Belly Up (Quinoa and Black Bean Burrito Recipe)

quinoa and black bean burrito

Chris and I, we’re bar people. I say that not because we’re in the bar business (which we are) or because we like to spend our rare bit of free time enjoying good beer and good company in a few of our favorite bars (which we do). I say this because 99 times out of 100 when we go out for a meal you’ll find us seated at the bar rather than at a table. Why this preference, you ask? Well, for one it’s just a lot more social and fun. We get to chat with the bartender and with our fellow bar-dwellers, sharing jokes, stories, and sometimes even our food. But the best reason of all to sit at the bar, and the reason that I recommend you start sitting at the bar sometimes too, is that a seat at the bar is where you get all of the good inside info. Sometimes it’s a crazy drink that only the staff know about, other times it’s an upcoming event that you would never have known about otherwise, and often it’s a tip about somewhere else to eat and drink. Always listen to these tips. People in the bar/restaurant industry always know the best places to eat and drink. It’s our life, after all. (more…)

Food Bloggers Against Hunger (Barley Mujaddara with Spinach Recipe)

food bloggers against hunger average SNAP benefit

1 in 2 American children will receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at some point during their lives.

Currently, 1 in 5 American children struggle with hunger.

I’ve spent a good portion of the past week reading about, researching, and thinking about hunger in America and these are the two statistics that I can’t seem to get out of my head. I live in one of the wealthiest nations on this planet, yet half of my country’s children will lack a basic human necessity for some part of their lives. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around this.

I have been so fortunate thus far in my life to have always had my basic needs met many times over. I’ve lived on the east coast and the west coast, in the suburbs, the city, and the country and no matter where I settled I have always had access to nutritious food at a cost that was affordable to me. This is not the case for far too many of my fellow Americans; just shy of 50 million, to be exact. Even more upsetting is the fact that right now our Congress is proposing $135 billion cuts to the SNAP program (formerly known as the food stamp program), the very program that is helping the men, women, and children in these food insecure households. These cuts could eliminate between 9 and 13 million individuals from the program.

How have we gotten here? Well, there are a lot of factors at play: an unlivable minimum wage, unemployment, and agricultural subsidies that result in processed food costing less than fresh, wholesome food to name a few. But from my point of view, a large part of the problem is that there just aren’t enough of us who care anymore. Back in 1968, the film Hunger in America exposed the reality of children dying of starvation right here in our very own country. The resulting shock and outrage of the American people led to the creation and strengthening of the very same assistance programs so many people rely on today, and virtually wiped out hunger in this country. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line the outrage Americans felt over seeing extreme poverty and starvation in this wealthy nation turned to outrage against the hungry themselves for daring to use the government assistance programs that are funded by our tax dollars. (more…)

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