College is an exciting time, and for many, the first time being out of a parent’s house. While the UAT Café is a great option for food, I found myself missing key meal times. The UAT dorms at Founder’s Hall, has an alternative to the UAT café. Its very own kitchen. Cooking can be a bit terrifying if you don’t know what you are doing, and as a ‘on a budget’ college student, what can you even make? Below I've listed some of my fellow students favorite recipes along with some estimated costs of the ingredients (and usually there are leftovers which is another meal to stretch your budget) I recommend seeing what's on sale when planning what you are going to cook.
What do you need: ½ cup cream, ½ cup milk, 1 tsp minced garlic,1 tbl butter, ½ cup grated parmesan, grated romano cheese, pasta, meat of choice (optional).
Start by putting your water to boil; once boiling, add pasta (as much as you want to eat). Any kind of pasta will work. Put your butter in a sauce pan along with your garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes on a medium heat. Add milk and cream. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add your parmesan and stir until relatively melted. Add romano cheese at your discretion. I personally don’t use romano cheese as it can be expensive and harder to find.
I like to cook sausage with my Alfredo but you can cook chicken or beef. So plan accordingly to begin cooking that so it can all come out at the same time. This meal can cost between $15-20 depending on what you choose to omit and if you can find sales. And most of these supplies you will have left over so you can make a second batch of Alfredo.
What will you need: Meat of choice, tortillas (corn or flour), taco seasoning, olive oil (canola oil works too) or butter.
Topping suggestions: onion, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, salsa, olives
Cook meat of choice, season as you go to taste. While the meat is cooking, begin prepping your choice of toppings. Once the meat is cooked remove from heat. Get a large pan and put either a little oil or butter in the pan and place a tortilla inside. Flip when golden. Remove from pan and make your taco.
For one person I only use one chicken breast, corn tortillas, onion, cilantro, and salsa verde. The toppings are optional and can be mixed and matched to your taste. Tacos can be a great meal to plan with friends as well! Split the costs and have fun cooking. This meal can cost anywhere from $10-25 depending on what toppings you want. Most of these ingredients you will have extras for more tacos or other meals.
What will you need: Tortillas, cheese (the kind you like best), meat, olive oil (canola oil) or butter, veggies (optional)
You can cook a meat of your choice to put in the Quesadilla. Once cooked set aside. Butter a pan, place tortilla, put in cheese and meat. Fold tortilla and flip when golden brown. Cook other side and remove from pan.
I love to make my quesadillas with chicken, onion, and bell peppers. If I am really wanting to splurge, I’ll have guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Quesadillas are a great, easy food to experiment with. This meal can cost anywhere from $7-15 with toppings if you want more than just cheese. And you will almost always have left over cheese and tortillas for later meals.
Chili is a great meal that you can make a lot for pretty cheap, then have leftovers for your next few meals.
What do you need: 1 lb Ground beef, 1-3 cans beans*, onion (to taste), bell peppers (to taste), 2 canned tomatoes**, and chili powder.
Begin by browning the ground beef. Add in your canned tomatoes and beans. Mix in the chili powder (I like to use taco seasoning as well), onions and bell peppers. Let simmer until the onions softened. Serve.
I like to serve with some sour cream on top along with tortilla chips and cheese. Note: If you don’t like onions but still want the flavor, you can cut the onions into large pieces and pull them out when finished.
*I use chili, kidney, and pinto beans but use whatever kind you like best. ** If you don’t like tomatoes get the crushed tomatoes. Petite has more tomato chunks.
Chili cost can really depend on what you like in it but this recipe it can cost about $10-15 dollars, but you will have leftovers!
Enchiladas are a favorite among students here at UAT. They are another good food to make with leftover possibilities.
What will you need: 1lb ground beef, green pepper, onion, minced garlic, 1.5 tbs taco seasoning, 2 cups cheese, 1 can refried beans, 12 oz enchilada sauce, tortillas, sour cream.
Begin by browning the beef. Add garlic and taco seasoning to the meat. Cook for about 5 minutes and add your veggies. Cook for another 3 or so minutes then turn off the heat and set to the side. In a sauce pan heat up the refried beans so that they can spread easily. In a 9x13 baking dish spread some enchilada sauce over the bottom. Take your tortillas and begin putting a layer of meat in them. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and spread the refried beans inside to hold together the enchilada. Put enchiladas in the pan and cover in enchilada sauce and top with cheese. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Cool a bit and serve.
This recipe can cost about $20, but it is always a great meal to share, so gather some friends, split the costs, and enjoy a night of cooking!
One serving Chocolate Chip Cookie
What will you need: 2 tbl butter, 2 tbl brown sugar, 1 tbl granulated sugar, 1 egg yolk, ¼ tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup flour, 1/8 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt, ¼ cup chocolate chips.
Pre heat oven to 350F. Mix together butter and sugars. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Mix well then add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Last add in the chocolate chips. Put cookie dough into a buttered ramekin or onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the top is golden. Take out of the oven, let cool, and enjoy.
I, myself, never follow the exact chocolate chip measurements; life’s short, eat chocolate! This can also be really good with some ice cream scoped on top! Who doesn’t want a cookie? To get all the supplies is about $15 but that includes an entire bag of flour and sugar. You’ll be able to cook a bunch of single serve cookies without having to run back to the store.
Cooking can be lots of fun, so go and have some adventure with food!