As a college student, cooking tends to be foreign territory that has yet to be tread. Living in dorms doesn’t exactly help the situation, since universities make money from students eating at their dining halls. Not to mention that kitchen facilities tend to be limited in residence halls, if they even exist at all.
With all this in mind, how is a student with a full course load, internships and work on their plate supposed to find time to cook? Well, look no further. Here are five recipes from Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel to help you get started.
From ingredients to cooking method, nothing here is too advanced for even the most unskilled of cooks.
1. Three-Minute Mug Omelet from “7 Dorm-Friendly Microwave Meals + Microwave Cleaning Hack”
If you’re one of those unfortunate souls without access to a kitchen, have no fear. Everyone has been there at some point. So until you get to live in an apartment with a decent kitchen, finding creative ways to cook can be a fun challenge. The video adapts several common household recipes to be made in microwave form, including a simple omelet.
For a quick breakfast that you can take on the go, first crack two eggs into your mug, then add whatever you like to have in an omelet. For example, the video uses bell pepper, ham and spinach. After adding a pinch of salt and pepper, mix it all up and plop that thing in the microwave for two to three minutes. You then have yourself a pint-sized omelet ready to be devoured.
2. Four-Minute Chicken Quesadilla from “7 Dorm-Friendly Microwave Meals + Microwave Cleaning Hack”
To be honest, this video is too good to use only one time. Like all Tasty recipes, this quesadilla concoction will give you a refreshing alternative to all those mac ‘n cheese and instant noodle meals, yet still fits into the time- and money-restrictive college lifestyle.
First off, microwave two tortillas for a minute, mixing together your chicken, bell pepper and taco seasoning during that time. Then put your chicken mixture in the microwave for one minute more. It is here where you combine the two, laying your mixture on one tortilla and topping it with a layer of cheese.
Put the other tortilla on top to complete the look, microwaving for one more minute to finish the job. This recipe can be modified in several different ways based on what you choose to put in your quesadilla, which makes it all the more magical.
3. Potato Wedges from “10 Easy and Healthy Veggie Snacks”
Here’s a recipe in which you’ll need a proper kitchen, since the wedges will be baked in an oven. This dish is a great alternative to French fries, since their being baked is much healthier. As you get work done in your dorm, these potato wedges will be the perfect thing to snack on.
Get as many potatoes as you’ll want to eat, cutting them each in two before slicing those halves into sections. You can make the slices about a half inch to an inch each, depending on how thick you want your wedges to be.
After placing your potatoes in a bowl, add in olive oil, salt, pepper and any other seasonings you may want, mixing well. The video uses garlic powder, oregano, paprika and parmesan to spice things up as well, but they aren’t absolutely crucial to the dish.
Now that the preparations are complete, put your wedges in an oven heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to bake for 40 – 50 minutes. If you aren’t craving these right now, you must have nerves of steel.
4. Chicken Alfredo Penne from “4 Meals Anyone Can Make”
Though not all Tasty recipes can be as simple as the ones previous, the techniques involved here are nothing too advanced. Besides, homemade pasta is worth it, especially if you’re stuck eating lackluster store-bought pasta dishes.
There are three overall steps involved in this recipe: cooking the chicken, making the Alfredo sauce and boiling the pasta. The ingredients aren’t anything too fancy, though you may want to stock up on oregano, basil and garlic if you don’t have those already.
After putting butter in a hot pan, coat your chicken breast in a light dusting of salt, pepper, oregano and crushed basil, then sauté until the chicken is fully cooked. Begin the same buttering process in a new pan, lightly toast some garlic, before then mixing in your flour and milk a little bit at a time. Season again with salt, pepper, oregano and basil for your complete Alfredo.
For a lighter version of the same dish, just skip the Alfredo sauce and add some olive oil and seasoning in addition to your chicken. Boil some pasta, mix everything together and voila!
If you don’t have access to a kitchen yourself, ask an upperclassman friend to loan you theirs. As payment, you can cook for two instead.
5. Two-Ingredient Chocolate Cake from “5 Easy 2-Ingredient Recipes”
Consider the following scenario: It’s past midnight, and you’re craving some sort of rich, chocolatey dessert. Even though you’re up studying, there will be almost no place open that can help you satisfy your hunger.
You’re in college, so of course you don’t have any baking materials on hand. Left with no way of buying or making the cake of your dreams, what could you possibly do? Well, of all the Tasty recipes out there, this is the one you need right now.
In order to make this easy, bare-bones chocolate cake, all you need are eggs and chocolate chips. Yes, you read that correctly. Though a baking connoisseur may scoff at something so crass, such a concoction will be enough to satisfy a hungry college kid. Simply melt your chocolate in the microwave, then separate your egg whites from yolks.
Afterward, whip the egg whites until they’re solid and creamy. Mix the yolks into the chocolate one by one, adding the whites after. Bake at 320 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, and you’re done. With a couple of adjustments, this can be made as a mug cake in your microwave as well.
Though cooking can seem like a chore, anyone can do it as long as they put the effort in. It may seem easy to live off of instant food for the next four years, but making your own food is its own reward. Nothing you make has to be fancy, it just has to be edible. After all, this isn’t “Master Chef,” it’s just college.