Hey, College Students: Try Mixing and Matching for Meals
Byline: Aaron Webber
With Spring Break coming and all of the college students coming home to visit their families, I began thinking of possible recipe ideas for college students on a low- to non-existent financial budget. I have created a list of food classifications that can be mixed and matched to create a wholesome pasta dish or soup that won't cost a lot to prepare. The breadth of your imagination is your only limitation.
What are you in the mood for? Soup with fresh vegetables, or a creamy casserole? Want to boost the protein power of a noodle casserole? Try adding some pre-cooked chicken or tuna. Vegetarian? Try adding some cheese!
Can't make up your mind? This list can easily be adaptable to the dart board. My only question is, "How good is your aim?"
The first group is the base ingredient. This is the point where you decide what you would like to eat by choosing the sauce that you would like to use for either a soup or casserole. Obviously, thin or clear sauces lend themselves better to soups. The thicker sauces are better for casseroles.
Group A - Sauces
Tomato sauce - red
Spaghetti sauce - red
Three-cheese sauce - white
Marinara sauce - red
Mushroom sauce - white
Al fredo sauce - white
Beef/chicken broth - clear
Bouillon - combine with water - clear
Cream of chicken - white
Cream of mushroom - white
Vegetable soup - red
Beef soup - red
The second group I have created is for vegetables to add to your dish. The amount of vegetables you put in will determine the consistency of your dish. So, be sure to add enough vegetables!
Group B - Vegetables.
Washed and chopped/diced onions, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, zucchini, green pepper (sometimes called bell pepper), peas, carrots, lima beans, green beans, red pepper.
The third group is a list I compiled of extra things that will give your dish a little more flavor and protein. Granted, college students may not have some of these things sitting around their dorm room or apartment, but it may be worth spending some money for a few of these little extras. Or, heck, shop in Mom's cabinets during spring break!
Group C - Extras
Precooked chicken and beef pieces, canned tuna, olives, barley, grated cheese, croutons, bouillon, water, milk, cream cheese.
The fourth group is one of the most important. Deciding which of the following ingredients you will use will give your dish character, taste, and will give your dish more nutritional value and great taste.
Group D - Starches
Rice - use uncooked (make sure there is enough liquid incorporated)
Spaghetti noodles - precooked
Macaroni noodles - precooked
Lasagna noodles - precooked
Rotini - precooked
Linguini - precooked
(There are many, many more. This is just to name a few...)
The final group is not mandatory, but if you have any of these ingredients lying around, it will help to garnish your dish.
Group E - Toppings
Croutons, crushed buttered crumbs, toasted bread squares, cheese
This recipe is whatever you would like it to be. …