Eat Smart on a Budget

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By Adrianna Zampieri

College Station boasts one of highest collective intelligence ratings amongst U.S. cities, but did you know that it also holds a high spot on the list of fit/active communities as well? In Aggieland, it’s about more than just being book smart—you need to eat smart, too.

College students are often limited by a budget, and a limited budget sometimes means that you don’t necessarily make the healthiest choices at the supermarket (it basically falls under the “hamburgers are cheaper than a salad” argument). Instead, you may find yourself hanging out in the prepackaged food section of the grocery store instead of the fresh produce area, but remember, your health isn’t something you should compromise on.

The Money Wise Aggie association is hosting a seminar, Eating Smart on a Budget, to help teach college students ways to save money while still eating healthy. The seminar will be held in room 236 of the Pavilion on September 17 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you cannot attend that session, a second event will be held on November 4.

If you can’t attend either, then here’s a simple tip: investing your money in a crock-pot is a smart way to save both money and time in the long run. Using a crock-pot (at least 4 quarts in size) will allow you to cook a large quantity of food that will last you for a few days, or you can freeze the excess food in individual containers to eat on days when you don’t have the time to cook. It doesn’t require a lot of attention like conventional cooking. Just throw your ingredients in the pot first thing in the morning, turn on the crock-pot, and go about your day. By dinnertime, you’ll have a healthy meal ready and waiting. Available online are a number of delicious crock-pot recipes that only require a few ingredients. Below are two easy, simple, and healthy recipes to help you get you started.

lemon pepper chicken Lemon Pepper Chicken with Asparagus

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tpsb + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp thyme

Place the chicken in the crock-pot first. Over the chicken, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle the thyme and half of the salt. Slice the lemon and place on top of the chicken; then place the asparagus on top and drizzle the remaining olive oil. Finally, add the rest of the salt and the lemon seasoning. Cook on low for six hours.

Lentil Soup Lentil Soup

  • 1 cup of lentils that have been sorted and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in the crock-pot, cover, and cook on low for approximately eight to ten hours or until all ingredients are tender.

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