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Hunger Challenge Day 2

Is it possible to get cocky on Day 2 of the Hunger Challenge? Yes indeed. I don’t know what the rest of the week holds, but I had to pat myself on the back today for outstanding use of available resources. Either I’m off to a good start or I’m setting myself up for an epic fail by the end of the week. We’ll see.

Today’s menu looked like this:

Breakfast: Oatmeal and honeydew melon cubes

Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread, diced nectarine, celery sticks

Snack: Yogurt

Dinner: Make-your-own chicken tacos with chopped onion, lettuce, tomato, grated cheese, and “Mexican” rice

I hadn’t planned to serve the chicken two nights in a row, but I forgot to defrost the beef ahead of time (I had frozen it as soon as I bought it because it was on an about-to-expire sale). So chicken it was.

Unfortunately, there was not a whole lot of chicken left after last night’s dinner. By the time I pulled off all of the chicken and diced it I got about 1/2 cup at most. I decided to disguise the lack of chicken as best I could by surrounding it with heaping piles of lettuce and cheese.

Then here’s what I did that was so ingenious: I chopped up the leftover roasted vegetables from last night, added them to the leftover rice, poured in about 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, and heated it over low heat to make a “Mexican” rice (I put “Mexican” in quotes because it’s not exactly authentic, but close enough). Who knew – it was delicious!

I probably shouldn’t have worried too much about the lack of chicken – our older kid decided it didn’t look too appealing, so he went into the fridge and got himself a slice of ham to eat with his tortilla. Fair enough – that meant there was plenty of chicken for two adults and one child.

That brings me to one last observation: I’m starting to think that we have it easier as a family to live under these cost limits than many of the individuals who are trying the same challenge. It would be difficult for me to cook solo and live under $5 per day, but I can easily cook for our family of four for $20 per day (especially considering that two of those eaters are very small people). It’s all about economies of scale, and perhaps that’s making our week a little easier than most. We’ll see if that trend continues.

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5 Responses to Hunger Challenge Day 2

  1. Amy September 14, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    You are so right, even shopping for two was easier than shopping for one, which I did with CBS reporter Juliette Goodrich. If you can buy in bulk you can get much better value, then again, you do have to eat a lot of chicken!

    • jollytomato September 14, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      You’re right, Amy – this week has been mostly about buying big packages of no-name brands and cooking in large enough quantities to have leftovers. Good luck to you!

  2. Rashmi from Yumkid.com September 14, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I love this challenge. It’s a great idea! I find myself creating multiple dishes from the same thing. I am also a big fan of tacos etc.. as everyone gets to “make” it based on their preferences. I am always striving to get my family of 4 (okay maybe the 18 month old shouldn’t be included in this ;)) to eat in $80-$100 a week.

    • jollytomato September 14, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      Thanks, Rashmi! It’s been an interesting project so far – we’ll see how the week turns out!


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