dietetics, recipes

Triple Threat Meals

Hey, remember me? It’s Mackenzie from summer camp! 

Just kidding, but really… HELLO AGAIN. 

After taking the longest hiatus of my blogging career (just think of it as a really long seventh inning stretch, or intermission if you’re not a sports person), I’m happy to report that I’m currently living in Chicago and attending Rush University to get my Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition and become a Dietitian! 

I’ve been here since the end of August, and this country girl has adjusted very well. If you know me, you’re probably surprised that I’m able to find my way around the city, given my awful sense of direction. Wrong turns and a train accidentally taken to the sketchy part of town aside, I love it here! I’m so grateful to be receiving an amazing education in a beautiful place. 

But really, look at this freakin view

But anyway, enough with the life updates. Let’s talk food. 

If you’re familiar with Chicago, or any city, you’re probably aware that the cost of living is super high. As a full-time student and dietetic intern, I don’t have time to get a paying job, thus leaving me to budget pretty intensely. 

Since I like to use weekends as a fun time to splurge a little, I really try to eat at home during the week. Given that glamorous places like Whole Foods aren’t exactly within my price range, I’ve been hitting up ALDI, Target, and Jewel-Osco for most of my groceries. 

And an occasional Trader Joes run since my roommate introduced me. I’m in love. Obviously.

Today I want to share some of my super easy and affordable, but also ~yummy~ meals and snacks that have been my staples since I’ve become a city girl! 

Quinoa Grain Bowl 

My favorite thing about this meal is that it’s an all-in-one. It has protein, carbs, fat, and can easily be spruced up with some chopped veggies for a vitamin and mineral boost. 

Prep is easy: 

– Prepare quinoa according to package instructions 

– Add condiment/spice of choice (I like to add a drizzle of chipotle mayo)

– Chop up your favorite veggies (I like to add onion, spinach, and tomato)

– Top with cheese and black beans if you want for extra calcium, fiber, and protein. 

You’ll have a healthy, delicious, and inexpensive meal in under 15 minutes! 

Healthy kettle corn and Dessert almonds

This combo has been my go-to snack for two reasons- it satisfies my sweet tooth and is a healthier take on some of my favorites. Both Boom Chicka Pop and cocoa-dusted almonds have less calories and less added sugars than traditional brands! 

Sweet potato stew

This little guy is a crockpot recipe, and is perfect to throw together in the morning before I leave for the day. Loaded with sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, red potatoes, and a blend of spices, it’s the perfect healthy and hearty fall meal. I like to add chicken for protein, but it would be great with beef, beans, or turkey. Keep your eye out for a future blog post with my recipe! 

Quinoa and Salad combo

But really, why do we not utilize salad kits enough?! They’re such an underrated grocery store find. They can be prepared in minutes and paired with a protein and a carb for the quickest meal ever. One of my go-to meals has been preparing a salad kit with a protein like shrimp or quinoa. I don’t even have to think, and it’s the most amazing thing ever. The other day I even added a hard-boiled egg because I wanted extra protein after a workout. I’m all about those ~gains~.  

The salad kit above from Jewel-Osco has: 

– Cabbage

– Roasted corn 

– Carrots

– Cheddar cheese

– Avocado-ranch dressing 

10/10 recommendation, people. 

While I could go on forever, these have been some of my staples since my move. They’re simple, affordable, and yummy. 

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a “triple threat”. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s