Everything You Ever Needed to Know About How to Cook in College


The mere thought of campus food evokes thoughts of congealed pizza and tasteless dining-hall casserole. And when most collegians say they “cook”? They really mean they know how to stir powdered cheese into soggy macaroni. Food is plentiful in college, but you could easily go all 1,400 days from matriculation to graduation without eating anything tasty or mildly healthy.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. When you notice an urge—around the 50th time the dining-hall staff glops watery lasagna onto your plate—to cook yourself something delicious, listen. Push the bulk pack of 99-cent Cup Noodles to the side of your shelf. It’s time to make room for some real food—shopped for, cleaned, and cooked by you, your roommates, and friends.

This is your guide to cooking on campus, to breaking homemade bread on limited resources, even when the well-appointed kitchen of your dreams is as out of reach as a passing grade in physics. This is how you can whip up yummy snacks, meals, and drinks (yes, even drinks!) in your dorm or your microwave or your sad old kitchenette. This is how you eat well as an undergrad.

Greek Salad Pita Sandwiches: Delicious lunches are just a refrigerator away. Photo: Tina Rupp

First, assess your situation. What kind of college chef do you have the resources and wherewithal to be? Let’s break down your average college cook into three categories—Prep Cook, Sous Chef, and Chef de Cuisine. Be honest with yourself about where you fall.

Prep Cook: You’ve got no heat and no refrigeration.
You’re a typical dorm dweller, maybe an underclassman. You bought a full meal plan, so you didn’t even see the point in acquiring so much as a $50 microwave. Between dining-hall food and the snacks the R.A. serves, you’re doing fine. Or are you?

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Source:: Bon Appetit