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jcs007's avatar

Can you recommend any tasty, healthy food ideas for a college student with little to negative skill in cooking?

Asked by jcs007 (1776points) April 17th, 2008

I’m hungry. And I want to eat healthy. I don’t wanna eat out anymore. Plus, I wanna learn how to cook =)

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28 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Buy a rice cooker. You can make rice and some steamed veggies in it. It is easy and quick. And really cheap too.

nikipedia's avatar

I hate cooking. Hummus and pita bread got me through college.

wildflower's avatar

Any number of pasta dishes are easy, quick and cheap to make.

Also, this might be useful

peedub's avatar

Steamed veges are super easy. Spinach takes less than ten minutes. Lentils are really easy.
This spicy Korean ramen got me through college. I’m not sure how healthy it is but you can easily add veges. I like to add a fried egg on top and some ginger.

judochop's avatar

Artichokes are easy to make, slice ends off and then boil for about 20 minutes. Chop garlic and melt butter, good stuff.
Hummus is a total winner.
Snack on grapes and oranges and apples.
Boiled eggs are easy.
Good jelly and wheat toast.
Lean meatballs and organic tomato sauce.
All bean chili
Miso and rice noodles
Cherries for a snack.
Man the list goes on and on.
Just stay out of the tv dinner unless you are looking lean.

acebamboo77's avatar

perogies, with bacon and onions. just boil the perogies and fry them in the left over grease from frying the bacon and onions.

Grilled cheese

Rice with a combination of anything you really want. Its what i pretty much live on.

jrpowell's avatar

And this might help.

adrianscott's avatar

If you’re actually looking to learn how to cook, check out some good baked dishes (assuming you have access to an oven in all your college glory).

A simple one that I like to make when I’m feeling a little on the lazy side is called salsa chicken. Basically you sprinkle some taco seasoning on some raw chicken breast, put some salsa on top and bake it for a while. Then you add a little cheese on top, and voila! Goes well with rice which can be made in the rice cooker as johnpowell said.

You aren’t going to learn if you aren’t willing to experiment. Plus it’s easier to cook for 2 or more people, so invite some buddies over and get them to chip in a few bucks for some food.

gailcalled's avatar

Some good simple cookbooks designed for college students.

@Judo: I find that steaming an artichoke for only 20 minutes isn’t enough…maybe it’s because they’re large and a bit woody at this time of year. I’ll double-check when the babies arrive.

Allie's avatar

Invest in a mini Weber grill. You can grill asparagus, artichokes, beef, chicken, hotdogs…

jz1220's avatar

Said my typical guy friends in college: Buy a George Foreman Grill! It will be your best friend. You can grill up chicken breast, low in fat, and then use it to grill veggies. Go with johnpowell’s advice of buying a rice cooker and steam up some brown rice while you grill. You’ll have fun experimenting with different marinades and seasonings for the chicken.

I love Rachael Ray’s recipe for Chicken Provencal Stoup. It is so cheap to buy ingredients for and tastes phenomenal. Takes less than an hour for prep+cook. You also don’t need a lot of knife skills since everything is roughly chopped/diced and thrown into the pot. As Racheal would say, “yumMO!” (sorry, just had to.)

gailcalled's avatar

jcs007: What kind of facilities do you have? A real kitchen w. stove, sink and refrig; some pots, pans, knives etc? Or you roughing it?

I just bought an $$$ slow cooker that I thought was going to change my life; lots of flutherers swore by it. After a couple of nasy mishaps, I am getting rid of it.

buster's avatar

rice cooker a wok some veggies and meat or pretend meat ..stirfry!

jcs007's avatar

Thanks for the responses everyone! Seriously, I Googled easy recipes and, after many hours, have come up with very little. I can safely say that everything that everyone has suggested so far are completely doable by me. Without any cooking skills, that’s saying alot!

@gailcalled: I live in an apartment with a stove, oven, microwave, toaster oven, and rice cooker. The knives are few and/or dull. And I already have many melted spoons. So I guess what I’m getting at is that I have many appliances, but my tools suck.

gailcalled's avatar

A few really quality knives will last you all their lives (if you do not leave them on an open flame, of course). Stir-frying is great if you don’t mind the chopping. And how do you melt spoons? Wooden ones are useful for stirring, but of course, they will turn into charcoal if you are not careful. I have several of them in my kitchen.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s an earlier question about good knives

And put tags such as “cooking, recipes,soup” etc. in the search box. There are mountains of useful and easy recipes. Here is your free fluther cook book

peedub's avatar

There’s a great show on the Food Network called Good Eats if you want to learn some basics. Each episode is a theme, for example, ‘mac and cheese,’ was today. The host will show you how to do basic stuff like saute, or make a rue, and even what to look for in certain kitchen utensils.

gailcalled's avatar

@Pw; la rue is street; flour and fat is (le) roux. Probably a little advanced for a beginner who is also a student. What do you think? I have never made a lump-free white sauce in my life, BTW.

peedub's avatar

True. That’s a good show, though. Have you seen it?

gailcalled's avatar

@PW; After providing meals for the multitudes for more years than I like to think about, I am COOKED-OUT.

peedub's avatar

hahaha. Surely someone cooks for you these days, right?

gailcalled's avatar

My friends and I go out for lots of salads and decaf cappuccino or swap simple meals. I would really like to take a pill 3x daily – just redid cabinets and a tile backsplash and plan to keep everything looking pristine if I can help it. Maybe this cat who is being thrust upon me tomorrow can learn to cook as well as type.

Shutting down now. Good night.

peedub's avatar

I bet it looks nice.

Enjoy your night.

jcs007's avatar

@gali: being cheap college students and lacking in any cooking knowledge whatsoever, we used plastic spoons to cook =)

Thanks for the free Fluther cookbook =)

gailcalled's avatar

@jcs007; cooking with plastic utensils is a VERY BAD IDEA. Borrow a few spoons from someone’s parents.

anoop's avatar

Whole-wheat pita-bread stuffed with any type of salad. Always yum.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@jcs007 Go to your nearest dollar store & buy yourself some knives & cooking spoons. They’re usually only $1 or $2 each so it won’t break the bank when you melt the spoons & the knives are surprisingly sharp although their sharpness might not last forever!!! Of course, when you only pay a dollar for a knife, you can replace it every 5 or 6 months without breaking the bank!!! I found a nifty knife sharpener on Amazon for $7–8.00 & I’ve sharpened my favorite cheap knives & several pairs of scissors!!!

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