One of the challenges that I have faced since living on my own is coming up with yummy, relatively healthy, quick, and cheap meals to make. Tonight I whipped up one of my favorites from my moms recipe book but dumbed it down to make it quickly and cheaply.
Here’s how I made the classic “Pasta with Lentils” on a budget and in under half an hour . . .
Here’s all you need
Pasta of choice (I last minute changed my mind to ditalini)
Amy’s organic lentil soup
The secret to this recipe is Amy’s lentil soup. I have made this dish from scratch going through the long process of cooking the lentils and the stock which makes this recipe grueling while the canned lentil soup is fast, cheap, healthy, and delicious. This could also be considered a “one pot pasta” because all I do is dump the soup and add two to three cans of water depending on the amount of pasta and let it cook until the pasta is done.
*TIP* To add dimension to the flavor of this dish add about a third of a jar of pasta sauce.
Once the pasta is done and I added olive oil and Parmesan to taste. *TIP* Parsley is another tasty garnish.
When using one can of lentil soup and a whole box of pasta this made about 5 portions. The pasta was $1.00 a box, the lentil soup was just $2.69, the sauce was left over, and cheese and oil are a staple in my house. It was only $0.73 per meal which was fast, filling, healthy, and yummy; perfect for a student on a budget!
Nothing gets me more excited for a new season like fashion does. Spring is now upon us so say goodbye to black (as if) and hello to pastels and pretty colors!
I packed up my down parka and pulled out this beautiful burnt orange trench coat. This jacket is lightweight and easy to pack away into a purse, but still keeps you nice and warm when spring is more frigid than you hoped it would be. I paired it with simple dark washed jeans and black riding boots to keep the outfit casual, comfortable, and cute. This coat added a pop of spring color, and my teal monogrammed tote was the perfect compliment to my outfit today.
When I got brave on this cold day and peeled my coat off it revealed a quintessential spring outfit. This crocheted lace, tea rose colored, peplum top screams spring. Being me, I needed some sparkle in the outfit (quite literally) so I added this beautiful statement necklace that is both sparkly and colorful.
Where do I even begin this post . . . As some may know, this new adventure of school for esthetics brought me to a new city a few hours from my hometown. Unlike typical 4-year colleges and universities my school does not offer housing. This meant that just a few months after turning 18 I packed all of my belongings (well, not all . . . I could only take so many shoes :p) and moved out on my own. I was now taking on all of life’s grownup responsibilities like rent, groceries, cooking, cleaning, and the list goes on. This is where the pains of growing up come into play.
Being on your own and independent is great and has its perks. However, sometimes all you want is to have someone take care of you and all of life’s worries. For example, grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is one of my favorite hobbies. At least it was. That was until I had to grocery shop with the purpose of feeding myself breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as paying for it all.
This leads me to my next growing pain. Cooking. Also one of my absolute most favorite hobbies. Then there are those nights like tonight. After a long day of classes and nannying I thought I had the perfect meal planned. I began to prepare it. Quickly, my perfect meal lead to tears. Nothing was cooking right. Nothing tasted good. I was exhausted. The left overs were supposed to be lunch the next day. Needless to say, I went to bed without supper and had to improvise lunch. Growing pains like these make me homesick. Not necessarily for home, but rather for the comfort of coming home after a long day and having food in the fridge to snack on while my mom prepares an actual perfect meal.
Growing pains aren’t all bad. Some growing pains lead to a feeling of accomplishment. I no longer am homesick. I don’t need Siri to tell me how to get to school and the grocery store, and most importantly Target, anymore. I am now more confident in exploring new places alone. I have a sense of calm knowing that I can handle real life and all of its grownup responsibilities just a few months after turning 18.
P.s. That is my roommates cat which I renamed Chubby because…… Well she’s really chubby