Author Archives for Melanie Steele

About Melanie Steele

Hi! I’m Mel, a registered dietitian, avid home cook, and new mom.

Welfare Food Challenge 2015 – Last Day

Today was the last day of the Welfare Food Challenge. I’m excited for it to be over (and even have a bag of chips teed up for midnight), but saddened at the same time. For many people in this province, the challenge continues – $3/day for food is their reality.

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Welfare Food Challenge 2015 – Half Way There

I’m more than half way through the week and counting down the days until the challenge is over. I have more food left than I thought I would at this stage and I’m definitely not at risk of running out. This is good news because I’ll be able to eat a bit more over the next 3 days. And while I admit it feels good to know that I figured out how to make the $21 dollars work, this in no way proves that $21 is a sufficient amount of money for food each week. Far from it.

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Welfare Food Challenge 2015 – Day 2

My head is pounding! I think it’s from no caffeine for 2 days. Hoping this will be gone tomorrow. I’ve been drinking plain hot water instead – I find it comforting actually. I’m not in the mood for much writing today, but I’ll let you know what I ate.

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Welfare Food Challenge 2015: It’s Going to be a Long Week

Today was the first day of the Welfare Food Challenge and I’m feeling a whole bunch of things at once. I am saddened by the fact that so many people in BC don’t have enough to eat. I am angry that we live in a place with so much excess, while so many have so little. I feel guilty that I complained about hunger pains after less than 24 hours of this challenge.  I am grateful for the support that I am already receiving on social media. My head is pounding, my stomach aches, and I’m tired. There’s a lot going on.

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Welfare Food Challenge 2015 – Day 1

Today is the first day of the Welfare Food Challenge.  For the next week, I will only be eating what I could manage to buy with 21 dollars.  I won’t be accepting any freebies, donations, or poaching from my garden or deep-freeze.  21 dollars does not seem like a lot for food.  That’s because it isn’t.  Having said that, I was surprised with what I was able to purchase for 21 dollars.  I went to two different stores, both within walking distance of my house.  I had checked flyers online over the weekend to see what was on special so that I could do my best to maximize my budget.

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Welfare Food Challenge 2015: Could you Survive on 21 Dollars a Week for Food?

21dollarsaweek2“Should I have peanut butter or chicken?” I asked my husband, already knowing my answer.

“I think peanut butter” he said. “It’s more versatile.” Good answer.

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.” I was trying to decide whether or not to spend $4.00 on a few chicken thighs, or $3.00 on a jar of peanut butter. I was having a hard time justifying the extra dollar on chicken, even though I needed some more protein for the week. Peanut butter seemed to make the most sense anyways. I’d be able to have it every day, I like it, and I don’t have to cook it. Straight out of the jar. That will do.

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Happy Father’s Day

I was fortunate to grow up in a house of two cooks. My dad cooked on the ships for the Coastguard, my mom on all the days that dad was away, or wasn’t cooking. In our house, cooking was neither a woman’s nor a man’s job. It was the job of the person that got home first, preferred to do the grilling, or was better at Christmas baking. Both my parents were wonderful cooks, each with their own signature style and specialty, and every day in our house was filled with home cooked meals. Growing up in this environment shaped my love of food, and today cooking certain dishes keeps me connected to my childhood and loved ones.

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Mexican Chocolate Smoothie

mexican chocolate shakeI love smoothies for breakfast.  They are quick, easy, and can be a good way to sneak some extra greens into your day.  They are, however, not as much fun in the winter.  A cold breakfast on a cold morning just doesn’t do it for me.  Especially when the sun doesn’t show its face until 8 am (if at all).  This smoothie is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet.  It has just enough heat to make a cold breakfast on a dark morning a good thing.  Besides, who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast?


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Happy New Year and a Make-Ahead Breakfast

Hello and Happy New Year!  It feels kind of funny to say that now, considering it’s already the 16th of January.  Nonetheless, I hope that you had a festive yet restful holiday season.

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Fresh Pick – Chard

The sun may be shining here in Vancouver, but the air sure is cold!  Comfort foods have become a mainstay as of late, so I thought I would highlight a hearty green that will make a nutritious addition to your soups and stews.  This week’s Fresh Pick is chard.

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