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Volume III
April, 2013

Newsletter Home / Kitchen Remedy

Bare Bones Pantry Plan
Poverty Meal

By Sharon Ng

Through the Great Depression, money was tight, often people relied upon canned food storage to sustain them and they also sought ways to make a little go a long way. This is one meal that my grandmother used to prepare, and continued to prepare when I was a child. The meal can be made as is on the recipe or water or broth can be added to stretch even further and make a stoup.

Though she never called this recipe by name, I came to realize after some research, that the meal had been loosely coined, "Poverty Meal". It can be altered to what the chef has on hand, in food storage or is in season. Meat and pasta can be alternated as well. My grandmother always made this with ground beef, as it was a very cheap meat choice, she also used salad macaroni and added broth to make this a stoup. It is very good served with warm, crusty bread. I choose to add parmesan cheese as a garnish as well. If making this for a larger crowd, after step one, add everything to a stockpot to finish cooking.

Poverty Meal

1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) can water
1 can drained green beans
1 can drained corn
8 ounces macaroni, uncooked
2 tablespoons ketchup
salt, to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Additional beef broth as needed (optional- if making stoup)

1. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent in large skillet.
2 Brown ground beef and drain.
3 Add ground beef, tomatoes, water, raw macaroni, ketchup, green beans, corn and salt and pepper to the onion.If making stoup add extra broth to make a stoup at this point, add as much as desired.
4 Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender.
If desired, top with Parmesan cheese.

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The corn and green beans can be alternated in this recipe. One year I was gifted with a giant zucchini, and I used it in this recipe, threw in some hot sauce and it made an amazing meal.

What are your favorite ways to stretch a buck in your kitchen?

Sharon Ng
Monthly Newsletter Contributer since 2012

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