48.8 million Americans—including 16.2 million children (nearly one in five children in America)—lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. They live in food- insecure households and as a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year.
A sobering truth is that while we and most people we know are blessed with the ability to eat whatever we want whenever we want, millions of people around us are not. It’s easy to put on the Pinterest-tinted glasses and create a happy world where everyone eats veggie enchiladas and drinks green smoothies — but the truth is, many Americans simply don’t have the resources or access to get to even half of the veggies in a trendy green drink.
We’re thankful to know people who are passionate about combating food access and hunger in our country, and it’s an issue we are naturally interested in as well, as people who care deeply about food and nutrition. So we couldn’t be more pleased to be joining with our inspiring friend Nicole to use today’s post to raise awareness in a campaign called Food Bloggers Against Hunger (and, check out the link to see the 200 other food bloggers that have joined in the effort! So cool.).
Millions of Americans who participate in the nation’s food stamp program are limited to an average of $3 or $4 per person each day to supplement their food budget. And since government subsidies generally focus on products like soy beans, wheat, and corn instead of fresh produce, most affordable food is often the unhealthiest.
With that in mind, today we’re sharing a budget-friendly meal with ingredients that are easily accessible in most supermarkets. This take on Red Beans and Rice can be made on a budget — but even better, it’s actually quite delicious and nutrient-dense: full of veggies, legumes, and Cajun spices that pack a large amount of flavor into some humble ingredients. It also works for various special diets, including dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian.
So, how about you — have you considered the pandemic of hunger and food access (in America and/or around the word)? How has hunger or food access affected you and your family? Are you inspired to take action – or are you already involved in being part of a solution?
A few next steps to consider:
-Make a meal on a budget (like this one, or another for around $3 to 4 per person), and donate the remainder of what you might have spent on a meal at a restaurant to a food-based charity.
-Use this link to take 30 seconds and send a letter to congress asking them to support anti-hunger legislation.
-Check out www.nokidhungry.org to learn more stats and background on the issue.
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 stalks celery
- ½ green pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans (3 cups cooked)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, to garnish
- Hot sauce, to garnish
- Cook the rice according to package instructions.
- Dice the onion, 4 stalks of celery, and ½ green pepper. Mince 4 cloves garlic.
- In a large saucepan (or dutch oven), warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, celery, and pepper for 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes more; watch the pan to avoid burning the garlic.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse two cans of red beans. When the vegetables are ready, add the beans, diced tomatoes with their liquid, and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir in ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon thyme, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
- Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Meanwhile, roughly chop ¼ cup parsley leaves.
- When simmering is complete, remove the bay leaves and serve the beans over rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and hot sauce.