Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Grad Student Time, Equestrian Budget: Favorite Meals

I felt like going a little rogue, and steering away from my standard reviews and lesson recaps, and talking about something else I love: food.

It's hard to balance a budget while on a tight schedule; half of my meals need to occur in under 20 minutes before I'm out the door and on to the next event in my schedule.

I've really gotten into the idea of freezing meals, so I have things I can thaw the night before, re-heat, and eat when I come home. I'm also on a tight budget so cheap, but healthy is always a priority for all of my meals. I tend to eat a lot of meat free meals to help minimize costs, and like to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into multiple meals, so I don't have to throw out too much.

Here are some quick/easy recipes that have become a part of my rotation. They're easy on your budget, freeze well, and best of all, (fairly) healthy!

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins- these are one of my new favorites! Flour is replaced with rolled oats to up the fiber. It is a touch on the sweet side, but I love one for breakfast. I sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips before baking to defeat my "gas station PopTarts" cravings. Add a piece of fruit and you are good to go! (Tip: you can still make these if you don't have a blender/food processor, but purchase "fast cook oats" instead of rolled outs).

Omelettes- I eat these for lunch and dinner usually because I'm always running out the door in the morning. I usually toss in a little spinach, cheese, and/or avocado.

Baked Eggs in an Avocado- I'll be honest. I have yet to successfully replicate this recipe aesthetically, but it sure tastes good! I like to sprinkle a little cheddar on top. Again, I'm usually running out the door, so this is a weekend breakfast, or weekday lunch/dinner.

Nailed it.
I swear it tasted better than it looked. Pro tip: scoop out some of the avocado before adding the egg.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Bake- this is definitely a make ahead recipe, but one batch is about 6 servings. I freeze half of it in single portions for later in the month. I like to add diced green peppers to mine; I'm all about packing vegetables into everything. I'll add chopped avocado to the top when I eat it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki- I personally rarely eat meat, but my boyfriend loves chicken. This is one of his absolute faves. Cook a big batch ahead of time, freeze in portions, and reheat to serve with rice.

Slow Cooker Chili- this is another make ahead recipe, but again, you can portion it out and freeze to eat later. I usually replace the jalapenos with chopped green bell pepper, so it doesn't have as big a kick.


  • Buy frozen vegetables and meat in bulk- they have similar nutritional values and don't spoil like the fresh varieties do!
  • Canned vegetables are your friends; I hate eating them plain, but love to eat them in dishes. At $2 a can or less, these are your friend!
  • Use slightly overripe fruit to make muffins or baked treats. When my bananas get too ripe, I make banana bread or muffins. Wrinkly apples are baked. It minimizes waste, and stretches your budget!
(I am aware of my affinity for Tex Mex, eggs, and avocado- I like it and it's easy.) Happy cooking!

-K & C & L


  1. I'm the same (probably because also Grad Student!) Meat in Bulk, Veggies usually frozen. I hate wasting food so I end up refreezing things a lot. I'm all about my crockpot meals I make on the weekend or while at work. I eat a lot of leftovers and love every minute, I also eat a lot of hardboiled eggs.

  2. I love my crockpot. I use it at least twice a week to make dinner!