What’s in YOUR Fridge?
Probably one of the biggest challenges college students face living off-campus, is cooking all your own meals. Growing up, I was lucky enough to live in a household where my parents, grandparents, and other family members made sure to teach me how to cook. I never had to depend on Home Economics class in Middle School, or Foods & Nutrition class in High School to learn the basics of cooking. But one of the things I discovered coming to college, is that many of my peers did not have that same experience. Living in the dorms my freshman year, there was a shocking amount of kids that had no idea how to even do laundry! Needless to say it shocked me, but I was more than willing to show them how because to me it seemed like a very rudimentary task.
But back to what I was originally talking about. Cooking! This is another area that shocked me. People just simply do not know how to cook other than to boil water, or make a sandwich! From my perspective, cooking is just second nature. Following a recipe is just the same as someone giving you directions in a group. Simple recipes are super easy to follow. Granted if you want to get all fancy, you may not understand some of the cooking terms. But if you’re a college student, I can almost promise that you will not have the budget for such recipes. So no worries, you don’t need to be well versed in cooking terminology and techniques. YouTube even offers some super easy tutorial videos on the basics of cooking if you really need help.
Frankly, living off-campus you aren’t eating at the dining halls anymore. You need to be able to cook for yourself, so you still get all the nutrients and energy you need for your school work and other activities. Sandwiches and frozen meals can only get you so far.
Once you have got the basics of cooking down, what do you make? Even being someone who knows how to cook pretty well (at least I like to think so) I struggle with what I should cook that night. It’s super easy to just make the same handful of recipes all the time. I was talking to my sister, who graduated from college about a year ago, and she introduced me to a lovely website.
My Fridge Food
I know this seems like some cheesy advertisement, like I’m getting paid to talk about this website or something, but I promise you that’s not the case. I just find it really helpful when I have no clue what I want to eat.
So what exactly does this website do? Basically when you go on the site, you scroll down and there are a bunch of ingredients for you to check off. The ones you check off, are the ones you have in your fridge! From there you click the “Find Recipes” button. Then it gives you all the potential recipes you can make with the ingredients you already have! But one thing to be noted about this site is that by no means are these professional submissions. The majority of these recipes are submitted by people just like you! So typically the recipes are pretty simple. I personally wouldn’t really depend on the calorie count or number of servings they tell you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still try out the recipe and modify it to make it your own!
Cooking takes time, and you probably won’t be amazing at it right away. Chopping an onion may be a little harder on your first couple of tries… but cooking is a good life skill to have. Whether it be living on your own on a college campus, or when you get into to the real world and own your own home. You can’t depend on your parents (or frozen meals) forever. Cooking for yourself is an important skill to have. So I say just do it. Take the time before you come to college, or even now to learn how to do it. Whether that be watching videos online, or just asking your roommate for help. Do it. Don’t be a ashamed of it. Everyone has to learn at some point.
Now I just want to share some general tips for present, and future college students:
- Take the time to learn the basics of cooking. I would say before you go to college, but better late than never!
- Same goes for laundry. I mean really, it’s good to know how to clean your own clothes.
- Don’t always go for junk food. As tempting as it is, you can’t live off that stuff…
- Pasta. It will be your best friend. All shapes and sizes, at a super cheap price. You can practically add it to any meal.
- Don’t be afraid of leftovers, especially if you splurge and eat out.
- Frozen/Microwave meals. Good for when you’re in a hurry, but not for every meal.
- Don’t be afraid to google something. Anything.
as always, GO HAWKS.