Monday, April 8, 2013

Food Bloggers Against Hunger: Budget Friendly Recipe for Ham & Asparagus Casserole

Today, I have joined with 200 other bloggers in Food Bloggers Against Hunger.  We are all donating a blog post on Monday, April 8 to raise awareness about the issues of hunger in America.   In this country, we subsidize the wrong products.  Millions of Americans live in food deserts without access to healthy ingredients.  The foods we should eat, like fruits and vegetables, are more expensive than chips, sodas and processed foods that are available.  We currently spend a mere $1 per week per child in school meal progreams.  Food stamp participants are only allocated $4 a day to survive.

SNAP—the nation’s food stamp program—is at risk for severe cuts that would impact millions of families, especially children, that rely on school meals and food stamps to survive. In response to the film, the country's leading anti-hunger organizations, Share Our Strength, Bread for the World, Feeding America, and The Food and Research Action Center, are asking supporters to help spread the word. 

If you are interested about this topic and would like to take political action, you can contact Congress here to share your thoughts.  To learn more, watch A Place at the Table on iTunes or on Amazon.

Here is my budget friendly recipe using healthy vegetables (asparagus) and protein-rich meat (ham) -- Ham and Asparagus Casserole.  The thing that I like about this recipe is that it uses spring, seasonal vegetables and you can use your leftover ham from holiday dinners.  An easy way to be health conscious and not let food go to waste.

Now, I usually don't itemize the cost of food.  So for this post, I thought I would actually pay attention and become more knowledge about the rising cost of quality food. I actually calculated the cost of this meal and it turns out, this dinner costs $2.85 a person.  That's over half of the $4 DAILY FOOD ALLOWANCE allocated through the food stamp program.  WITHOUT any drink, dessert or a side salad.  And this is a simple, bare-bones recipe for a quick, weeknight supper.  So the next time you head to the grocery store, try to calculate how much you spent for one person on the food for that dinner.  You might be surprised.  

1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1/2 of an onion
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups herb seasoned stuffing mix
2 cups diced cooked ham
2 cups cut asparagus spears
2 tablespoon butter

1.  Cut asparagus into large segments, removing the bottom pieces.

2.  Steam asparagus for 3 minutes until tender.

3.  Dice half the onion.  Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small pan over medium high heat, add diced onion and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and heat until fragrant, about one minute.

4.  In a small saucepan, combine the cream of celery and milk and heat over medium heat until it starts to boil.  Add the onion mixture to the saucepan and warm until mixed thoroughly. 

5.  Remove from heat and add the cheddar cheese.

6.  Dice the ham.

6.  Butter a 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Layer 1/3 of the dry stuffing mix; top with half of the ham, half of the asparagus, and half of the cheese sauce.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

7.  Combine remaining 1/3 of dry stuffing mix with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Spread on top of casserole.

8.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook casserole for 40 minutes until warm and bubbly.  Serve warm.


  1. Yummm! You were always the best cook! :) I'm comin for dinner!

  2. Great easy dinner, that is cost conscious. It was interesting to take notice how much everything costs, since we also don't always consider this! Also, great to see another DC participating in this food blogger event!

    1. Yes, I have to admit - the cost piece definitely surprised me! thanks for stopping by,