One in two American children will receive food assistance benefits at some point in their childhoods. That’s just one of the many startling statistics shared in the new documentary about hunger in America, A Place at the Table.
In response to that film, Nicole Gulotta, founder of The Giving Table, recently launched an effort called Food Bloggers Against Hunger to promote Share Our Strength‘s efforts to protect SNAP (food stamp) funding in Congress.
I told you last week that I’m proud to be one of almost 200 bloggers who today are “donating” our posts to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America. You can find all the donated posts on The Giving Table’s Facebook page, on Twitter (hashtag #takeyourplace) and on Pinterest.
My own contribution, suggested by The Giving Table, is sharing a healthful recipe to feed four people for around $4, the amount many families have to work with on their food assistance benefits.
When presented with this challenge, I immediately thought of a potato frittata that I recently served my own family — a filling, protein-rich and inexpensive dinner. I didn’t have a written recipe when I made it, but here’s my best approximation:
Spinach and Potato Frittata
- cooking oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Saute the potato cubes in a bit of oil over medium high heat, then add a little water to the pan and cover it, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes soften. You can add a bit more water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Remove the potatoes to a bowl (drain if needed), then add more oil to the skillet. Add the onion and saute until softened, then stir in the garlic and spinach and cook for another few minutes, then set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cheese together, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes and spinach.
- In a cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet coated with oil, cook the egg mixture over medium-low heat for one minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are set and center is slightly runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Then broil until the top of the frittata is golden, about one minute.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
In calculating the cost of this recipe, I assumed that the family already had oil, salt and pepper in its kitchen and I used the prices at my local Target grocery: eggs, 99¢ a dozen; one Idaho potato, around 75¢; one yellow onion, about 53¢; a head of garlic, 59¢; a package of frozen spinach, $1.49; and 8 oz. of Market Pantry shredded cheese, $2.25. The total for these ingredients is over $4, but the family will still have eight eggs, half an onion, most of the garlic and some cheese left over for another meal. When I prorated the costs to cover only the amounts actually used in the recipe, it came to $4.24.
Living solely on food assistance benefits is a terrible challenge for many families, and far too many American kids go to bed hungry each night. So to participate in today’s initiative, please take just a few seconds to use this link to ask your Congressional representatives to support anti-hunger legislation. You can also find a screening of A Place at the Table in your city or view it on demand through iTunes and Amazon.
Do You Love The Lunch Tray? ♥♥♥ Then “like” The Lunch Tray! Join over 5,400 TLT fans by liking TLT’s Facebook page (and then adding it to your news feed or interest lists) to get your Lunch delivered fresh daily, along with bonus commentary, interesting kid-and-food links, and stimulating discussion with other readers. You can also follow TLT on Twitter, check out my virtual bulletin boards on Pinterest and find selected TLT posts on The Huffington Post.