Washington Area Women's Foundation

Food Stamp Challenge Recipe: Red Red and Fried Plantain

red red and plantainThis week, several members of The Women’s Foundation staff are participating in the Food Stamp Challenge, an exercise organized by D.C. Hunger Solutions that educates the public and raises awareness of the benefits of food stamps and the challenges recipients face while eating on a very limited budget.

The following recipe is from Julliet Boye, the Foundation’s development associate and a native of Ghana. She purchased the main ingredients for $5.60 as part of the exercise, which challenged participants to live for a week on food stamp benefits: $30/person.

Black eyed peas and fried plantain (“RED RED” and fried plantain)


2 cups of dried black eyed peas

1 can of mackerel (or any canned fish of choice)

2 ripe tomatoes (or one can of tomato sauce)

1 onion

1 bouillon cube or Maggi

1 tsp cayenne pepper to taste

2 tbsp palm oil (can substitute with vegetable oil)

Salt to taste

Water, for boiling the peas


  • Start by washing the peas and soaking them overnight.

Note: in the interest of time, it is okay to boil peas without soaking them overnight.

  • Next in a large pot add the peas with enough water and boil until tender, approximately 30-35 minutes.
  • Prepare your vegetables: thinly slice the onion, and mash the tomatoes (if using fresh ones).
  • Next, heat your saucepan and add your palm oil or vegetable oil. When the oil is hot fry the onions until lightly brown, and then add in the cayenne pepper, bouillon cube and mashed tomatoes or one can of tomato sauce. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the canned mackerel or canned fish of choice and the cooked black eyed peas. Salt the sauce and let simmer for 10 more minutes. You may need to add some water if needed.

When it is ready, serve with fried plantain.

Fried Plantain process:

Cut two plantains into thin slices. Then rinse the slices of plantain and lightly salt them.

Fry salted slices of plantain in vegetable oil until golden brown.


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