Easy on the belly, easier on the budget: Five meals under $15

Thinking of meals to make while strapped for funds can be difficult for any college student. Today is the day we can collectively end the Top Ramen breakfasts and the instant oatmeal dinners – instead, here are some awesome meal ideas that all under $15:

Pasta Primavera

8 ounces extra-firm tofu – $3
1 pound pasta (I used pipe doppia rigatura) – $3
1 onion – $.63
2 zucchini –  $.98
1 clove garlic – $.10
Sliced black olives – $.79
1 can crushed tomatoes –  $.89
Total: $9.39

1) Boil pasta until cooked.
2) Chop onion into strips and fry in large pan over medium heat until browned. Remove from heat.
3) Dice up tofu and fry until lightly browned.
4) Chop zucchini and fry with tofu.
5) Add garlic and olives.
6) After all ingredients are mixed, drain can of tomatoes and add. Stir in pasta.

Baked Rigatoni

Rigatoni pasta (16 ounce box from Barilla) -$1.59
Lean ground beef (1 pound) –  $3.99
28 ounce can plum tomatoes – $2.49
Onion –  $.99 cents
Garlic –  $.75 cents
Total: $9.81

1) Chop onions and garlic, add to large nonstick skillet on high heat, cook for one minute.
2) Next, add ground beef and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until browned; stir to crumble.
2) Combine beef, cooked rigatoni noodles and plum tomatoes to skillet, turn off heat.
3) Place noodle mixture into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Peanut Butter and Banana Granola

3 cups rolled oats – $2
½ cup peanut butter – $2.10
¼ cup honey – $.84
½ cup dried bananas – $1.40
½ teaspoon vanilla – $.23
Dash of cinnamon – $.02
Total: $6.59

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Combine honey, vanilla and peanut butter in a saucepan.
3) Add oats. Mix thoroughly with peanut butter mixture, add bananas.
4) Spread out granola evenly.
5) Bake for 20 minutes. Stir, and bake for another 15.
6) Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet.
7) You are now a Eugenian. Consume with yogurt.

Potato and broccoli casserole

Red potatoes (1 pound) — $1.29
Frozen broccoli (Birds Eye, 10 ounces) — $1.59
Low-fat milk ($2.99 for 1/2 gallon) — $2.39
Shredded cheddar (Richfood, 8 ounces) — $2.79
15-ounce can bread crumbs — $2.19
Total: $10.25

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, but leave about 1/2 water of water, and mash until slightly chunky.
4) Next, steam one cup of broccoli. Add broccoli and milk to pan; stir well.
5) Spoon potato mixture into an 11×7 baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
6) Sprinkle cheddar cheese and bread crumbs on top; bake until the top is golden brown.

Alfredo and Marinara Vegetable Pasta

1 jar of Trader Joe’s Alfredo — $1.99
1 jar of Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce — $1.49
1 box of whole wheat Fettuccine noodles — $1
1 bag of fresh cut broccoli — $1.99
1 container of Roma Tomatoes — $2
1 garlic clove chopped up- —$0.30
1 container of Bella Mushrooms — $1.99
2 tablespoons of butter — $0.75
Total: $11.51

1) Boil noodles in pot.
2) Chop garlic clove and add to a skillet with butter
3) Cook broccoli for five minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally.
4) Add mushrooms and tomatoes. Let vegetables simmer on low heat for five minutes.
5) Add the whole jar of Alfredo sauce and Marinara sauce into vegetable mixture. Cook until ingredients come to a boil.
6) Stir in cooked noodles, and enjoy.

Read more here: http://dailyemerald.com/2014/10/16/easy-on-the-belly-easier-on-the-budget-five-meals-under-15/
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