Between being on a small budget and having a limited amount of time, I have to get creative with my meals. I do love to cook though, and here are some of my favorite things to cook and, of course, to eat!
1. Pesto Stir-fry
Start with some olive oil in a frying pan, once it's warm add veggies (I like to add cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, peppers, and carrots). Saute until warm, then add black beans, pesto, and rice (I usually make rice once a week to have on hand for busy weeknights), and continue to cook until everything is warm! Easy and delicious, also vegetarian (although adding chicken to the mix is good as well)!
2. Chicken Noodle Soup
Walking from class to class in the winter is cold and miserable, so I love to come home and make a warm meal. I really do not like the way canned soup tastes, it's too salty and meat from a can weirds me out. I really enjoy this recipe. The soup has to boil for an hour for all of the flavors to combine, but on the bright side, that's an hour of focused homework time!
3. EggsEggs are great! They are healthy cheap and easy to cook, not to mention versatile. They can be cooked in many ways and make a good addition to any meal of the day.
4. Crockpot Anything
I love my slow cooker! It is so easy, just dump a bunch of raw ingredients into the pot, set it on low and go about the day. When I get home after classes or work, my food is ready to eat right away! I like finding new slow cooker recipes on Pinterest, to mix it up but this is one of my favorite go-to recipes.
5. Mug Cake
I have a major sweet tooth, but I can't usually commit the time to making a whole cake or a whole batch of cookies. Mug cakes are an amazing alternative. Not only are they fast and cheap, they are only one serving so I'm not tempted to go back for seconds. There are many great and fancy recipes online but my favorite is a basic vanilla cake:
- 1/4 flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon butter, softened
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
Mix it all in a mug, and microwave it for 1 minute (microwaves vary and mine is pretty strong, s it may take 90 seconds).
For even more fun, occasionally I add rainbow sprinkles to the mixture (Funfetti, anyone?) or ice cream for a birthday party feel!
Getting creative with my meals to save money and time is a journey that I am still on. I do love being able to prepare and cook meals for myself, and of course eat the meals!