with all of you ( 😦 ) . While you can alter ingredients in the two soup recipes I shared earlier this month, this salad is truly versatile. It can be served as a hearty side to grilled meats or can be transformed into a complete meal when it is spooned over rice. Versatility is always a good thing (and makes leftovers seem a bit more imagined!).

What makes this salad so great is that it is a true open-dump-mix kind of recipe. Crack open the cans, dump them into a bowl, and you’re ready to eat. A quick meal that can be on the table in ten minutes but is still packed with good nutrition (music to this RD’s ears).

This Fiesta Corn Salad begins with beans.

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I chose to use a combination of black beans and dark red kidney beans, but if you like a particular bean better, it’s totally cool to use that (pinto beans, anyone?). Just make sure that you drain the beans and rinse them very well to remove the salty packing liquid.

Then you need to dump in some corn kernels.

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Again, make sure they are drained and rinsed well – studies have shown that draining and rinsing canned vegetables and beans reduces the amount of sodium they contain (!). So not only are you removing the gloopy “sauce” the veggies are canned with, you are also removing some of the sodium! Because who needs extra sodium in their diets (no one!).

The final canned good in this recipe is canned diced tomatoes with chilies.

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I cracked open a can and poured it over the corn and beans – this time I did not drain the liquid off… this helps create the “sauce” for the bean salad.

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Look at those big chunks of chilies! The basic canned chopped tomato with chilies is fairly mild but you can always buy a brand labeled “hot” if you want your salad to have a little bit of a kick.

All that’s left is to squeeze over some fresh lime juice.

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It adds some acidity to the salad that makes all the flavors brighten.

Then it’s time to serve it up and dig in!

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I hope you enjoy this food pantry-friendly recipe and share it with your family, friends, and community! If you try this recipe or donate its ingredients to your local food pantry, let me know using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together, we can end hunger.

oxox,

C

Fiesta Corn Salad

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1-15oz can corn kernels, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-150z can diced tomatoes with chilies

1 lime

 

Instructions:

In a large bowl, combine the corn, beans, and tomatoes (juice and all!). Squeeze the juice of the lime over the salad. Stir gently to combine.

 

Nutrition Information (1 serving):

Calories: 184 kcal Carbohydrates: 33gm Protein: 10.5gm Fat: 0.3gm Dietary Fiber: 9gm Sodium: 775mg

Cost per recipe: $4.76

Cost per serving: $0.79

Hunger Action Month: Bean and Pasta Soup

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Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you are having a great week.

We are now halfway through Hunger Action Month (!), which means that I want to share my absolute favorite recipe that I developed for my local food pantry – Bean and Pasta Soup. This soup was my lunchtime staple during my study abroad in Italy because it was delicious and nutritious (and cheap!). Re-creating it for the food pantry brought me back to those simpler times and the Italians’ food philosophy that everyone should have access to good, healthy food (no matter what their socio-economic status was).

This soup is chock full of beans, pasta, and tomato, which makes it a perfect, hearty meal for a chilly fall day. Plus, it utilizes pantry staples that are cheap, easy to purchase, and available all year round.

And it starts with adding some vegetable oil to a medium-to-large soup pot set over medium heat…

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… when the oil heats up, I tossed in some diced onion and let it cook until it became soft and translucent.

When the onion was all cooked, I added in a can of whole tomatoes (juice and all!) that I broke into pieces with my wooden spoon.

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You can totally cut the tomatoes in the can with a pair of kitchen shears (like my mom) or crush the tomatoes into the pot with your hands (like my grandma) if you want an easier tomato “chopping” method. But the side of a wooden spoon works too (if you’re lazy like me!).

Then I chucked in a couple cans of drained (and rinsed) beans – cannellini and garbanzo (chickpeas).

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My soup in Italy only had garbanzo beans, but I like the texture differences between the soft, creamy cannellini beans and the more hearty, firm garbanzo beans. If you like one bean more than the other, feel free to use just one type (the soup will be just as delicious).

Now for the liquid. I poured in some low sodium chicken broth and water, cranked up the heat, and brought everything to a boil.

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When the liquid was at a boil, I tossed in half a box (what was remaining from the Vegetable Soup with Pasta) of ditalini pasta. Any small pasta shape works here, but I just love these little tubes!

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Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. When the pasta is done cooking, the soup is finished – how easy was that? All that’s left is to serve up…

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And chow down!

I hope you enjoy this food pantry-friendly recipe and share it with your family, friends, and community! If you try this recipe or donate its ingredients to your local food pantry, let me know using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together, we can end hunger.

oxox,

C

Bean and Pasta Soup

  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped small

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can no-salt added whole tomatoes

2-14oz cans fat-free, low sodium chicken broth

8oz small tube pasta (ditalini)

Additional water

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large soup pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and cook until the onion becomes soft.
  3. Add in the beans and the canned whole tomatoes (juice and all!). Stir to combine and to break up the tomatoes into smaller chunks.
  4. Add in the chicken broth, plus an additional 2 cans full of water. Bring the broth to a boil. When the water is boiling, add in the pasta. Cook according to the package directions.

Serve immediately or let cool completely and refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze for 1-2 months.

 

Nutrition Information (1 serving):

Calories: 274 kcal Carbohydrates: 55gm Protein: 14gm Fat: 4gm Dietary Fiber: 10gm Sodium: 829mg

Cost per recipe: $6.42

Cost per serving: $1.07

Recipe from Confessions of A Grad School Foodie – confessionsofagradschoolfoodie.com for Hunger Action Month 2015.

Hunger Action Month Recipe: Vegetable Soup with Pasta

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! How was your Labor Day Weekend? Did you enjoy the last bit of summertime and sunshine? Good, I’m so glad you did!

Today, one week into Hunger Action Month, I would like to share my first food pantry-friendly recipe with all of you! This recipe was developed when the director of my local food pantry asked me to find a way to use up canned vegetables, which the clients get an unlimited supply of (yay!). But after a while, eating sides of different vegetables can get boring.

But do you know what’s not boring? Vegetable soup!

What I love about vegetable soup is that you can change up the vegetables you put in it to fit your personal preferences. Don’t like carrots? Leave them out! Like garbanzo beans better than pinto? Switch it up! Want to use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth? Go for it! Versatility is a good thing.

This easy Vegetable Soup with Pasta starts with a large pot set over a medium heat.

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Add in some vegetable oil and a small chopped onion and cook until the onion begins to soften.

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When the onion is soft, pour in a 32oz carton of low sodium vegetable broth and 1-2 cups of water, depending on how you like your soup consistency. One cup of water creates more of a stew-like consistency, while the two cups of water creates a more traditional soup consistency. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. When the liquid is at a boil, it’s time to add the pasta.

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I chose to use the little tube pasta, or ditalini, but any small pasta shape works here! Carefully dump 8oz of the pasta into the boiling liquid (half a regular box) and cook the pasta according to the package directions.

When the pasta cooking time is half over, it’s time to add in the vegetables. I chose to use carrots (for something bright), green beans (for something green), and pinto beans (for protein).

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To add in some additional color and provide a boost of flavor, I also added in one can of diced Italian tomatoes – diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano.

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An extra vegetable that makes the soup extra delicious. Now you just need to stir everything together and let the pasta finish cooking and the vegetables heat through.

All that’s left is to dish it up…

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And dig in!

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I hope that you enjoy and share this recipe with your family, friends, neighbors, and community. Check out the bottom for the handy dandy printable that can be shared with your local food pantry. If you try this recipe, or donate this recipe’s ingredients to your local food pantry, let me know on Instagram by using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger.

Because together we can end hunger.

oxox,

C

Vegetable Soup with Pasta

  • Servings: 6 people
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped small

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1-15oz can sliced carrots, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can cut green beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1-15oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1-32oz carton low sodium vegetable broth – Kitchen’s Basics

8oz small tube pasta (like ditalini)

Additional water

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large soup pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in the chopped onion and cook until the onion becomes soft.
  3. Add in the stock and about 1-2 cups of water. Bring the liquid to a boil. When the broth is boiling, add in the pasta. Cook according to the package directions.
  4. When the pasta cook time is half over, add in the carrots, green beans, pinto beans, and tomatoes (juice and all!). Stir to combine and add in a little bit more water if you feel like the mixture is too thick for your liking. Continue to cook until the pasta is finished cooking.

Serve immediately or let cool completely and refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze for 1-2 months.

 

Nutrition Information (1 serving):

Calories: 247 kcal Carbohydrates: 49gm Protein: 10gm Fat: 1.5gm Dietary Fiber: 8.5gm Sodium: 918mg

 

Cost per recipe: $9.72

Cost per serving: $1.62

Recipe from Confessions of A Grad School Foodie – confessionsofagradschoolfoodie.com for Hunger Action Month 2015.

Hunger Action Month

Happy September, everyone!

For me, September marks the (un)official start of fall – a season full of apples, pumpkin spice everything, and the perfect autumn color… orange.

But, during the month of September, orange represents much more than changing leaves and pumpkin-shaped cookies…

 

It represents Hunger Action Month.

 

In 2013, approximately 17.5 million households in the United States of America were found to be food-insecure at some point during the year. This means that these families were unsure if they would be able to, or were unable to, buy food to feed their families. Of those 17.5 million households, 6.8 million were found to have very low food insecurity – this is when one or more household members have to change or reduce their food intake during the year because they lack funds or other resources for food.

When I first heard these statistics back in graduate school, I was amazed and shocked because I didn’t realize that we had such poverty in our country. This inspired me to act and reach out to local food support programs (Meals On Wheels, local food pantries) to see how I could help out and help reduce the prevalence of hunger in my community.

One of the tasks that I did for my local food pantry was to come up with easy, affordable, and healthy recipes that they could give out to their clients. The recipes were to use commonly donated pantry items (like canned green beans) and simple cooking methods, so that everyone who utilized the pantry could make healthier meals at home.

This was one of the hardest challenges I have ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding. So, in honor of Hunger Action Month, I will be featuring three shareable recipes that are food pantry-friendly (and delicious too!).

I am challenging YOU, my amazing readers, to take on a month-long challenge with me. I am challenging you to donate one meal’s worth of ingredients to your local food bank during the month of September. You can bring canned goods that you like to cook with or you can donate the ingredients in one of the recipes I’m sharing (and pass along the recipe too!). It doesn’t matter how much or what you donate – one can of beans or one box of pasta means that we are one step closer to ending hunger in America.

 

If you have any food-pantry friendly recipes that you would like to share, let me know (give me a shout under the “Let’s Be Friends” tab). And show me how you are reaching out to help end hunger in your community using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger. Because together, we can make a difference!

oxox,

C