About the project:
We are doing a learning experiment for one month where I (Asante) will buy and prepare my own food. My weekly budget is $40. I may only use some of the rest of the family’s food if I ask first or trade.

Asante’s thoughts:

I started out by collecting recipes that I was going to use throughout the week. Some of the recipes I chose to use for week 3 were nachos, salad, and hashbrowns. I bought more of a balance between junk food, protein, carbs, fruits, and veggies. But then I mostly used all the carbs and not alot of my veggies so some of them turned bad. One night I did made the nachos and other nights I cooked some other stuff like pasta. For week 4 I also tried to balance my foods and bought things like broccoli, bell pepper, and carrots, gouda cheese, crackers to go along with the stuff I got like pizza rolls, icecream, applejacks, etc. I got boneless chicken tenders to make my dad’s fried chicken recipe (posted below.) Once again though, I didn’t always cook well and use my veggies and good food because I got tired or lazy. Thursday was Thanksgiving, and I used some of my mom’s ingredients to make a chocolate bourbon pecan pie and she used some of my kale in exchange.

I thought this project was going to be interesting and fun, but after I tried it, I realized I didn’t feel like cooking most of the time and I started to get sick because I wasn’t eating enough healthy foods. I would do this again if I had a little more money to spend, and was less tired at the end of the day. I learned that it is hard buying and cooking food every single day and sometimes it is easier to eat junk food.

Mom’s thoughts:

It’s been a busy few weeks, but I am proud of Asante for doing this project and sticking it out for the month. For weeks 3 and 4 he really listened to me about balancing his foods, and made smarter food choices (though I know he also enjoyed the freedom to buy junk food stuff I would never get.) He didn’t buy anything organic though, as it is more expensive and he wanted to be able to buy a few extra things like chips and cookies. He did look at cookbooks for some ideas, but I don’t think he really stuck to making any of the recipes, except fried chicken. For Thanksgiving, he did get into the baking mode, and his chocolate bourbon pecan pie was fantastic! I’m not sure what recipe he used for his crust, but it came out perfectly. He also had a few issues with the girls getting into his food supply, as he bought way more junk food than I usually buy, and they couldn’t stay away from it:)

Though I wish he would have been inspired to be creative and cook more, I think this was still a great learning project. Though he didn’t want to write too much about it, I think he learned a lot about nutrition, the cost of food, and the time and energy it takes to prepare it. I thought it was good that he noticed how he was feeling after eating certain foods. He also realized that a lot more goes into meal planning than he thought. He says above he wishes he had a little more money to spend…don’t we all! But the reality is, we live on foodstamps, and our budget is $630/month, or $157/week for a family of four. I think it is good that he learned about the challenges involved in buying and preparing meals on a budget like this. We are going back to me doing the shopping and cooking for most meals, but he said that he would like to help more and maybe make one meal a week. I missed having him at the table as he ate seperate from us a lot. It would also be great to have him help more, as I also get burned out and tired of cooking all the time by myself. It is always more fun cooking with someone:) We may try a variation of this project again, maybe in the summer when Asante is out of school, and maybe the girls can participate more. I will continue to encourage Asante in his cooking and baking passion and talent, and I’m sure we will have more fun food adventures to write about in the near future! 🙂

Fried Chikin Recipe 

Chikin tenders
3 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. garlic
1 c. milk
2 c. flour

put 1/2 tsp garlic and 1 tsp. seasaning salt in the milk. dip chikin in milk.  put rest of garlic and seasoning in the flouer put it in a bag and shake so flour covers everything .

deepfry on medium till golden broun.


seasoning salt:
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
Pour the blend into an empty spice bottle to store.


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