Simple and Satisfying: A Week of Easy Nutritious Recipes

Hello everyone! I’m thrilled to share a collection of easy and nutritious recipes that have been a break from my studies at Drexel University and a smart way to keep my living costs down here in Philadelphia. These recipes are not only straightforward and economical but also brimming with flavor, making healthy eating a real pleasure. They’ve been especially comforting during the recent rainy days, proving that simple ingredients can create profoundly satisfying meals. Note: all the ingredients have been bought at Trader Joe’s.

Here’s what I’ve been cooking up:

Risotto with Mushrooms and Cheese

Starting with a classic, this risotto combines creamy rice with earthy mushrooms and rich cheese, creating a comforting dish. Begin by sautéing chopped onions in olive oil until translucent. Add the rice, stirring for a few minutes to toast it slightly, then gradually add warm chicken or vegetable broth, stirring continuously until the rice is creamy and al dente. Finish by stirring in freshly grated cheese and sautéed mushrooms. This dish is perfect for a cozy evening at home, the process is simple and doesn’t require exotic ingredients, which is ideal when you’re still familiarizing yourself with local grocery stores.

Lentils with Tomato, Mozzarella, Avocado, and Lettuce

This salad has been a lunchtime favorite, especially on busier days. Cook lentils until tender, then let them cool. In a large bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella, and sliced avocado. Add the lentils and a handful of chopped lettuce for crunch. Dress the salad with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. The preparation is minimal, which is perfect when you’re balancing schoolwork and exploring the city. Plus, it’s incredibly refreshing!

Spaghetti with Shrimp and Spinach

For a quick yet impressive dinner, ideal for when you’re looking to impress someone, try spaghetti with shrimp and spinach. This dish combines simplicity with elegance, making it perfect for a special occasion or a casual yet refined meal. Cook spaghetti al dente and set aside. In a pan, sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add shrimp and cook until they’re pink and firm. Toss in fresh spinach until wilted and season with salt and pepper. Mix the spaghetti into the pan, allowing the flavors to meld. This dish is delightfully simple and brings a taste of the sea to your dining table.

Spanish Omelette

This dish reminds me of home and requires just a few inexpensive ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and onions, a perfect option for a Sunday dinner. Start by thinly slicing the potatoes and onions and frying them until the potatoes are tender. Beat eggs in a bowl, then add the fried potatoes and onions, mixing well. Pour the mixture back into the pan, cooking until the eggs are set and the bottom is golden, then flip to cook the other side. This versatile dish can be enjoyed hot or cold at any time of the day.

Tip: I recommend cooking extra servings so the next day you can enjoy some tortilla tapas for lunch!

Fried Egg with Potatoes

Simple ingredients, quick cooking times, and minimal cleanup make this dish a staple. It’s the perfect choice for an easy dinner after a damp, chilly day, offering both comfort and warmth without straining the wallet or taking too much time away from studies. Start with frying sliced potatoes in olive oil until they are crisp and golden. Remove the potatoes, and in the same pan, fry an egg to your liking. Serve the egg over the bed of crispy potatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. This rustic dish not only comforts the soul and fills the stomach but also brings back fond memories of my childhood, when my grandmother would prepare it for us every Friday evening.

Before coming to Philly, I was concerned that I might run out of interesting recipes and end up eating pasta with tomato sauce every day. However, as you’ve just seen, there are plenty of options out there! Each recipe has brought a little excitement to my kitchen, proving that variety truly is the spice of life—even when living abroad. I’m also open to new suggestions, so feel free to reach out to me with your favorite recipes!

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