My nearest corner store is the Loon Grocery on 25th and Lyndale near Uptown. I hadn’t been in there for at least a year when I stopped by to get ingredients for this challenge recipe. Initially, I was excited because I entered and at the deli counter saw the sign below:
I asked at the counter for some green pepper and red onion, already fantasizing about the delicious stir fry I could make. They told me they were out of red onion and couldn’t sell me any green pepper because they needed all the green pepper they had. That was disappointing. Instead I got some garlic and a gigantic yellow onion for $1.50 at the deli counter.
Searching the store, I didn’t find much. I got very disheartened and wanted to give up. Finally I found some diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, rice, and mushrooms:
These together came to $9.54, which I found to be surprisingly expensive. All told this meal cost $11.04.
Looking at my ingredients, I decided that I could make some Mexican rice with a side of beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes. I sautéed the rice with olive oil, then added salt and cumin, then added half of the chopped onion. After the onion was tender I added half of the tomato sauce and 2 cups of water.
To prepare the beans I sautéed a quarter of the onion in olive oil and then added the beans and mushrooms, followed by the diced tomatoes. I added a bit of salt and pepper and cayenne pepper. Additional ingredients I used besides the ones bought at the corner store included: salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, and olive oil.
Here is the cooking process:
Honestly, I was not very excited about this meal and didn't eat much of it. While the components tasted fine, especially the Mexican rice, they were not the vegetables or type of food I wanted to eat on the day that I made this. I felt incredibly limited by the selection at the corner store and wasn’t happy about putting only canned, conventional food in my body.
I understand that many people are limited to the food at their local corner store and I see how large this issue can be. I am already very concerned with healthy eating, and I could barely scrape together one healthy meal from ingredients at the corner store. It would be quite a challenge for someone to try to eat healthy when they don’t have access to a wide array of healthy food.