Me and My Food, Volume 2: Skinny Spaghetti

We all recognize this familiar package…

The common joke about poor college students is that they eat a LOT of ramen noodles, owing to how very cheap they are. And admittedly, that’s pretty true–when you’re in the mood for ramen, that is. But sometimes, you just want to FEEL like you’re eating something a little fancier than you can get out of the microwave, without actually spending a ton of time (and money) on making it.

This week, I’ve been cooking dinners for myself, on my own budget (NOT the meal plan my parents paid for) for the first time in my college career and it’s a little daunting. I’ve managed, however, to come by a few easy to make dinners that don’t break the bank, and today I wanted to share one of my favorites with you–skinny spaghetti, which is basically spaghetti noodles tossed in olive oil and some other magnificent things, without the heavy tomato-based sauce.

I’ll let you in on a secret–I LOVE pasta, but I’ve never been a huge fan of my family’s staple, spaghetti. It isn’t the noodles (obviously) that I have a problem with so much as the tomato-based sauce. It’s not that I HATE spaghetti–I’m just not a huge fan. Which is why I was incredibly excited when I found this idea on Pinterest, and I’d link to its original owner if only that idea wasn’t just a picture with a caption that lead me nowhere. But I took some liberties with this recipe anyway, so I’ll just go ahead and relate my version to you.

 “Skinny” Spaghetti

This version made with whole wheat pasta.

You’ll need:
1 serving spaghetti noodles (you can go whole wheat or bran if, like me, you prefer whole grains)
Olive Oil, to taste (approx 11/2 tsp)
Salt
Pepper  (I prefer freshly ground, personally)
Garlic powder (approx 1 tsp)
Bread crumbs/crushed croutons (approx 1/3 cup)
Parsley flakes (optional)

Basically, you just boil yourself up a serving of spaghetti noodles (check your box for serving size, as it varies based on whether you get regular, whole wheat, oat bran, etc). I recommend going for “al dente” (firm to the bite) but if you like them all squishy, go for it. Then you take yourself some bread crumbs (I crushed up some Parmesan flavored croutons–delicious and it can cut the cost of other seasonings if you’re really on a budget), olive oil, salt, pepper (I prefer freshly ground), garlic powder, and if you wanna be really fancy, some parsley (I use the dried stuff you can find with the spices, for convenience sake) and you shake it on, to taste (I gave some approximate guesstimations for a few things, based on how much I like). It’s not a very exact science, I realize, but it’s both delicious and easy. And, thankfully, inexpensive, since you can get multiple uses out of all of the ingredients when you’re cooking for one.

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