Cooking in college may not always be the easiest thing; not when you are studying for hours on end, trying to keep your grades up, running between classes, and trying to manage 1, 2, or sometimes even 3 jobs. In my case, it was often 3 jobs–that is how I paid for my apartment and my school books. However, as challenging as it is to squeeze in the time to cook a healthy meal in college, when that time would be better spent studying for that Calculus exam, cooking, from scratch, in college is 9 times out of 10, your best option.
Now, I know, that might all sound like fluff to you, but it’s not. It’s really not. Apart from being fun, cooking can also calm you down, especially when you smell the sweet aroma of food being boiled on the stove top or fried to a nice crisp in a frying pan.
So, why should you start cooking in college? This way, you know exactly what you are putting into your mouth and what you are putting into your body. You can adjust the dish to your taste and your liking, and plus, and probably most importantly, you do not have to wait in that long cafeteria line.
Rice, as seen above can be relatively quick and simple to cook, at least when it is done on the stove top as opposed to the microwave. And salads, salads are even quicker. Spruce them up with a bit of shrimp or a homemade dressing. Instead of purchasing dressing from the store, rock out with your own dressing. This can be as simple as mixing olive oil and vinegar together and then adding some black pepper and chopped up garlic, and a little lemon zest and lemon juice. Yummy. I’m getting hungry just talking to you about it.
In addition, when you cook for yourself, you will be less tempted to go for those huge slices of cake and ice-cream (often found in your school cafeteria) and you will eat what you can, hopefully in moderation.
Well then, how do you start cooking for yourself?
Many college dorms have at least one kitchen on their floor. Why not start there? Decide what you would like the first dish you make to be and go from there. Now, being in college, it may be hard to have a well stocked pantry. But, nonetheless, here are some absolute must haves:
1) Black pepper
2) Salt (I’m partial to sea salt)
4) Cinnamon (one of those basic spices)
8) dried thyme
9) dried rosemary
11) caned vegetables (such as corn and peas)
If you think of anything else that is not listed here and think that it is a must have for college cooking, shoot an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be waiting to know what you think.