Food stamp diet: Day 3

Several times, I’ve stood behind someone in line at the grocery as they bought piles of Kool-Aid packets with food stamps and wondered why they would waste their allotment on such empty calories.

Right now I would shiv someone for a glass of that lime-lemon magic.

I don’t even like sugary drinks. But it’s the total lack of choice that makes you want somethinganything — other than the only thing you’re allowed to have. Which, for us right now, is water.

Next time, I”ll cut those Kool-Aid consumers some slack. And that’s just the first of many lessons we’ve already learned this week.

Another lesson: it’s impossible to eat healthily on the SNAP allotment without serious planning. Which sucks if, say, you’re a single mom, working 40 hours a week at a lousy minimum-wage job (which, incidentally, comes to $12,818 after taxes each year — below the poverty line), and are exhausted and in a hurry at the market.

I wasn’t kidding when I said in an earlier post that it took four revisions to make a week’s menu that included some kind of vegetable and healthy snack for each day.

Now I could have snagged plenty of mac & cheese or canned spaghetti, but I was determined to buy food that a) was not disgusting b) came in a form recognizable in nature and c) would not cause scurvy.

Unfortunately, that meant spending more for less because fruits and veggies aren’t subsidized like commodity crops such as corn. Not surprisingly, there’s a scary correlation between increased subsidies for things like corn and the obesity epidemic.

To complicate matters, those subsidized meals-in-a-box promise quick food. And who can blame an overworked, single mom for choosing them, right? So when selecting this week’s menus, I also had a self-imposed limitation of meals that wouldn’t require more than an hour of active cooking time, just to show that preparing wholesome food doesn’t have to wear you out. At least any more than cooking krap.

So what did we eat today?

The usual grits and an egg for breakfast, leftover greens with corn bread for lunch, and a banana for a snack. But dinner was the real winner. Bell peppers stuffed with rice, cheese, garlic, and onions. Simply boil the peppers for five minutes, stuff, then bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Hubby and I each got one-and-a-half of those glorious green giants.

Oh yeah, and a big glass of water.

food stamp diet stuffed peppers

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