Grace: Quick & Easy College Cooking

Learning to cook is an important life skill most students learn during college. Whether you live off campus or in apartment-style housing, there are many easy recipes you can whip up without sacrificing lots of time or money. Here are a few of my favorites:

Turkey Taco Bowl
Perfect for Taco Tuesday nights with friends!

  • 1 package (12 oz) of ground turkey
  • 4 tablespoons Trader Joe’s taco seasoning
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Salsa
  • Bunch of cilantro
  • Limes

    Rinse and drain rice, then cook in rice cooker or pot. At the same time, sauté turkey over medium heat in a nonstick pan, adding the seasoning halfway through, until well done. Drain, rinse, and warm beans and corn. Wash and chop lettuce and cilantro.

    Fill a bowl halfway with rice, then top with meat, beans, corn, lettuce, cheese, and lime. Squeeze lime over the top for extra flavor. Serve.

Tofu and Bok Choy Stir-Fry
A quick vegetarian option.

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • 8 heads baby bok choy
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili flakes (if desired)

    Peel and mince garlic, then finely chop the spring onions before lightly sautéing them with sesame oil in a nonstick frying pan or wok. Drain and rinse tofu then slice it into small, approximately ½ inch cubes. Add tofu to frying pan and sauté for 3 minutes.

    Wash and chop bok choy, then add it to the pan and continue to sauté until the bok choy wilts and feels firm, yet soft. Drizzle soy sauce and chili flakes (if desired), then sauté 2 more minutes. Serve hot over steamed rice.

Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake
Easy for a late-night treat.

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

    Mix dry ingredients in a large microwave-safe mug. Stir in wet ingredients. Cook in a microwave until cake is done in the middle, about 1 min 30 seconds.

Crispy Baked Chickpeas
A healthy alternative to chips and perfect to pack as a midday snack.

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • smoked paprika
  • onion powder
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • coconut oil
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
    Drain and rinse chickpeas, then roll them around a tea towel to remove outer skins. Spread chickpeas on a baking sheet, then drizzle with oil and toppings (exact amounts aren’t necessary – just add as much or little as you please!). Bake at 350℉ for 25 min or until crunchy.