It’s no slight exaggeration to say that food is always on my mind; many days have been spent drooling over Anthony Bourdain’s culinary adventures that should have probably been spent being productive. However, with my recent move to Brooklyn and dramatically diminished budget, I’ve had to start being very careful with how much I spend on food each week.
Here’s my solution to a mini food crisis: all of the following recipes can be made from these 10 ingredients, (assuming you always have olive oil, salt and pepper, and your favorite herbs/seasonings on hand):
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Canned chickpeas
- Canned tuna
As an added bonus, none of these recipes take more than 45 minutes from start to finish. You’re saving time and money, but not missing out on the flavor.
Monday: Lemony Chickpea and Tuna Salad
Starting off the week is this healthy and fast twist on tuna salad. A diverse mix of flavors and textures, this lunch staple is really brightened up with lemon juice and zest. Use chips to treat it like a dip, or spread it over whatever kind of bread you have on hand. Bonus: it travels well, so pack leftovers for work!
Tuesday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli, Chickpeas and Garlic
While the carbo-phobic may stray from eating too much spaghetti, this version is full of flavorful veggies. Crisp and slightly caramelized broccoli and chickpeas round out this dish made with a simple (yet delicious) olive oil sauce. A mini weekday vacation to Italy, on a budget.
Wednesday: Spanish Omelet with Tuna
Never underestimate the flexibility of a good can of tuna. Here it’s acting as a protein base to this rich and filling torta, paired with diced potatoes, eggs and herbs. With only 10 minutes of prep time, you’ll be halfway to homemade in the time it could take you to guiltily grab take-out. Enjoy some breakfast (with a twist) for dinner!
Thursday: Anytime Eggs
As pretty as it is healthy, this one-pan egg dinner is only a 20-minute process with very little cleanup. Sliced potatoes, onion, and tomato cradle the egg, making each bite a different flavor experience. Serve it with a side of crusty bread, and you’re satisfying every flavor craving. Who knew cooking that looks this professional was this easy?
Friday: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Five-Minute Tomato Sauce
With the week coming to an end, you deserve a comfort food break, and nothing satisfies quite like spaghetti with tomato sauce. Forget flashbacks of your Italian grandmother slaving over a saucepan all day; this recipe is true to its name. It’s quick, light, flavorful, and will destroy any canned-sauce competitor in a taste test.
Bonus: Super Easy Roasted Broccoli
Want to add a little veggie kick to any of these meals? Roasted broccoli is fast, easy, and a great way to add an extra boost of delicious nutrition, so go ahead—enjoy extra dessert guilt-free. You earned it.
There you go; delicious food that’s fast and budget friendly! Learn to resist the temptation of the ever-present food cart, and get inspired to get cooking. And let us know in the comments if you have any easy and budget friendly recipes to share!