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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

College Student Recipes

Eating well at college can certainly be a problem. Free pizza is everywhere, everyone keeps odd hours, and there is barely a kitchen to speak of. However, with an occasional trip the grocery store and a bit of effort in the kitchen, dorm residents can still whip up some tasty dishes. Here are 2 of the easiest, most delicious college student recipes.

1. Quick Spaghetti Marinara
Pasta dishes are a staple among those who like to cook simply, and for good reason! Pasta is affordable, delicious, and extremely versatile. For a great college student recipe, head to whatever stove top you can find in your dorm and whip up some spaghetti with marinara sauce.
The ingredients you'll need include dried spaghetti, a large can of plain tomato sauce, and some Parmesan cheese for topping. You'll also need a few basic herbs and spices: oregano, basil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Don't worry about spending a little money on these the first time you hit the store, as they will last you for many meals to come.

To make the sauce, simply pour the tomato sauce into a small sauce pot, set the heat on medium-low, and start adding the seasonings. Start with small amounts, a teaspoon of each at most. Continually taste-test your sauce, and adjust the herbs and spices to your liking. Once the taste is just right, let the sauce simmer for another five minutes on low heat.

To cook the pasta, bring about a gallon of water to boil in a large pot. Add 2-3 tablespoons of salt directly to the water, and then add your pasta. You'll need to stir continuously and watch carefully. After about five minutes, remove a couple of strands to test the texture. If they are still too crunchy, you're not done cooking. Once the noodles are just about done, drain the water out of the pot, and add the sauce. The heat from the sauce will continue to slightly cook the pasta until it is perfectly done.

2. Delicious Fruit Smoothie
No stove, no problem! Many dorms don't even give students access to a stove top, but that's no reason not to eat healthy. Even if you do have a stove, a smoothie is a great way to start the day. Here is the best college student recipe for a great fruit smoothie.

For ingredients, you'll simply need plain or vanilla yogurt and your favorite combination of fruits. One of my favorite smoothies uses bananas and frozen mixed berries. Another great variation is mango, banana, and pineapple. Whatever you use, just choose a fruity combination that makes some sense. Cantaloupe and apples don't make a very good smoothie!

To make this drink, simply dump your fruit into a blender along with about a half cup of yogurt. For extra liquid, you can add a half cup of either water or milk. The amount of liquid you'll need will depend on the water content of your fruits. Finally, use honey to adjust the sweetness. If you bought plain yogurt, you'll probably want a bit of added sweetness.

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