Poverty Meals
Let's talk TVP: the meat extender that you eat all the time which you've probably never even heard of
So TVP is sometimes known as hamburger helper, meat extender, or meatless crumbles and if you've ever eaten a cafeteria meal at school or had a processed meal which included ground beef then you've almost definitely eaten TVP before. (Back when there was the European horse meat scandal and the EU was testing meat products for horse, they discovered that one particular brand of meat pie on sale there actually contained zero meat products — it was all TVP!) TVP, or Textured Vegetable Protein, is made from soybeans, and it's the leftovers from soy oil pressing which then undergoes some processing before being extruded into different shapes. Nutritionally it's virtually fat-free and mostly protein when dried. When rehydrated it has a protein content comparable to ground beef. TVP is ideal because you can store it dried for a year (or more - I have and it's no big deal), you can leave it in your cupboard and it doesn't take up too much space, and it's perfect for those times in between paychecks where the fridge is bare and the cupboard isn't looking much better. TVP goes particularly well in chili, bolognese, and other sauce-heavy dishes, which is great because all you need is some rice or pasta, a tin of tomatoes, and a few spices before you have yourself a hearty and nutritious meal on the cheap. Depending on how it's cooked, TVP rehydrates at around a 2:1 ratio, meaning that if you buy 5 ounces of TVP you effectively have a pound of "meat" waiting to happen so you can really stretch your money using this stuff, and that's exactly why it gets used in so many processed foods. I made a post [here](https://lemmygrad.ml/post/8683) about how to get the best texture out of TVP which is good for using in recipes that feature ground meat as the star of the dish such as Keema Mattar, and I will make a post about how to flavor TVP soon too, but in the meantime you can simply grab a handful or two of TVP, shake off the dust using a sieve, and throw it in a dish when you are frying your ground meat (for best results) or you can even add it towards the end of cooking when you're making something like a bolognese, just remember to allow it a few minutes to rehydrate in the sauce before serving. If you are new to eating it, try adding TVP at up to a 50:50 ratio your meat — you probably won't even notice it's there. So there you have it: TVP is cheap, healthy, simple, long-life, high protein, and easier to use than ground beef so I'd strongly recommend giving it a try to anyone, rich or poor. (Plus it's more environmentally friendly than eating meat to boot!)

Split Pea Soup
I get lots of dry good from the food bank, which works out okay because at least for now I have access to a stove. I was completely out of what I'd normally eat the other day so I threw together probably the simplest split pea soup possible. **Ingredients** - 16oz dry peas (I think that would be about 2 1/2 cups?) - 8 cups water or broth - literally any other vegetables and/or meats and/or protein you have to hand - Spices to taste Rinse the peas and pick out any stones. Put the peas and water in a big pot on the stove or over a fire, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours, stirring occasionally and being mindful of scorching the bottom of the pot. Add any and all extras, including spices, after it's done cooking. I got away with adding a can of green beans and seasoning with salt, pepper, turmeric, paprika, and a few other random spices I had access to. Basil, parsley, and thyme also make for a pleasing combo. 16oz peas and 8 cups of water made about 4-5 days worth of lunch for me. This is a pretty basic meal, but it's filling and hearty. Peas are high in protein and will carry you through times when you haven't got much else. Carrots and potatoes always go well in split pea soup, and if you add some meat on the bone at the start you can make it into a hearty broth as well. Vegans I have known have added coconut milk for added body and flavor. If you add coconut milk and curry spices you'd end up with a pretty tasty curry-like dish that could also go really well with rice.

"pasta carbonara"
what i like to do is chop up half a packet of bacon and fry until crispy, at the same time i also boil 50-100 grams of farfalle and i add it to the pan with the bacon. after that i add a dollop of french cream and lots of freshly ground black pepper. this meal doesn't need salt since it already comes with the pasta and bacon. i flush it down with some vitamin supplements and omega 3 pills. in my second meal i eat about 150 grams of oatmeal cookies, these give me good amount of fiber and more energy. in my country Finland this meal is extremely cheap and feeds you well since it has lots of calories and fiber. two weeks worth of this stuff for one person is around 30 euros if you're buying from lidl. don't be worried about the amount of grease. i have lost lots of weight while in this diet and i haven't got any health complications from it.

Food should be a right, but seeing that is isn’t, this is a community for sharing cheap recipes and suggested options for people in need.

Rice, Beans, Canned Soup. These three things kept myself, my sister, and my mother fed in my childhood, being poor taught me how to cook. But, some people aren’t so fortunate to learn culinary skills. Some people grew up around fast food culture, some only just came into poverty, I would like this community to serve as a free cooking class, a free meal planner, and a free kitchen to inspire you to make delicious poverty meals.

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