Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Living Below the Line - Day 2

I'm currently reading the book Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, which has been nothing short of a brilliant read.  However brilliant, it is often harrowing as Demick describes the realities of North Koreans in terms of their hunger and suffering.  Withholding food became a device for creating class barriers until the entire country was unable to produce hardly any food at all due to increasingly poor relations with their Communist counterparts in the 90's.

Reading about the lengths of which people went to feed themselves (including hunting frogs to extinction, eating ground corn husks, tree bark and prostitution in exchange for noodles) is eye-opening and probably a suitable accompaniment to doing the Live Below the Line challenge for a mere 5 days.  I can hardly complain about being hungry when there are people around the world who seriously struggle to live - not just eat - off $2.25 a day, or less.

I reminded myself of this as I felt hunger pangs all morning despite having had my flatbreads for breakfast and morning tea ($0.185).  Lunch, as per last night's dinner (pumpkin and spinach risotto), lasted for 3 hours as I continued to work eating only spoonfuls at a time. A little often definitely helps to keep hunger at bay and eating less for dinner (e.g. before going to sleep) helps to have a larger serve for lunch. Fair to say, there was heaps of it!

Desktop lunch - leftover pumpkin and spinach 'risotto'

Dinner tonight was pumpkin, carrot, potato and onion fritters.  This is a recipe inspired by my go-to zucchini fritters which utilises the water leeched out of the zucchini itself from salt being sprinkled through it. Here, my selection of vegetables are naturally much dryer (except the potato) so I added water to help bind the ingredients.

1/5 crown pumpkin ($0.40), peeled, 1 carrot ($0.12), also peeled, and 1 potato ($0.20), skin on, coarsely grated with 1/2 onion ($0.10) diced and 1 sliced green onion ($0.15) in a large mixing bowl. Combine with 1 tsp salt ($0.02), 1 tsp curry powder ($0.05), 1 tsp cumin ($0.05), 45g chickpea flour (1/2 cup, $0.15) and 1/2 c water.  Mix thoroughly, tossing all ingredients together ensuring there are no lumps of chickpea flour left behind.  Heating a large skillet or pan with 1 tsp oil ($0.05), cook spoonfuls of the mix until lightly golden on both sides.  Eat! (Total = $1.29)

Pumpkin, carrot, potato and onion fritters

These would be perfect served with a fresh herb yoghurt sauce or even just some sweet chilli; as a vege burger or by themselves with some salad.  The recipe made heaps (at least 25 at the size seen above, though I lost count as I just started eating them right out of the pan) and is something I'd definitely make again. I'd love to add some seeds and some crushed toasted coriander seeds as well as a small pinch of smoked paprika to give further depth to the flavour... but these did nicely for today.  And will do again for lunch on Day 3.

I'm very excited about tomorrow's dinner though... Dhal and tomato nachoes!

To support me (and Oxfam) on the Live Below the Line challenge, please donate by clicking here.

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