Healthy Food: Good Food on a Tight Budget
September 05, 2012
A healthy shopping guide for low-income households: “Good Food on a Tight Budget” has been written by The Environmental Working Group, a not-for-profit organization that marshals the power of information to protect human health and the environment; in collaboration with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, an organization that teaches families at risk of hunger how to get more food for their money and better nourishment from those foods.
The guide contains lists of “best buys” that pack the most nutrition for the lowest cost in each food group. These include bananas, watermelons, broccoli, raisins, romaine lettuce, barley, tuna, lentils/beans, eggs, turkey and cottage cheese. Price was the primary concern for the group’s choices but experts then screened out foods that contain a lot of chemicals, like pesticides, or whose production creates greenhouse gases. Your food choice is one of the most powerful choices that you make every day that affects your environment. Some of the guide's top tips include buying grains in bulk, cooking dried beans to save money, mixing your own cooking sprays and substituting yogurt for cream in recipes. Researchers based the weekly plan on the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program budget of $5 to $6 a day. Healthy food is affordable, but it's definitely a different style of eating, It's a back-to-basics style of eating. There's not a lot of room for extras. It's challenging. Download free http://ewg.org/goodfood
1 cup barley or brown rice
2-1/2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon oil
4 oz ground turkey or ground, bone-in, or cubed goat
1 cup cooked or 1 can pinto or black beans, no salt added
3 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
2 medium carrots
2 zucchinis or chayotes
1/2 pound of okra, or other vegetable
4 cups fresh or frozen dark greens
2 cans diced tomatoes, no salt added
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a colander, rinse barley under cold water.
2. In a medium pot over high heat, bring barley or rice, water and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until tender and water is absorbed, about 30-40 minutes. Set aside.
3. Peel, rinse and dice onions. Peel and mince garlic.
4. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chopped onions, garlic, carrots and other veggies to pot. Mix well. Cook until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes.
5. If using turkey, add ground turkey. Cook until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
6. Add tomatoes and their juices. Add rinsed and drained beans. Bring to a simmer.
7. Add spices. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes.
8. Skip this step if you are not using goat. Otherwise, add goat and cook over low heat until goat is tender—at least an hour.
9. Add cooked barley or rice to the mixture. Stir to combine. Add more water, if needed. Cook over low heat to blend flavors, about 5–10 minutes more.
10. Remove bay leaves and serve.
Make a big pot ahead of time and refrigerate for a quick and sustaining dinner throughout the week. You can double the recipe and freeze half – but don’t double the cayenne pepper unless you like it very spicy.
For more healthy and environmental recipes download the free booklet “Good Food on a Tight from http://ewg.org/goodfood/