Tag Archives: Cheap

Tuscan Beans on Toast with a Poached Egg

30 Oct

Beans on ToastI have a confession. I’ve never made a poached egg before. In reality, I’m sure the majority of 23-year-olds haven’t attempted cradling an egg in boiling water. Who’s got the time, and fried eggs are basically the same, right? Wrong.

Poached eggs are eggs in their most heavenly form. Over easy and sunny side up are great if you like runny yokes, but you always run into the issue of under cooking the whites or over cooking the yokes. Poached, on the other hand, offers a perfect consistency and make just about any dish better.

While yes, poaching eggs is a little more work than just plopping them in a frying pan, but it’s worth it. I promise. Plus, if I made a perfectly poached egg on my first try, you can too.

Tuscan Beans on Toast with a Poached Egg

Ingredients: (serves 1)

For beans on toast:

  • 1 slice of toasted, crusty bread (I used two slices of a baguette because that’s what I had)
  • 1/2 can white beans
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce (I used whatever I had open in the fridge)
  • 1 slice Canadian bacon or any other type of meat (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon chives or onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ounce Parmesan (I cut slices but shaved works too)

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Top 5 Super Bowl Party Recipes — Recap

30 Jan

beercheesefinalSuper Bowl XLVIII is almost upon us. If you’re not a Seahawks or Broncos fan, that means you’re spending your time focusing on one thing — Super Bowl food. I’m not a huge football fan, but I am a huge food fan (if you haven’t already guessed). That means this Sunday gives me yet another reason to create and consume mounds of delectable goodies.

I was attempting to finalize this weekend’s menu when I found myself scrolling through some of my own Cooking On Empty recipes. To my surprise, I have a lot a dishes that would be perfect for an easy, cheap, and delicious Super Bowl party. To make it easier, I’ve complied them all in one place.

Here are the top five Cooking On Empty dishes for the perfect Super Bowl party.

5. Super Bowl Sunday White Sangria

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Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

24 Apr

Cheeseburger Pasta BakeToday was a long day and to top it off, I haven’t been food shopping in a week.  These are the nights every cooking college student dreads.

The typical starting point for my no-food-left dinners is the freezer. In my freezer, I found three boxes of English muffins, sugar-free ice pops, and, in the back right corner, two frozen hamburger patties.

Since ice pops aren’t the best dinner base, I started with the hamburger. I added a few other pantry ingredients and came up with a new and satisfying meal.

Cheeseburger Pasta Bake

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 2 hamburger patties
  • half a box of pasta (Macaroni or Rotini)
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/8 cup of diced cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of steam-in-bag corn
  • 1 mini dill pickle, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper

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Quick Dinner: Baked Potato

9 Apr
Broccoli, carrots, black olives

Broccoli, carrots, black olives

One of my favorite dinners growing up was my mom’s famous baked potato bar. My siblings and I would come home from school and load up our personal potatoes with vegetables, cheese and sour cream.

Looking back, I realize my mom probably used this dinner as a way to get us to eat more vegetables, but it was still my favorite.

Even now, I make myself baked potatoes at least once a month for dinner. The great part about them is that they are super quick and only require a microwave. What college student wouldn’t like that?Baked Potato Ingredients

Baked Potato Ingredients: (Serves 1)

  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1/8 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/8 cup cut carrots
  • 1/8 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/8 cup cabbage slaw
  • 1/8 cup grated cheese (any available)
  • 1/8 cup mini-pepperoni
  • 1 dollop sour cream (or non-fat Greek yogurt)

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Spring Break 2013: Eating Cheap in Williamsburg, Virginia

5 Apr

Most senior college students spend their spring break lounging on the beach, drinking Malibu and getting tan. I spent my senior spring break exploring the rainy wonders of Colonial Williamsburg and running until I could no longer feel my legs.

As is the life of a college runner.

Overall, the trip wasn’t too bad and I’ve returned with some new money saving food lessons. Want to know which Lean Cuisine dinner is best? Need to know how to make the most of continental breakfast? Should you bring your George Foreman on vacay? I’ve got all the answers.

Conquering Continental Breakfast

I think my whole team would agree that there’s nothing better than a hotel continental breakfast. It’s free and all you can eat. The best way to make the most of this amenity is to go to breakfast on the later end and eat a decent sized breakfast each morning. That way, you won’t be hungry until much later in the day, saving you from having to spend money on snacks.

Cheap College Student Trick #1 – After you’ve finished breakfast, grab an extra bagel and yogurt. Bring them back to your room and you’ll have continental lunch also.

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Easy Easter Side Dish: Pineapple Stuffing

1 Apr

Pineapple StuffingHappy (belated) Easter! I was lucky enough to sneak home for Easter dinner last night. In my family, holidays are synonymous with food. This year, my mom concocted an Easter feast consisting of double-smoked double-glazed ham, deviled eggs, rosemary roasted potatoes, olive oil grilled asparagus, baked sweet potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce. Needless to say, I’m still full.

I wanted to add my own addition to our Easter dinner, but after seeing my mom’s menu, I was stumped as to what to make. That is, until I remembered by boyfriend’s favorite dish – pineapple stuffing.

Pineapple Stuffing Ingredients

Bread, sugar, eggs, butter, crushed pineapple

My boyfriend waits all year for his mom to make her infamous stuffing and after trying it, I know why. Pineapple stuffing is like a mix between stuffing and bread pudding. It’s sweet and tangy and goes beautifully with ham. It can even function as a dessert.

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Funfetti Pretzel Bites from Brooke Eats Sweets

28 Mar

I’m not much of a baker. I love cooking, but I struggle in the baking department. Not wanting to leave you without any dessert recipes, I asked my good friend Brooke if she’d share some of her baking creations with you.

Brooke is one of the most ambitious and creative college bakers I know. She’s always searching out new baking recipes and figuring out ways to make them even better. She’s made some pretty advanced items, but I asked her to share an easy, fast and cheap no-bake recipe that any college student could tackle. Plus, it uses funfetti cake mix and what college student doesn’t love that?

***

Hi everyone! I was inspired by my mom’s upcoming birthday to make something for Cooking On Empty. My mom and I are crazy similar, including the fact that neither of us have a “sweet tooth threshold.” We have caught each other more times than I would like to admit sneaking spoonfuls of sprinkles from the container… before noon.

pretzel bites

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Budget-Friendly Pasta with Clam Sauce

25 Mar
Canned clams, cayenne, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, olive oil, white wine and salt

Canned clams, cayenne, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, olive oil, white wine and salt

One of my favorite pasta dishes is pasta with clam sauce. I love the dish, but I hate ordering it out because it seems too simple to spend $15 on. That’s why I’ve taken the college student approach and decided that if it’s too expensive to buy, it’s time to make.

I didn’t want to spend the extra dough on fresh clams, so I turned to the canned version instead. Canned clams cost about a dollar a jar and have a more concentrated flavor than fresh clams. By cutting back on spending on the main ingredient, the dish becomes college budget friendly.

Here’s how I made pasta with clam sauce on a college allowance.

Pasta with Clam Sauce Ingredients: (Serves 4)

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Quesadilla Pizza

18 Mar

Tortilla, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheeseEveryone loves pizza and everyone loves quesadillas. These two truths inspired my most recent culinary creation – the quesadilla pizza!

My roommate had left over pizza toppings from a recent pizza making extravaganza (there’s not better way to explain it, so I’ll leave it at that). I had whole wheat tortillas left from my Distrito inspired fish tacos, so I decided to combine the two to make a quick, no purchase necessary dinner.

Here’s all you need.

Quesadilla Pizza Ingredients: (Serves 2)Pizza Quesadilla

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can pizza sauce
  • 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese

For a basic pizza stop there. If you want to be adventurous add:

  • 1/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup black olives

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Refrigerator Clearing Dinners: Roasted Chicken

10 Mar
Roasted chicken

Roasted chicken

As a full-time college student, track runner and part-time blogger, I don’t always have time to go to the supermarket. Some weeks, it’s just not in the cards, but that doesn’t mean I resort to eating frozen dinners. Even when there seems like there’s nothing in the pantry, there’s always something to make.

This week, I lucked out because my non-cooking roommate’s mom gave us a whole roasted chicken. Obviously, my non-cooking roommate does not cook, so it was up to me to figure out how to make two great dinners with one roasted chicken and a half-full refrigerator and pantry.

It was basically like Iron Chef, except I had no idea what I was doing.

After taking inventory of my food supplies, I came up with two easy, no-cook dinners. They both highlight roasted chicken and are stuffed with every ingredient that wasn’t nailed to my refrigerator.

Whatever You’ve Got Chicken Caesar Salad

Traditional Caesar salad consists of romaine lettuce, croutons, Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing. It’s simple and always a favorite. I love the standard mix, but to make it a satisfying dinner, I bumped it up by adding chicken, spinach, cabbage, blueberries and almonds. This is a hearty salad, so it only benefits by adding whatever you have in the fridge. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

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