Eating out is tasty, but it can be unhealthy and the expense adds up really quickly. ¬†I haven’t been able to cook for real for about 10 days, and it’s going to be a week before I have access to the kitchenette that comes with our apartment in Seattle. ¬†I’m going a little nutty.
We do have a fridge and a microwave (and I plan to pretend¬†this¬†never happened¬†for as long as I am kitchenless), but my pots and pans are packed – my oven has been cleaned for the next tenant, and I’ve been using some of my more creative ideas for snacks and meals.
Eating out for under $10:
I eat at Chipotle once per week even when I have access to my kitchen. ¬†It’s cheap, delicious, and they make efforts to sustainably source their ingredients. ¬†I usually order a brown rice black bean bowl with veggies, guacamole, and pico de gallo. ¬†The portions are huge and it can be enough to last me two meals for $7 or $8.
There is a new fast casual joint from the chipotle creators called shophouse – which has rice and noodle bowls with asian flavors. ¬†It’s pretty fantastic and although they are only in a few cities at the moment, they have plans to expand to more. ¬†I love a tofu brown rice bowl with lettuce, chili vinegar broccoli, and tamarind vinaigrette. ¬†Yum!
I also go to Vietnamese, Thai, and Japanese places for lunch. ¬†They usually have a great lunch specials for under 10 bucks and there isn’t any dairy or an overwhelming amount of wheat or sugar in those cuisines. ¬†A nice bowl of vegetarian pho, a papaya salad, or miso soup with seaweed salad are some of my favorites. ¬†Sometimes I’ll get two lunch specials, one for lunch and one to take home for dinner.
Ready Made Health Food Options:
If you stop by your local health food store, there are usually some great ready-made salad options that are much cheaper than going to a restaurant. ¬†I love some of the salads at Whole foods or Trader Joes and some places have a great salad bar where you can pick and choose your lunch.
For the more adventurous days when I feel like “cooking,” – there are tons of things you can microwave. ¬†Oatmeal. ¬†Sweet potatoes. ¬†Microwave the sweet potato according to your microwave settings and voila! ¬†you have a delicious and healthy snack. ¬†I feed the skins to my dogs. ¬†My latest favorite? ¬†Put a cup of your favorite tomato sauce into a bowl. ¬†Crack an egg over the top and microwave for one minute for a shakshouka type dish that is pretty tasty (although might horrify some chefs). ¬†Instant miso soup or green tea are easy to make if you have a mug, a microwave and some water!
Though there are tons of microwavable frozen meals on the market which I usually try to steer clear of. ¬†The ingredients are not always so healthy, even in the meals which market themselves that way.
So there you have it. ¬†Not a permanent solution by any stretch, but it’s getting me through these couple of weeks. ¬†What are your favorite healthy no-cook snacks and meals? ¬†Tell me in the comments!