School has been keeping me really busy, so I apologize that you haven’t heard from me in a while! Good news is, I have finally made it through finals season and am home-free on Winter Break for the next few weeks! However, since I understand what it’s like to be stressed to the point where you don’t even think you have time to eat, I am going to share a few of the simple meals I like to prepare when I find myself crunched for time.
If you’re a culinary expert, you are probably going to want to ignore this post. However, if you’re like me when it comes to cooking, you like to keep things simple and easy. Creating fancy and intricate dishes can be fun, but when you’re busy and need a meal in a pinch, turn to this list.
1. Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
What you need: Tortillas (I like the spinach ones from Trader Joes as pictured in my Tortilla Pie post), refried beans, shredded cheese
How to make them: Spread your refried beans onto one of the tortillas, place onto hot pan, sprinkle on shredded cheese and top with a second tortilla. When the bottom side is golden-brown, flip and brown the other side. Top with salsa and/or sour cream if desired.
Looking for a side? Try Knorr Rice Sides Spanish Rice topped with shredded cheese.
2. English Muffin Pizzas
What you need: English muffins (plain bagels work great too), pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, any additional preferred toppings (I like black olives and pepperoni)
How to make them: Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the English Muffins and/or bagels in half, spread on some pizza sauce and top with cheese and any additional toppings. Bake for about 12 minutes. (I haven’t tried this, but if you live in a dorm and don’t have an oven, I am guessing these would work in the microwave as well. They would just be softer and less crispy. You could try toasting the English muffins or bagels before adding the toppings for a crispier pizza.)
Looking for a side? Salads are a good option!
3. Spinach, Cucumber, and Hummus Pitas
What you need: Pita bread/pita pockets, hummus (I like Sabra Roasted Red Pepper or Roasted Garlic Hummus), sliced cucumber, spinach, sliced deli turkey
How to make them: Cut pita pockets in half, spread hummus on the inside, and fill with cucumbers and spinach. Add turkey if you are looking for some extra protein.
Looking for a side? Try baby carrots (or broccoli and cauliflower) and dill dip.
4. Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwich
What you need: Your favorite bread (try Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane), your favorite cheese, your favorite lunch meat (ham and turkey work the best), sliced apples
How to make them: Make a sandwich out of all the ingredients and fry it up on the stove. Alternatively, if you like the idea of an apple sandwich, but don’t have the other ingredients or the time to grill a sandwich, you can make a peanut butter and apple wrap if you have tortillas. (I would leave the meat and cheese out of that one.)
Looking for a side? Try blueberry Greek yogurt (Dannon Oikos is my personal favorite) with some granola.
5. Turkey, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast (or anytime) Burritos
What you need: Tortillas, 2 eggs, shredded cheese, sliced deli turkey (I’m a turkey girl, but ham and beef work great too!)
How to make them: First you’ll want to cook your eggs. While they will look prettier if you cook them on the stove top, you can speed up the process by cooking them in the microwave, about 45 seconds per egg. Remember, it won’t matter how pretty they look once they are wrapped up in your tortilla!
The rest is easy; place all the ingredients inside your tortilla(s) and wrap into a burrito! (Sorry I don’t have any good tips for burrito wrapping…)
Looking for a side? Try some fresh fruit!
The best thing about this list is the overlap of ingredients. You will notice that tortillas, turkey, and cheese are staples in several of these recipes. Shopping for one can be hard. You don’t want food to go to waste but you don’t want to eat the same thing over and over either. I have found that having multiple uses for the same ingredients makes grocery shopping easier. Your food will get eaten up before its expiration date, while still making sure you have plenty of variety!