Simple Recipes for College Students
A Cookbook for College Students
Sooner or later - it happens - our children will go to college (or maybe just move out on their own!). Usually (at least during the first year) they eat their meals in the school cafeteria. But sooner or later they want to experience some independence and cook something on their own (or they just say they can't stand the 'caf' food anymore!). They could begin to get their meals by eating out - but this will get expensive very quickly. So the alternative is for them to make their own meals. For many of them, this could be their first experience with cooking (not counting making popcorn!). Whether your child is beginning their freshman year or their senior year of college, they will be making a meal at some point during the year. If they live in the dorm their first year, they will certainly have a microwave. Why not create a cookbook of easy meals they can make in a microwave instead of buying costly (and not very nutritious) microwave meals. This can be the beginning for them of independence. Then when they move off campus into their own kitchen, they can begin to explore other options for cooking (baking, stove top, and Crockpot).
When my daughter went to college last year, I created a cookbook for her. The cookbook included some of her favorites while growing up. They also included some special family recipes - she doesn't have all the tools to make these recipes yet, but she does have the recipes for the future. I also included some quick, simple and cheap recipes for her and her roommate to make. This lens will give some of the recipes I included in her cookbook and some great tips along the way!
Photo: Patrick Q
Creating A Cookbook for the College Student
Go peek in anybody's kitchen (go ahead - I'll wait!) and you will find cookbooks. Cookbooks for losing weight, kid-friendly, Crockpot, simple and easy, Italian - the list goes on! Why not make your child's first cookbook, one that you create for them. It is simple to do - grab a 3-ring binder and print out your families favorite recipes.
Family Favorites: Take their favorite recipes that you make for the family and include them in the book. Even if the recipes are a little more complicated than they can handle, they will get to the point that they will be able to try them! I included the recipe for Spaghetti Pie - one of my daughter's favorites. It includes basics that most college students like - spaghetti. It just makes it a little different than just - "spaghetti".
Family Heritage recipes: My mother has a cinnamon roll recipe that is to die for! (It's really very good!) I put a copy of that recipe in her cookbook. Will she ever use it? Probably not (yeast and kneading is involved!) but she will have it and the memories of when her grandmother made those cinnamon rolls. And if she every feels the urge - she has the recipe to try.
Simple College Friendly recipes: Ramen noodles are a staple in a college students life (admit it they are one of the cheapest things in the store!). I found a couple of recipes online for ramen noodles so that they wouldn't get bored with just - noodles.
Photo: ex libris
- Prep time: 25 min
- Cook time: 35 min
- Ready in: 1 hour
- Yields: 6
- 6 oz. Uncooked spaghetti
- 1 lb. Ground beef
- Â¼ c. sliced celery (I leave this out)
- 15 Â½ oz. Jar prepared spaghetti sauce
- 4.5 oz. Jar sliced mushrooms - drained (I have left this out most of the time also)
- 2 eggs - slightly beaten
- 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Â½ t. garlic salt
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch square pan. Cook spaghetti to desired doneness as directed on package; drain. Set aside.
- In large skillet, brown ground beef with celery, drain. Stir in prepared spaghetti sauce and mushrooms. Simmer 15 minutes.
- Combine cooked spaghetti, eggs, 1/3 c. Parmesan cheese and garlic salt; toss lightly. Place spaghetti mixture in prepared pan. Press evenly in bottom and up sides of pan, forming a crust. Pour meat mixture over spaghetti; cover with foil. Bake at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove foil; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Staples that Every College Student Needs - Food
There are some basic food/supplies that every college student needs for their kitchen. These will vary by taste of food fut there are some basics that you would find in every dorm across the country.
Ramen Noodles: You can find these for anywhere from .25 to .10 cents each. Very economical. The problem becomes that you can tire very quickly of them - even if you try the different varieties. (My daughter is very loyal to her chicken!)
Popcorn: Ok, so this really can't be called an item as a meal - however, some students will call it a meal, snack, midnight break from studying - whatever - it's there in their cabinets somewhere!
Spices: When they have a kitchen and are attempting to cook some of those wonderful recipes you have put in their cookbook, they are going to need spices. If you are not "picky" about your spices - you can find spices at the dollar-type store or Aldi. Don't let them go to the grocery store and buy them - they could spend $3 - 5 on one spice. Teach them to use their money in better ways. Go through your recipes and help find the spices that they might use first: chili powder (chili) Italian seasoning (chicken), onion or garlic powder.
Veggies: One of the best ways to eat veggies to retain their nutritional value is to steam them. For that they need a stove, a pan and a steamer basket. Luckily, a storage bag company has created "steam bags". You put your vegetables in the bags, pop them in the microwave and you have steamed vegetables. The bags can get costly, but if all they have is a microwave, this can guarantee that they get their veggies!
Fruits: This will require that they go to a grocery store or farmers market on a regular basis. There just isn't anyway to keep fruits fresh for very long. Show them the circulars for the grocery stores or sign them up for the on-line sale notices from the stores. Teach them to shop for their favorite fruit when it is on sale. Also Aldi (if you have one in your town) is a great place to shop for fruits.
- 1 -1/2 lbs. Ground beef
- 2 or 3 cans (15 oz. Each) pinto beans - drained
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic - minced
- 1 can (15 oz) whole tomatoes cut up (I use tomato sauce)
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- Â½ cup water
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves - crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Â¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1. Crumble ground beef into a slow cooker. Add beans, onion and garlic
- 2. In a medium bowl, stir tomatoes, tomato paste, water, chili powder, salt, oregano, cumin and pepper until blended. Stir into meat mixture. Scrape down sides of slow cooker.
- 3. Cover and cook on high for 3 Â½ to 4 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours or until onion is tender.
- Serve with shredded Cheddar cheese and saltine crackers.
Crockpot for the College Student
2.5 quart round slow cooker. Ideal for 2 to 3 people. Removable stoneware. Rinse Clean coating for easy cleaning. Glass lid. 2 heat settings. Nonprogrammable. White wrapper with green stoneware. 9.1" H. x 10.1" W. x 10" D.
A Cookbook for Your First Apartment
- Cook time: 10 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- Yields: 2
Asian Chicken 'n Noodles Recipe
- 1 Â½ c. water
- 1 pkg (3 oz) ramen noodle soup mix
- 1 medium carrot - thinly sliced
- 1 pkg. (6 oz) Oscar Mayer grilled Chicken breast strips
- 2 T green onion slices
- Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Add noodles and carrots; cook 3 minutes.
- Add chicken breast strips and 1 t. of the seasoning (from ramen soup package); mix well. Discard remaining seasoning. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle with onions.
101 Things to Do with Ramen Noodles
Refrigerators for the College Student - Keep Food Close!
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- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 15 min
- Ready in: 20 min
- Yields: 4
15 minutes Parmesan Pasta with Chicken & Broccoli Recipe
- 8 oz. Pasta - uncooked
- 3 c. fresh broccoli florets or 1 pkg. (16 oz) frozen broccoli florets
- 1 clove garlic - minced or Â¼ t. garlic powder
- 1 pkg (6 oz) Oscar Mayer grilled chicken breast strips
- 3 T. butter or margarine or olive oil
- Â¼ c Kraft 100% grated Parmesan Cheese
- Cook pasta as directed on package in large saucepan, adding broccoli during last 5 minutes of cooking time; drain.
- Cook and stir garlic and chicken breast strips in butter in same saucepan on medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is tender but no brown and chicken is heated through.
- Add pasta and broccoli; toss lightly. Sprinkle with cheese; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Cookbooks for the College Student
Ok, so your college student is packed and ready to go (everything is "stuffed" into their car!) and you have no time to "create" a cookbook for them. Order one of these and have it shipped directly to their dorm room. It accomplishes 2 things at one time - they get mail (college students love to get mail!) and they get a cookbook of their own (and you get to be a cool parent!).
Lens of the Day!
What a Great Way to Start 2010!!!
Thanks to the group that selects the Lens of the Day! I am so honored to be Lens of the Day on January 3, 2010!