Thursday, October 1, 2015

Veggie Toasts 4 College Cooking

Scraping by is no fun, but recently I posted an article on College Confessions that exposed a very stark reality that some college students are experiencing related to money and making ends meet: 

Compelling information on the struggles from being penniless to hungry in college. I would encourage you to look at every penny and dollar you have if you are living off campus...if you are limited in income and survival is looming ahead...

---calculate everything in your budget 
---remove extraneous items, ie cigarettes, soda, beer, candy, desserts, junk food
---stick to water
---eliminate meat from the grocery budget
---most importantly, identify someone who is struggling and share a meal 

Even if you don't have a lot to share, consider reducing your intake just a smidge to give a little to someone in need! Great recipes for sharing include simple meals like my Dad used to make for lunch: Open-faced sandwiches!  

Typically, these little bites were made with a lunchmeat, leftover chicken or tuna and then covered in grated cheese; but, if you substitute sautéed veggies instead…this is a cheap, satisfying and delicious meal!  

For $4.90 I can get (in Chicago):
--1 squash
--1 zucchini
--1 green pepper
--1-2 onions
--1 red pepper

Extra $2.50-$2.99:
--1 box portobello mushrooms 

Chop and sauté these veggies, sprinkle with cheese and broil; and, you will have plenty of toasts to share! Some great combos include: 

1. Sauteed Mushrooms & Cheese (featured in this post)
2. Sauteed Onions & Cheese
3. Veggie Medley & Cheese

Veggie Toasts 4 College Cooking
Total Cost: $10.41 (includes cheaper veggies, cheese and bread or 2-3 boxes of 'shrooms)
Toast: $0.52/ slice (15-20 slices)

Toaster Oven
Non-stick skillet

1 box portobello mushrooms, cleaned & sliced (other veggies diced & chopped)
2 tsp butter
1-2 Tbls olive oil
1/2-1 tsp of dried thyme
Salt & pepper

1 loaf of crusty bread, sliced 1/4"
Cheese (Monterrey Jack, Gouda, Havarti, Gruyere), grated

1. Wash your hands and veggies.
2. Prep your cheese and veggies.

3. Saute your veggies with butter and olive oil in a medium-large non-stick skillet.

4. Allow mushrooms to sear untouched or stirred. Once golden brown, add salt, pepper and thyme.

5. Toast your slices of bread lightly.

6. Once the veggies are done, divide evenly across your toasts.
7. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

8. Broil your toasts for 2-3 minutes.

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