Journey with Jesus–Lenten Resources

17 01 2008

Last year, Christine Sine developed a guide for Lent in response to the frustration of hearing friends say they would give up chocolate for Lent. There is much more to Lent that giving up a vice.

Posted below is the downloadable Lenten guide entitled “A Journey Into Wholeness.” Christine had hoped to update it for this year, but with conference planning, she has not had the time. It is still poignant and challenging, so please feel free to use it to get the most out of this important season of Lent.





Reflections on the Mutunga Challenge

19 03 2007

By Grace Boettcher

 

Feb 21-28… This week I am trying out the $2 of food/day challenge. I made my list including ingredients for a soup, some cheese, beans, rice, and burritos. Bananas and carrots are my fruits and veggies. But now as I sit down in front of my very small burrito I cannot help but look for salsa in the fridge, the one that’s been kept there since the beginning of time. I’m not cheating, really, I’m allowing more room in the fridge…

I space out my food supply, making sure I have enough to last me till the end of the week. Unfortunately, my stomach is not very happy with this new diet and I usually make it to mid afternoon before I get the shakes, can’t focus on my work and my energy sinks to below sub level. The logical solution: indulge in a cup of coffee. By the time dinner rolls around I am convulsing and have nothing but broth and veggies to calm me down. I begin to wonder if some ice cream that has also been in the freezer since the beginning of time would cure my problem. Again, allowing for more room in the freezer. When I hit the hay I am weak and am not able to think straight, but I dread getting up in the morning to face the one fried egg and half a banana that will fill me up for the morning.

In the land of plenty, I should not be going to bed hungry. That is the logical conclusion my mind jumps to. I should indulge along with the richest of the rich. My frustration increases throughout the week because I realize how much I do indulge, in fact, I indulge all the time. My lifestyle is one of the most comfortable and indulging lifestyles there are compared to these people who have nothing, and not even the possibility of anything. I am also frustrated because I am so dependent on my indulgences. I do not know how to live without them, how to maneuver my way around them, how to live with less in a society that screams “you NEED this!”

The end of the week has rolled around and I unfortunately do not have the successful results of some. In fact, mine are quite opposite. In this defeat I go back to the source of the challenge: to identify with the poor. I am quite incapable of living like the poor, but I am capable of living in simplicity. I have learned that I can look beyond my immediate need and find Christ loving me because I am so poor in spirit. Maybe this week has helped prepare me for something greater.






Food for Thought

4 03 2007

Mutunga Challenge

Here are some reflections that you might like to use during the week as you struggle to maintain your $2 budget. the-mutunga-2-challenge-food-4-thought.pdf





The Mutunga Challenge

2 03 2007

Accepting the Mutunga Challenge
The Mutunga $2 challenge has really captured people’s imagination and many around the planet are planning to join us in restricting their food budget to $2/ day for a week. A couple of days ago I was talking to Donna Carter in Calgary Canada about it. She shared with me a conversation she had with Ephraim Lindor, a pastor in Haiti. He told her that in Haiti most people live on $1 per day. “Is that enough to live on?” she asked. “No!” he responded, “but it is enough not to die.”

For many in our world living on $2 per day is not a choice but a necessity. We are grateful therefore at how many have accepted this challenge to identify with sisters and brothers who have so little. People from around the world are grappling with how to cut their food budget for a week in order to identify with and help those less fortunate than us. Here are some suggestions on how to proceed:

1.Make sure that everyone in the family participates in the negotiations revolving around how to spend your week’s budget.
2.Discuss the sacrifices you will need to make and reflect on how to construct a suitable menu. Obviously we will all need to give up expensive food options like dining out, buying prepared and packaged meals and lattes. Fruit juice, milk and other beverages may need to be restricted, but then we all need to drink more water anyway. We may also need to give up time that we usually use for other activities in order to have time to cook meals from scratch.
3.Construct a menu and develop a budget for the whole week before you go shopping.
4.Estimate the value of food you already have in your food cupboard that you plan to use during the week as and subtract that from your week’s budget. The only food that does not need to be included in your budget is fruit and vegetables that you have grown yourself. One of the reasons that rural poverty is often not as devastating nutritionally as urban poverty is because people are able to grow some of their own food to supplement what they need to buy.

Guidelines for Developing a Menu and Shopping List
Here are a few guidelines that will help you plan your menu.

1.Plan a budget based on 25 – 40c each for breakfast, 50 – 75c for lunch and snacks, $1 each for dinner.

2.Prepared meals and processed food is always more expensive than basic staples like rice, potatoes, pasta, legumes and beans. Bulk staples of rice, barley, oats and bulghar wheat are less expensive than packaged versions – find the bulk food section in your local supermarket or visit Whole Foods or an equivalent health food store.

3.Whole grains provide more protein & nutritional value than processed grains. Discover varieties you have never used before like quinoa, couscous & bulghar wheat.

4.Fruit and vegetables are usually cheapest at your local fruit market or Chinese grocery.

5.Meat is probably one of the most expensive food items. Eating vegetarian meals or meals with very little meat will decrease your food budget considerably.

6.Eating fruit and vegetables that are in season and grown locally will be cheaper than those that are out of season or grown in distant places.

7.Leave space in your food budget for a special treat (especially if you have young children). You may like to make some inexpensive cookies at the beginning of the week.

Suggested shopping guide

For 2 adults
For 2 adults & 2 kids
For 2 adults & 3 kids
Oats for oatmeal (porridge)
$1.00
$1.50
$2.00
Rice
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
Potatoes
$1.00
$2.00
$1.50
Rice noodles
$0 50
$1.00
$1.00
Pasta
$0.50
$1.00
$1.00
Wheat berries
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
Onions
$1.00
$1.50
$2.00
Carrots
$1.00
$2.00
$2.00
Cabbage
$0.50
$0.50
$1.00
Fruit & salad vegetables
$4.00
$8.00
$10.00
Cheese
$2.00
$4.00
$5.00
Peanut butter
$0.50
$1.00
$2.00
Flour
$1.00
$2.00
$3.00
Chicken
$2.50
$5.00
$7.00
Canned tuna
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
Bread
$2.00
$3.00
$5.00
Milk
$1.00
$2.00
$2.00
Eggs
$1.00
$2.00
$2.00
Black or kidney beans
$0.50
$1.00
$2.00
Tortillas
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
Mushrooms
$1.00
$2.00
$3.00
Cookies

$3.00
$4.00
Pasta sauce

$2.00
$4.00
Sour cream
$0.50
$1.00
$3.00
Nuts
$1.00
$1.50
$2.00
Tea or coffee
$1.00
$1.00
$1.50
Oil
$2.00
$2.50
$3.00
Butter or margarine
$1.00
$2.00
$2.00
Salsa
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50

Total
$29.00
$58.00
$75.50

Suggestions for Weekly Menu

Breakfast – Oatmeal or homemade muffins
Lunch – Peanut butter or vegemite sandwiches
– Vegetable or chicken noodle soup made from scratch (can be heated in microwave at work)
Dinner – Phad Thai made with inexpensive rice noodles
– Baked potatoes with cheese & seasonal vegetables
– Pasta with inexpensive tomato based pasta sauce (or make your own)
– Bean burritos with black beans and cheese, salsa, sour cream & green onions. (olives & guacamole are good but may exceed your food budget)
– Fish cakes with rice
– Moroccan couscous with vegetables & harissa sauce
– Spanish rice & beans with fresh salad

Suggested Recipes

Fish Cakes (serves 4)
1 tin of tuna 7 medium potatoes mashed
Breadcrumbs (made from bread supply for the week)
2 chopped onions 2 eggs

Mash it all together – make into small patties then roll again in breadcrumbs and cook in olive oil until golden brown both sides. Serve with fresh salad. If you grow your own herbs add these too.
Cost Total Recipe = $3.50 Per serving = $0.85

Autumn Garden Soup – Vegetarian (15 servings)
1 c Dried Beans, Use Scarlet Runners From Garden 1 c Wheat Berries,
1 c Onion, Chopped 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 T Olive Oil 1 T Sage, Fresh & Chopped
1 lb Tomatoes, Chopped or 14 Oz Can Diced 1 T Rosemary, Fresh & Chopped
1 c Carrot, Peeled & Cut In 1/2″-Chunks 1 lb Cabbage Coarsely Chopped
1/2 lb Green Beans, Trimmed & Cut in 1/2 Lengths 1/4 c Parsley, Chopped
1 t Salt & Ground Pepper to taste 6 c Vegetable Broth
1 c Winter Squash, Chopped 1 c Mushrooms, Chopped

Soak beans and wheat berries in separate bowls overnight. Drain and set aside. Cook dried beans until just tender (45 min – 1 hour). In a large pot or Dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, and cook stirring until soft. Add garlic, sage and rosemary. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add reserved wheat berries, tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to a simmer cover and simmer until wheat berries are al dente, (1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add cabbage, squash, mushrooms, carrots, green beans and reserved dried beans with their liquid. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender. (15 -20 minutes) Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. [Soup can be adapted to take advantage of whatever vegetables are most plentiful]
Cost Total Recipe = $9.55 Cost Per Serving = $0.64

Phad Thai (5 Servings)
1 lb med. rice noodles 2 T Vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten 2 c fresh bean sprouts
1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 t fish sauce 1/2 c dry roasted peanuts, Chopped
Parsley or cilantro
Cooked shrimp (optional & not included in cost estimate)

Bring water to a boil. Add noodles and turn off water. Let sit 3 minutes; drain and set aside. Heat a little vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan. Pour in beaten eggs and cook until firm. Don’t stir. Remove from pan and cut in thin strips. Set aside.

Saute garlic, scallions and bean sprouts in a little vegetable oil. Add fish and oyster sauces and mix well. Add drained noodles and mix again. Add strips of egg and mix. Put on a serving plate and garnish with chopped peanuts, parsley or cilantro and, if desired, cooked shrimp.
Cost Total Recipe = $3.50 Cost Per Serving = $0.70
Pea & Ham Soup (15 servings)
Soak 500g Borlotti Beans (or any other split peas/beans that are cheap) overnight. Saute 1 clove garlic, herbs, 1 onion, 2 stalks celery, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin in a little margarine. Add 375g frozen peas, ham hock, 5 medium diced potatoes, beans, 6 carrots & corn from 1 corn cob and enough water to make a thick soup. Simmer until vegetable are soft and meat falls away from bones.
Cost Total Recipe = $7.50 Cost per Serving = $0.50

Vegan Moroccan Couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, diced
3 cups vegetable broth 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 turnips, peeled and julienned 1 sweet potato, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned 1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup garbanzo beans, soaked overnight & cooked
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 pinch curry powder
2 cups uncooked couscous

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; saute onion until golden. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in carrots, turnips and sweet potato. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add zucchini and red bell pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in garbanzo beans, tomato sauce, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron and curry powder. Simmer until heated through. Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 to 7 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with vegetables on top.
Cost Total recipe = $8.52 Cost per Serving = $1.07

Carrot Cake
Whisk together 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar,½ cup oil. Sift 1 cup whole wheat flour,½ tspn bicarb soda, 1 tspn mixed spice. Mix in 1½ cups grated carrot(165g) with wet and dry ingredients. Mix well. Bake in greased loaf tin in moderate oven for 50min.
Cost Total Recipe = $2.00 Cost per Serving = $0.35