Thursday, December 9, 2010

College Student Cooking {Noodles}

Dear Kate,

I made this yummy pasta dish the other day and thought of you.  With a few bags of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta Fusilli, vegetables and a few seasonings, you have a great lunch every day of the week.  All pasta recipes can be simplified and modified, you just need to do is visualize and experiment. I usually go with a cultural theme and try to keep my vegetables and seasonings from the same ethnic cuisine. 

This means I pair snow peas with soy sauce and green onions, zucchini with basil and tomatoes, peppers with chili powder and lime.  It is good to note that garlic goes with ANYTHING. If it is too tedious to deal with fresh garlic, try the paste that you can get in a jar, the frozen cubes, or even garlic powder if you must.  You can go at these noodle dishes two ways.

First, find a recipe that already has all the right combinations, then simplify it.  Take a look at my recipe for fideo.  There are tons of ingredients that add good flavor, but it is unrealistic to cook up something like this regularly in a dorm room.

Here is a simplified option that is still highly nourishing and tasty.

College Fideo

2 cups cooked brown rice noodles
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cups cheese, shredded

After cooking and straining the pasta, heat hot pot to medium, cook peppers for 5 minutes. Add salt, garlic, oregano and tomatoes. Mix in noodles and cover with cheese. Place lid on pot until cheese melts.

Most of these ingredients are staples, that you should have a shelf for and keep stocked up on; noodles, olive oil, salt, garlic, oregano and canned tomatoes.  That leaves bell pepper, and cheese for your perishable shopping list. 

Another great addition to this that would up the protein, stretch the dish and stay in character would be to mix in a small can of pinto beans.  These would also be a staple to keep on your shelf.  A yummy brand that is good right out of the can is S&W’s Chili Beans.  Always make 2-3 servings when you are cooking so that you can enjoy your effort the following day.

 The second option would be to make up your own combinations and plug then into this simple formula:

1 cup noodles
1 cup vegetables (green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli, ect)
2 teaspoons fat (butter, olive oil, cheese ¼ cup, ect.)
¼ teaspoon seasoning (garlic, basil, oregano, dill, hot sauce, soy sauce, ect.)
¼ teaspoon salt

Once in a while you might want to splurge on a can of salmon, tuna or even chicken to throw in.  Here is a recipe for you to take a look at and decide for yourself how it could be simplified for dorm room cooking.


1 comment:

  1. I'm cooking for my family of 7 and this "dorm cooking" sounds just right! Thanks for the tips and recipes!


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