Budget Meal: Baked Chicken Parmesan

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Servings: 4
Cost per meal: $9.47
Cost per serving: $2.37
Prep time: 15 minutes
Estimated calories: 300

I absolutely love Italian food, but often find at Italian restaurants the portions are too big and the food is prepared in the least healthy way possible. That’s why for this week’s budget meal, I decided to adapt Skinnytaste’s Baked Chicken Parmesan because I wanted to lighten up one of my favorite Italian dishes – and do it on a budget. The result is a great week night meal you and your roommates can easily make – or you can freeze the leftovers for when you’re on the go and have a great alternative to those sodium-loaded frozen dinners.

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How To: Make Your Own Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salad Dressing

Three ingredients, one bottle and you’ve got your own homemade balsamic vinaigrette. This is much healthier than what you’d find in the grocery store and it will dress approximately four salads! Spruce up your lettuce or dip some sliced raw veggies in it. I love sliced apples and carrots with a balsamic drizzle, it’s the epitome of sweet and salty!

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Budget Meal: Shamrock Egg Bake with Turkey Sausage

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Servings: 9
Cost per meal: $9.57
Cost per serving: $1.06
Prep time: 60 minutes
Estimated Calories: 301

Brunch is a fantastic meal for college students, it’s always a social activity and will double as breakfast and lunch! I named this casserole the Shamrock Egg Bake with Turkey Sausage because of it’s green and gold color, and it’s perfect for spring time! Unlike most breakfast casseroles this one does not need to be prepared a day ahead for the bread to absorb the egg. You can also serve this as a “breakfast for dinner” meal and refrigerate the leftovers! I adapted the original recipe from Taste of Home by adding turkey sausage for additional protein to make this a complete meal.

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Budget Meal: Pasta with Turkey and Fresh Tomato Sauce

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Servings: 6
Cost per meal: $9.17
Cost per serving: $1.53
Prep time: 30 minutes
Estimated Calories: 400 

This pasta dish is a quick meal for almost any night of the week. It also gives you a lot of food, so the leftovers will last you for awhile! For all of you vegetarians out there- this is a really easy dish to make meatless (see the Martha Stewart recipe where this is adapted from) without losing much of the meal.

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Kitchen Essentials: Eggs

No matter what is on my grocery list, I always know I’ll be leaving the store with eggs. Not only are they inexpensive – you can usually snag a dozen for under $2 – they are a nutritionist’s dream because they are jam packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

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Welcome

Thanks for stopping by The College Cook! Our goal is to provide college students with basic kitchen skills and healthy budget meals so they can survive their college years on more than just ramen and macaroni and cheese.

Please let us know if you have any recipes or skills you would like to see on this blog or have any questions about cooking in the comments below. We look forward to cooking with you!

-Emily, Maurine, Katie & Molly