I like to think that I am this unique and super-thrifty college student, and in some ways I am. But sometimes I am a typical college student when it comes to food. Exhibit A: my inclination to order Chinese take-out especially during final exam week. Last year, I started watching The Food Network quite frequently as an attempt to get myself out of this slump. While watching, I noticed how much these chefs/tv-hosts used fresh herbs. I bought myself some fresh parsley and noticed how much of a difference it made in my most basic pasta dish (whole rye pasta, butter, a little milk, and Parmesan).
A year later, I started making legitimate attempt to start eating healthier and cooking more for myself. I figured it would help my waistline and my wallet. I picked up online recipes and cookbooks of healthy dishes using fruits and veggies that were in season and attempted to cook for myself. After I gained some confidence from watching countless cooking shows, I started making making my own recipes. I started experimenting with herbs because I learned how one of the simplest ingredients can yield a delicious and simply dish.
But while going to my organic grocery store, I was appalled at how expensive fresh herbs were-even in the summer! But then I realized that all of these herbs were grown from plants (duh!). My friend Lauren had previously started a small herb garden on her windowsill and I decided that this was a much better investment than paying 2-3 bucks for every small bunch. I had never realized before how expensive fresh herbs could be. I bought a pot and proceeded to my favorite organic store to buy organic soil and my three favorite herbs: rosemary, thyme and parsley.
At first this was a small investment. The good thing is that you don’t need a green thumb to maintain a herb garden. All you need is a windowsill. I know quite a few friends like Lauren who do the same thing, and they gave me lots of tips. For example, if your windowsill is in your kitchen, make sure you keep your kitchen clean. My friends who didn’t keep their kitchens clean seemed to attract bugs. When I made my herb garden, I had to make sure that I never left out any food and kept the area extremely prestine (a minor challenge for the average college student). Also I needed to make sure that I remembered to water the plant everyday, but it was not the most exhausting challenge I have ever encountered. I noticed that every so often a leaf started to dry out, but if that happened I just snipped it away.
It’s a pretty decent investment. It’s simple math: one time you buy a plant, and you have fresh herbs for the rest of the summer (and into the fall if the light is still decent). You add some green to your wallet and your household! I encourage other bloggers and readers to try this technique, and see how eating green can be healthier, cheaper and tastier!