Cory Booker used Goya Chick Peas during his difficult food stamp challenge this week. (Instagram/Getty)

Cory Booker instagrams Goya chick peas during food stamp challenge

Prompted by a challenge on Twitter about the responsibility of government to provide food to its people, Cory Booker decided to live this week on the monetary equivalent of food stamps — just $30 this week.

He has already tweeted about his hunger throughout the challenge, remarking that he wishes he had bought different items for the week. He is also a vegetarian so his options were more limited than they might have otherwise been.

Friday, as he chronicled his progress on Twitter and Instagram, he showed what he was having for lunch — Goya chick peas.

NBC Latino food editor Betty Cortina has some advice on how Booker could have elevated his Goya chick peas into a delicious and inexpensive hearty meal.

“All you really need to make those chick peas taste good is a little onion and garlic, which is pretty cheap,” she says. “You can dice half an onion along with the can of beans and some cloves of garlic and maybe put a chipotle chili pepper in there and give it some smoke.”

Cortina stressed that even if food is cheap, you still want it to taste and look good because we eat with our eyes first. She said Booker may have been best served by making a Latino staple: sofrito. “You take the onions and the garlic and the pepper and some tomato sauce and you can use a quarter of a cup to flavor your can,” she says. “This way, whatever remains, you can refrigerate it for a week or freeze it for three months. The idea is not what can you eat now but how can you stretch things when you’re on a budget.”

In the end, Booker had lots of options. Cortina also said he could have made a simple tasty soup with chicken stock or a cup of water and chicken bullion and maybe some spinach or kale. But what he really could have used in his $30 budget was Sazon Goya — which is a classic Latino seasoning used for any number of different meals.

RELATED: Delicious Chick Pea Stew Recipe

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