B&J’s Hearty Vegetable-Beef Soup

Long time, no post, I know. But I haven’t known what to do with this blog for over a year because my living situation has greatly improved and my mental health has improved with it. I don’t feel the need to talk about my eating disorder at length anymore but some readers expressed an interest in recipes. So, with that in mind, have one that my spouse and I came up with together.

 

B&J's Vegetable Beef Soup

B&J’s Vegetable Beef Soup

 

Recipe:

B&J’s Hearty Vegetable-Beef Soup

Ingredients:

1.5lbs of beef cut into ½” cubes – dealer’s choice but we usually use rump roast or a London broil

5 cans (10 cups) of no salt added beef broth

12oz frozen sliced carrots

1 (one) 15oz can sliced new potatoes

1 (one) 15oz can rosemary, and oregano diced tomatoes

1 (one) 15oz can basil, rosemary, and oregano diced tomatoes

1 (one) 15oz can roasted garlic diced tomatoes

1 (one) 15oz can no salt added diced tomatoes

1 (one) 15oz can no salt added corn

1 (one) 15oz can no salt added green beans

1 (one) 15oz can seasoned black beans

1 (one) 12oz box of noodles – we usually use garden rotini

4 tablespoons garlic powder (3 to be used during browning of meat, 1 to put in the soup broth)

1.5 teaspoons dried oregano (optional)

½ teaspoon dried sage (optional)

½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Method:

Brown the meat in large stock pot with 3 tablespoons garlic powder and ½ teaspoon chili powder

While the meat is browning drain the cans of: corn, green beans, potatoes, and no salt added tomatoes

Once the meat is brown, add the beef broth, drained cans, cans of undrained tomatoes, undrained black beans, and spices. Bring to a boil then simmer for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, add the frozen carrots to soup cook noodles according to box directions.

Serve by putting some of the cooked noodles in bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Store noodles and soup separately.

Makes A LOT of soup and noodles.

Soup in storage, noodles are in the cottage cheese container.

Soup in storage, noodles are in the cottage cheese container.

My Mom’s Chili

Since my fiance and I just made this, I figured I’d share. It’s cheap, filling, and relatively health to boot. It’s not 100% my mom’s way of doing it but it’s pretty close.

  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can each:
  • Black beans, chili beans, pinto beans, chickpeas
  • 1 can beans of choice or another can chili beans
  • 1lbs ground meat (optional, we usually do turkey)
  1. Brown meat (if using)
  2. Add the tomatoes, undrained
  3. Add chili beans, undrained
  4. Add remaining cans, drained
  5. Add one canful of water
  6. Rise to boiling
  7. Simmer for 15-30 minutes, until chili thickens
  8. Serve with cheese, sour cream, corn chips, etc.

Jul Blessings

When my fiance went to the food bank on Tuesday, they gave us a whole turkey, cookie dough, and stuffing. As I mentioned previously, they gave us cranberry sauce and canned asparagus last time we went. We already have potatoes. The only thing we need to figure out is some gravy and maybe a pie or another dessert. So, thanks to the generosity of others, we are able to have a really nice Jul feast, which is something we would not have been able to do without the food bank. Traditionally, you’d have boar (ham) on Jul but turkey is lovely as well.

Another small blessing we have is that my fiance has Jul (today) off of work so we can celebrate without having to work around his schedule.

Have a wonderful and blessed Jul!

Food Banks and Eating Disorders

This post is inspired by Normal Girl’s post about a similar issue.

As I’ve mentioned before, my fiance and I have been struggling with poverty for some time now (about a year). It got to the point this time last year that we only had the food that the local-at-the-time food bank (I’ll refer to it as JAC from now on) gave us and nothing else. We’ve been in that place again since September, when we were evicted from our apartment (due to us being unable to pay rent on time since my fiance lost his job in April) and entered a period of housing instability in addition to the food instability that we were already experiencing.

The experience at JAC versus the food bank we go to now (LC from now on) are vastly different. I think it might be because JAC is in a large metropolitan area and more people rely on it and LC supports a city so fewer people rely on it.

JAC does things by verifying your need (you had to live within JAC’s county and have an income below a certain number for number of people in your household). If you qualified (and we did, obviously), you would be put into their system and you would be allowed to go 6 times within a year of your first visit date. When you went to claim your food (which you could do same-day), you’d wait in the waiting room for your number to be called, then you’d go back into an office and a worker would ask if you had any food allergies/dietary restrictions, sometimes the worker would ask if you had pets (by pets they mean dogs or cats), if you had a kitchen to use and a fridge, how you were getting the food home, and if you wanted coffee. Then you’d wait in the waiting room for your last name to be called. Sometimes the wait could be a few minutes, sometimes several hours; it just depended on how many people were there. When your name was called, you’d go up to a window (think teller window at a bank, sort of) and they’d hand you a box of food after confirming your name.

Sometimes they would have bins of items marked “take what you need” or similar. Often times, a small group of people would descend on these bins like vultures, grabbing armfuls of  the items, more than they possible could eat before it went bad, and block other people from getting to the bins. It was especially bad if it was something like pizzas or sweets, rather than day-old brad. It’s possible that some of the people JAC serves feel more frantic because the way that JAC gives out food, or maybe they feel scared that there won’t be enough food for everyone in the waiting room, or maybe I’m giving these people too much credit and they’re just greedy. All I know is that being around that was difficult on me due to my eating disorder so my fiance usually went by himself so I didn’t get hoard-triggered more than being food unstable makes me already.

How LC does it is vastly different. To qualify, you need proof of address in the city/county that LC serves (such as utility bill, pay stub, or other mail you’ve received in 30 days), and proof of need such as a recent pay stub or proof of unemployment or disability. You would be approved or disqualified right there, within 5-10 minutes (versus the hours it took at JAC). LC is set up more like a grocery store. It’s inside a large warehouse and there’s racks of food with signs that say each household can take whatever number of item on the rack, freezers, and pallets of vegetables. You can take a small grocery cart and shopping bags and follow the queue around the u-shaped aisle, picking out what you’d like best. The line to get inside can be long but it’s much less chaotic and triggering to me than JAC is; there’s no vultures keeping everyone away from the “take what you need” racks, there’s no endless waiting. It’s a smooth system and much easier on me. The workers, also, are a lot less frazzled and more friendly than at JAC. You’re also allotted “commodities” every month that you can collect when you wish: this month was canned cranberries, orange juice, canned veg, and some frozen chicken.

At LC, we can go 2x a week as long as we continue to meet the need requirements (income, living within the zone). They also rely heavily on fresh food and we rarely get canned goods from them.

I wanted to write this post from my analytical perspective as someone with an eating disorder, with as much detail as possible, so that anyone else who has food issues, such as hoarding, food sensitivities, and anxiety might maybe be put at ease and seek the resources available to them in their local community.

I should note here that I am VERY grateful for the help we received from JAC and we would have starved without their help, however, the experiences at JAC was much more stressful and hard than the experiences at LC.

Jen B.’s Tasty Meatloaf

This recipe is by my good friend, Jen, whose blog you should really check out.

2ish lbs of ground beef
1 large egg and 1 small egg (I used one store egg and one banty egg)
1 large onion chopped
1.5 cups of milk
1 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of mustard (or one teaspoon of mustard powder)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup of ketchup
Soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat eggs with a fork and combine the meat, eats, chopped onion, milk, bread crumbs, mustard and salt and pepper. Mix up well, then form into a loaf (or use two self-draining loaf pan for best results!)

In a seperate bowl mix ketchup and sugar. Add enough soy sauce to make a thick yet pourable mixture. Pour over the top of the meatloaf and bake for 50 minutes.

 

Only thing I’d change, personally, would be exchanging the onions for garlic since my fiance is allergic to onions. I can’t wait to try this!

 

Foodbank Poor Slow Cooker Chicken – Recipe by Me

The food bank gave us a cut of chicken I’m normally not fond of due to texture and they also gave us rice, carrots, and potatoes. So I had to get creative. This is what I came up with:

1 cup cooked chicken, shredded

2 cans chicken broth/stock

3 or 4 potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (skin or no skin; dealer’s choice)

4 stalks celery, sliced

3 carrots, sliced

1 cup non-instant rice

1 can corn

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sage

1 tablespoon parsley

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

  1. Set up your crock pot and put in the rice on the bottom.
  2. Pour in 1 can of chicken broth.
  3. Wash and chop up veggies and garlic.
  4. Add veggies (including canned corn, drained), garlic, spices, and cooked chicken to crock pot. Add remaining can of chicken broth.
  5. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, until carrots, potatoes, and rice is soft. Serve with bread if desired

It’s sort of gloopy and not really soupy but it’s tasty and very cheap (even if you have to buy the carrots, potatoes, and chicken). Let me know if you try it. I was just guessing how much of the sage, parsley, and rosemary I added because I just threw in what looked right to me.