Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"We" Wednesdays: Food for $5

This is the first post of my NEW "We" Wednesdays! Every Wednesday's post will feature something for others, with a "we-not-me" attitude. Of course, all of these posts will stay true to be frugal and fabulous- because thinking of others first is ALWAYS fabulous. 

So today I will be a small part of the #Eaton30 challenge where you feed yourself for $30 for a whole week with the goal being to think of the multitudes who live on this reality in our country EVERY week. It's not to be in their shoes, but to add some perspective- I think nothing about buying a chai tea, but could eat three meals on that money. Since I was on vacation, I'm not doing the full $30 for 7 day challenge, but just focused on feeding myself today for $4. Now, I fed my husband dinner also, so I'm upping the grand total to $5 for ALL my food today AND dinner for my husband. I think he'll appreciate eating tonight. :)

Breakfast: Strawberry Yogurt
Lunch: Chicken & Black Bean Salad
Chicken thighs 1.75
Black Beans (seasoned) .85
Lime .42
Habanero Pepper .2**
Dinner: Black Bean, Chicken & Spicy Corn Tostadas for 2
Leftover Chicken & Black Bean Salad: Free
Tortillas: .99
Corn: .57
$4.91 = Under $5 for 4 meals! 

**Ok, I bought the smallest, hottest pepper my market had, which was the habanero. And I only bought ONE tiny orange pepper. It was so light that it wouldn't register on the scale, so they gave it to me free. I marked it as .2 because all people might not be given a free habanero pepper. But life would definitely be spicier if everyone just handed out free habaneros!

Overall, it took a decent amount of thought and planning to come in under budget. I think it will make me think with more purpose about what I'm buying and when/how I'm going to use all of it. And act as a reminder to be generous with the money and resources I do have to help those who do not have.
Here's my Chicken & Black Bean Salad Recipe:
1 Pkg Chicken Thighs
1 Can Seasoned Black Beans, drained of excess liquid
1/2 Small Lime
1 Small Piece of a Habanero Pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste (those are gimme items not included in the day's total)

Remove skin & excess fat from the chicken. Run your finger around the bone in the back until it separates from the chicken so you can remove the bone. I grilled the chicken thighs with salt & pepper on my George Foreman indoor grill for like 7 minutes, till the juices were clear.
Once chicken is cooked, chop it up & mix it with the black beans. Start with a small strip of habanero and chop it very finely. I added some salt as an abrasive to break it down more into almost a pepper paste. Add as much as you can handle, but I knew it would be sitting in the fridge all day, so I didn't add a ton figuring it'll get stronger. Adding lime is my favorite part. I squeezed half a lime in (I LOVE lime) and grated some of the peel in too for a pop of green. Serve cold or room temp or however you like it.

Chicken, Black Bean & Spicy Corn Tostada
Leftover Chicken & Black Bean Salad
1 Pkg Tortillas (I used flour)
1 Can of Corn
1 Small Piece of Habanero
Use extra 1/2 Lime if needed
Salt as needed

I wanted to make my rather simple chicken salad have some more pizzaz for dinner, so I tried to step it up a notch. I chopped up more habanero (in small pieces but not as tiny and pulverized as before) and mixed it with a can of corn and salt. The goal of this is to be spicy and act as a salsa. It was definitely spicy and delicious. I let it sit on the counter to sit and get spicier.

I warmed the chicken salad in the microwave. Meanwhile, I took the flour tortillas and toasted them in the over so they got crispy and puffy. Obviously, I burned two of them in the process, but had extra, thank goodness. To serve, put scoop of chicken salad on tortilla and a spoon of corn salsa on top of that. With the crunchy tortilla on the bottom it was like a yummy taco salad where you eat the shell as you go. 


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