We’ve decided to participate in a nationwide event today, called Food Bloggers Against Hunger. In this post, Caitlin has put together a delicious low-cost recipe, followed by a call to action from Sarah. Please read and enjoy both, and we look forward to a conversation with you in the comments section.
— C & S
Cheesy red beans and greens quesadillas
by Caitlin Saniga
- olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 8 6-inch tortillas (Corn or wheat is fine. I used corn.)
- 1 cup torn spinach or arugula
In a medium pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the beans and cook until the skins start to burst, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the cumin, season with salt and toss to coat.
Assemble the quesadillas by sprinkling a thin layer of cheese on half of each tortilla. Top with a small scoop of beans, greens and another thin layer of cheese. Fold the tortilla over the fillings, and grill the quesadillas two at a time, pressing down on them with a spatula, about 1 minute on each side. Cook the remaining quesadillas this way, slice in half with a pizza cutter and arrange on a serving platter. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.
by Sarah Steimer
Two articles were published exactly one year and one day apart that illustrate an irony for my generation (born between 1980 and 2000, we’re considered “Millenials”). In the New York Magazine article from 2012, the writer describes a “young foodie culture” among my age group. These young, mostly urban people pride themselves on trying new restaurants and often documenting their experience. In addition to eating out, I know from informal surveys that many of my peers have been to at least one farmer’s market and enjoy preparing healthy meals for themselves. Appreciation for good food! Not a bad idenity to have.
But then there’s the irony.
“For the first time in modern memory, a whole generation might not prove wealthier than the one that preceded it,” the more recent New York Times article reported. Bring these two concepts together and you’re left with a clear issue: We want to eat good food, but we may not be able to afford it.
According to statistics from the No Kid Hungry campaign, 17.2 million households in the U.S. are considered “food insecure,” defined as having the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food. Couple this with the knowledge that my generation isn’t likely to make more money than our parents, and it’s pretty obvious that our food insecurity problem is bound to get worse before it gets better.
The problem of food insecurity goes beyond simply being hungry. Not having the money to eat properly often snowballs into issues such as obesity and poor performance at school for children. The cheapest foods available are often those lacking nutritious qualities, which explains the link between low income and obesity (Hey America! Malnutrition is NOT just the skin-and-bones child in Africa, it’s also the overweight and out of breath child in Alabama! Malnutrition has many faces.). Children are often most affected by poor food habits, and even a short period of time without necessary vitamins and minerals can hinder brain development and affect their ability to focus.
We are not a poor country. Nutritious food is available, but we are not putting it within reach. The average daily food stamp benefit is about $4 per person per day. If you’ve priced fresh fruits and vegetables lately, you understand how unavailable those foods would be on current government assistance.
But let’s roll back to my first point, but Millennials’ appreciation for good food. As the adage goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way! My generation has proven its will, now let me present to you the way:
We’re urging you to write to your representative in Congress so he or she may support federal nutrition programs (think of the kids!). Every generation loves to prove its older counterparts wrong, and I’d like to think that despite the (somewhat unnerving) economic road ahead, we can be the generation that stops hunger in America.