Food Community Recipes

Cheap in the Kitchen

Earlier this week I began the Winnipeg Harvest Poverty Pledge. One of the things that I discovered quite quickly was that it was difficult to actually prepare somewhat balanced meals. When it comes to cooking, there is cheap and then there is CHEAP. This week’s poverty pledge landed me in the second category.

Cheap Ingredients:

The Easiest Taco Dinner...
The Easiest Taco Dinner...

One thing I’ve found this week is that I’ve essentially ended up eating one meal and maybe adding a little bit of snacking (boiled eggs or boiled macaroni) the rest of the day. Still, I managed to put together enough ingredients for what I thought would make a decent meal.

Cheap meal ingredients.
Ingredients for the making of a cheap, but reasonably tasty, meal.

My plan was to video my attempt at cooking with these ingredients. My former parish of Holy Trinity in downtown Winnipeg was kind enough to lend me their video equipment, unfortunately after several attempts I wasn’t able to produce any usable footage.
The list went as follows
4- breakfast sausages (previously cooked) chopped into pieces.
1/2 – large yellow onion
2 – large eggs
These were all put in the frying pan.
1 – cup dry pot barley (soaked for about 10 minutes)
1 – large Granny Smith Apple
1 – large piece of ginger (sliced)
1 – tsp sea salt
The first thing I cooked was the ginger and apple, slicing them both up and putting them in a saucepan to dry sauté them. This is a little tricky. I then added the barley with a little bit of salt, brought it to a boil, and let it cook for about 20 minutes.

The Ginger and apple starting to cook and release their scents.

I then chopped up the sausages and put them in the frying pan. When they had been given a bit of time to release some fat, I added the onion and let it sauté.
When the onions were starting to go translucent, I added a bit of salt to the two eggs and beat them. This was the final result.

simple dish
A Simple and cheap meal.

The dish is lacking in visual appeal. I think this is an aspect that we don’t consider when we think of what if means to live on $3.96 a day. The items that often add (natural) colour to our food are also the items that add flavour and nutrition. This wasn’t the most tasteless of dishes, the apple and ginger worked well with barley. There were certainly a good number of calories present. Yet, like most of meals this week, it left me feeling flat and without energy.
I’ll have one more post later in the week. In it I plan on talking about the value of eating with friends, and how my one meal out helped me get through to the end of the week in reasonably good spirits.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.