The easiest and cheapest foods often come in boxes and cans, and, let’s face it - this means most collegiettes are left using their food budget on boxed foods! However, we all know that the easiest foods can also become the most boring, so Her Campus has some easy ways to spice up your favorite staple meals!
Mac ‘n Cheese
Annie’s, Kraft… you’ve got ‘em all lined up on your shelf, but you’re getting bored with the same old recipe. Take a good look around your kitchen, see what other ingredients you have and try one of these tasty renditions.
If you’re a cheese lover…Try adding another type of cheese to the boxed mixture when you add the milk, butter and cheese powder to the noodles. Parmesan, Velveeta and Sharp Cheddar all taste great!
If you’re craving baked mac ‘n cheese… Cook the noodles for about a minute less than normal (they will finish cooking in the oven) and then prepare the cheese mixture according to the directions on the box. Add the cheese mixture to the noodles. Pour the prepared macaroni into an oven-safe container, then crumble up croutons or buy bread crumbs at the store. Add parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese to the bread crumbs if you have some, along with some salt and pepper, and sprinkle the mixture over the pasta. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until top is golden brown.
If you’re a meat lover… Prepare the macaroni according to box’s directions, then mix in your favorite meats. Bacon is a delicious addition (or try soy crumbles if you’re a vegetarian) and chicken tastes great too. Feeling super adventurous? Add chicken and broccoli to your macaroni and you’ll forget that your meal started in a box!
It’s a member of the collegiette’s staple diet list because it’s cheap and easy (all you need to do is add the milk!). But after eating cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, life can get a little boring. Try some of these ideas to use that crunchy goodness in a different way!
If you’re cooking dinner for friends… Make breaded chicken with cornflakes! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then in a Zip-lock bag combine a half cup of breadcrumbs, one cup of cornflakes, four teaspoons of sesame seeds and a teaspoon of chili powder if available. Shake the bag to mix ingredients. In a bowl, break two eggs and beat them together lightly. One at a time, dip chicken strips in egg and then drop them into the plastic bag. Shake the bag evenly to coat each piece of chicken, then transfer the chicken to a non-stick baking pan. Bake the chicken trips for about 15-20 minutes, turning them over halfway through the baking time to cook evenly. Serve the strips alone with honey mustard, with rice or over a green salad!
If you need breakfast on the go… Turn your cereal into a parfait! Layer cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Honey Bunches of Oats are great choices, but you can use whatever you have in your pantry) between yogurt (try Greek yogurt!) and fresh fruit like bananas, apples or berries. Add honey for an extra kick of sweetness.
If you have a sweet tooth… Make cereal bars! If you’ve ever made Rice Krispie Treats then you know which direction this variation is headed in. In a large saucepan (or in the microwave), melt three Tablespoons of butter or margarine. Then add a package (10 oz) of marshmallows to the butter and stir until completely melted. Add six cups of Rice Krispies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, Reese’s Puffs or another sweet cereal to the marshmallow mixture, stirring until well coated. Using a buttered spatula, press mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Let it sit, then cut into 2-inch squares. For a s’mores variation of these bars, add chocolate chips and golden grahams to the marshmallow mixture!\