3 Low Effort Recipes to Impress Your Friends

It's not always easy to cook when you’re dealing with the stress of classes, papers, exams and extracurriculars. I tend to get lazy a week into the semester and just have yoghurt for dinner. However, cooking for friends has inspired me to get more creative. Here are three recipes I’ve created for a quick and delicious dinner.

 

1. Signature Pizza (makes one pizza)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

Pizza dough (I used this recipe, but you can use any dough recipe or buy premade dough)

White sauce (I used this recipe, but you can use any recipe or buy premade sauce)

1 can artichoke hearts

½ yellow onion 

Goat cheese crumbles

Mozzarella cheese

Balsamic vinegar

 

Directions:

 

Make the pizza dough at least an hour before you want to start cooking the pizza. It will need to rise for at least an hour, if not longer. If it’s cold in your house, I suggest heating your oven to the lowest temperature setting while making the dough. Then, turn the oven off and let the dough rise in the oven. Don’t forget to put olive oil in the bottom of the bowl and over the top of the dough. This will keep your dough moist.

 

Take the dough out of the oven and preheat the oven to 550°F. After letting the dough rise, stretch it into your desired shape on a baking pan. Use the bottom of your palms to stretch the dough evenly. Start making your white sauce. Then, cut your onions and artichokes to the desired size. Layer the white sauce on the pizza first, spreading an even thin layer over the crust of the pizza. Then, add the mozzarella cheese. Place the goat cheese crumbles, artichokes and onions on top of the pizza.

 

Put the pizza in the oven for 8-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the edges brown and the cheese starts to bubble. Remove from the oven, slice and serve!

 

2. Fancy Grilled Cheese (makes four sandwiches)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

2-3 Granny Smith apples

8 slices sourdough bread

1 bag chopped walnuts

2 8 oz packages brie

1 container arugula

Butter

Honey (for topping)

 

Directions:

 

Butter all the slices of bread on one side. Put a frying pan on medium/medium-low heat. Place a slice of bread butter side down in the pan once the pan is heated. Top the bread with brie, apples, walnuts, arugula and add more brie on top. Place a second slice of bread on top, butter side up. After 3-4 minutes, flip the sandwich and grill the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and top bread with honey. Repeat these steps for the next three sandwiches.

 

3. Charred Broccoli Tacos (makes six tacos)

 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 head of broccoli

Corn salsa (I used this recipe without the cheese and adobo sauce)

Unsalted, roasted cashews

House vinaigrette

Lime juice

Olive oil

Salt

Taco style shredded cheese

Corn tortillas

 

Directions:

 

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Put olive oil on a baking sheet. Break broccoli into florets and place on the baking sheet. Add some oil on top of the broccoli to coat it. Cook the broccoli for 15 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the oven and squeeze some lime juice on top. Put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until roasted the desired amount.

 

While the broccoli cooks, prepare the corn salsa. Prepare corn tortillas by warming on each side in a small frying pan on medium-low heat. Fill tortillas with broccoli, corn salsa, chopped cashews, house vinaigrette and taco cheese.

 

 

The food you eat in college doesn’t have to be limited to microwaved mac and cheese. I’m always inspired to create recipes based off meals I’ve ordered and enjoyed from my favorite restaurants. The best way to get better at cooking is to keep practicing.

 

Happy cooking!