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Old 02-06-2006, 11:50 AM   #1
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College Cooking Tips

Alright, I'm a college student currently living in a kitchen-less dorm. Without access to any sort of cooking appliances short of a microwave, I was wondering if anyone out there has any sort of fun recipes that involve food items that aren't ramen or single serving soups.

I have access to a grocery across the street, as well as microwave-safe bowls. I like variety, so eating the same things every day is getting boring.

Thanks for any help you can offer.


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Old 02-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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I used to love to make veggie wraps in college. Get some hummas and taboli and some shredded carrots and sprouts and any other veggies you like. Roll it up and enjoy.

Do you have an iron? We used to use ours for making grilled cheese or "grilling" other sandwiches (cause ya know we sure didn't use it to iron our clothes). Just use a piece of aluminum foil if your iron is not clean enough to eat off of.

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Old 02-06-2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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First, welcome to DC.

I will assume you and your dorm mates all have a microwave.

Why not set up a communal deal where you all chip in some $ and make a meal once in a while?

Just off the top of my head, how about tacos?

Can cook the ground beef in the nuker, and serve with taco shells, or nachos, cut up lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese (you can get a box shredder really cheap at a supermarket or can just buy it that way), sliced jalapenos from the jar, sliced black olives from the can, and some sour cream. Or you can add or subtract anything you like.

And each ingredient can be made in a different room.

There are many meals that can be made in the microwave. It may not be the best way to cook many foods, but one can do an adequate or even very good job in the beast. Particularly with casseroles. Just Google for recipes.

It may take a bit of imagination, but as I remember in college that was not lacking.

There are many things a nuker can do better than Ramen.
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Old 02-06-2006, 03:35 PM   #4
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Scrub the skin of a medium sized potato, poke a few holes in it and microwave it for about 2 to 3 minutes. If that's not enough time, add 1 minute more. A knife or fork should be able to go easily through it when it's done. When it's done, slice it open and top with any number of things: like grated cheese / salsa / tuna salad (made with mayo or however you like it). Or top it with a bit of broccoli, which you can also wash off, stick in a bowl with a tiny bit of water, cover with another plate and cook for 2 minutes. Eat the skin of the potato - it's full of nutrients and if you scrubbed it, it's good to go. It's also one of the cheapest things you can find, and very nutritious.

Scarmbled egg: two eggs in a bowl, bit of milk and salt/pepper. Whisk the eggs with a fork and add a bit of margerine or butter (or not). Cover with a plate, cook for 1 minute, open and stir, then another minute and maybe 30 seconds. It will rise like a souffle. It carries on cooking a bit after you take it out, so wait a minute or so before you eat it.

Oats porridge (although I'm not sure if this is a familiar food to American students)....it's really healthy though and filling..... Put 1/2 cup of regular (not instant) oats into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Cover with water so that the water is about 1 cm over the top of the oats. Cook for 2 minutes. Serve with brown sugar and cream (half and half or milk). Jazz up the oats before cooking with raisons or a bit of cinnamon. The quick cooking oats or instant oats have almost none of their original goodness in them. If regular oats are so easy, why not just make them?

Fish sticks can be heated in the microwave, as well as chicken nuggets. You could make yourself a nice sandwich, with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise and the fish/chicken.

The idea of inviting your friends to pitch in and take turns could be really fun. It's a great way to get together and enjoy each other.
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:28 PM   #5
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Have you tried Easy Mac? Kraft makes the original, but there are several store brands as well. It's really good, better than the boxed kind you boil on the stove.
You can start with 2-3 packets of Easy Mac and turn it into all sorts of casseroles.
Add a small can of tuna, small can peas, and a can of cream of mushroom soup (opt) for tuna casserole. Heat in the nuke, topped with grated cheese.

Cook 1/2 lb. ground beef with a little chopped onion (onion flakes are OK),
drain and season with salt, garlic/herb seasoning & pepper. Cook the pasta, combine with meat, a small and of corn or mixed vegetables, and a small can of tomato sauce or drained chopped tomatoes. Heat in the nuke, topped with grated cheese.

Or substitute a can of chili beans for the vegies, in the above recipe, and substitute chili powder or Southwest seasoning for the garlic/herb seasoning. Add additional hot sauce if you like. Top with grated Mexican style cheese.

Steam a chicken breast in your nuke, and chop while the pasta is cooking. Combine pasta and chopped chicken with a small can of peas and carrots, cream of chicken soup, and top with crushed Ritz crackers.

Get some thick sliced (1/2") good ham from the deli, chop, and add to pasta along with box of frozen broccoli florets and a can of cream something soup. Top with crushed Ritzcrackers or cheese.

By the way, use the sauce packet that comes with the pasta for all the above.

All of the above recipes work just as well with quick cooking rice.

Rice-a-Roni and Zatarains make some great mixes, and you can improvise with these just as easily as you can with the Easy Mac.

You can make soup, meatloaf, chili, spaghetti sauce, baked beans with smoked sausage...your imagination is the limit.

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Old 02-07-2006, 07:53 PM   #6
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you can do twice-baked potatoes, or chili-cheese potatoes w/ cans of chili and cheese sauce or grated cheese, sour cream, etc.....

i would highly recommend a microwave steamer. i had one before i got my apt., a Pampered Chef one, & it did a great job on foods.

you can put fish in the microwave, veggies, casseroles, bacon for sammiches, etc.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice thus far! To answer your question, Constance, yes I have heard of Easy Mac, but it's not nearly as good as the original. It *is* much easier to cook though, hence the name :P

You also mentioned cooking rice in a microwave. I've never cooked rice anywhere but a stovetop. Is it the same sort of deal? 2 parts water to 1 part rice? How long do you cook that for?

Oh and as for the microwave steamer, luvs_food...do you know of any that *aren't* Pampered Chef? I know my mom had quite a lot of their cooking supplies, and I loved using them, but if I've got to buy it myself, I'm willing to sacrifice that quality for something a bit more affordable Any suggestions in that department?

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Old 02-07-2006, 08:38 PM   #8
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I'm back...Do you have a fridge or good cooler?
Does your grocery store have a salad bar or deli?

A lot of times busy people tend to neglect their vegetable intake, and that's very important for your health.
If your grocery has a salad bar, you can get small amounts of all sorts of goodies, which you can use not only for salads, but for all sorts of other things.
Look for an individual sized vegetable tray. It may seem a little pricey, but you can munch some raw, and throw the rest in with a casserole dish.

There is a nice browning dish made for use in the microwave, but for the price, you could buy an electric skillet. You can do all kinds of things with that.
By the way, when I was in college, my meals were already paid for in the cafeteria, which had pretty good food. You just had to get there on time.
I ate an awful lot of junk and drank way too many sodas, didn't get enough sleep...and then I got sick. We had free medical care, and the old retired navy doctor told me a headfull...in a very fatherly way. He put the fear in me, and I cut out the sodas and started eating better. Two out of three isn't bad.
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:46 PM   #9
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*While the following may seem like advertising, the intent is not*

I stumbled across a resource that has wonderful potential to help those "without" things get things. All you need is access to a car or truck (including knowing someone who does), depending on the size of the item.

It's called FreeCycle. I think it is an .org online. Simply put, it was created to give others who may need something you have a chance to know you have it and are looking to get rid of it. Typically it functions as a Yahoo! group (the one I use is). If you go to their main page you can search your locale to see what is available.

Again, this is not intended as a plug or an advertisement, but as a suggestion for query to find items to increase one's efficiency in living. I see functioning microwaves, coffee pots (drip & perk), and other small appliances. Even furniture! I've seen all of the aforementioned items in the group I am involved in. Check it out and see if you can get lucky and find something good!
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:59 PM   #10
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That's very cool, Dog. Southern Illinois University is not too far from here, and I know they do a lot of things like that there.

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