There are a few challenges I’m experiencing related to being 4 years out of undergrad and now re-entering the student lifestyle. One is that this weekend I spent 5+ hours per day reading books and articles on social welfare policy and intervention strategies for at risk youth. And this was my lightest reading week. Good thing it is all fascinating stuff that I want to learn. I can only pray that my reading speed increases as I get back in the academia game.
Another challenge is that in four years, I got used to having income, more specifically, the disposable kind. Income is a wonderful thing. It allows you to buy things you need, as well as things that you want. Now, on my full-time graduate student budget, want takes a backseat, which is heartbreak for the foodie in me. Standing in Trader Joe’s, this narration plays in my head: Mawi, you need to eat. You need to eat healthy food. We can even go so far as to say that you, specifically, feel the need to eat well. But does eating well really mean you need the $8 cheese?
I’ve decided to accept the challenge before me as an opportunity to discover delicious budget friendly recipes. Additionally, I haven’t prioritized cooking for quite some time, especially since while I was at home with my parents, meals just appeared before me with zero effort on my part. I had forgotten how therapeutic the whole experience of cooking “real meals” (versus my typical “insta-meals”) can be for me.
So over the next 2 years, expect a smattering of recipes focused on wallet friendly main ingredients. Maybe you are on a budget too, and would like to follow along.
Here’s what I made tonight: Chipotle and Lime Roasted Potatoes
When my old roommate was in grad school, she made roasted potatoes almost once a week, so this is an homage to her. I had already bought sweet potatoes and russet potatoes, and thought this sounded like a delicious upgrade. And a cheap upgrade at that: $1.40 for a can of chipotle peppers and one lime.
I followed the recipe linked above, only I had bigger potatoes, so I just sliced them smaller, into pieces 1/2 an inch thick. I’ve never cooked with chipotle peppers, and I wasn’t sure where to find them. (Right next to the canned green chiles, though TJ’s did not have them. I had to go to the bigger grocery store next door.) They come canned in adobo sauce. Adobo is Spanish for smoky-lick-your-fingers-awesomeness.
The end result was delicious, and I loved the combo of sweet and savory from the two types of potatoes, the smoky chipotle, the tangy lime. If you love potatoes like I do, I hope you will try this recipe ASAP! My advice: be the fancy foodie at next week’s labor day barbecue, and save everyone from suffering through the Costco potato salad.
Now… what to do with the rest of these chipotle peppers?