February 19, 2016

Recipes for the Busy Girl on a Budget

I just want to make a healthy meal, but I don't want it to take forever. I have to study/go to meetings/sleep/be social and making ahi tuna tacos with a side of quinoa and roasted asparagus just isn't going to fit my schedule. Know what I mean?

Like I mentioned earlier this week, if you buy the cleaner foods at the grocery store, it will cost a lot less than buying anything pre-made or pre-packaged. By "cleaner" I mean stuff straight from the ground, vine, dirt, whatever.

So here's a look at a typical grocery list for me. This isn't everything I get, but these are most of those clean/simple/cheap foods I'm talking about:

Each of these costs me under or around $2. I do get canned beans despite the fact that their sodium level is higher because, well - I'm a college girl on a college girl budget. So I'll buy my 70 cent can of beans, run it under cold water before cooking to get rid of excess salt, and be good to go.

Before we begin, let me preface by saying I stink at remember to take pictures of my food for the blog/my kitchen has *horrible* lighting. If you want to see what some of these look like, add me on snapchat (cristina.snaps). I usually post a lot of pictures of my meals! 

So, I like to put the word "recipes" in quotations because these aren't anything you'll see on Food Network and they don't require any skill whatsoever. Maybe one day I'll write and sell the "College Girl Cookbook" and you'll see me beaming on the cover in an apron. 

So for now, some easy "meals" (there I go with the quotes again) that are cheap, simple, and healthy!

Sweet potato with veggies
Bake your sweet potato at 350 for 40-45 minutes. (Or until soft on the inside.) 
**If you are really in a rush, you can pop it in the microwave for 8 minutes! 
I find that a whole sweet potato is super filling, so I'll just add a side of veggies. You can pick and choose your favorite kind, but I normally go with zucchini. 

Sautéed Zucchini 
I cut my zucchini into disks about a couple centimeters thick. After adding some olive oil to my pan and letting it get warm, I toss them in and just kind of flop them around until they brown. Then I sprinkle the disks with salt and pepper, but any seasoning you like (i.e. lemon pepper, himalayan pink salt) will do.

**Note, if you want to let your meal cook while you study or do some homework, you can put the zucchini on the same pan as the potato that you pop in the oven. Take the zucchini out after 15 min and let the potato cook the full time.

Sweet potato + refried beans quesadillas
Ok, they sound gross, but I promise - if you like sweet potatoes and refried beans, you're gonna like this. I bake my sweet potato and make my beans on the stove and then I put them on a corn tortilla and fold it up just like a quesadilla! You could use any type of tortilla you like, corn tortillas have fewer calories and carbs, but flour or wheat tortillas have more iron and calcium!

Baked potatoes with hummus
I buy hummus every now and then (the Sabra Roasted Red Pepper is my favorite) and it makes a great dip for the baked potato. It may sound a little odd, but since I don't dress my potato up with sour cream, bacon, and all that good stuff, it really adds the flavor I'm craving. 

Homemade Chipotle burrito bowl
So, you could really go all out with this and recreate your burrito bowl at home, but chances are you'll end up spending so much on meat and other toppings that you're better off just going to Chipotle and spending the money. I do a really simple at-home burrito bowl with brown rice, pinto or black beans, and store-bought pico! 

Low-cal Tuna salad Sandwich/Wrap
Not everyone likes tuna, but if you are a mermaid like me, here's my my mom's tuna salad recipe!

3 tuna packets in water
1 in oil
a little bit of mayo just to make it stick 
Pickle or celery for crunch
little bit of pepper

I whip this up and put it on a whole wheat tortilla to make a wrap! I'll eat it with more veggies or some organic blue corn tortilla chips.
Veggie Pasta
I do veggie noodles with organic pasta sauce several times a week. It's nothing fancy either; I get everything at Walmart. When I'm running low on noodles or just feel like being fancy, I follow the steps for the sautéed zucchini recipe, and toss those in as well. 

If you try out any of these recipes, tag me in your pictures (@cristina96x) or snap me at cristina.snaps!




  1. Sweet potato quesadillas! Sounds delicious! I love all these quick recipes!

    Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.

  2. Sweet potato and veggies were my go to all last year! So good and simple! I need to try some of these recipes out because my go tos are getting old quick!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  3. These all look fantastic! Who says healthy eating can't be delicious?
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  4. I should start running my canned beans under water first! Thank you for the tip! And yes, if you're creative you can totally eat tasty, healthy food on a budget.

  5. Wow, these actually look pretty good!
    I have been trying to eat healthier so this is perfect.

    xoxo, Jenny

  6. TRY MAKING YOUR OWN HUMMUS!!!!!! It's WAY CHEAPER and healthier than the stuff at the store!

    1 Can of garbonzo beans (drained but save a bit of the water for how you like it)
    1. tablespoon of lemon juice
    1. tablespoon of olive oil
    1/4 tsp of garlic (or a clove)
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 tsp cumin
    some pepper (to taste)

    Put it in the blender and save in the fridge!
    I use the 70% less sodium garbonzo beans. Get all the ingredients one time (for like under $5 and you can make it a million times)

    1. Awesome - thank you so much for the recipe! I will for sure be trying this out soon!!! :)

    2. ALSO! Since you get zucchini so much, think about getting a zoodler. It's $25 but can turn your zucchini into noodles! It's my absolute favorite thing. I got mine at bed bath and beyond.

    3. Totally would be worth the money since I'm zucchini obsessed, haha :) Thanks!

  7. I absoloutely love sweet potatoes, they're delicious, filling and healthy!

  8. All of these sound so delicious! My go-to meal is some brown rice and a chicken breast made on my George Forman! It typically takes less than 10 minutes and it's easy and delicious!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

    1. That sounds so yummy!! :) Thanks for reading!

  9. Great recipe's - thanks for sharing!


  10. All of these recipes sound delicious, now if only I enjoyed healthy foods ;)

    XO, Rachel

    1. When you come visit me, we can cook dinner one night and have a wine party! ;) Oh, and we are also going to Chickfila. And BBQ. And froyo. Basically, all we are going to do is eat.

  11. These are awesome recipe ideas. The quesadillas sound tasty.

    Best Wishes,
    Allison | www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

  12. These recipes are awesome, I'll definitely be archiving this!
    xo, Syd

  13. The baked potato with hummus is such a smart, healthy idea! I put my hummus on literally everything

  14. I eat so many baked potatoes. I bake several and then just them over a few days...if my brother doesn't take them first. :)

  15. These are genius! I love the idea of having a sweet potato for dinner! Delicious!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  16. All of these recipes look delicious - I am always looking for new things to make. Thanks for sharing.

    Amanda || www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  17. These recipes look great! Thanks for sharing all of these yummy ideas :)


  18. Wow, thanks very much for sharing a recipe on noodles cooking! I am a big fan of culinary miracle namely the ones you share with your audience at your site! Great post, Christie, keep up your work! I'll share it through media soon!

  19. It's the most useful post for today. I really appreciate your recipes sharing. All of them are healthy and easy to cook. Just perfect!