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  • Jada Ojii

4 Quick & Easy Recipes for the Busy College Student

As many of us can attest to, college life can be stressful and time-consuming. There are tests to study for, credits to acquire and skills put to the test. This leaves little time for meal-planning, which is why many of us opt for eating out, whether at the campus cafeteria or general fast food.

It’s quick, it’s cheap, and grabbing food to-go requires very little effort. On the other hand, it can also add up and become more costly than expected. According to Money under 30, “The average commercially-prepared meal costs around $13,” while the grocery costs required for a meal prepared at home average out to only $4.

Here’s the thing: Cooking and eating at home don’t have to be outrageously expensive, and they don’t break your bank either. Read on to discover four easy recipes that taste delicious, all while saving you cash.

Shrimp Fried Rice

It’s a fan favorite at Chinese take-out restaurants and can either accompany other food or stand alone as its own dish.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb uncooked shrimp

  • 1 small onion

  • Soy sauce

  • Frozen peas and carrots package

  • 1 egg

  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil/olive oil

  • 1 cup of rice

First, you want to peel and devein the shrimp. Then, boil your rice. Next, cook the shrimp in oil on medium-high heat until fully cooked, then set aside. Chop onion and sauté in oil for a few minutes before adding one egg to scramble.

After that, add peas and carrots and cook until soft and warm. Strain rice and add to skillet along with the cooked shrimp. Add several shakes of soy sauce and season to your liking.

Easy French Toast

This sweet breakfast staple pairs well with maple syrup, along with eggs and bacon.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it at home:

  • Bread of your choice

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup of milk

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • A pinch of cinnamon

  • A pinch of nutmeg

  • ½ cup of sugar

  • 1 tsp. butter

The first step is to make the batter/egg mixture for the french toast. Combine the eggs, milk, vanilla, spices and sugar in a bowl using a whisk for about 30 seconds. Then, heat up a skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter.

Finally, dip a slice of bread in the egg mixture, making sure to coat both sides, and cook in the pan until browned on both sides. You can add powdered sugar, berries or whipped cream on the french toast when done for added garnish.

Honey-Lime Cilantro Salmon

Salmon is filled with healthy fats, vitamins and protein necessary to help busy students get through the day. You can pair this recipe with asparagus, a baked potato or any vegetable of your choice for a healthy, balanced meal.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 lb. salmon filet

  • 1 gallon size plastic bag

  • 1 tsp. garlic

  • 2 limes

  • 3 tbsp. honey

  • 3 tbsp. cilantro

  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

This recipe starts by prepping the marinade for the salmon. Whisk together the chopped garlic, the juice of two limes, honey, chopped cilantro, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a resealable plastic bag.

Then, place the salmon filet into the bag and leave in the fridge to marinate for up to four hours. When you’re ready to cook, simply take the marinated salmon out of the bag and pan sear on medium to medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side, using two tablespoons of olive oil.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

This is perfect for a quick, no-fuss dessert. You might even be able to make these cookies using ingredients already in your pantry!

Here's what you need to make it:

  • 1 cup peanut butter

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 1 egg

Simply mix all three ingredients using a spoon until well combined. Next, spoon onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-12 minutes, or until fully done.

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