Authors: Yelin Gemma Lee, Victoria Lopatka, Gabrielle McLaren, Jessica Pickering


Vegan Buddha Bowl

Around $11.23 per serving (assuming you don’t have a lot of this stuff already)

I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but this heat and student life is making me almost too lazy to be an animal rights activist. Whether you are vegan or not, this recipe is simple to put together, makes a legit next-day lunch, and tastes bomb as fuck.

Ingredients (makes 3–4 servings):

-1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

-1 large red onion, diced

-4 tablespoons olive oil

-salt and pepper

-2 cups baby spinach

-1 package of tofu or however much tofu you want

-1 teaspoon of garlic powder

-1 clove of garlic, minced

-1 tablespoon soy sauce

-4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

-1 tablespoon honey or agave

-1/4 cup lime juice

-1 tablespoon sesame oil

-1–2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

-1 avocado, thinly sliced

-4 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 425 F. Spread sweet potatoes and red onions onto a baking sheet and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix with a spoon or your hands. Bake for 20–25 minutes or however long it takes for the sweet potatoes to be tender.
  2. While it’s baking, heat up some oil in a pan and cube or slice the tofu. Before you put it on the pan, put the sliced tofu in a plastic bag with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a small dab of lime juice, if you want to get all fancy. Cook that for about five minutes or until you think your tofu is cooked enough.
  3. Make your dressing by whisking together garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, lime juice, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  4. Divide your cooked rice between 3–4 bowls. Top with the sweet potato mix, then the tofu, then the avocado and baby spinach. Sprinkle some cilantro on top and drizzle with dressing. – YGL



Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

$5.68 per serving

Ingredients (makes one serving):

         2 slices of bread

         3 slices of bacon

         1 tablespoon butter, room temperature

         1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (or a block of cheese and a knife)

         4 tablespoons guacamole


  1.     Fry the bacon with some butter over medium heat. Once cooked, place on a paper towel.
  2.      If you are preparing your own guacamole, mash the ripe avocado. You can add salt and/or lime juice, depending on taste preference.
  3.      Butter one side of each piece of toast and put the bacon, guacamole, and cheese onto the toast.
  4.      Place the sandwich on a medium-hot, buttered pan for about 2–3 minutes on each side, until the toast is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

[Original recipe from Spoon University] – VL



Cornbread and Baked Beans

Approximately $6.88 (if you don’t have flour, sugar, and stuff)

This is a really cheap meal you can make that will fill you up fast. The cornbread also lasts for a long time and this recipe makes a lot of it.

Ingredients (makes two servings plus a lot of extra cornbread):

– One can of baked beans (preferably on sale)

– 2/3 cup of butter

– 1 cup of sugar

– 3 eggs

– 1 teaspoon of salt

– 1 cup of cornmeal

– 1 ⅔ cups of milk (2% is recommended, but you do you)

– 4 ½ teaspoons of baking powder

– 2 ⅓ cups of all-purpose flour

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
  3. Soften the butter (or put it in the microwave for a couple seconds. You want it soft, but not melted.)
  4. Cream butter and sugar.
  5. Mix milk and eggs together in another bowl.
  6. Mix the leftover ingredients together in a third bowl.
  7. Add these two mixtures to the creamed-butter bowl, alternating between the two (milk, flour, milk, flour, etc.) Mix well after each addition.
  8. Put it in the pan and bake for 22–27 minutes (put a toothpick in the middle to check if it’s done; if it comes out clean, you’re good to go.)
  9. Let it cool and then cut it into squares.
  10. Heat up the baked beans by following the directions on the can.

Ideally have some vegetables with this, but I’m not your mom so do whatever you want. Also, if you like spicy you can try adding some sliced jalapenos to this. – JP


Cheesy Black Bean Quesadilla

$2.54 per serving

Ingredients (makes five servings):

         1 can of black beans

         1 can of niblet corn

         1 small red onion

         1 clove of garlic

         1 cup shredded cheese

         1/2 a packet of taco seasoning

         5 medium-sized tortillas


  1. Open and drain the cans of beans and corn.
  2. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Mix the onion, garlic, cheese, beans, and corn in a bowl together. Add the taco seasoning and mix thoroughly.
  3. Place a half cup of the mixture on one side of each tortilla and fold over into a half circle. On medium heat with a little bit of butter or oil, cook each side of the tortilla until golden-brown and the cheese has melted (about 2–3 minutes).

[Original recipe from Budget Bytes] – VL



Egg Drop Soup

$1.82 per serving

The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily customize it, or adjust the portions as long as you keep your broth and egg ratio in mind. You can add ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cornstarch (to thicken the broth), or water (to stretch your last few drops), mushrooms, spinach, tofu, miso, or anything else you can find in your fridge while the broth is boiling. On its own, this soup is comforting and filling, and you can pat yourself on the back for having eaten some cheap protein. As a heads up: this soup doesn’t keep well and is best enjoyed fresh.

Ingredients (makes one serving):

-2 cups of broth (chicken, beef, and vegetarian all work well)

-1 egg

-1–2 green onions

-Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil your broth on the stovetop.
  2. Once the broth is boiling, crack the egg into the liquid. The egg will start to cook immediately, so be ready to whisk it and break up the egg into smaller, noodle-like filaments. Let the broth stand while the egg cooks.  
  3. Once the egg is solid and properly cooked through, remove from stovetop.  Add some chopped green onions and serve. – GM