Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living on a Food Stamp Budget part 2 day 3

'Twas a busy day. I began with coffee and berries.
Coffee with cream .34
Blackberries .99

Then shopping. I would encourage any of you on a budget to seek out ethnic stores in your area if you have them. Often deals can be found that won't be in the grocery chains. I found 6 qail (frozen) on sale for 5.99. That makes them 1.00 per bird. Quail on a food stamp budget? Yes!

For lunch I had a Polish Keilbasa with some cheese and a tortilla. All rolled up it tasted great but I should have had an apple or something with it.

Tortilla. 20
Cheese .31
Keilbasa .99
Total 1.50

Quail for 6
6 Quail 5.99
1 Lemon .20
1 bunch Rosemary .69
Garlic clove diced
Bunch Chinese broccoli .80
4 carrots .80
Rice for 6 .20
Total 1.41 per serving

Take the quail and marinate them in the lemon with the rosemary, salt and a little garlic for a few hours or overnight.

Sear the quail in a very hot pan or wok with a little oil remove when crisp but still pink at the bone. Toss in the vegetables and a little soy sauce if you like stir til crisp tender and serve with quail and rice.

A meal like this will not make you feel that you are on a budget.

I did okay on nutrition but way too low on calories.
1,233 calories.

Below is a recipe sent by my sister Elaine. Saurkraut in addition to being a wonderful tasty food is filled with probiotics and very healthy to eat.

Put about 4 lbs of sauerkraut (never on sale, but usually about $1.10 per pound) in a colander with and fill with cold water. Repeat after the water drains  - 2 or three times.

Fry about ½ a pound of the cheapest fattiest bacony stuff you can find in the biggest pan you have with a couple of onions. Remove bacon when it is crisp.

Squeeze water out of sauerkraut and add to the bacon fat. Stir. Repeat until all sauerkraut is added.

Add a big bottle of the cheapest vermouth you can find to the sauerkraut mixture.  And the crumbled bacon. Also add (wrapped in cheesecloth – if you don’t have cheesecloth add an ounce or two of gin, eliminate the juniper berries, and be prepared to scrounge out the bay leaves -  10-20 juniper berries, a couple of bay leaves, some thyme, and whatever else works well with pork and sauerkraut. Now add the pork you’ve purchased on the cheap.  I’ve got some chops at $1.49 per lb. (family pack on sale compared to $3.99 today), brats at $1.99 per pound, ham at $.089 per pound, and ribs at $.089 per pound.

Cook for a day or two or three. Serve with boiled potatoes and a green, green salad. Maybe some tomatoes.


Anonymous said...

Are you seriously telling people on food stamps to eat quail?

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

Yes I am. I would encourage everyone on a budget to think outside the box. Look at Ethnic stores and find foods that are good values. A big problem with food stamp budgets is boredom.

Eating a quail is a fine dining experience that can boost morale. How much cabbage soup and pasta can one person eat?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Poverty of the budget doesn't have to mean poverty of the mind or soul. Creative thought and originality doesn't cost money. Finding the sale-priced quail makes it a low-cost protein. Kudos to you for showing that people can cook creatively and inexpensively, even if not on a strict food stamp budget. Why not quail, indeed!

Mirabai said...

You can make sauerkraut very easily and cheaply at home. I use the recipe below from my friend Nishanga's blog. I like that I can temper the taste to my preference by making it myself, because commercial sauerkraut it too salty and too pungent for my preferences. Check out Nishanga's blog: ('s an acupuncturist and nutritionist. I think you'd like each other.

1 medium size head organic cabbage
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon caraway, fennel or mustard seeds, dill or juniper berries

Shred the cabbage as finely as you can, and place it in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage and massage it in, squeezing until the cabbage begins to exude some juice. Once it is thoroughly wet, add the spices and combine. Stuff the cabbage into a wide mouth Mason jar, pressing down with your hands so that the cabbage juice rises above the level of the shredded cabbage. Use pickle weights or a smaller jar that will fit inside the mouth of the jar to weight the cabbage as it ferments. Cover the whole thing with a T-shirt or cloth secured with a rubber band and let ferment, for 3 days or more. Check each day to be sure the cabbage is submerged and taste daily to see if it has achieved a flavor you like. You may seal the lid and refrigerate to stop further fermentation. Eat 1-2 teaspoons a day or meal to improve your health!

heather gardner-madras said...

This is the newest post I can get access too and am very sad that it looks like this blog has died. I became a big fan during the original food stamp budget and would love to see at least the archives still easily available since I'd like to point friends on a tight budget towards your ideas.

If you are having technical difficulties (home page is cut off) and need some help getting things back in order I'd like to volunteer to help - I do internet design and tech for a living. Please contact me via the site link below if you need to and I will keep this feed alive in hopes that it will be back.

Thank you so much for sharing everything and your generous spirit and imaginative solutions are an inspiration.

heather gardner-madras

Karl Wilder, Chef said...


This has not died. Though I am no longer living on a food stamp budget I will be posting new recipes soon.

I had a bit of emergency surgery and was off my game for a bit, but am fine now.