We’re gonna step back from the all day-every day Cinco de Mayo fiesta for just a minute. Hope that’s okay.
I’ve got something a bit more serious but very near and dear to my heart that I want to share with you today. A few weeks ago I was asked by the forever lovely, Whitney from Jewhungry, if I wanted to join in a collaboration with other food bloggers to talk about a silent but growing issue in our society: hunger.
It goes without saying that as someone who thinks of basically nothing but food this is a topic that concerns me a great deal. More importantly as a mama of her own babies it pains me to no end to think about other kids, just like mine, who aren’t getting enough to eat in this very wealthy country.
What Whitney was proposing is that as talented recipe developers, we food bloggers could come up with meal ideas that would cost very little money (around $5) to pull off. We could also use our voices to spread the reality of what life is like for 15.3 million American children and hopefully urge our readers to take action and help fill the gap wherever we can.
We have teamed up with MAZON, a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger in the United States. They have given us the information we need to make this campaign accurate and help us find ways to stop this growing problem.
Here’s the facts:
- 1 in 7 Americans don’t get enough to eat. Just take a look at this interactive map that shows how many food insecure households reside in your state.
- Hunger exists even in a country abundant with food. It is a political problem that doesn’t allow equal access to healthy food.
- Local charities and food pantries cannot keep up with demand.
- Even military families are going hungry. Marine and Naval bases hold regular food distributions to families living on their grounds.
Here’s how you can help:
- Tell Congress to end hunger for military families now.
- Invest and improve child nutrition programs.
- Share this information with your loved ones so we can spread the word about this tragic epidemic.
I wanted my recipe to be something comforting, filling, and fun. This is a simple, but delicious soup that my kids adore, because of the little letter-shaped pasta. It makes enough for 4 generous or 6 smaller servings so you could feed a few people on a little bit of money. I will admit the ingredients did go a bit over my $5 budget but you could leave some things out if you are working with very limited funds.
The necessary ingredients are oil, onion, salt, tomato paste, and small pasta shapes. You could make the soup with just these 5 things and it would still be good. The others are extras that boost the flavor but are optional and could even be substituted with different dried herbs or vegetables or whatever you have on hand. You could absolutely used frozen or canned vegetables too if that’s all you had.
Want more ingenious ways to make $5 into something wonderful? Check out these other recipes from the other Foodies Fighting Hunger:
Ramen Alfredo with Fresh Herbs from Jewhungry
Rice Bowl with Egg from Cooking In Heels
Black Beans and Cheesy Tortillas from A Nutritionist Eats
Vegan Kale Tortilla Salad from Greens & Fries
Crustless Veggie Frittate from Kosher Like Me
Avocado Toast with Foolproof Soft Boil Egg from The Kosher Spoon
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats from Let’s Eat Cake
Roasted Tomato Galette from A Jew’s Bouche
I've used dried chick peas here for economical and flavor reasons. You can cook them straight from dry but they are going to take a little while (about 2 hours) to soften. You can soak them overnight and this will reduce the cooking time by about an hour or you can substitute a 15-ounce can, drained. If you use the canned chick peas add them at the end with the pasta.
The alphabet pasta is super cute and kids love it. Use any small shaped pasta, like orzo, for a more grown-up version.
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup dried chick peas, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (15-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 (7.5 ounce) bag alphabet pasta
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook another minute.
- Add chick peas, bay leaf, oregano, and chicken broth. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover. Cook until chick peas are soft, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
- Add pasta and cook until just tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add peas and cook one minute more. Add about 1 tablespoon salt and a sprinkling of black pepper. Taste and add more if needed.
- Serve hot and enjoy.