Posts Tagged ‘SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progarm’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Little Ole Lentils

May 21st, 2014
Lentils May 14 002

Lentils make a delicious stand-alone entree, work as a filling side dish, or make a wonderful addition to home made soups and stews!

 

Those of us who MUST keep to a budget need to figure out the cheapest way to feed the people we love best.  If you are a user of SNAP or WIC or if you have food from a food pantry or use food commodities this info is not a news flash.

Something I enjoy cooking and eating are little ole lentils.  They are inexpensive to buy, fast and easy to prepare, and they are satisfying when I’m really hungry.  For me, lentils are comfort food.

If you are unfamiliar with lentils you might be interested to know that they come in pretty colors! Depending where you shop you might discover orange, red or yellow lentils.  The most common find will be green and brown.  They all taste pretty much the same and cook the same way but I have discovered that the green or brown do not become so mushy after they are cooked.

Lentils on their own are fine but I prefer to add some sauteed veggies when I prepare them.  I have a favorite cast iron skillet I use to saute vegetables so I like to chop an onion and a rib of celery, and add some carrot shavings for color and texture.  I love cooking lentils in home made vegetable broth.  The proportion I like to use is 1 cup lentils to 2 cups liquid.

SIDEBAR:  Cooking lentils in plain ole tap water will be just fine.  Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember that it is ALL small stuff.  If you are out of carrots or celery, the Kitchen Police will not arrest you.   END SIDEBAR

The beauty of lentils is that they do not need to be soaked.

SIDEBAR:  At a church picnic I went to once there was a huge, LOUD debate which was accompanied by extreme laughter about whether or not to soak beans.  If you ever bring a bean dish to one of our famous First-of-the-Month Fellowship dinners, you WILL be asked if they were soaked or not soaked!  This question will be followed by gales of laughter. **I suppose you would have had to BE there to think this is as funny as I do.  END SIDEBAR.

To cook lentils you  put them into simmering water.  After you add them in, lower the heat so as not to overcook the little darlings.

Since I am cooking for two I just add the cooking liquid (water or broth) to my little skillet, bring it up to a good simmer and add the lentils.  If you have many mouths to feed you will naturally want to use a larger kettle. I prefer to cook lentils without a lid so I can observe the process and stir occasionally.

I make sure there are some bubbles going on as they cook but I do not want them to boil as that will cause them to overcook and be tough.  Incidentally, lentils will be tough if they are old so make sure yours are fresh.

Do the taste test to check the tenderness…they will need to cook about 20 minutes.  When they are as soft as you like you may add some salt and pepper to season them.

SIDEBAR:  Unless you add the salt AT THE END of the cooking process, you will have tough lentils.  You are striving for tender little morsels, not crunchEND SIDEBAR

A classic way to serve lentils is to put a fried egg atop each serving.  Since I happened to have some hard cooked eggs on hand, I sliced them and used them as a garnish.

It’s really quite surprising how filling and delicious this simple meal can be.  Add a simple salad or veggie plate and a fruity dessert and you have a low cost, satisfying meal!  Even if you are living on a dime!

We LOVE LOVE LOVE your comments and your email messages!  Keep them coming at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .  We sincerely hope you realize what a wonderful contribution each of you Members is to the world!

~Connie Baum

PS/Leftover Lentils?  Add them to your ground meat patties for dollar stretching meals!  Since they tend to be on the dry order, you might like to whirl them in your blender or food processor with broth, water or tomato juice.  You will be delighted with the results!

 

Using SNAP: Cook Once; Eat Twice?

October 14th, 2009
The beginning of a meal of cornbread with pinto beans!  YUM YUM YUM

The beginning of a meal of cornbread with pinto beans! YUM YUM YUM

This ‘cook once; eat twice’ has caught on!

I found a charming woman, Laura Maness Brown, who subscribes to the same theory and has offered some mighty tasty ways to stretch the food dollars.

Whether you fund your groceries with the help of Angel Food Ministries; those EBT cards SNAP offers; or you avail yourselves of food commodities or a food pantry you will really appreciate Laura’s use of pinto beans!  Maybe you get help from WIC.  Her ideas will appeal to everyone!

Not only is Laura Maness Brown a cook, she is a writer and a whiz.  You’ll like her website; it’s bright and cheery and welcoming.

Here’s what she does to make a week’s worth of goodies:

SIDEBAR:  This is where you’ll find HOW Laura makes her goodies.  Just click on these words to be transported to her kitchen!  END SIDEBAR.

On Sunday, Laura cooks a pot of pinto beans and serves them all warm and yummy.  They get topped off with ketchup and there is a tall glass of cold milk for each family member as well.  They like buttermilk; that is a nice compliment to the beans.  That provides adequate protein, too, because she serves cornbread with those beans.  1 grain + 1 bean = complete protein-that’s the formula.

She made me smile when she described how her husband crumbles his cornbread into the bowl of beans.  Sounds like the man I married!  Must be a guy thing?

Laura also cooks chicken breasts on Sundays.  She uses water to cook them; when the meat is tender she shreds it and refrigerates it for use through the week.

Monday will find Laura making a casserole dish.  She layers tortilla chips, shredded cheese, Sunday’s chicken, pinto beans and jalapeno peppers.  Just reading about this makes my mouth water!

For Tuesday’s dinner Laura mashes the pinto beans to make refried beans for burritos.  She uses flour tortillas, warms them and spreads the beans into the center of each tortillas.  Then shredded lettuce, chicken, cheese, salsa, onions and peppers get rolled up into burritos.  How we’d all love to be seated at Laura’s table any Tuesday she has this for dinner!

When it’s Wednesday, she uses fresh corn tortillas to make tostada shells.  The shells get filled with refried beans, chicken, onions, shredded lettuce, chicken, peppers, even sour cream!  Be still my heart!  That sounds so inviting!

On Thursday Laura can use any remaining chicken for barbecue by using her crockpot.  Who doesn’t love barbecued chicken?  Her family is fond of coleslaw and that makes a perfect partner for a chicken sandwich.

Laura did not give details for Friday but after a week of TexMex  it might be time for a supper of French Toast!

This thrifty lady’s ideas are worth doing in your own kitchen, don’t you think so, too?

We invite you to leave us a comment and we hope you will send your own ideas to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com as well.

When you visit Laura’s website, please let her know you found her here.  It might just make her day!

Connie Baum




Food Stamps Cooking Club: Ready…Set…COOK!

September 17th, 2009

We are getting our ducks in a row!  Preparations are underway for our Cooking Class scheduled for Saturday!

Someone suggested we do as the French: lay out all the ingredients, measured, chopped, whatever might be required.  Then each item could be added in order and no errors would cause problems.

Sounds good to me.  You could easily check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients on hand.  You would know whether you needed to make substitutions before a crisis arises!

When our Class members arrive, they would have everything ready to work at their stations, too!  I think that’s how we should proceed!

On a different subject:

Have you fallen heir to end-o-the-garden goods but you aren’t sure what to do with them?  I know I’ve run out of freezer space for zucchinis and the garden still yields oodles of the silly things!  How much zucchini bread can we handle?  And how many potatoes can we “hide” zucchini in?  Is there enough cheese in Johnson County, NE to cover the zucchini we have grown?  grin

It isn’t that we don’t feel grateful.  We ARE grateful to have such an ample supply of food.  And if you are using SNAP or WIC or Angel Food Ministries you know exactly what I mean!  If you have picked up food from a food pantry or have been blessed with food commodities, this makes perfect sense to you.  Even the Farmers Markets Coupons can only handle so many zucchinis!  I’m watching our food budget like a hawk and I still have TOO MANY ZUCCHINIS!

Maybe you also have an abundance of cabbage now.

My first thought with cabbage is to make slaw.  When there is a large head of cabbage and only two pairs of toes under the table, that slaw can get to be pretty boring after awhile.

I would make sauerkraut.  Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with that but my good Czech friend does.  Maybe I can inveigle her to teach me about that soon?

There is creamed cabbage, boiled cabbage, roast chicken and cabbage…and polish sausages or ham simmered with cabbage.  Our gang likes “kraut kruders” which is a cabbage and ground beef filling wrapped with dough then baked to a golden brown.  I know that caraway seed enhances cabbage; maybe I’ll see if I can add that into the food budget ASAP!

What do YOU do with cabbage?  We would love to hear your ideas about the different ways you use it in your kitchens.  Leave your comment or email us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .

We appreciate your looking into the opportunities our partners present.  Their affiliate marketing programs could add dollars to your household and make your life even better!

If you have not yet done so, you might enjoy reading the messages on our sister blogs:  The Healthy and Wealthy You and Mother Connie Sez.  We warmly invite you to leave your comments on those pages, as well as on this one.  Comments must be moderated before they are published but we are happy to see what you have to say.  It’s true that more heads are better than one!

Connie Baum


Cooking Tips?

August 12th, 2009

Do you love cooking tips?  If you are a foodie the chances are they are right up your alley.  When Wednesday’s Lincoln Journal-Star arrives I reach for the Food section and search the pages for kitchen helps and food notions.

Today’s food section disappointed me a little, though, because one of the tips suggests the use of the microwave oven.

It’s easy to understand that you are busy and tired when it’s time for the evening meal and you want things to go together quickly.

However, with a little advance planning, you can save a lot of hassle and time and make inexpensive meals on the fly.

First, let me explain why I frown on microwaves.  They emit terribly toxic and deadly electromagnetic frequencies that can cause the brain LITERALLY to fry!  This is not a dramatic exaggeration; this is scientific fact and I’ll be happy to direct you to the scientific data if you send an email requesting that information.  Our email address for the Club is foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and we are always happy to hear from our members.

Another disadvantage to nuking food is that it completely destroys the food value because it rearranges the molecular structure of the food.

So called “experts” will insist that cooking the food in the micro is best because it uses no water.  True, water destroys nutrients, as does heat, but top of the stove cooking  or baking in a conventional oven never rearranges the molecular structure because electromagnetic pollution is not a factor.

Let’s talk a bit about planning.  It’s always a good idea to think ahead when it comes to meal prep.  This applies to users of SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or food commodities; even food pantries, Farmers Markets, Angel Food Ministries or the goods from your backyard gardens!

Here’s how it works for me:  When I finish breakfast and cleanup I consider what we’ll eat for lunch and dinner.  If it requires frozen food to be thawed, I lay that in the sink or put it into the fridge so it can begin to help me make the next meal. And by the way, I lay it on a plate so drips are not an issue!

Look over your pantry goods to see what might be done ahead, too.

After dinner, when I clean up the dishes and kitchen, my routine is to think ahead to breakfast.  I set out the pot for cereal, for example, and measure the water for cereal, the cereal itself and I set the coffee to brew the next morning.  I even set the breakfast table.  Until I began to do this, I never realized how simply and peacefully our days could begin.

It is at this time I think about the meals for the next day.  What might I need?  Do I need to soak some beans?  Shall I soak some rice in order to facilitate speedy meals?  How about cooking some eggs to have on hand for snacks and quick dishes?  I have other work to do.  As much as I enjoy cooking, I want to make meals in as little time for as little money as possible.

If I purchase instant rice, as an example, there are two factors at work.  One, cost-it’s too expensive to buy instant rice.  Two, there is little to no nutritional value to instant rice.

However, if I have a bag of brown rice I have amped up the nutrition and if I soak it overnight it cooks quite quickly when I need to use it.  Furthermore, I always cook twice as much as I’ll need so it will be instantly ready for use in another way.  For example:  we might have brown rice as a side dish tonight; tomorrow morning we can have an instant cold breakfast that has ‘stick to your ribs’ staying power!

When it comes to beans, they need to soak, too.  Dry beans are so much more economical than canned and when you think ahead, dry beans become just as convenient to use as canned.

I made a wonderful bean salad this week, using dry beans.  It cost almost nothing, it assembled quickly and here is how I prepared it:

MOTHER CONNIE’S BLACK BEAN SALAD

2 cups of cooked black beans

4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 ribs of celery, chopped

DAB of salad dressing – enough to moisten the ingredients

DRIZZLE of pickle juice or rice vinegar – any vinegar will do

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded;spinach or leaf  lettuce will work well in this salad, also

Combine everything into large bowl, toss together and serve to hungry people!  It will fill their tummies make them smile.

Thanks again to all of you who have sent those in your circle to Food Stamps Cooking Club to be included in our occasional mailings.   We hope you feel free to send us your questions or your own cooking tips:

foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

We are grateful for your support of our partners, too.

The world will be a much better place because all of you are in it!

Connie Baum

Food Costs Eating You Up?

July 6th, 2009

People are likely to go food shopping when their wallets are the fattest.  This can be the day their SNAP funds fall into place or it could be the date their Social Security checks arrive.  It might be payday, if you are still lucky enough to have a job!

The figures from the government indicate that American families feed 4 on approximately $8,000.00 a year.  That works out to close to $700.00 per month.

There are 2 of us here.  We do have a great many guests who share meals with us.  I can tell you that we do NOT spend anywhere near $350.00 a month on food.  Furthermore, I spend ZERO dollars on medical care!  That’s because we eat well and wisely.

Are you eating well?  Honestly, are you eating wisely?

Here are some of my top reasons why we are able to eat for so little money:  We eat simply and we grow much of our own food.  The Normanator has cultivated a garden spot that has produced spinach, radishes, onions, beets and potatoes so far this season.  We will soon have beans, peas, corn and squash.  The sweet potatoes hold promise, too.

Another factor is that when we buy products from our local grocery store we use the store brands.  It always costs less money and in most cases the quality is equal to or better than brand name products.  We do NOT buy junky food.  We do not spend money for canned soups, flavor mixes or flavor packets.  We use organic wherever we can and we do not buy processed foods such as cold cereal, cookies, puddings, salad dressings and such like. We don’t pick up the “convenience” packs of salad greens; it is more economical to buy individual ingredients and prepare salads from them.

If convenience is a factor in the purchase of ready-to-eat things from the grocer’s aisles, I’d like to propose that you designate one of your days off work-devote that day to preparing foods that can be frozen.  Make up a double batch of goulash, for example.  Serve one fresh and freeze the second.  Use your leftover foods to make individual freezer meals that can be heated in your oven for one or two people on days when schedules are crazy.

Whether you are shopping in a food pantry or using food commodities; even if you just want to slash your food bills because it’s a priority, you could take a page from the Food Stamps Cooking Club and eat well without busting the food budget.

I found a cost effective recipe I want to share with you.  It appeared on the AOL Food website!  Thanks to EatingWell for providing it!

PINTO BEAN SALAD

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

1 clove garlic

1/2 cup molasses

2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small red onion, diced

Cooking Method:

1. Place tomatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and place in a blender with garlic, molasses, vinegar, oil, mustard and chipotle, if using. Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides once or twice. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Combine beans, bell pepper and onion in a large bowl. Toss with dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

*

I think you’ll find this bean dish a favorite for potluck meals or picnics.  It should create a rave wave!

***

Here’s hoping the Food Stamps Cooking Club has served you well and wisely today.  Please send YOUR ideas for ways to save on food costs to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and  continue to send the people in your circle of influence to Food Stamps Cooking Club so they can receive our tips.  As always you are welcome to add YOUR 2 cents’ worth to our page by putting a comment into the comment box.  We welcome every comment!

As always, we thank you for visiting our partners!

Connie Baum



Father’s Day ALREADY?

June 8th, 2009

Here it is, almost Father’s Day-ALREADY!  You aren’t quite halfway through the month of June, you are doling out your resources because you are A/saving whereEVER you can or B/using SNAP-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-funds or C/food commodities or even D/food pantry supplies.  And now you would like to honor the daddy in the household in a very special way.

Choosing the menu is one thing and I’ll address that.  Just as important is HONORING Dad.  I know that can be challenging on a budget but we can make it an activity for the whole family and it could be great fun, not to mention provide great memories for years to come.

Remember that Daddies are just little boys in a big men’s bodies…they ALL love to have a fuss made over them, no matter how much they protest.   Attention is a universal human need.

Have you seen the fancy plates in gift shops that have lettering that say something like ‘It’s your birthday today!’ or ‘You are special’?  They cost money but it takes NO money to decorate a place mat JUST FOR DAD that says, “Happy Father’s Day to The Best Daddy Ever.”  You could write something with crayon around the edge of a paper plate, if you have one.

Think about what Dad would like.  Does he fish?  Would he like his feet rubbed with lotion?  Does he melt when one of the kids gives him a scalp massage?  Is he a hunter?  Does he like to garden or tinker with cars?  Figure out what would give Dad pleasure and let him know in some way that you love him and wish him the best day ever.  Money does not have to be a part of this equation.

Little children and Daddies could make some great memories with a paper crown and a bedsheet cape.  Declare Daddy King for the Day in his very own castle.  The children can pretend to be “pages” who run errands, delivering Daddy the funny papers or his coffee cup.  Kids can put on a puppet show or skit and take turns reading poems or stories they have written.  Older children can help Mommy cook and serve a special meal.

Maybe GRANDPA will be a guest on this special day?  If so, you may want to implement a new tradition.  Go around the table and ask each child to tell about a memory they have of the time Grandpa or Daddy did such and such.  Have each youngster say the thing they like most about Daddy or Grandpa and why.  Let one child or another family member write down all the comments, date them and place them in the family Bible or in a memory book.

Making memories does NOT have to be costly.  The Food Stamps Cooking Club is all about saving money and time and keeping life simple.  It is the parents’ responsibility to nurture children by giving them their time, their attention, and their care.  This includes making memories and creating family traditions to cherish for a lifetime!

The question remains:  What shall we serve?  Well, Daddy’s favorite is always a good choice.  Minimize the costs by using low cost cuts of meat, make appetizers from peanut butter stuffed celery, pickles, carrot sticks. Later, celebrate the day with fresh popcorn snacks.

You might like to prepare this to honor the man of your house and heart:

This comes from Rachel Ray’s family cookbook, “Yum O”, page 78. *EVOO is Rachel’s name for extra virgin olive oil.

Ingredients:

3 red onions, 1 coarsley chopped & 2 sliced

4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

4 scallions, green & white parts, coarsely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 – 6 fresh thyme sprigs

1/2 cup EVOO + 2 to 3 tablespoons for drizzling

8 chicken drumsticks

8 bone-in chicken breasts

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pineapple, peeled, cored & chopped into bite sized pieces

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, chopped or sliced

2 red bell peppers, seeded, chopped or sliced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped or sliced

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the chopped red onion in a food processor, with the garlic, scallions, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, red wine vinegar, orange juice, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, and thyme.  Pulse to combine.  With the processor running, stream in the 1/2 cup EVOO to form a thick paste.

Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper, then rub all over with the spice paste.  Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan and roast uncovered for 45 minutes.

Pile the pineapple, bell peppers, and sliced red onions on a rimmed baking sheet, coat them in 2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO, and season with salt and pepper.  Add the baking sheet to the oven after the chicken has been in for 15 minutes and roast the fruit and vegetables along with the chicken for about 30 minutes.

Serve up half the chicken (one drummer and one breast per person) and half of the roasted pineapple, peppers, and onions for dinner.

Cool the leftovers before you wrap and refrigerate them.

If you have a supply of spices on hand this will be economical to prepare, as well as easy.  If your spice rack is empty, prepare the dish with whatever you have on hand.  If you have no EVOO, use whatever oil is in your supply and do not fret over the details.  Daddy will appreciate your efforts.

Won’t you drop a note to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com and let us know that your family enjoyed the day?  Tell us what you served and how you celebrated Father’s Day in your home!

As ever, you are welcome to post your comments on this page and please share this blog with your friends and associates.  We are all about helping people! Our partners want to help people, too:  Rapid Cash Marketing.

Connie Baum

Cooking With Commodities?

May 26th, 2009

The fact that we are all here for the Food Stamps Cooking Club virtual meeting means that we have survived another holiday weekend!  Here’s hoping your festivities met or exceeded your highest expectations!

Whether you are preparing meals using grocery items from SNAP-Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program aka food stamps or your food comes from a food pantry or food commodities I believe I have found something you will enjoy serving to the people who put their toes under your table.

The topic of food is a common one whenever people congregate so while we waited for our Toastmasters International meeting to begin, Velda Koehler and  I discussed that very thing!

Here is one of Velda’s favorite meal ideas:

Rice and Spinach


1 cup of rice

3 cups of liquid-water will do; broth would be acceptable, if you have it

Cook the rice in the liquid until tender and fluff with a fork

Add two cups of fresh spinach, washed and stems removed OR 1 can of spinach, slightly drained.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When the spinach is heated through and wilted, the dish is ready to serve.

This recipe can easily be doubled if your brood is larger or your gang has heftier appetites.

Easy variations: Add chopped onion, sprinkle cheese over the top, or add any canned vegetable your family enjoys.

As a compliment to this rice dish, a bean salad would complete the protein and would eliminate the need for a meat, so if you are short on meat AND time, this will fill the bill for you!

The Food Stamps Cooking Club is open to any member who is interested in food, saving money, and eating with good health in mind.  Our membership list is growing and that is because of YOU, dear members, and the fact you are sharing by sending those in your circle of influence to Food Stamps Cooking Club and they are joining!  THANK YOU!

Our partners have food and other ideas to help you in many ways.  We hope you have time to visit them and see what might help your family in various ways.  Some can assist you with your food preparation and planning; others can help you boost your family’s income.

Plans are being laid for our Fall Cooking Class so watch your Inboxes for more details about that event.  For those of you who can attend in person, we will be rolling out our virtual red carpet.  For those of you finding geography an issue, we will include you in special ways!

Are there topics you hope we’ll cover on this blog? Do you pine for knowledge about things we can include in our cooking class?  You all are welcome to submit your thoughts to us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .

Connie Baum

Planning Something Special for Memorial Day?

May 20th, 2009

Your family probably has traditions around Memorial Day and some of those traditions are likely to include food!  Appreciation for food, family and fun is reason enough for a party in my book!

In our family we help erect 486 American flags around the Johnson County Courthouse Square early on Memorial Morning.  Tradition dictates we share breakfast with the other flag workers.  Later in the day, most families’ gatherings will mean grilling some food, or at the very least, a picnic.

When your food budget is based on food pantries, food commodities and SNAP-the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, it is not likely you’ll be looking at the grocery circulars and choosing between boneless Angus beef sirloin at $5.00 per pound ON SALE or salmon fillets at $7.00 per pound!  Oh, my stars and garters!  I’m all about health but when it comes to holiday treats, I’m much more likely to reach for the $.97 wieners!  Never mind the nitrates for just one day!

How would you like to present your family with a great, big, affordable tummy-pleasing salad?  You know that salad does not have to be green to be nutritious, don’t you?  Here is an idea that appeared on the front page of the food section of today’s Lincoln Journal Star newspaper:

Chicken and Couscous Salad

1 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 5.7 box uncooked couscous

1 1/2 cups cooked, cubed chicken *Turkey will do but then you’ll have a Turkey Salad!

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/2 cup diced radishes or 3 large radishes

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley

1 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted  *Note: Nuts can easily be toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant.  Use medium high heat and stir frequently.

DRESSING:

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 1/12 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

To prepare salad, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.  Spoon couscous into a large bowl; cool slightly.  Add chicken, onions, radishes, cucumber, parsley and pine nuts.  Toss gently to combine.

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk.  Drizzle dressing over salad, toss to combine.

SERVES 4; THIS RECIPE IS EASILY DOUBLED.

Memorial Day is meant to honor those who have served our country, making the ultimate sacrifice.  Many people decorate the graves of not only those fallen soldiers but the graves of those loved ones who went on before us.  While food may be the centerpiece of our parties, it is the memories of those we love which sustain us.  We at the Food Stamps Cooking Club dearly hope your day is filled with love of family and friends and that you make delicious memories together!

You are welcome to submit your comments on this page and we will turn cartwheels with delight if you turn your friends on to this blog as well as the Food Stamps Cooking Club As you know, there is a little box in the corner of that page for your name and email.  If you have placed your information there you have been getting little cooking tips and some ideas from time to time.

We hope you will email us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com because your hints and tips, ideas and suggestions are very important to all of us in the club.

Our partners, whose banners and ads appear on this page, appreciate hearing from you, as well.  We have teamed up with people who care.  We hope it shows.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful, relaxing and meaningful Memorial Day!

Connie Baum