Final Thoughts

Here we are at the end of the Hunger Challenge! This video includes my final thoughts! Please excuse my delay in getting the words out!



Finally...time to cook!

The combination of my work and event schedule this week made it particularly difficult to make full meals. While I have successfully strayed from a diet made up of packaged food, I was thrilled Thursday night I was finally able to make a full balanced dinner which came out to about $1.75 a portion. I have to admit, it was a clumsy process as my ability to function at my best has declined significantly, but it was worth the struggle! I luckily, am well versed in the kitchen and made it out without injury or serious complication!

Thursday Meals
Breakfast: Hard boiled egg, strawberries, and instant coffee

Lunch: Pasta with marinara sauce

Dinner: Grilled Chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots (see recipe in the recipe corner), and grilled squash

Friday Meals
Breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs, a banana, and instant coffee

Lunch: Chicken, potatoes and carrots, and grilled squash

Dinner: 3 corn Quesadillas



Mid Week Report Back

"Oh Wednesday"

Tuesday Meals:
Breakfast: Banana, hard boiled egg, instant coffee

Lunch: Pasta with marinara sauce

Snack: Carrot Sticks

Dinner: Baked Chicken and Low sodium Chicken Rice-a-roni

Wednesday Meals:
Breakfast: Strawberries, hard boiled egg, and instant coffee

Snack: One pear

Lunch: Chicken and rice

Dinner: Pasta with marinara sauce and small sife salad (lettuce, tomato, and carrot w/oil and vinegar)




Recipe Corner

Essentials that are always in my kitchen and are included in most all my recipes are: garlic, olive oil, and Italian seasoning. While seasonings can be expensive, Italian Season (oregano, basil, thyme, and sometimes sage) is a great addition and is an easy way to flavor things up! Garlic also has a salty attribute which can help enhance flavor without a bunch (if any) of added table salt.

Marinara Pasta Sauce


*2 cloves of garlic chopped - the smaller the chop, the stronger the flavor that is released
*4 large tomatoes
*Olive oil
*Italian seasoning and black pepper

Tomato trick: Bring a pot of water to a boil (enough to cover the tomatoes). Cut the stem side off the tomatoes, flip it over and then cut an X on the bottom of the tomato with the tip of the knife. Usually piercing it in one direction and then the other makes a good X. Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30-60 seconds. When the skins start to peel back, pull the tomatoes out of the water and let cool. The tomato skins come off with great ease.

Chop up the cooled tomatoes into small pieces. Put a deep pan or pot on the stove at a medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, pour in 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot put the garlic in the pan to simmer.

After one minute or so put the cut tomatoes in the pan. Also add two tablespoons of Italian seasoning and a teaspoon of pepper. If you feel the need, add a teaspoon of salt! Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Possible additions when available:
*A can of tomato sauce to make the marinara go a bit further
*Ground beef or turkey - brown in a pan and add to the sauce
*Finley chopped mushrooms - brown in a pan and add to sauce
*Bell peppers and onions - Saute in the pan with the oil and garlic before adding the tomatoes, for more of a Cajun feel. You can also add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and/or Cajun seasoning to kick it up
*Chicken - pour this sauce over browned chicken breasts, thighs, or legs in a deep oven safe pan (you want the sauce to fully cover the chicken). Let it cook in the over for 45 min to an hour, for a nice chicken cacciatore. I also appreciate using a crock pot for this process creating a very tender and flavorful meal! 


Carrots and Potatoes

*3 cloves of garlic chopped
*4 Potatoes chopped (red or russet work best)
*5 carrots chopped into spears
*1/2 cup of Olive oil
*1 tbs of Italian seasoning or 3 stems of fresh rosemary, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper

A note on rosemary: fresh rosemary is very common and easy to grow (I in fact had a bush in my backyard and didn't know for quite some time), so it is likely that your neighbor, school, or church may have a bush you can borrow from. As always, be sure to ask before you take. Fresh rosemary provides a ton of flavor and can enhance many dishes. It gives this dish in particular a huge boost. If it isn't available you can use the Italian seasoning.

This is an incredibly easy and delicious side to make. You throw all of the ingredients above into a oven safe platter. You will pour half the olive oil in and mix everything up. Stick the pan into a 375* preheated oven and let cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the remainder of the olive oil and mix again. Let cook for another 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft.

It also necessary sometimes to add a bit more oil if everything seems to be very dry. Red potatoes will also take longer to cook than russet potatoes.



Night #1 Report Back

"Tired" is the best way to describe night #1


Day 1 meals:

Breakfast: One hard boiled egg, one banana, instant coffee

Lunch: Pasta with marinara sauce (recipe to come)

Dinner: 3 corn quesadillas and steamed squash



Oh instant coffee, I have not missed you..

Welcome to my 2014 Hunger Challenge Blog. The Hunger Challenge requires participants to live off the standard SNAP (food stamp) benefit for 5 days. The allotment for an individual is $4.50 per day. To learn more about the challenge, the food bank, or to make a donation please click here.  If you do make a donation, please let me know so I can track the amount given!

Check out my intro video to the Hunger Challenge 2014 below

To learn more about Marin City, CA visit the local government's website