Hunger Challenge Day 2: The things that didn’t make it & a recipe

Beck and I are living off of $4.72 per day per person this week as part of the SF Food Bank’s Hunger Challenge. This includes  preparation and time…

The things that didn’t make it

Setting up the menu for a week of living off of $4.72 per day really does cut out the dross. Perhaps another way of saying this is that it truly clarifies what is important. Since we decided to go the gluten free route during our week-long hunger challenge, this put some other parameters on what would make it into the menu and what simply wouldn’t. I’ve included an easy recipe that is tasty, nutritious and filling for a simple lunch below.


  • This was not hard to give up. A loaf of gluten free bread doesn’t work for our wallet in this challenge, so gone are the PB&J’s, pizza on toast, breadcrumbs and other possibilities for this ingredient. Perhaps this would make it onto someone else’s list, but as you’ll find out later this week, I could dub the humble tortilla as the hero of the week.


  • Usually, our refrigerator is stocked to the hilt with cow’s milk cheeses, our goat’s milk yogurt and from time to time that ricotta recipe of Jennifer Perillo’s that just really rocks. On this challenge, it quickly became clear that there was room for very little dairy. This wasn’t intentional though. My first shopping list featured extra sharp cheddar, a favorite of Beck’s. In doing the shopping cart math, it became apparent that to keep the block of cheese meant to give up a host of vegetables or other crucial ingredients. Cheese had to go.


  • Gone too, this week there would be no beer bottles of artisan crafted brews in our fridge. Even the beer aptly named “Simple Times” didn’t make it into the menu. At $2 for a six pack, that meant $.50 shaved off of that day’s meals for one beer. Then again beer isn’t gluten free, though some gluten free beers do exist I’ve been told by my gluten free friends, and they would certainly be cost-prohibitive for this week.


  • Ugh. *Someone* was very cranky on Monday afternoon as her body was in detox. Ornery with a capital O. My intention in the Hunger Challenge was not to give up sugar as that alone has often been a challenge in and of itself. I have written before about attempts to break up with sugar or at least back away from it slowly. It would be safe to say, my sugar consumption over the past few months has declined, but I’m missing my spoonful of raw honey used once a day. Honey, sugar, agave, maple syrup- sweeteners did not fit into the menu. So fruit is doing all the sweetening and thank God for bananas!


  • That’s right. No chocolate, coffee or tea made it into this week’s challenge menu. I had a hunch that we would need to squeeze the budget for every last nickel and penny, so there was no room for ancillary beverages. Water wakes us up. Water sustains us throughout the day when hunger pangs buffet our stomachs. There is nothing wrong with coffee or tea, but more opportunities for better, balanced meals trump the caffeine high.





Lemon Pepper Tuna with Apple Slaw

  • 2 cans tuna in water
  • 1 lemon (you’ll only use half, but you need the whole lemon)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 Fuji apple
  • 1 bag Broccoli Slaw
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Drain your cans of tuna. Place tuna in a bowl.

2. Grate the lemon zest off your whole lemon and onto the tuna. Add your olive oil, a dash of salt and a few shakes of pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.

3. Empty the bag of broccoli slaw into a colander and rinse. Then drain and move broccoli slaw to medium sized bowl.

4. Wash apple and then chop into matchsticks. This is done by chopping the apple into fours and then chopping each section in half until you are able to cut slender matchsticks from each section. Add matchsticks to broccoli slaw and mix until combined.

5. Place half of broccoli slaw in reusable container if taking on-the-go or on a plate. Scoop half of the tuna mixture and place atop the slaw. Cut your lemon in half and then quarter that half, placing one of the lemon quarters in the container or on the plate. Enjoy.

Serves: 2
Cost per person: $2.90


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