Category Archives: easy meals

Easy Bolognese Sauce

After lounging in the house, Michael and I ventured out and went back to the river for a little walk. We walked for over an hour looking at ducks, talking and just enjoying a little bit of sunshine!


We also goofed around on a playground channeling our inner Tony Little Gazelle! Remember those ridiculous commercials?


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Tonight’s dinner was fantastic thanks to a new recipe…


We were craving pasta, so I searched around on the internet for a Bolognese sauce. I think we found a winner! The recipe was simple as it called for a jar of store bought marinara, but the addition of carrots, onions, red wine and beef stock doctored the flavor up!

We ate our sauce over roasted broccoli and whole wheat linguini!

Spaghetti Bolognese- Adapted from My Bella Vita Online

(serves four)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bouillon cube per 1/2 cup of water
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 large jar of tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup milk

Heat 1/2 cup of water on the stove until it boils, add the bouillon cube and simmer on the side. Heat the butter and olive oil together. Add the diced onion and carrot and allow the vegetables to sweat until soft. Add in the ground beef and brown. Next, add in the wine. Cook this mixture until some of the alcohol evaporates. Add in a jar of your favorite tomato sauce or marinara. Simmer and add in the milk. (Optional: at the end, I added in a bit of Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.)

While we ate, we watched The Fighter on Netflix. It was really great acting alongside an interesting story line. I enjoyed it!

I’m off the read my new book, Little Bee by Chris Cleave! I have heard good things.

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Sweet and Spicy Carmelized Shrimp

My very cold drive into work turned out to be better than I thought. I got to witness a gorgeous pink and purple sky with an orange sunrise. It reflected off of the icy snow and made for a b-e-a-utiful picture!

Last night, after my third episode of Say Yes to the Dress, I got hungry. Big surprise.
I had prepared my recipes for the week and was going to hold out until Sunday to make them, but of course, I was impatient and couldn’t wait.
I am really excited about this recipe which I found on the Pillsbury website for Carmelized Chili Shrimp. My diet has been lagging in the seafood department for a while now so the shrimp sounded PERFECT. I like sweet, I like spicy and I like shrimp. I’m really loving this recipe. Make it tonight, please. It’s really easy and healthy!!
Easy, peasy ingredients.

The recipe calls for a Tablespoon of flour, but I forgot to add it. Oops.
This dish was so so so yummy. Paired with broccoli and a whole wheat, Low carb tortilla!

Carmelized Chili Shrimp
1/2 c sugar
1 T whole wheat flour
1 t sea salt
1 t chili powder
1/8 t cayenne
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
fresh lime juice
Combine all except shrimp. Toss shrimp and coat in mixture.
Spread on a baking sheet.
Bake at 500 for 7-9 minutes.
Off to hang out with my friend Lisa who is in town from Milledgeville!

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Cooking For One

I have found that in my experience as a college student, one of my biggest challenges is cooking for me, myself and I. Cooking for one isn’t always the easiest. My first few years of college, I found myself wasting large amounts of uneaten leftovers, old produce and bread that was beginning to mold. Over the years, I have learned to use all of my on hand ingredients possible to make my meals and snacks before spending more money at the grocery store. Let’s face it- groceries aren’t cheap people! Especially on a college budget.

Here are some tips that I have found to be very useful in creating meals and buying groceries.

1. Before the grocery store- look in the pantry, write down all of the ingredients you have on hand. Rice, beans, flour, spices, soups (things that tend to stock up) can be very useful in getting creative with meals.

2. Take a look at the foods you do have. Can you think of any meals you could throw together? Try adding beans to the last bit of lettuce, use the last of the vegetables with the rice and make a quick stir-fry. It may take a bit of thinking, but will be well worth it when you begin saving money and enjoying more meals.

3. Once you stretch your on hand foods- write down staples you may need to get. If you are out of milk, bread or produce go ahead and get those at the store. Don’t forget about those on hand items! Combine pantry items with fresh items to get more for your money.

4. Make a list. I cannot stress this enough. A grocery list is crucial. I can go way overboard when I don’t prepare properly. I easily lose track of ingredients. I tend to forget the items I need and buy the ones I don’t.

5. Freeze! The freezer is a single cooks friend. Can’t eat a whole loaf of bread in a week? Go ahead a freeze half! Dividing up a pound of ground beef is easily done. I’ll often use half for spaghetti and the other for tacos. This way, I am not cooking all the meat and letting it go to waste on one meal.

Here are some meal ideas that I often use to utilize my on hand items:

Can of black beans + onion and eggs = Mexican scramble!

Bread that’s a little stale + eggs + cheese = Breakfast casserole

Add leftover roasted broccoli to can of soup for extra vitamins

Add canned pumpkin to oatmeal with cinnamon= pumpkin pie oatmeal!

Delicious pumpkin pie oats with pecans, raisins and shredded unsweetened coconut

With a little pre-planning, cooking for one can be so much easier and much less wasteful. With the help of a few reliable ingredients you can continue to have delicious and cost effective meals throughout the week!

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