Besides Tofu, What else is Out There? (easy recipes and filling meals)

Since I’ve gotten used to ‘cooking’ between these four walls that are a dorm room or campus apartments, there are a few ‘go-tos’ that are incredibly filling and easy to make during undergrad. 

Notice I didn’t say ‘healthy’ but we can slide in a few of those if you insist…

  1. Mac & Cheese
  2. Salmon & Salad
  3. Spinach & Shrimp

Mac & Cheese – My mac & cheese dish is an odd bowl. For starters you need a either your standard brand mix (again, this isn’t healthy) or you can purchase you own elbows.

For some reason, this noodle dish I’ve seen growing up is spiced up with mustard. So after boiling your noodles, and adding any cheese (or dairy-free?), squirt some mustard along with some butter.

I'm worth more than something on your hot dog...By @theimpulsivebuy on Flickr
I’m worth more than something on your hot dog…By @theimpulsivebuy on Flickr

After spicing it up, I usually throw some marinara sauce in it, giving it a nice, “I cook like an amateur on Master Chef,’ blush red. 

Salmon & Salad – Salmon is pretty tasty, but if you’re too eager, you can easily destroy all enthusiasm to try some. No one wants under-cooked fish (raw or die) or a piece of rubber to chew on.

During nights I’ve watched my mom just ‘whip up some fish,’ here’s how it goes:

Season your fish however (basil, oregano…No Old Bay, that’s tacky)

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet on medium heat

Rub your season mix on the fillets

Let the fish cook on each side, getting a light golden brown (usually five minutes each)

Squirt a little lemon juice and add a few sauted onion slices and tomatoes

Absolutely no lemon slice

Now that your fish is done, you can let it cool off for a bit while you throw you salad together. I usually go for the ‘spring mix’ in stores; spinach, baby lettuce and some other weird stuff.

French calls it something...We call it Spring Mix. Photo by DocteurCosmos on wikipedia
French call it something…We call it Spring Mix. Photo by DocteurCosmos on wikipedia







Since you most likely didn’t use all of the tomato, it can be used with the salad. Just heaps of greens and buttery golden goodness, can make for a very fancy dorm (or home-made) meal that’ll leave everyone questioning why the ramen no longer tastes as good. 

Last but not least there’s my Spinach & Shrimp dish. Made when I was in a rush and wanted to be fancy, yet again. 

Spinach is easy to cook. Almost too easy! Just get a non-stick pan, some olive oil and chopped garlic. Let the olive oil heat up a bit, and throw as much spinach leaves into the heat. The leaves will curl and get smaller, so you’ll want as much as you think is ‘enough.’ The shrimp is fairly easy as well, no matter if you boil or saute it. Just let it thaw out first under some cold water for about five minutes

You can then eat these two together or add it to some quick rice for a really hearty meal. 

I hope you take these options to heart and try it when you’re feeling bored. But remember, it will get boring if you don’t shape it up! Happy Nomming!