Cuisine for the College Cook

Diane Oh/Staff Photographer

Of all the things that I have learned in the past three years of college, the most basic and essential has been learning how to cook.

As I was growing up my mother would often plead with me to help her in the kitchen so I could inherit her homemade recipes, but I would always shoot her down. I would never give a second thought to how necessary it would be for me to one day have the ability to whip something up on my own.

As I started college, I relied on  food from the commons, eating out and microwave dinners. But as my bank account shrank and my waist size increased, I knew that my eating habits had to change.

Armed with little knowledge about the cooking realm, I asked my all-too-eager-to-help mother for some basic recipes.

Since then, I have been nearly inseparable from the kitchen. I spend most of my free time thinking about and trying new recipes coupled with gorging on episode after episode of shows like Iron Chef America.

My relationship with the kitchen all started with those few basic recipes. I think it would be a mistake for college students to go through their college careers without attempting some hands-on cooking. Therefore, here is a day’s worth of basic recipes that even the most inexperienced of chefs can pull off. The catch is that all the following recipes have five or less main ingredients, are completed in no more than four steps, are budget-friendly and are quick and easy to make.

Since these are basic recipes, the idea is to experiment with different ingredients and methods.

Steamy Scrambled Eggs

Need: Two eggs, 1/4 cup diced green onion, 1/4 cup diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup milk, and a dash of salt and pepper

Step 1: Use a fork, mix the eggs and milk together in a bowl until they are thoroughly blended. Then mix in the tomatoes and onion.

Step 2: Spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray and let it heat up over medium-high heat. Pour the mixture into the skillet, cover and let it sit for one minute.

Step 3: Pull and stir the mixture for an additional five to six minutes, or until the eggs are no longer runny and slightly golden-brown.

Step 4: Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with toasted bread.

Luncheon with Pita Pizza

Need: One pita pocket bread, pizza sauce, reduced Fat — Shredded Mozzarella cheese and your choice of toppings.

Step 1: Set the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit

Step 2: Place the pita pocket on a cookie sheet and add your toppings of choice in to the pocket

Step 3: Enjoy!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

(From Minuterice.com)

Need:  Two cups of pre-cooked instant cook Rice, one cup fresh, sliced mushrooms, one cup of spaghetti sauce, one cup of 2 percent milk shredded reduced fat mild cheddar cheese, and four medium green peppers (w/ the tops removed and the

insides seeded)

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Mix the cooked rice, mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, and 3/4 cups of the cheese.

Step 3: Place the peppers in a two-quart baking dish. Fill them with the rice mixture and cover.

Bake them for 30 to 35 minutes or until peppers are crisp-tender and the filling is heated through.

Step 4: Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake an additional five minutes or until the cheese is melted. If desired, you can also add cooked shredded beef to the rice mixture before you put the mixture into the peppers.

Snack Attack with Mix Chill Salad

(From Shelley Platt’s Cookbook, “If I Gotta cook, make it quick”)

Need: One cup yogurt, one tablespoon of Orange Juice, two tablespoons of honey, 1/2 a cup of raisins, and one large, chopped apple.

Step 1: In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, juice and honey. Mix them well.

Step 2: Add the raisins and apples and mix again.

Step 3: Cover and chill the mixture before serving.

Enjoy these recipes and remember to add your own twist to it! Happy Eating!