“You can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair”

A week before payday calls for imagination in the eats department. This recipe is quick, filling, and cheap AF. AND it can be stretched further by judicious use of canned corn, green beans, and onions.

A can of Spam or Treet or store brand canned meat hunks

2 cups cooked rice or 2 cups instant mashed potatoes or cooked fideo or ramen noodles. It doesn’t really matter what the starch is as long as there’s a whole mess of it.

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

pinch of brown sugar

1 tbs vinegar

OK, really, the only necessary ingredients are meat, starch and sauce. Everything else is belly filler.

Dice the canned meat into small cubes. Saute in a pan over a pretty hot fire, stirring all the time. You want the sides to get crunchy but not burned. Add the onions and peppers if desired and stir like crazy. Turn down the fire when they get soft, and add the barbecue sauce. Turn off the fire and add the starch. I add the brown sugar and vinegar at the very last, right before I dip it into a bowl. Piece of bread and butter will set it right off.

I add corn and green beans when I want leftovers for lunch. They add bulk to everything without dirtying up another pan or dish.

Bonus recipe! Grate spam into a bowl, add mayo, sweet relish, tons of black pepper and a pinch of sugar. Makes a great sandwich spread.

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1 large can of tuna in water, drained

1 pinch of brown sugar

1/2 yellow onion, chopped coarsely

2 tbsp olive oil, more or less

1 pkg Uncle Ben’s ready brown rice, or 2 cups of cooked rice, whichever works. If you use cooked rice, you will need to double the wet ingredients

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 c. ketchup

water or chicken broth to thin the stew, but I like mine pretty dry, so there’s that

couple of dashes of hot sauce

dash of lime juice

In a pan, turn the fire to medium, add the oil and chopped onions. Stir around until you can smell the onions, but don’t let them get brown. If you do, that’s ok, but you want to release the flavor, not kill it. Til they get soft, I mean. Add the drained tuna, stir around until it’s heated. Add a pinch or two of brown sugar. It seems to bring out the freshness of the tuna without overpowering it. Now, turn down the fire to low, add the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Sometimes, I will throw in a tablespoon of mustard if I’m feeling pungent, but it’s not necessary. Heat all that up and add the rice. Stir it up til everything has a nice reddish brown coating on it. You can add the thinner if you want, but I do like mine dry so I can roll it up in a flour tortilla or wrap. You can add cheese, but I don’t see it adding much more than filler. Now, sour cream or unflavored greek yogurt? Hell, yes. It’s done. Just a dash or two of hot sauce and some salt and pepper to taste. You want to taste everything and have the heat waiting behind the door. Not to jump out and scare you to death, but just so you know it’s there. On the plate or in the tortilla, add a squeeze of lime juice if you want. It’s quick, filling and cheap. Throw some chopped lettuce on the side of your plate or in your tortilla without any dressing, and eat it all together. Crunchy texture goes really well with the rest of it.