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College Food Survival Tips

Updated on June 9, 2012

I Kept My Roomates Alive!

I was a young college girl in the mid to late 90's. My three roommates and I shared a one bedroom apartment above a karate studio and next to a McDonald's. In the morning after our strong coffee (closer to early afternoon on weekends) my hungover roommates and myself would awake to the sound of "ay.ya!" from karate students below and smell quarter pounders & fries wafting through our rooftop window.. The girls and I had exhausted our tolerance for cheeseburgers in the first month of living together. I was the first and only in the apartment to revoke the idea of four years surviving on Top Ramon and Cup o' Soup, the traditional staples of college life. Our kitchen at the time was exactly 120 sq feet I kid you not.. I could mop the floor with a baby wipe!
In hopes of keeping myself and my roomies alive through 4 years of higher education I ventured into our micro-galley. I perfected a few dishes with trial and error plus some laboratory experimentation. We made it through the good times, the penniless times and the to young to care times.
The beauty of the top three recipes I am going to share with you today is they have evolved right along with me. I am now a wife and mother.. these dishes are a regular part of my rotation, my son will actually sit down without giving me his wide eyed look of fear when he gazes at the meal set before him. Nothing about any of the dishes are gourmet, they aren't complicated or very interesting, I am sure many of you have your own variation of these in your own rotation. Just think about it from a college kids perspective if you will. We could eat a couple of full meals with less then 8 or 9 ingredients 10 when our cupboards were really "full"! So this is for you Kelly, Amanda and for a little bit Jen, my roomies in crime during the hard times, Bon Appetite!

Tasty Turkey Pie
1lb package ground turkey burger
potatoes cut up into bite sized pieces
1 onion
cheese when we were lucky!
Dice the onion add to a skillet with the turkey and brown add salt and pepper once brown remove from heat next boil about 4 potatoes until al dente (not like you would for mashed potatoes they should still be a teeny bit hard) drain water add butter and cheese, mix the potato mixture with the meat mixture let sit. Add 2 cups flour and 1 stick of butter (soft). Cut the butter using a pastry blender or a couple of knives until crumbly add 2 or 3 pinches of salt. Add water to flour by the tablespoon until a firm ball forms. Roll out your bottom crust put in a pie pan and prick with a fork. bake in oven set at 350 for 10 min. remove crust and fill to the top with the meat pie filing, roll out a top crust and drape. Make it as pretty as you want but we never did. We would just roll the extra crust up and sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake in the oven until top crust is golden. Pass out 4 forks put the pie in the middle with ketchup! Dinner! No plates to wash!
Spaghetti Squash surprise
Cut 2 squash in half cover flat part with aluminum foil and lay flat side down on baking sheet for 25 min. Take out of oven remove foil and pour 2 or 3 TBL maple syrup and salt cover with foil and bake foil side up until tender. You will know it is done when you can easily remove spaghetti strands with a fork. You can do this same recipe with saran wrap and a microwave if you are OK with using saran. The surprise? No one knew I used maple syrup they thought the squash was naturally sweet! Enjoy.

Everything but the kitchen sink chicken ( or as Kelly would call it everything but the chicken kitchen????)
4 chicken breasts
salt pepper

We would use just about any spice we had in the kitchen! Today I use just the spices listed but have fun with your favorites! Spray the chicken with Pam or rub olive oil on top and sprinkle with the first 5 spices saute' in a pan until brown on both sides then finish in a 350 oven until cooked through. Pretty good served with the squash! Cut the chicken up stick in the "squash bowl" washing dishes not required! (my son really loves this!) Happy cooking I'll add some other favorites when the roomies remind me of what they were! lol If you try any of these recipes this weekend let me know how they were! I like my turkey pie with a vintage PBR! Cheers!

For my online store and lots of info about Going or Living Green Tips check out my website


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