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Fried fish dinners are not uncommon, but on SNAP they become a staple. There are several reasons why. One of the reasons is because fish is free in most areas. You do not have to use SNAP benefits to take a fishing pole, hang out with your family or friends, and go fishing. Anything you catch you keep, clean, and eat. A free meal and a good time all in one. If you are looking for a fried fish dinner recipe that will feed the family and stretch your SNAP benefits, here is an idea.

This meal consists of fried fish, macaroni salad, banana pudding. Assuming you are going fishing the cost for this meal for a family of four is less than $15. Here’s what you will need:

  • ? Fresh local fish
  • ? Fish batter (this can be homemade or you can purchase a coating mix for $1 at most stores)
  • ? Elbow Macaroni (each box usually costs around $1 to $2 for a full family serving)
  • ? Mayonnaise ($2-3 a jar if you don’t already have some)
  • ? Mustard ($1 at most dollar stores)
  • ? 6 hard boiled eggs ($1 for a half dozen or $3 for a dozen at most stores)
  • ? Celery and other vegetable add ins ($1 to $3 depending on the add ins)
  • ? One bunch of bananas (around $3)
  • ? Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ? Milk
  • ? Nilla Wafers
  • ? Cooking Oil
  • ? Fryer or skillet

Step One Heat the oil in the fryer or skillet. While the oil is heating up begin coating or breading your fish. There are a dozen ways to do this, so use the method you are used to or follow the directions on the coating mix.

Step Two Boil your water for the macaroni and eggs. Some people put the eggs in with the macaroni to boil and cook all at once. Others use two pots. Use whatever method you are comfortable with. Remember to salt the water and wait to put the pasta in until the water is at a rolling boil.

Step Three Put your fish in the fryer and let them start to cook. Cooking times vary depending on the fish. Do a quick check before you get started. While your pasta, eggs, and fish are cooking start mixing up your pudding mix and milk.

Step Four Place your cooked fish on a paper plate or towel to drain the excess oil. Drain the pasta and run through cool water. Cool your boiled eggs and peel them. Slice the eggs into manageable bite size amounts. Cut and chop your vegetables. Place the vegetables and eggs into the pasta. Stir in the mayonnaise and mustard. Add seasoning to taste.

Step Five Slice bananas and add them to the vanilla pudding mix. Line a pan or bowl with Nilla wafers and layer the banana pudding mixture over the wafers. Place the pudding in the fridge.

Step Six Serve the pasta and fish. When everyone is ready, remove the pudding from the fridge and serve dessert.

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