Welcome to Europe, where the simple act of eating may cost you an arm and a leg: and that is before calculating the exchange rate! With the euro demolishing the dollar and both economies in major slumps, it can be difficult for students to navigate the shops when deciding how to eat on a budget while saving their hard-earned cash for travels.
Fear not- my roommates here in Ireland and I have the solution! Here is a culmination of our favorite recipes that we have made thus far during our abroad experience. We are firm believers that food is the best way to bring people together- there is nothing that compares to good conversation with good friends over a plate of something delicious. Meals need not be fancy and expensive to be delectable. All you need are a few ingredients, some friends with appetites, a bottle of (cheap) wine, and a little love to create the perfect dinner party.
One of our favorite meals, this is a simple dinner party dish that can be made in large or small quantities! Goes great with garlic bread and a side salad.
2 chicken breasts (more depending on party size- we usually do one breast per two diners)
1 Egg, cracked and mixed on a large plate
Bottle of marinara sauce
Cheese! Parmesan is preferable
1. Pound out chicken breasts until they are flattened 2. Dip them in the egg, coating both sides evenly 3. Take the breast and dip in bread crumbs, evenly coating each side 4. Quickly fry the breast in a hot pan until breadcrumbs seem to adhere, lightly browning 5. Pour some sauce in a large, oven-safe pan and place each breast in the pan. Cover with the rest of the sauce 6. Top with cheese and put in the oven, baking it at 250 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through 7. Prepare spaghetti according to package 8. Top pasta with cooked chicken and sauce and ENJOY!
This Italian classic makes the perfect appetizer!
1. Chop tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella up into small pieces 2. Mince the garlic 3. Stir all ingredients together with a generous dollop of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle in some salt and pepper (or Italian seasoning if you have it!) to taste 4. Slice the baguette (we like French bread or sourdough) and lightly butter or brush with olive oil 5. Toast bread in the oven until browned 6. Spoon the mixture on top of the bread and serve!
Potatoes are one of the cheapest foods to buy here in Ireland. We chose the small salad type to prepare one of the greatest comfort foods.
1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly 2. Chop into large chunks and drop into a boiling pot of water 3. Boil until a fork stuck through one piece comes out smoothly 4. Drain water from the pot 5. Mash! Mix in whatever you like: we usually do minced garlic, salt, butter, and milk. Other ideas include bacon pieces, chives, green onion, and cheese.
Missing San Diego and the amazing Mexican food it offers, we whip these up when we are in need of a dose of fiesta from home. We usually serve these with Spanish rice and sliced avocados on the side. Some grocery stores sell kits! If on sale, these make a good deal. But if not, just buy the ingredients separately- can be much cheaper!
Package of tortillas
Chicken or beef or cheese (to fill)
Cheese (for the top)
Some type of enchilada sauce
1. Cook the meat well (For shredded chicken, boil chicken breasts until no longer pink. Drain water and shred the chicken using forks) 2. Chop up the vegetables 3. Roll tortillas up with meat, cheese, and veggies inside according to preference 4. Lay filled tortillas on a pan and cover with enchilada sauce and cheese 5. Bake at 250 degrees Celsius for about 5 minutes or until tortillas slightly brown and cheese melts 6. Fiesta!
Other great tips:
-Sauté your favorite vegetables in a pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add to pasta or cous cous or eat on their own
-Whip up a salad with all the leftover vegetables in the fridge. Add hard boiled eggs or cold chicken for protein
-Whatever you do, take time to enjoy your food! Sitting down with a good book or good friends are my favorite ways to eat.