Hello! It’s that time of year that most people gain a little bit of weight as the colder seasons approach us. The past few weeks, my roomates and I have decided to start really making an effort to plan out our meals ahead of time and to eat healthier

This can be difficult as college students because most cheap and afordable foods don’t have great nutrition value, right? Well, we thought that was a true statement until we looked around the grocery stores and seached online and in recipe books for more healthy meals and at a cheaper price.

I found a great recipe blog entiltled “cheap, healthy, good.” This blog has many great recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and even side dishes! One recipe that we agreed on was the “Noodle salad with Chicken, Shrimp, and Mint.” The recipe was not very intense and did not take much preparation at all.  The recipe was adapted from the “cheap, healthy, good” blog and everything down to the penny spent on each ingredient is calculated. This is to prove to the readers that not only is the meal easy to make, healthy, and delicious, but it is also very cheap.

1 (7-ounce) package uncooked thin pasta
12 ounces chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch filets
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 large lime – Kris)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ounces medium cooked shrimp
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
Lime wedges (optional)

1) Cook pasta in large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain.

2) Salt and pepper both sides of chicken filets. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook around 8 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. (So, 4 minutes per side.) Once done, place chicken on a plate and let sit for a few minutes.

3) To a small bowl, add lime juice, soy sauce, honey, mint, sesame oil, salt, and garlic. Stir.

4) Go back to the chicken and chop it into bite-sized pieces.

5) In a large bowl, combine pasta, shrimp, and chicken. Add dressing. Stir to coat. Top with scallions. Serve. Lime wedges are a nice touch.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
463 calories, 7.2 g fat, $1.11

1 (7-ounce) package uncooked pasta: 738 calories, 3 g fat, $0.21
12 ounces chicken breast: 375 calories, 4.2 g fat, $1.49
1 teaspoon olive oil: 39 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.04
Salt and pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
2 tablespoons lime juice: 8 calories, 0 g fat, $0.10
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce: 17 calories, 0 g fat, $0.19
1 tablespoon honey: 64 calories, 0 g fat, $0.09
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint: 1 calorie, 0 g fat, $0.00
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil: 80 calories, 9 g fat, $0.12
1/4 teaspoon salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
2 garlic cloves, minced: 9 calories, 0 g fat, $0.06
2 ounces medium cooked shrimp: 56 calories, 0.6 g fat, $0.90
1 tablespoon chopped green onions: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.10
TOTAL: 1389 calories, 21. g fat, $3.33
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 463 calories, 7.2 g fat, $1.11

This recipe was so detailed that we just had to try it and see if it was what it said it was in terms of preparation and cost.

My roomates and I were very pleased with the outcome! The mint added such a great taste to the pasta. Some said it could go without but we enjoyed it for the most part. One of my friends substituted it with basil and said it was even more delicious.

In terms of costs, yes it was pretty dead on. We did not spend much at all and actually doubled the servings so that we had left over for the rest of the week. With the chicken and shrimp added in, it is an excellent source of protein and also very filling.

The noodles can be subsituted with many different types of pasta and some say it is even better with spaghetti squash. It’s up to you! Let us know what you tried and how it worked out for you!

Ideas are welcome!!! Have a great week, stay warm, and eat up!