Meals for Daaaaays!

Eating well is essential to feeling well. As we burrow into the winter weather, I find myself growing much more sluggish and sleepy, and it can be hard to take the initiative to really take care of myself, especially when it comes to eating enough and eating enough good food (i.e. NOT too many bean burritos from Taco Bell).

But meal prep is one of the easiest ways to take care of yourself, especially toward the end of a harrowing semester. Saving your money by avoiding eating out can be as easy as collecting staples like rice and meat substitutes and stocking up. This meal is one that is easy to make in little time, and it’ll keep you stocked up on dinner for a few nights.

Today I’m making a BBQ rice bowl, but this recipe is really fun because it’s super malleable. Use the BBQ recipe to make veggie-friendly sloppy Joes, add jalapeños, stir it up and put it in crunchy tacos, or eat it on top of a potato. The possibilities are endless!

I’ve kept the recipe as simple as possible, so there’s more room to add ingredients of your own and experiment!

What You Need: 

White rice

Morningstar Beef* Crumbles

BBQ sauce of your choice (I went for Sweet Onion BBQ from Wings Over)

Sharp cheddar cheese (OR nutritional yeast)

Portabello mushrooms

Pepper, chili powder

How to:

  1. In one pot, get your rice cooking. I’m lazy and busy, so I use Minute Rice (who can beat that 10-minute prep time?!)
  2. In a skillet, start cooking your crumbles with 1/4 cup of water. Cover for the first few minutes, then remove the cover. As you cook the crumbles, add BBQ to img_8979taste. I used about 1/2 cup of BBQ for half a package of crumbles.
  3. As it starts to cook through, turn your heat to just below medium. At this point, I like to add my chopped portabellos, a pinch of pepper and a pinch of chili powder.
  4. When both halves of the dish are cooked through, pile a bowl full of tasty, savory goodness. I like to go rice first, a little cheese, BBQ next and a healthy sprinkle of cheese on top to seal the deal.

The result is super filling, so I usually get two to three meals out of this prep. Curl up in a good sweater and fill up for hibernation.

 

 

Savory Breakfast Bowl ft. The Golden Ticket

The weather is finally starting to cool to a point that feels ideal for layering, snuggling under heaps of blankets while watching Stranger Things for the 100th time, and perusing the web for the perfect winter coat.

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It’s also my favorite time of year for the reason that carb-loading and savory indulgences are in! Today, I’m celebrating that fact with a very simple, five-ingredient breakfast bowl that is super easy to make.

The secret ingredient here is one you may have to seek out at a Trader Joes or international market, whatever is closest to you! Turmeric is one of my all-time favorite seasonings for its versatility and amazing powers. Turmeric helps increase the antioxidant capacity of your body, and you can even make a great turmeric mask for your skin (that smells like heaven!). It’s like, the golden ticket of seasoning.

If you haven’t had it before, the flavor profile of Turmeric is unique. It has a bitter flavor, think hints of citrus in its scent, and you can find it in relishes and mustards. On its own, its golden hue is a super nice, colorful garnish for lots of dishes.

So let’s get cookin’!

Grocery List:

Turmeric

Cumin

Eggs

Chik’n Tenders (Quorn)

Chickpeas

Bonus: sour cream

  1. In a pan, cook your chik’n tenders with some olive oil. Once you’re halfway through your cook time (about 10ish minutes), cook two eggs in a separate pan. I like mine over easy, but whatever your preference will do.
  2. After you start your eggs, add turmeric and cumin to taste in your chik’n/chickpea scramble. I usually end up using about a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon and a half of cumin. A little turmeric goes a long way.
  3. Continue cooking until the chick’n is cooked and the chickpeas have a little crunch to their exteriors.
  4. Once the eggs are done, plop them in the bottom of a bowl. Pile the chik’n/chickpea scramble on top. Garnish with a scoop of sour cream if you’re feeling frisky. Sprinkle a little turmeric and cumin on top for good measure.

A breakfast bowl with eggs on the bottom, sauteed chick peas and chik'n on top.

The result is a really filling, savory dish that makes an excellent, energizing breakfast before a long day or a nice night cap dinner to put you into a dreamy food coma after a long day of work. It has a savory base, but the turmeric adds a nice, tangy kick.

Bagel Sammies: 3 Ways

Hello, kind friends! Sorry for being an absentee chef over the past few. I went to D.C. (drowned myself in ALL the veggie phō!) and spent a weekend eating Avalanche pizza with my parents, so I’ve been busy eating, but not busy writing.

To make it up to you, I have a special treat. Bagel sandwiches…THREE WAYS.

A pro-wrestler grins with excitement and mischief

Deep breaths! I know this is a shock, how thrilling! I’ve got a bagel for each meal of the day, so clear your schedule, my people. It’s about to get real.

The basics:

Bagel of your choice (plain or sourdough are my go-to)

Arugula

Bagel One: Breakfast of Champions

This bagel sandwich features a runny, over-easy egg with arugula, melted cheddar and tofurkey.

What you’ll need: Eggs, shredded cheddar, peppered tofurkey slices, butter

  1. In a pan, melt some butter. Prepare one large egg in the style of your choice. I’m a big advocate for the over easy egg because I love a good, runny yolk, but pick what floats your boat.
  2. Put your bagels in the toaster to your favorite level of crispiness.
  3. In the same pan as your egg, tear your tofurkey slices into small pieces and heat them up with the egg.
  4. I like to start dressing the bagel with the cheddar and put the egg on top, that way it gets nice and melty. Pile on the tofurkey and some arugula for a nice crunch.

Ain’t she a beaut!

Bagel 2: Decadent and Fresh

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This bagel requires the least prep and is a quick eat, perfect for a speedy lunch break or packing your lunch last minute in the a.m. Perhaps for more adventurous eaters, this bagel features these ingredients:

Pickled beets (sliced), mint, goat cheese with pepper

  1. Toast your bagel to your liking.
  2. Once toasted, spread goat cheese on both halves of the bagel. On the base bagel, place sliced beets and mint, like so: Bagel with neatly place beets and mint over goat cheese.
  3. Add a pinch of arugula for some more substance and a variety of greens.

Bagel 3: The Classic Clucker

This image shows a chik'n gruyere patty on a bagel with tomatoes, mayo and fresh arugula. Yum!

Pick it up:
Quorn Chik’n Cutlet w/ Gruyére (My literal favorite meat substitute), tomatoes, mayo

  1. Slice up some tomatoes so that they are flat and won’t leap off your bagel.
  2. Toast! That! Bagel! While your toastin’ it, microwave the Quorn cutlet. If you aren’t going to use these veg cutlets with gruyére in them, I recommend picking up swiss cheese to accompany your plain chik’n patty.
  3. Spread mayo or Miracle Whip on your bagel halves. Place the patty, arugula and tomatoes on top. Close it up! If you really wanna wil’ out, add fake bacon. (I personally hate fake bacon, but some people love it, so do what feels right!)

Bagels are an important and versatile treat worth your investment, and they make really rich, compelling meals on a smaller budget and in little time at all.

Which one of these sandwiches captured your heart? Send me pictures of your attempts to recreate these and what inventive ingredients you’ve added on. Go forth!

Don’t forget to follow my blog, The Reckless Veg!

Make It Work: Bowl o’ Comfort

It’s 9:30 a.m. You haven’t done your laundry for two weeks, and you’re frantically hustling around your room trying to get dressed for class. How are you going to make it look like you’re a functioning human being when your selection of clothing has dwindled to those items you don’t wear so much?

A lot of times good fashion boils down to Tim Gunn’s age-old adage–“Make it work.

Making it work is a lot easier when you have staples like all black shirts and pants, versatile and comfortable sneakers (I recommend Adidas wrestling shoes for style & comfort), and statement accessories. Whenever I’m having a low-prep time morning, you know I toss on a pair of cuffed black denim Levi’s with a plain t-shirt, toss on a Carhart beanie and call it a day.

Preparing a tasty dinner in the days before you get your paycheck and go grocery shopping can feel just like getting dressed before you get to that overflowing hamper. But keeping staples around the house will make it much easier.

For our meal today, I used a few of my favorite, inexpensive staples to make a delicious meal.

What You Need:

Refried or black beans (I keep both around, but today I used veg. refried beans)

Potatoes

Canned diced tomatoes

Diced green chilis

Red onion

Cheddar cheese

Adobo seasoning

Chili powder

Vegetable oil

Bonus: sunflower sprouts, if you’re feeling frisky

Step 1: Dice up your potatoes into small pieces. I used two medium-sized potatoes for this particular dish. Pour about 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil into a frying pan, and turn the heat on medium. Put in your potatoes and season generously with adobo seasoning. Stir, then cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2: Dice up red onion and some sharp cheddar. I usually buy a block to cut up because it’s ultimately a better bargain than buying a bag of shredded cheese.

The gang's all here.
The gang’s all here.

Step 3: In a second frying pan, pour half a can of diced tomatoes and a small can of diced green chilis in the pan. Season with about three tsp of chili powder or so to taste. I like to load it up, but some people aren’t chili powder fiends.

Step 4: Either in the microwave or on the stove, heat up your black beans or refried beans. Follow the instructions on the can.

Step 5: Remove lid from your potatoes, actively stir potatoes as you turn the heat to high.

Step 6: Ingredients, assemble! Pour your potatoes, refried beans and tomato/chili mix into a bowl. Top with cheddar and sunflower sprouts. I like to give it a good mix to melt the cheddar through.

fullsizerender

 

Make It Work: Bowl o' Comfort

It’s 9:30 a.m. You haven’t done your laundry for two weeks, and you’re frantically hustling around your room trying to get dressed for class. How are you going to make it look like you’re a functioning human being when your selection of clothing has dwindled to those items you don’t wear so much?

A lot of times good fashion boils down to Tim Gunn’s age-old adage–“Make it work.

Making it work is a lot easier when you have staples like all black shirts and pants, versatile and comfortable sneakers (I recommend Adidas wrestling shoes for style & comfort), and statement accessories. Whenever I’m having a low-prep time morning, you know I toss on a pair of cuffed black denim Levi’s with a plain t-shirt, toss on a Carhart beanie and call it a day.

Preparing a tasty dinner in the days before you get your paycheck and go grocery shopping can feel just like getting dressed before you get to that overflowing hamper. But keeping staples around the house will make it much easier.

For our meal today, I used a few of my favorite, inexpensive staples to make a delicious meal.

What You Need:

Refried or black beans (I keep both around, but today I used veg. refried beans)

Potatoes

Canned diced tomatoes

Diced green chilis

Red onion

Cheddar cheese

Adobo seasoning

Chili powder

Vegetable oil

Bonus: sunflower sprouts, if you’re feeling frisky

Step 1: Dice up your potatoes into small pieces. I used two medium-sized potatoes for this particular dish. Pour about 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil into a frying pan, and turn the heat on medium. Put in your potatoes and season generously with adobo seasoning. Stir, then cover for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2: Dice up red onion and some sharp cheddar. I usually buy a block to cut up because it’s ultimately a better bargain than buying a bag of shredded cheese.

The gang's all here.
The gang’s all here.

Step 3: In a second frying pan, pour half a can of diced tomatoes and a small can of diced green chilis in the pan. Season with about three tsp of chili powder or so to taste. I like to load it up, but some people aren’t chili powder fiends.

Step 4: Either in the microwave or on the stove, heat up your black beans or refried beans. Follow the instructions on the can.

Step 5: Remove lid from your potatoes, actively stir potatoes as you turn the heat to high.

Step 6: Ingredients, assemble! Pour your potatoes, refried beans and tomato/chili mix into a bowl. Top with cheddar and sunflower sprouts. I like to give it a good mix to melt the cheddar through.

fullsizerender

 

Old Twists On American Classics

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H&M Overalls, ’90s Timberland boots, early 2000s J.Crew sweater

The beauty of fashion is the ebb and flow of trends – the retreat and return of era-specific looks and styles. Just like Bohemian-chic attire and flannel, each time a trend returns, it takes an understated or aesthetic-specific place in our cultural hold.

My favorite looks are the ones that return from the way-back of my fashion memories. For example, the return of the mom jean is crucial to me thriving as a wide-hipped warrior. And, “Dad-style” baseball caps are back in. You know what else is back in? Overalls. And thank goodness! Whenever I pair my H&M overalls with a flannel and an Ohio U baseball cap, I truly look like the pictures of myself as a toddler in an OshKosh pair of overalls with a hat to protect me from the dangerous sun.

Only now, I look like a HOT and COOL American tourist adult.

Okay, so maybe I don’t look hot and cool. But other folks out there are rocking these old takes on Americana classics that look absolutely killer. I’m slayed at least once a day by these updated plays on farm-inspired and tourist attire.

In the spirit of reinventing an American classic, today we’ll be making BBQ Mian Jin with rice and shiitake mushrooms, because what’s more American than BBQ?

Grocery List:

Shiitake mushrooms

Mian jin (gluten balls from the last recipe!)

Rice (white or brown, your preference)

BBQ Sauce

Salt & Pepper

Vegetable Oil

How To: 

  1. Fill a medium sized bowl with water. Cut small slits into each gluten ball and drop them in. If you’re worried about them not soaking thoroughly, cover with a small plate to press them down.
    img_8526
    It’ll look like this as they soak.

     

  2. Set your timer for 30 minutes, as that’s how long those suckers need to soak. In the meantime, wash and cut your shiitake mushrooms into lil’ diced bits, about an inch long.
  3. I’m a piece of human garbage who uses minute rice, so I usually take this time to measure out the amount of rice I need and fill the pot with enough water too. It cooks fast, so no need to get it started until you start to fry the gluten balls.
  4. When your timer goes off for the gluten balls, grab a bowl or a plate to place your mian jin on. As you remove it from the water, wring out the water. For someone whose greatest sensory enjoyment arises from cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin, this is my favorite part of the process.
  5. Once they are all wrung out, you’ll put them on the stove in a pan that has been coated twice around in vegetable oil. Set your temperature to medium high.
  6. Get your rice goin’! (Follow box instructions.)

img_85287. Once mian jin starts to steam, add your BBQ sauce to taste. I myself used a Raspberry Chipotle sauce from a local vendor, but pick whatever floats your boat. Mian jin takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in, so sauce choice matters.

8. After about three minutes of cooking, add your mushrooms. I generally like to add a spoonful or two of the BBQ sauce after this just so that we know the mushrooms are as flavorful as possible.

9. Keep cooking until the mian jin has a dark, golden look to it. The consistency should be that of pulled pork.

10. Add your BBQ mixture on top of your rice. Mix it up if that floats your boat! Feel free to add onion, hot sauce, cilantro or any herb/sauce that feels right or necessary with your picnic dinner.

Enjoy! This one is really quick and easy, so it’s super convenient for busy days. The sweet, smoky taste of the BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with the tender pork feel of the mian jin. It’s almost like you’re eating a real pig roast at your family reunion, only you aren’t at all.

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For more recipes, check out my blog, The Reckless Veg!

Fall Looks & Fall Cooks

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-2-52-37-pmIt doesn’t quite feel like fall on campus, but I eagerly await the days of crunching leaves and cool breezes. Not only do I thrive in temperate conditions, but fall fashion is when I feel my coziest. Think of all the flannels, layers and tightly-laced Doc Martens! And I love a good statement sweater with shorts, like this spaced out one from Clothes Minded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During the summer I often hunt for cold food to eat, especially when I’m living in a house with no air conditioning. As the fall approaches, so too does the season for making comforting, warm dishes, like soup, since you won’t sweat to death eating it. Vegetarian soups get a bad reputation for not being exciting, but that’s because most people aren’t aware of the wide variety of things that you can add to soup to make it filling and unique.

My partner clued me in on an unsuspecting way to add substantial protein to meals, especially soups. This secret ingredient is not for the gluten intolerant, but it is protein-rich, easy to prepare and has quickly become a staple in my diet. Mian jin, or fried gluten balls, are about to become your secret cooking weapon. The packaged gluten balls take on the flavor of whatever you cook them in, and end up with a pork-like consistency.

Today, we make Mushroom & Mian jin soup.

Shopping List:

Picture of a package of gluten balls // ogou.de
Picture of a package of gluten balls // ogou.de

Mushroom bouillon

Mushrooms

Mian jin (freeze fried gluten balls)

Green onions

Nutritional yeast

Water chestnuts

Ramen noodles (regular, cheap ramen packets work great)

Pepper

Chili powder

TIP ALERT: Water chestnuts, mushroom bouillon and freeze fried gluten balls are easily accessible at your local international market. For Athenians, check out New Market on East State!

Directions: 

  1. Fill a pot with about 4 to 5 cups of water and put on the stove with the heat set to medium high.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of mushroom bouillon, 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of pepper to the water. Stir well.
  3. Let this cook for about 5 minutes before you add 3/4 cup mushrooms (sliced) into the mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of water chestnuts to the mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. While you cook the mix for 5 more minutes, cut one little slit into about 5 gluten balls.
  5. Increase the heat to high. When the water is boiling, add ramen noodles and gluten balls.
  6. Cook until the noodles and the gluten balls are soft.
  7. Pour into serving dish, top with green onions.

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Since you’ll need to hit up an international market for some of these ingredients any way, I highly recommend that you pick up any of the awesome sodas that they carry. This funky pear juice was cool, and I back any lychee beverage hard.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I usually eat the solid parts of this meal first, as the longer the broth sits, the tastier it gets. This soup is awesome because the softness of the noodles and the Mian jin, which pair wonderfully with the crunch of the water chestnuts.

I’m pushing you out of your comfort zone, but let me know what you think of Mian jin, if you’re new to it. You can always make this dish without it, or even replace it with tofu.

For more funky recipes, check out my blog The Reckless Veg!

 

Fall Looks & Fall Cooks

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-2-52-37-pmIt doesn’t quite feel like fall on campus, but I eagerly await the days of crunching leaves and cool breezes. Not only do I thrive in temperate conditions, but fall fashion is when I feel my coziest. Think of all the flannels, layers and tightly-laced Doc Martens! And I love a good statement sweater with shorts, like this spaced out one from Clothes Minded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During the summer I often hunt for cold food to eat, especially when I’m living in a house with no air conditioning. As the fall approaches, so too does the season for making comforting, warm dishes, like soup, since you won’t sweat to death eating it. Vegetarian soups get a bad reputation for not being exciting, but that’s because most people aren’t aware of the wide variety of things that you can add to soup to make it filling and unique.

My partner clued me in on an unsuspecting way to add substantial protein to meals, especially soups. This secret ingredient is not for the gluten intolerant, but it is protein-rich, easy to prepare and has quickly become a staple in my diet. Mian jin, or fried gluten balls, are about to become your secret cooking weapon. The packaged gluten balls take on the flavor of whatever you cook them in, and end up with a pork-like consistency.

Today, we make Mushroom & Mian jin soup.

Shopping List:

Picture of a package of gluten balls // ogou.de
Picture of a package of gluten balls // ogou.de

Mushroom bouillon

Mushrooms

Mian jin (freeze fried gluten balls)

Green onions

Nutritional yeast

Water chestnuts

Ramen noodles (regular, cheap ramen packets work great)

Pepper

Chili powder

TIP ALERT: Water chestnuts, mushroom bouillon and freeze fried gluten balls are easily accessible at your local international market. For Athenians, check out New Market on East State!

Directions: 

  1. Fill a pot with about 4 to 5 cups of water and put on the stove with the heat set to medium high.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of mushroom bouillon, 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of pepper to the water. Stir well.
  3. Let this cook for about 5 minutes before you add 3/4 cup mushrooms (sliced) into the mixture. Add about 1/2 cup of water chestnuts to the mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  4. While you cook the mix for 5 more minutes, cut one little slit into about 5 gluten balls.
  5. Increase the heat to high. When the water is boiling, add ramen noodles and gluten balls.
  6. Cook until the noodles and the gluten balls are soft.
  7. Pour into serving dish, top with green onions.

unnamed

Since you’ll need to hit up an international market for some of these ingredients any way, I highly recommend that you pick up any of the awesome sodas that they carry. This funky pear juice was cool, and I back any lychee beverage hard.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I usually eat the solid parts of this meal first, as the longer the broth sits, the tastier it gets. This soup is awesome because the softness of the noodles and the Mian jin, which pair wonderfully with the crunch of the water chestnuts.

I’m pushing you out of your comfort zone, but let me know what you think of Mian jin, if you’re new to it. You can always make this dish without it, or even replace it with tofu.

For more funky recipes, check out my blog The Reckless Veg!

 

Haute Dog!

Mondo Guerra is one of my all-time favorite fashion designers. His kitschy touches, whimsical design and innovative stylings make him unforgettable and incredibly fun. If I were a notable musician or actor attending an awards show, he’s the designer I’d pick to design all of my attire. I’d probably end up on Fashion Police, but who cares anyway.

For those of you who are not long time Project Runway fans, Guerra was the Season 8 contestant who was cheated out of a well-deserved win (no offense, Gretchen Jones, Mondo just had a magic touch), but eventually won the first season of Project Runway: All Stars. In one of my favorite challenges, he designed his own printed fabric, which he used to create some amazingly constructed pants. The plus-sign pattern was his way of bravely coming out as HIV positive on television after being silent about his diagnosis for a whole decade.

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I felt inspired by Guerra’s spirit and whimsy, particularly the collection from his 2013 summer show, Haute Dog. The collection was tons of fun and on the nose, and I’d kill to own some of these pieces.

 

No surprise here. We’re making bougie-ass hot dogs today! Haute dogs!! Get it?! These hot dogs will be served w/ sharp cheddar, pink sauce (my fave), and some greenery to match the color scheme of Mondo Guerra’s 2013 summer collection.

Grocery List:

Veggie dogs (I like SmartDogs by Lightlife (Vegan friendly))

Hot dog buns

Mayo (Veganaise works gr8 too)

Ketchup

Green onions or Sprouts (sunflower sprouts are best!)

A block of Sharp Cheddar cheese

Pepper

Let’s get cooking:  

  1. First, prep your pink sauce. Mix a cup of mayo with about half cup of ketchup, and add 2 tsp of pepper. Mix until the sauce is pink. You can always add more ketchup to taste, but the result should be equal parts creamy, sweet and tangy.
  2. Slice your block of cheddar cheese into thin slices. Chop the green onion stalks into little chive rings, as if you were topping a loaded baked potato.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need it nice & hot to toast your buns.
  4. Grill or sauté your veggie dogs. Grilling them gives the dogs a yummy & smoky flavor, but cooking them in a pan with a little oil makes them snappier. Smartdogs won’t take as long to cook on the stove because they aren’t frozen.
  5. That being said, about five minutes until your dogs are done, put your hot dog buns on one of the oven racks for three minutes, top side down. For the last two minutes of toasting, line the bun with your sharp cheddar cheese and place it back in the oven with the bottom of the bun on the rack to melt the cheddar.
  6.  Once you’ve removed the buns and the dogs are cooked, place the dogs in the cheesy buns. If you need to wait for the dogs but don’t want the buns to get weird, wrap the buns in tin foil while you wait.
  7.  The dog has landed in its home. I like to apply the pink sauce first, then top with a generous pinch of sunflower sprouts or green onion. The sprouts are sweeter and a little bit snappier, but the green onion is nice if you want a little bite to your dog. Add another layer of pink sauce in squiggle form for fancy presentation.
  8. Dig in!!

I’ve been inspired to hand draw an illustration of the outcome of this dish, as I was feelin’ crafty and inspired by Mondo, but I will also admit hot dogs are very hard to make pretty if you don’t have access to proper condiment dispensers. They aren’t expensive to acquire, but I don’t have any at this time in my college life, so you’ll get a little art drawn with love.

You’re welcome.

For more fun recipes, check out my blog, The Reckless Veg!

Fronds Til The Ond Mac & Cheese

Some things just go together. Peanut butter and jelly, pasta and cheese, Abbi and Ilana…

Yes, if you haven’t caught on by the title of the inaugural post of The Reckless Veg, ya girl made a mac & cheese dish inspired by the goofy, side-splitting-funny women of Broad City. For those who are not aware (ahem, get a Hulu subscription already), Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are comedy powerhouses who have created a show that highlights the lives of two gal pals struggling financially and getting into shenanigans in the fine city of New York.

broad-city-new-york

One thing I have in common with Abbi and Ilana is that I too, am broke as hell. Between textbook season, utilities, the money I dropped on rent this summer and my recent purchase of train tickets to D.C., I am HURTIN’. For college student readers, esp. those fellow bobcats in Athens, OH, I know you feel my pain. There is not a single reason why anyone in Athens should have to pay Brooklyn-level rent prices for a dingy college house.

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Sourced from bustle.com

Rent’s a necessary evil, but being tight on money doesn’t mean that you can’t eat some killer food.

So here’s the deal. There are going to be weeks where I’m gonna ball the heck out and teach you how to make some high-class, fancy-ass meals of some difficulty. But today, in honor of all us broke kids out there, I’ve decided to make “Fronds Til the Ond Mac & Cheese,” aka, cheap box mac with other stuff in it so that it tastes even better and makes you feel less grimy.

———————————————————————————————————

WHAT YOU NEED:

Box of Mac & Cheese (I prefer Annie’s, but follow your heart)

Half & Half (3 Tbsp.)

A can of diced tomatoes (4 Tbsp.)

MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles (In the frozen section)

Diced garlic (fresh or jarred, either is good)

Mexican Blend shredded cheese

vsco-photo-1-1
The gang’s all here.

Step 1: Prepare your pot of water for the mac. Basically follow the box’s directions up through the end.

Step 2: Once you’ve got the burner for the pot of water turned on, get a skillet for your crumbles. Toss 1/3 cup of water in there, pour the bag full of crumbles in and cover. Cook on high for 4 minutes.

Step 3: Once you’ve cooked the crumbles for 4 minutes, remove the lid and let cook for another four on medium. Once you’ve lowered the temp, add about 4 Tbsp. of diced tomatoes. I like to add about 2 tsp. of garlic, but I really like garlic, so add yours to taste.

Step 4: At this point you’re probably boiling the mac. Once that is all done and drained, leave in strainer while you prep the cheese sauce in the pan you just used to boil it. Duh! I like to use half & half because, not only does the mac taste richer, but it lasts longer than milk, which I personally don’t use outside of prepping boxed mac & cheese. Score!

Step 5: Before you toss in the noods with that cheese sauce, add about half the pan of crumbles ft. tomatoes and garlic into the sauce. Mix it up. I like to keep the second half for the mac & cheese I’m making the next day, but if you’re hungry, put the whole pan of it in.

arlqfyen5703180297ccc837145533Step 6: Add. Those. Noodles. Who’s the boss of this meal? You’re the boss of this meal! Now mix it with love.

Step 7: If you’re not a heathen who eats straight out of the pot like I do, first pour your meal into a serving bowl. Then add your shredded cheese on top. I also recommend garnishing with chili powder and/or cilantro. Be aware that cilantro can get weirdly pricey out of season, which is why I stuck to strictly chili powder this time around.

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You can easily make two boxes of mac if you’re sharing this meal with the Abbi or Ilana in your life. Eat it up before going out dancing, tandem bike riding, or getting into trouble with your best bud.

P.S. I may or may not have whispered, “Yas queen!” to myself as I took the first bite of this meal, oops.