Metanoia's journey to genuine community started in July 2011 when we received grant funding to build a garden in the heart of the Chicora-Cherokee neighborhood. We have spent the last year listening to and working side by side with residents, churches, volunteers, and local businesses to create a great public space that promotes people’s health, happiness and well-being in a food and place desert.

In twenty four hours, we'll use our traditional community garden work day to celebrate and host a communal art event, garden tours, a Thanksgiving themed potluck and a family movie under the stars.  Pitch in for all or part of the day. 

12:00 - 3:00 setup and mural work on sidewalk and shed
3:00 - 5:00 Garden tours
5:00 - 6:00 acknowledgements and Thanksgiving Potluck
6:00 - 8:00 Outdoor movie - The Lorax (dress warm and bring blankets)

Guests are invited to bring food as followed:
Last names ending in A - H (side dishes); J - R (bread or beverages); S - Z (desserts). Please bring all hot dishes in foil pans.

For more information about the garden, please visit our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ChicoraPlaceCommunityGarden.

Everyone is invited to help, especially people who live, work and play in North Charleston. Please come ready to paint and celebrate! Extra pots, seeds and plants are also welcome.

Clemson Extension plant guide and peppers seeds.
We recently added a blog post to our new website, Urban Veggucation that explains why we've given up coupons for seeds saving (Adios Food Coupons, Aloha Obnoxious Homesteader).

Meals have more meaning and flavor when they ingredients are homegrown. Just yesterday, AJ decided to make a meat free variation of his spaghetti recipe that included carrots, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, and a variety of heirloom tomatoes freshly picked from the garden. Very tasty indeed.

My 7.3# organic sweet potato recipe
I harvested this sweet potato last Saturday and saved it specifically for a Slow Food Charleston Harvest Festival Potluck.  A prize worthy sweet potato such as this one deserved an equally show stopping recipe and I definitely found it when I made this sweet potato pone recipe yesterday afternoon. I wanted to also feature this recipe on the blog since it's been forever since I've added a new post (very busy starting an edible landscape business called Urban Veggucation) and one of the key ingredients besides the sweet potato was organic coconut milk I bought for a song using my faithful food coupons.

Anywho, I'm posting the illustrated version of the recipe here but you can go to my International recipes page for the full written recipe.

Sweet Potato Filling
4 cups coconut milk
1 cup skim milk
4 cups fresh grated sweet potatoes (skin on)
2 cups mashed sweet potato
2 Tbsp grated fresh orange zest
Juice from 1/2 navel orange
1/2 stick butter, cubed
6 medium sized fresh eggs (4-5 large eggs would work)
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp rum flavor
3/4 cups unsweetened coconut (Earth Fare)

Dump Cake crumb topping
1/3 box dry yellow cake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup whole oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
ground cinnamon to taste
1/2 stick butter, cubed
Butter flavor cooking spray

It got a little embarrassing but I showed up at Harris Teeter and bought last week's pork loin meal deal three times.  Yeah, it was a great for many reasons: 1) when you added a green vegetable, it was a great easy meal 2) the pork loin alone usually costs as much as the $10 meal deal 3) I got LaBrea sourdough bread for free!  So along with the customary meal deal, I made stuffed sourdough french toast and a delicious Mexican Pueblo stew with a buttload of veggies I picked up from the Ladson fairgrounds flea market last Saturday.

Stuffed Sourdough French Toast
  • Usual french toast ingredients (milk, eggs, cinnamon, blah blah blah)
  • LaBrea sourdough bread sliced with a hole cut in the sides
  • Dickinson's (Black Raspberry Preserves and Apple Butter) - free during Super Doubles week
  • Butter flavor cooking spray

Pueblo Stew
I normally venture to the Ladson Fairgrounds for chicken business.  But while we were there, my husband and I always stop by a Hispanic produce stand on the north end of the fairgrounds.  In the past I've gotten great recipes for new international meals and last Saturday was no different.  Since I learned that cactus was edible, I have planted it in my yard and at the school garden but I never tried it for myself.  When I saw it at the produce stand with the spines removed, I decided to buy some to spice up our Sunday dinner.  Turns out that cactus (or nopales in Spanish) has a texture similar to okra.  Traditionally, its chopped, boiled and drained before adding to salads or other recipes. 

JOEBOB22's Pueblo Stew on allrecipes.com seemed like the perfect recipe for our first foray into cactus eating.  When one comment suggested adding pinto beans and rotel tomatoes, I knew that this was our new favorite Mexican recipe. I used the last of a pork loin to make the real deal and also made a vegetarian version substituting zucchini for the meat.  I didn't add the queso fresco or the spicy peppers but both were stews were outstanding anyway.  JoeBob22's stew also calls for hominy, one of the few food items I struggled to find a recipe for when I worked at the Food Bank.  Oh well, now I know.  Next time I make this stew, I'll be sure to add a can or two.

Easy Pueblo Stew
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cans pinto beans (I used dried pinto beans which must have been old because they were still hard after 4 hours of cooking - the stew was so good that we ate it anyway)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cooked pork loin, cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful each cilantro, papalo and epazote, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 freshly cooked prickly pear cacti (nopales), drained and rinsed
  • 2 can Rotel tomatoes
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in beans, onions, carrots and potatoes, cubed pork and seasonings.  Cook for about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil then simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes. Stir in herbs, cooked cactus and tomatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Bi-Lo's 5 for $20 meat sale was the basis for our homemade Southern fave - shrimp stew without the grits.
Thanks to another food coupon victory, this very Southern dinner was easy to prepare. 

1 1/2 smoked sausage links, sliced
2-3 cups veggies - we used celery, onions, yellow squash, zucchini and red pepper
2 tbsp garlic powder or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
black pepper to taste
2 cans beef gravy
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 - 1 bag shrimp

Heat pan to medium.  Add smoke sausage and cook until browned.  Stir in veggies and seasonings and cook for 5 - 8 minutes or until softened.  Mix the tomato paste with the sausage mix and then add the gravy.  Let cook for another 10-15 minutes and then stir in cooked shrimp.  Cook until heated through.  We served the stew with B1G1 field peas and snaps (surprisingly good out of the can) and fresh green beans cooked Italian style (briefly steamed, then sauteed in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper to taste).

G, What About the Grits?
Living dangerously between two cultures, I'm used to having my grits for breakfast either with eggs and sausage or like a hot cereal - topped with milk and sprinkled with sugar (the latter is considered blasphemy in the South).  So if you want to make your own grits, be ready to cook them for about 30 minutes, no matter what the instant grits package says.  If the grits are chewy, they are undercooked. Good grits are should be cared for like a creamy risotto  Add water, milk or cream whenever the liquid evaporates. Season them with about 1-2 tbsp of sugar, salt and pepper just before serving.
Shrimp (minus) grits, brown rice, field peas and Italian green beans make a very healthy meal.
Had to come up with some awesome recipe with $1.19 a gallon milk and 100% whole wheat Sara Lee bread we scored from the Harris Teeter Super Double sale last week. I added mashed sweet potatoes, cinnamon and ground allspice to Alton Brown's French toast recipe that was highlighted in an article I wrote on bread pudding. Sweet potato French toast was born and devoured this morning. We also had remnants from a loaf of multi-grain bread and gave it the sweet potato French toast treatment as well. Scrumptious!
sweet potato French toast
Mashed sweet potatoes + cinnamon + a dash of nutmeg (or allspice) + a little pancake syrup + standard French toast custard = awesome Saturday morning breakfast anyone can prepare. Remember, cooked pumpkin can easily be substituted for sweet potatoes in this recipe.
Fresh avocados, canned salmon and six gallons of milk later...
Thanks to Sara Lee coupons, I've saved $$ on meat, eggs and now milk!
Motivated by the $.63 red bell peppers I got from Bi-Lo a couple weeks ago, I made a quick batch of stuffed peppers.  Wanting to satisfy my husband's love for red rice, I merged the two ideas.
People who are trying to manage their money better need more than just coupons and recipe tips. Yesterday, I started leading a Money Saving Life Group at my church. While I certainly don't have all the answers, there are some deals that I've come across that won't necessarily benefit me, but may be a blessing to others. One such potential blessing is the 75% off prescription drugs for the uninsured from Countyrxcard.com. I collected these printable coupons from Coupons.com and passed them to our church's medical ministry program.  But you don't need a coupon to get the deal, just go to their website and subscribe.

I did a little online snooping today and Countryrxcard.com's 75% off prescription claims may be the real deal.  I plugged Countyrxcard.com's contact phone number and website address into the Better Business Bureau online system where they're listed as Prescription Benefits Consultants doing business under the name Group Net, LLC.  According to BBB's records, Group Net hasn't had one complaint in the last 3 years.  They also have an A- rating (because they've only been in business in Louisiana since 2006).  Since my family has insurance, I haven't personally tried out this service but again based on all the information that's presently available, it may be worth at least a second look. Disclaimer, THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT MORE LIKE AN FYI SHOUT-OUT.
homemade Priazzo Verona pizza
My homemade Priazzo Verona pizza is ready for the oven!
I'm on my way to work but wanted to post this recipe before starting another busy week.  I'll post more details, etc. later. BYE!

Pizza Hut hasn't been the same since they introduced the pizza pie symphony called Priazzo in the 80s.  We were Priazzo Roma fanatics -- think deep dish pie version of a Supreme pizza.  It was soooooo good that you couldn't stop at just one slice but so filling that we could never finish the second piece in one sitting.  My mind's been on Priazzo mode for the last couple months. Not knowing where to start, I joined the Bring Back the the Pizza Hut Priazzo Facebook page.  There I found volumes of information from fans and former employees alike.  Turns out the Priazzo required a special pan that helped the bottom crust cook evenly with the rest of the pizza. 

What could I do to achieve similar results without investing in a special pan or sticking nails in a crust? Eureka!  The pre-baked crust we made for cooked fruit and juice pies in cooking school should also work on a Priazzo.  I only had one bag of blackeyed peas, but I made it work.  Since the ingredients for the Roma weren't on sale, I used my q's to buy the ingredients for Priazzo Verona, the deep dish meatball pizza.  All of the Verona ingredients were on sale except the meatballs.  Luckily, my first Whole Coupon Inserts purchase netted me a $1 off Armour meatballs q from Publix that I stacked with a $.55 off manufacturer's q.  I intended to use my favorite bread recipe for the dough but got lazy.  Instead, I forced a couple of Pillsbury pizza crusts to submit to my dinner idea.  It took a lot of corn meal, olive oil, poking, stretching to get it to relax but we were all very pleased with the results.  Hope you like it too!

Homemade Priazzo Verona Recipe
  • 2 Pillsbury pizza crusts
  • corn meal
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasonings
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
  • 1 jar + 1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Bertolli's Pasta sauce for the filling and a Roasted Garlic pasta sauce to coat the top crust)
  • 1/2 cup Lindsay Olives, chopped
  • Italian Seasoning, minced Garlic to taste
  • 1 bag Armour Turkey Meatballs
  • 2 cups shredded cheese - we had a Mexican blend but I added Italian seasonings
Coat the bottom of your pan with a medium layer of corn meal.  I pressed one of the pizza crust along the bottom of my pan, one of those plastic reusable deals.  I cut the edges of the second crust and used it to help build the bottom crust up the sides of the pan.  If you've ever baked with a Pillsbury dough product, you know that they don't like to be stretched out.After poking holes in the crust, I covered the bottom with a layer of blackeyed peas.  Then I lightly oiled another baking pan and sit on top of the first crust with a few beans in it to weigh it down a little.  I thank the perfectly golden crust to the double pan technique I learned in school.  The sauce cooked while I baked the bottom crust.

After the crust came out of the oven, I removed the top pan and the beans and poked holes a second time.  I brushed on a little olive oil and sprinkled more corn meal and Italian seasoning inside the bottom crust and baked it another 2-3 minutes.

I topped the bottom crust with a 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.  I then filled the crust with my meatball sauce.  and sprinkled about 1/2 of the remaining cheese on the meatballs. Topped it off with the rest of the second crust, which got its own set of poked holes cornmeal and olive oil.  A think layer of sauce went down next and finally thecheese and Italian seasonings.  I again double panned to protect the bottom crust.  The pizza baked at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.  Next time I'll bake it a little longer.

Easy Recipes for Cheap Living
Last Updated November 26, 2010
Web Site Content by Mrs. Germaine Jenkins (gwhiz@germainesolutions.com)
Easy Recipes for Living Well on a Budget