Eating Healthy & Cheap in College

This weekend I made my way to Santa Barbara to visit my brother Brian!  Our goal for the weekend was to make him some easy cheap healthy meals that can be made by him once I leave.  And of course we were going to have a good time!

I was planning on making a shopping trip with him to try & put some stuff together but when I got there I realized he had a lot of food!  My mom is queen of finding stuff she thinks we need or want. It’s awesome – for the most part. I love her!  So it seemed she stocked Brian’s cupboards with all kinds of food.  The problem was that he doesn’t know what he can do with it.

First things first.. empty the cupboards to see what you have and organize it.  We had a shelf for cereal a shelf for pre-made food items like canned soup, mac n cheese, oatmeal & popcorn, a shelf for pasta & pasta sauce (there was a lot) & two shelves for canned goods.  We found 3 cans of peaches, 4 cans of pineapple, about 6 cans of tuna, 4 cans of potatoes, cans of all sorts of beans, gravy, tomato sauce, sloppy joe mix… etc etc.

With the shelves organized, we came up with our recipes & hit the store for a couple missing items. Here’s what we came up with:

1) 3 Bean Salad – kind of a family recipe that my mom has been making for us since we were real young.  All the ingredients were in the cupboards.

-2 cans of kidney beans
-2 cans of garbanzo beans
-2 cans of green beans
-1 can of corn
-1 can of baby corn.
-lemon juice

Mix the beans & add the lemon and honey until it tastes how you want it!

2) Salsa Chicken Burritos – Brian had frozen chicken tenders in the freezer as well as jarred salsa, canned roasted jalapenos, canned refried beans & a whole bag of rice. (forgot to mention these above). The only thing we bought was tortillas.

-frozen chicken
-jarred salsa
-canned roasted jalapenos (sliced)

Pour everything in crock pot & cook on low for 3 hours.  This time will vary depending on the type of chicken using & the heat of your crock pot.  Once chicken is cooked, shred it to combine with salsa & jalapenos and store in tupperware in the refrigerator. We made rice as well & put in tupperware in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat, wrap salsa chicken, rice & beans in a tortilla for a healthy burrito.

3) Tuna Salad Sandwiches – Instead of buying lunch meat, we used up some of his tuna.  We made our own relish out of a jar of sandwich sliced pickles that was hiding in the cupboard, bought yogurt to make the sandwiches healthier & I brought over a loaf of my multigrain bread that he can put his sandwich on.

-canned tuna
-hot sauce
-plain non-fat greek yogurt
-salt, pepper & garlic powder

I don’t measure when I make tuna.  I mix yogurt, mustard, relish, a squirt of mayo, hot sauce & spices and then add tuna.  If it’s not saucy enough I add more.  I play with it until it’s good.  This went unphotographed but it’s all ready and in a tupperware for the week.

Because this was a ‘special occasion’ we decided to go out to eat!  We went to Hollister Brewing Company which is right down the street from his house.

I started with the IPA naturally & was very impressed.  I like my IPA’s crisp & full of hops.

We started with the mussels. I was not impressed. They’re nothing like Third Corner’s mussels.

We split the fish tacos

and the House-made chorizo pizza

Look at the egg in the center!

And now it’s popped!

The pizza was excellent & so was the beer.  The fish tacos & mussels were just ok.

Once back at his house, we decided to do something with those 3 cans of peaches!

4) Peach Cobbler – We found a recipe online that didn’t require buying anything.  I don’t remember where we found that recipe but it was basically 3 cans 2 cans of peaches (we lost one during the draining process) & a can of pears. We mixed the fruit with some sugar & cinnamon & made the topping of sugar, earth balance, cinnamon, water, baking powder.. and I think that’s it.  We then put blobs of the batter on top of the peaches & covered with a thin layer of sugar & cinnamon.  Baked in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Delicious!  What a perfect way to use those peaches (and pears).  If only we had something to do with all that pineapple…

We had big plans for Sunday!

We initially planned to go for a hike but then when I woke up at 8:30am and realized it was pouring we went for option b.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival just started this weekend so we attempted to go see Tilt.  Tickets are a little crazy for these events as you can’t buy single movie tickets (only packs of 4 or 10 movies) unless there is room after all the people who have purchased packages get in.  So we waited & found out that the movie was full – no room for walk ups.  I guess we should’ve bought a pack of 4 tickets & Brian could’ve gone to another movie another day.  Oh well.

Now it’s time for Option C.

We went for a walk down to the pier.

Do you see the rainbow?

Starfish on the pier posts.

A good picture of Brian on the pier.  The weather was funky all day.  It would sprinkle off and on & then it would be sunny & start to rain.  We stayed pretty dry for the most part.

We had a good time exploring the waterfront in Santa Barbara.  Once we made it back to the car we decided to stop & watch the end of the Laker game and the beginning of the Pro Bowl.  We stopped at Santa Barbara Brewing Company

I ordered their IPA that was not as good as Hollisters.  I think it was a bit maltier.  You can see that from the color!

The menu didn’t really jump out at us but we decided to split the turkey burger which had roasted jalapenos & feta cheese on it.  On the side was parmesan garlic fries.  Pretty good but not awesome.

The Lakers lost (sad for Brian) & the probowl is kind of a joke. But we had fun chatting.

It was soon time for me to make the trek back to San Diego.  Besides what we cooked while I was there, we planned a couple other meals.

5) Turkey Chili

I made up this bag of seasonings at home & wrote the missing ingredients on the baggie.  We bought a pound of turkey and everything else was already in the cupboard.  In this baggie is:

-2 tbsp chili powder
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
-1/2 tbsp garlic powder
-1 tbsp cumin
-pinch of pepper
-pinch of allspice

When ready to make defrost & brown turkey and then place all ingredients in crock pot on low for 8 hours.

6) Crock Pot Roast -Roast is in the freezer ready to be defrosted & seasoning packets are in cupboard.

Recipe came from here

-4-5lb roast
-italian dressing packet
-1/2 ranch dressing packet (Brian – It may be salty if you add all the ranch packet)
-brown gravy packet
-1/2 cup water
-canned potatoes

Mix seasonings packets & pour onto roast in crock pot.  Pour 1/2 cup water in crock pot with potatoes surrounding roast.  Cook on low for 8 hours or until cooked to desired doneness. (Is doneness a word?)

7) Pulled Pork Sandwiches – We bought buns & BBQ sauce but the grocery store didn’t have a pork roast.  I think this is the only thing we didn’t have/buy.

-1 pork shoulder
-1 bottle of BBQ sauce

Pour BBQ sauce over pork in crock pot & cook on low for 8 hours. Shred pork & serve on buns.

WOW! I’m pretty impressed.  I think we did pretty good with our time.

I have to share a photo of play time with the dog!

I should’ve gotten a photo of the Impossible game!  Oh man, it reminded me of Dr. Mario in that it was addicting & it hurts your eyes.

Good times all around in Santa Barbara, thanks for having me Brian!

Now time to get back into some running & exercising.  More on that later.. this post is already a novel!!



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Filed under Adventures, Eating Out, Recipes, Soups

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