Jada Prince, Sassy Chefs Kitchen, National Nutrition Month, Food, Food Prices,

Food For The Family: Chef Jada Prince Provides Price-Friendly Tips For National Nutrition Month

Chef Prince offers doable and affordable recipes.

March is National Nutrition Month, when attention turns to the importance of making informed food choices, healthy eating, and physical activity. This year, there is a heightened focus on staying nourished on a budget as inflation and food prices rises. 

U.S. consumers have spent more money on food than in the past 30 years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans spent 11.3% of their disposable income on food in 2022—more than they have since 1991. 

Jada Prince is the owner of Sassy Chef’s Kitchen, a thriving minority- and woman-owned boutique caterer and bake shop that serves the Washington, D.C. area. Raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Prince embraced the city’s blue-collar solid heritage and hardworking mindset. Following a life-altering car accident that left her jobless, Prince embarked on her culinary journey, now providing catering services for retreats nationwide and a line of dry mixes with powerful health benefits. 

In a recent interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Prince discussed making nutritious food choices on a budget, using innovative approaches to affordable eating, and promoting nutrition in diverse communities.

A Big Problem: Addressing Food Insecurities Through Community Engagement

Over 44 million people, including 13 million children, experience food insecurity in the United States, and 60 million (1 in every 5) received charitable food assistance in 2020. Through partnerships with local food banks and community organizations, Prince extends beyond simply providing meals to people and families in need.

“I team up with the local food banks, but take it a step further than just giving away food… I teach valuable cooking skills..,” Prince says. Recognizing the importance of meeting people where they are, Prince makes her presence felt at various pop-up food giveaways and even participates in community events focused on violence prevention.

“My commitment extends beyond charity,” she explains. “It’s about building relationships and empowering individuals to navigate food challenges confidently.”

Navigating Nutritious Choices On A Budget

With rising food prices, making nutritious choices on a budget has become increasingly challenging for many. As inflation and escalating food costs persist, many Americans use unconventional methods to stretch their budgets and maintain access to essential nourishment. 

Food inflation continues to impact households’ budgets and ability to maintain an adequate and nutritious diet. Highlighting the importance of strategic shopping, Prince suggests buying “your staple items used frequently, like rice or potatoes, in bulk.” 

In addition to purchasing at warehouse stores, Prince also recommends exploring international markets and wholesale stores for affordable yet high-quality ingredients.

“My approach isn’t just about saving money. In today’s landscape, families must maximize value and prioritize health without breaking the bank.”

Cooking Education: Empowering Families In The Kitchen

Empowering families to cook nutritious meals at home is at the heart of Prince’s mission. Recognizing that cooking skills are essential for long-term health and financial well-being, she actively engages with her community to teach cooking basics and creative meal preparation

Prince emphasizes the importance of pantry staples and strategic meal planning, stating, “if you learn how to cook the basic foods, you’ll be more inclined to, especially when trying to eat on a budget.” 

Practical tips, such as batch cooking and meal prepping, save time and empower families to make healthier choices consistently. “Take a simple item like chicken breasts and create two or three meal variations from it by simply slicing the breasts and adding them to a pasta dish, a rice and vegetable dish, and a salad.” 

Community Collaboration: Strengthening Support Networks

Beyond her business, Prince collaborates with local ministries and organizations to serve those in need. From feeding the homeless to distributing food in underserved areas, her efforts exemplify the power of community collaboration in addressing food insecurities.

“My church feeds people every week,” she shares. “Through partnerships with organizations like St. Lights Ministries and The Storehouse, both in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, we can collectively create a more food-secure future for all.”

Simple Ingredients, 3 Simple Meals: Prince Provides Three Price-Friendly Nutritious Meals 

Ingredients: chicken breast, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, rice, potato

Meal 1: Chicken Stir Fry

Saute seasoned diced chicken breast with sliced onions in a hot skillet until golden brown. Add chopped bell peppers and broccoli florets, and stir-fry until tender-crisp. Season with soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger. Serve with rice (optional).

Meal 2: Loaded Baked potato

Bake potatoes until tender. Top potatoes with cooked chicken, broccoli, bell pepper, onion, and cheddar cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and optional toppings.

Meal 3: Sheet Pan Chicken Bake

Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place chicken breasts (whole or diced) on the baking sheet and surround them with broccoli florets, sliced bell peppers, and onions. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite sassy spice blend. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are roasted and caramelized.

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