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Best Comfort Foods For College Students On A Budget
It is during college life when students are faced with various life challenges. It teaches them how to become better in life and prepares them for what is in store for them in the future. Part of this challenge is figuring out what to eat. Yes, your favorite restaurant is just a few dials away, but what if budget is an issue?
Worry not, as there are many budget-friendly recipes you can try out that are delicious, healthy, and, best of all, won’t put a dent in your pocket. Now here are some of the best comfort foods for college students that are on a budget.
Curry Chickpeas with Spinach
You won’t believe how delightful yet straightforward this dish is. All you need are a few simple ingredients, and you are good to go. To make this, you would need the following:
- 2 Tbsps. olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-inch fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 Tbsps. curry powder
- 8 oz. spinach
- 1 can of tomato sauce.
- 1 cans chickpeas
Now that you have all the ingredients ready, here is how you do it.
1. Mince the garlic, onion, and grate the ginger. Sauté these in a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat until the onions have softened.
2. Add the curry powder to the mixture. Add roughly 1/4 cup of water with the fresh spinach and continue to sauté until the spinach has wilted. The reason why you add water is to use the steam to wilt the spinach.
3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them along with the tomato sauce. Mix the sauce well to distribute the spices and simmer for about 5 minutes evenly. This meal is best to serve over rice, or you can even use bread if you are not a rice person.
Creamy Pasta with Pesto and Spinach
Are you bored of your typical mac and cheese? Now here is another take on your good old comfort food. All you need are a few simple ingredients.
- 2 cups macaroni
- 2 Tbsps. butter
- 2 Tbsps. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 lb. spinach
If you are familiar with making mac and cheese, then this should not be that different.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a bit of butter, and then add your macaroni. Boil for about 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the macaroni and wash with cold water to prevent it from getting overcooked.
2. While the pasta is cooking, you can then prepare the sauce. Add the butter and flour to a small saucepan. Stir the butter and flour over medium heat until it forms a creamy paste.
3. Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture, then whisk until it simmers. Once the sauce thickens, remove the sauce from the heat.
4. Add the Parmesan and pesto into the sauce and whisk until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper according to taste. Ensure that the sauce is well seasoned, as the flavors will be less concentrated once the pasta and spinach are stirred in.
5. Add the drained pasta and spinach, pour the sauce, then stir until everything is combined and coated. Best served when hot.
Burrito In A Bowl
If you are craving Mexican cuisine, then this comfort food hits the right spot. For ingredients, you will be needing the following:
- 2 cups long-grain white rice or any variant you prefer
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 15oz. cans black beans
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 16oz. jar salsa
- 6 oz. shredded cheese
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 1 jalapeño
It is extremely simple to make this dish. Just take a look at the steps below.
1. Here is a quick tip for cooking rice. For every cup of rice, you need 1 cup of water, then add one more. In this case, you will be using 2 cups of rice, so you need 3 cups of water. Make sure that you have washed the rice before cooking. Place the rice over medium heat, then once boiling, cook it in low heat and let it continue to simmer for 15 minutes. After that, turn the heat off and let it sit with the lid in place.
2. Add both cans of black beans (undrained) to a small saucepan, along with the cumin and garlic powder. Heat over medium, stir until heated through.
3. Slice the green onions and jalapeño. No Mexican food would be complete without this!
4. To plate, put the rice in the bowl followed by 1/2 cup warm black beans, then add 1/3 cup salsa and about ¼ cup of shredded cheese. Top it off with a few sliced green onions and jalapeños, then serve.
Who says cooking is only for experts? Experiencing great food does not always have to be expensive. You just have to be resourceful and creative, and having a good sense of taste is always a plus.
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