About this Blog

Welcome! Thanks for checking out On Food Stamps.

I created this blog in 2009 when I began working at the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank. My work at this organization opened my eyes to food justice issues in America, and I had a strong desire to better understand the difficulties many people face when trying to access healthy food on a limited budget. So, I embarked on my own Food Stamp Challenge, living on $31/week as a vegan. I used this blog to chronicle my experience.

While my Food Stamp Challenge project has come to an end, you can see what I learned from it by reading the Greatest Hits posts linked to the right side of the page. Please excuse any out-of-date links, as I am no longer updating this blog on a regular basis.

Stay Hungry,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Whats in the Fridge Soup"

Special thanks to Karoline Dehnhard submitting a great recipe.

As any penny-pinching health nut would know, letting produce go bad in the fridge is no good. In fact, it is forbidden in my apartment. Karoline made an awesome soup out of what was left in her fridge. Check it out!

A note from Karoline:

To me, the point of making soup is to use up food that might otherwise go bad. My leftovers in this case are broth, pinto beans, my last broccoli stalk and some spinach. The rest of the ingredients should be available in all active kitchens as they keep well.

A note from me:

Try adding miso paste to create a flavorful broth. Or, get in the habit of saving the water you use to steam veggies for "Whats in the Fridge" soups. I know I used the last of my carrot water from last week tonight, and it made the my dinner more flavorful. Using leftover homemade veggie broth also incorporates more nutrients into your meals.

I love Karoline's use of random left overs. It is very On-Food-Stamps of her. Feel free to tell me about your creative use of left overs in the comment box.

Here is Karoline's Recipe:

What’s in the Fridge Soup with Turmeric


4 cups broth*

1 celery stalk

1 potato

1 onion

2 carrots (outer layer scraped off with knife)

1 broccoli stalk

hot peppers to taste (Karoline grew these peppers herself in a little pot over the summer.)

2 garlic cloves

handful of pasta (could add rice or another leftover grain)

handful fresh spinach leaves

1 cup leftover pinto beans

turmeric to taste

parmesan cheese (optional), salt and pepper if needed

Preparation time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours, Servings: 4-5


  1. Start heating your 4 cups broth (cover pot with lid)
  2. Chop 1 celery stalk, 1 potato and slice 1 onion and add to pot
  3. Chop 2 carrots and add. When broth comes to a boil, reduce to simmer and leave a little opening for the steam to escape.
  4. Chop broccoli stalk and add to pot (everything but the tough outer layer of stalk)
  5. Thinly slice hot peppers and add to pot (turn heat up if necessary to simmer)
  6. Chop garlic and add to pot along with a handful of pasta
  7. Sit down and relax for 5 minutes and then do a taste test
  8. Add handful of spinach leaves (optional: chopping might make eating easier!)
  9. Add water if needed (I added 1/2 cup)
  10. Add 1 cup leftover pinto beans
  11. Add turmeric (try 1/4 tsp at a time)

*the extra flavoring you might need will depend on what is in your broth. If you have no broth, you can use water and add flavoring as needed.

Thanks Karoline!

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