I pride myself on cooking good food.
I tell this to my family when I return from college and take over cooking a few dinners a week — tripling everything to account for my “lax-bro” brother and STILL having leftovers.
I tell this to my manager when, during my corporate girl summer, he asked if my lunch was homemade (it was).
I tell this to myself when I question if my grocery bill could be (should be) any lower for the week.
As a college student, I am constantly seeking equilibrium between fast, cheap and high in protein. There are days I achieve such balance and, I assure you, there are days I do not.
But I still cook good food, and my intent is to share the journey that I am on and to provide some inspiration to the Daily’s readers. From grocery lists, to meal plans, to recipes, I am constantly thinking about food and would love to share just a fraction of those thoughts.
If recipes are not described here, they are available on the New York Times Cooking. This account is available for free with your Tufts email address. The original “recipes” described here assume some access to a Trader Joe’s. Some recipes will be vegetarian (or state how to modify it), but most will include chicken, salmon or tuna as the main source of protein. For this first column, I’ll keep it short with some of my fastest, most accessible college meals available to those both off-campus and in the dorms.
- Tuna Mayo Bowls
Taken from Eric Kim’s Tuna Mayo Rice Bowl for the New York Times, this is quite literally the fastest recipe you can make (assuming you have cooked rice — I usually make a bigger batch and then reheat leftovers throughout the week). The recipe recommends using tuna stored in oil, and through trial and error, I can confirm that storing the tuna in oil greatly improves the taste and texture. This week, I purchased some tinned salmon to see how a more nutrient-dense fish compares. Top with diced cucumber, scallions, chili oil and furikake (two ingredients for the purchase of one). This recipe works because it can be ready in two minutes.
Most time-consuming step: dicing a cucumber.
- Chimichurri Chicken Bowls
This recipe was inspired by the last of the ingredients in my fridge, which include: the last third of a pack of TJ’s sliced grilled chicken, far too many bell peppers, an unopened pack of TJ’s chimichurri sauce, several-day-old rice and an avocado. Add the sliced chicken into a tupperware with the rice, and layer in the chimichurri sauce. Top with sliced red bell peppers and avocado (or something creamy, like a cheese). Now, I accidentally left mine to marinate overnight in the fridge on the third floor of Cummings. I’m not saying that this step made it better or worse, but while I wasn’t initially looking forward to this lunch, I was pleasantly surprised at the taste-to-effort ratio.
Most time-consuming step: being so engrossed in Computer Science homework, receiving free pizza, and forgetting to eat the dinner you packed.