Our Writers' Go-To College Meals

Alex:

Korean Beef

This recipe is as easy as Hamburger Helper, but nice enough that you could cook it for a date and not be embarrassed. Not to mention that it’s absolutely delicious and FAST. If you want more veggies, make broccoli on the side and add it into the mix. You could even get the kind you steam in a bag in the microwave and add them in! It doesn’t get much easier than that. I also highly recommend adding a drizzle of sriracha mayo or yum yum sauce on top of this. 

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef

5 cloves garlic (Pro-tip: If you have pre-minced garlic,1 cloves= 1 - 1 ½ teaspoons of minced)

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 teaspoons sesame oil

½ cup of soy sauce

⅓ cup light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar if you want it a bit sweeter)

A dash of crushed red pepper

6 green onions, chopped (Use both the green and white parts! Make sure to cut off the root)

4 cups rice

Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Cook the rice on the side according to the packaging.

  2. Brown the ground beef and crumble into small pieces. Drain the excess grease.

  3. Throw in the minced garlic, ginger, and sesame oil and stir for a couple minutes.

  4. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper and HALF of the chopped green onions and cook for 7 minutes.

  5. Serve over hot rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions.

Asian Garlic Chili Shrimp

This is my absolute favorite. I’ve never made anything that I’ve enjoyed more than this and it's still very easy to make. One ingredient that is less common in this recipe is Yum Yum Sauce. It's the mayo-based sauce you get at hibachi steak houses and sushi restaurants. I wouldn’t skimp out on it either because it balances out the dish with how spicy it is.

CAUTION: This is rather spicy so use less chili flakes to tone it down. Don’t reduce the sriracha because the sauce needs the vinegar in it.

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ tbsp vegetable or canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp chili flakes (omit if you prefer less spicy foods)

3 tbsp sriracha

2 tsp soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

Green onions

Sesame Seeds

Yum Yum Sauce

Directions

  1. Cook rice on the side

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until golden on each side.

  3. Remove the shrimp and turn the heat down to medium.

  4. Add the sesame seed oil to the pan. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is golden.

  5. Throw in the sriracha, soy sauce, and brown sugar and stir. Turn the heat to high and let it simmer for about 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens to a thin syrup.

  6. Put the shrimp back in the pan, toss to coat them in the delicious sauce, and reheat.

  7. Serve over hot rice. Drizzle Yum Yum sauce over the top and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

 

Olivia:

Some days (most days) I want to eat the easiest and quickest dinner. I come back from work and I’m usually famished, willing to eat anything I get my hands on. However, I’ve made an effort to take a second, drink some water, and make food that I won’t regret eating promptly after my plate is clear. So, in a pinch, I often make roasted veggies and rice. Healthy and simple, I love to oven roast anything from broccoli to chickpeas to sweet potatoes- or all three. Throw some oil, salt, pepper, and whatever assortment of spices you like, and just let it sit in the oven at 425 until they’re a consistency you like. I sometimes just do a basic salt and pepper while other times I’ll add curry spice or paprika and cayenne to the veggies. Rice is simple and relatively quick to make traditionally, but with an Instantpot it takes even less time to make rice. Plus, it makes for solid leftovers, or you can use the rice to make fried rice when it starts to harden up! That’s so many meals for one. (It’s also super delicious paired with wine and a show when you’re having one of those days) I’m vegetarian so I usually leave it there, but this also makes a great side to salmon or chicken- your choice!

 

Image Source: https://www.simplyorganic.com/community/recipe/Wild-Rice-and-Roasted-Vegetables-Medley

 

Lauren:

My go to college meal would have to be egg salad. I know some people are probably like, “ew egg salad, really?” But, let me tell you, this stuff is the best to make at the beginning of your week and just keep in the fridge when you need something quick and easy to eat! I would say that I am an “egg salad fein,” so, I eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner some days. 

In the morning, it is so easy and delicious to eat on a piece of toast with avocado. For lunch, I will either put it on bread and make a sandwich or I will add it to a salad. I usually don’t eat this for dinner, unless I am running around like crazy and have no other leftovers or have time to make something, I will just eat it straight out of the container with a fork or on crackers. Everyone makes their egg salad a little different, but this is how I like to make mine:

8 hard boiled eggs

1 cup mayo

¼ cup diced onions

¼ cup celery

2 tablespoons chilli powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

Salt

Pepper 

¼ cup mustard (if you want...I sometimes use mustard, but sometimes don’t)