So um, last week I asked you all for your input on the summer Friday feature, Kids in the Kitchen, and whether I should continue it on a regular basis. Well I am still trying to decide if that is something I want to continue to do (I keep changing my mind!! Please let me know your thoughts.).
But as I sit here still undecided, below is a useful article for all those college ‘kids’ that may need a little help in the kitchen as they leave for school for the first time (written for meal planning/recipe site Food on the Table).
Also, check out the seriously easy recipes at the bottom of this article, which require minimal cooking abilities and kitchen appliances, perfect for those busy college students!
It’s that time of year again; time to sharpen pencils, purchase textbooks and move into that college dorm or apartment. This August, thousands of young adults leave the comfort of home and head off to live on their own, many for the first time.
While most college students rely on fast food or the school cafeteria, those easy meal options can be expensive and unhealthy. Instead of depending on these convenience foods, try cooking on your own. Below are several simple cooking tips for first time cooks living away from home.
• Essential Tools: Before moving into that dorm, check with the housing coordinator or reference the school’s website to see what appliances are allowed in the dorms. Some campuses offer small kitchens in the dorms while others do not. Even with a small kitchen, resources and space maybe limited. Choose to bring tools and appliances you know how to use and that will help prepare meals. Besides the basics, such as plates, cups, and silverware; mixing bowls, knives, pots and pans, and a can opener are all needed for simple cooking. A crock-pot, microwave, coffee maker, and toaster oven are all cooking appliances even a novice cook can use.
• Make a Meal Plan: Most college students are on a strict budget and have limited funds to spend on food. Making a weekly meal plan and shopping with a prepared list will help avoid unnecessary expenses. Consider using recipes written to serve one to two people to avoid excessive leftovers. A recipe app or website usually offers tools to adjust recipes to desired number of servings which can be helpful when cooking for one.
• Communicate with Roommates: When living with roommates, it is essential to communicate and discuss living arrangements, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Some roommates prefer to grocery shop and prepare meals together. While others like to keep food separate by designating specific cabinet and refrigerator space for each person. With busy schedules and limited funds, sharing cooking responsibilities and costs can help elevate some of the stress associated with living away from home. Consider shopping and cooking together one day a week, preparing several meals that can then be heated and enjoyed later.
When cooking for the first time, choose easy to prepare recipes. The recipes below use basic cooking skills and are prepared using simple kitchen tools, making them perfect for college cooking.
Tex-Mex Potatoes (Kitchen Concoctions)
5 Minute Homemade Mac and Cheese (Picky Palate)
Green Monster Smoothie (Kitchen Concoctions)
10 Minute Microwave Egg and Veggie Breakfast Bowl (My Favorite Things)
Southwestern Corn and Black Couscous Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (Kitchen Concoctions)
Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookie (Cooking to Perfection)
Greek Chicken Pita Pockets – Crock-pot (Kitchen Concoctions)
Pizza Quesadillas (The Girl Who Ate Everything)