Thursday, September 17, 2015

Turkey Tacos Stretched 4 College Cooking

It is tremendously sobering to realize what it means to be living below the poverty level and trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage income! Dollars that are supposed to supplement families' or couples' struggling in this area are allotted $28 dollars per week per person towards groceries--that is, if you qualify, i.e. $1500.00 combined Gross (not Net) income of 2 people AND you may not own any assets AND you must rent an apartment, house or room!!

Just think about this! What if you don't work? That's it! That is your grocery budget!
How would you survive on $28 per person each week? Very challenging! 

In an attempt to raise my own awareness on some of these poverty and hunger situations in the US, I attended a conference focused on 'Cooking On A Very Tight Budget', which basically addresses how to create nutritious, healthy, satisfying, and cheap meals to fit that very budget of $28 per person per week.

The recipe below highlights one such recipe that stretches your protein/meat (the most expensive ingredient in a grocery budget) without sacrificing value or nutrition. It is intended as a taco meat option, but can also be used as a turkey chili or filling for a burrito! I simplified the process by simply adding store-bought Taco Seasoning in case you don't have the spices! 

You should have enough food for several meals, or to share, or to save in the freezer! Easily!

(Adapted from Healthy Lives Healthy Kitchens Conference & Share Our Strength / Cooking Matters)

Turkey Tacos
Cost: $12.50 Total
8 Servings @ $1.59 / serving

Large non-stick skillet
Can opener

1 lb ground turkey
1 carrot, grated
1 small sweet potato, grated
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or kidney, pinto, white beans)
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 packet Taco Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste

16 Taco Shells or Tortillas
8 oz Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 ice berg lettuce, chopped
Tomato, diced 

1. Wash your hands.
2. Prep all of your ingredients: 
  • Grate carrot and sweet potato
  • Drain and rinse black beans
  • Have canned tomatoes ready with juices
  • Grate cheddar
  • Shred lettuce and dice fresh tomato
  • Small jalapeƱo, grated

3. In a large skillet, heat 1-2 tsp of olive oil and brown turkey meat.

4. Add grated carrot and sweet potato.

5. Add beans and canned tomatoes.

6. Add seasoning packet and 1/2 cup water.

7. Adjust salt & pepper.
8. Simmer until thickens x 10-15 minutes.

9. Heat your tacos or tortillas, or make a salad.
10. Set the table and assemble with cheddar, lettuce, and tomato in a taco or tortilla!

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