Lunch on a budget! A quick, easy and tasty pasta dish recipe to cease your hunger

Hey Friends,

Today I’d like to share with you a recipe that’s perfect if you’re a busy student like me. This is my last year at university so there’s plenty to do. My mind is constantly clicking on something school-related so no wonder that I tend to forget about writing a shopping list or planning my meals a week ahead. On the other hand, I can’t function properly without getting food into my system. I look up to those who can live on a chocolate roll all day and give a 100% performance at school at the same time but I’m not one of them. I don’t consider this a bad thing, though. I strongly believe that irregular eating leads to poor health: messes up your sugar levels, immune system not to mention your digestion. So, I decided to make food happen whatever the circumstances might be and not settle with donuts or a slice of pizza (although I adore those too). Yesterday, I had 2 hours to spare between classes so I rushed home to quickly whip up something. I knew I had half of a chicken breast sitting in my fridge from the previous day (I made simple fried chicken with herbs) so that was a great start as far as protein goes. I also knew that there was a bag of frozen broccoli too that’s one of my go-to veggies to pair with meat. Since, I didn’t feel like steaming the broccoli and simply eat it with the leftover chicken and I really wanted something satisfying, I stopped by my local grocery store to find something that suited my tummy’s requirements. That’s  how I came across a bag of instant pasta. I never ever ever use anything like that because I had this myth in my mind that it’s full of preservatives, colourings and other nasty chemicals that make it taste good….ish, but this time I flipped the packaging and went through the ingredients and I was stunned to see that it actually is not that bad for you. Yes, it’s a lot of carbs, yes, it’s not fresh and it’ll never taste as good as the stuff you make from scratch but with my improved recipe it’ll be something to die for. You can put the pasta in a plastic container and take it with you with a side of salad. It’s plenty for one person so I suggest finding a lunch buddy to share it with or you can save it for later. Oh, and you only need to spend around 700 HUF (roughly 3 USD) to make this happen. See recipe below!

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What you need:

-a pack of Knorr “Pasta Parmesana”

-a handful of fresh or frozen broccoli (I used frozen because you don’t have to deal with prep)

-a pinch of salt

-leftover fried chicken breast, sliced (optional)

-graded cheddar cheese for topping (optional)

What you do:

-Prepare pasta as instructed on the back of the packaging. I advise to boil a little less water than 0.5 l to reach that ooey-gooey texture

-Meanwhile, boil water in another bowl. My trick is to put on an electric water boiler which is way faster than boiling on the stove. When it’s ready, put in the broccoli roses, add a pinch of salt and cook them for 3 minutes.

-Back to the pasta: when the water is boiling add the content of the package and stir well. Leave it simmer for 3 minutes before adding the slices of chicken and strained broccoli.

-Leave the whole thing simmer together for an additional 3 minutes, sprinkle some graded cheddar on top and then serve.

-If you want to you can prepare a quick side of salad: I tossed together some ruccola and diced tomatoes. The juice of the tomato is almost like a dressing itself but for an additional savory flavour, drizzle a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

I guarantee that it’s going to be an epic lunch experience and a staple dish of your weekly meal plan .

Enjoy!

Have a wonderful rest of the week,

Love and hugs: fatimapanka

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