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Easy Apartment Recipes!

October 15, 2019
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    student in a kitchen
    Katie Lamar

Have you found yourself super excited to have your first apartment at Purchase but realized that you don’t know what to cook? Or is it not your first time around the block with cooking but you have just run out of culinary ideas? No worries! There are lots of ways to spice up simple recipes that won’t hurt your wallet or take up too much of your precious studying time.
I’ve found that there are definitely certain things that make great bases for meals when you’re short on time and money. Pasta, rice, and any other starch base is where to start. Based off of these, you can basically create any kind of food you want! To help spark your cooking creativity, I’ll list a couple of the recipes I’ve personally made myself in the apartment kitchens that you can add your own twist to. I can ensure you that they’re easy to make, inexpensive to purchase the ingredients for, and don’t take too long to prepare.

Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce
Serving size: 3-4 people

Ingredients:
-Olive oil
-5-6 Roma or San Mariano tomatoes
-Oregano
-Salt/pepper
-1 large sweet onion
-Tomato paste
-Pre-cooked pasta of your choice
-5 cloves of garlic (or to your preference)
-Vegetable stock (optional)
-Red pepper flakes (optional)

At this point, you have the option of spicing your sauce up a bit. If you eat meat, you can also include a bit of ground beef or pork to the sauce base to make it more like a bolognaise, or if you’re vegan you can put some TVP into a pan with a little water and Italian spices and add that (alternatively you could buy pre-made vegan Italian sausages and crumble them into the sauce base as well).

Cooking Instructions
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Total: 30-40 minutes


-Start first by cutting the large sweet onion into small cubes and mincing or crushing your cloves of garlic. Cut your tomatoes into cubes (size of your cubes depends on personal preference. If you want to blend your sauce down after you cook it, cube size does not matter. If you do not want to blend it, cut into smaller cubes)
-Put the garlic and onions in a large pot with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and cook on medium-low heat. Add in 4-5 dashes of oregano. Cook until the onions have slightly softened and browned. –Add more olive oil as needed.
-Add the diced tomatoes and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste to the large pot and incorporate ingredients evenly. If you want, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or any stock or broth of your choice to add a bit more flavor. You can also add in red pepper flakes now if you choose.
-Once all the ingredients have been incorporated, cook on medium-low heat stirring frequently. -The tomatoes should start to cook down into a sauce consistency. If you want a smoother sauce, you can put your sauce into a blender, otherwise you can cook your sauce in the pot down to the consistency you like. If you chose to add sausage or beef or TVP, add this is a few minutes before you feel you sauce is done to keep it the same temperature as the sauce.
-Add the sauce on over your precooked pasta and you’re done!

 


2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes
Serving size: 1 person per banana

Ingredients for the pancakes:
-1 overripe banana
-2 eggs


This is a super simple recipe to make. It’s super yummy, and is a super healthy alternative to traditional pancakes! This is a very customizable recipe so you can add whatever you like to spice up your pancakes. I love to add raspberries (and sometimes some dark choco chips…yummmmm) but you can add anything from blueberries to chocolate chips to chunks of banana if you really want to boost that banana flavor, or you can just keep it plain! Whatever you choose to add in (or not), these pancakes are super yummy, easy to make, and certainly will not disappoint.

Cooking Instructions
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total: 15-20 minutes


-Take your banana and mash until almost smooth in consistency but still allowing some chunks.
-Crack both eggs directly into the same bowl as your banana, and mix until egg is fully combined. Make sure your mixture still has some chunks of banana and is not completely smooth in consistency.
-Put some butter, oil, or any other product you’d like on a pan on low-medium heat. If you do not have a non-stick pan then make sure that whatever product you’ve chosen to slick the pan is fully covering the pan’s surface.
-Choose the desired size of your pancake and pour mixture into the pan.
-Keep watch on your pancake because it will cook slightly different than a traditional pancake. —Check periodically on the bottom of the pancake making sure it doesn’t burn. Once the bottom of the pancake looks fully cooked and lightly brown, flip that puppy over and repeat on the other side.
-Once both sides are evenly cooked, plop it onto a plate, add whatever toppings you want, and then you’re ready to eat!



Midnight Snack Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serving Size: 24 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup of butter
½ cup of granulated sugar (normal table sugar)
½ cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 ¾ cup of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chocolate chips of choice


Baking Equipment:
-Cookie tray
-Parchment paper or non-stick baking sheet
-Large mixing bowl

If you’re the type of person who tends to crave sweets late at night, pick up these baking essentials and you’ll be able to make chocolate chip cookies any time you want in 20 minutes!! This recipe is super simple and for beginners. No baking experience required! This recipe makes super chewy and gooey chocolate chip cookies that are slightly underdone in the middle (yum!) and makes enough to satisfy your cookie needs for a couple days, or enough to share with friends!

Cooking Instruction
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes

-Preheat oven to 350 °
-Melt butter (it should be completely melted but not hot)
-In a large mixing bowl, combine butter with both sugars until well combined
-Stir in eggs and vanilla until incorporated
-Add the flour, baking soda, and salt
-Stir until the dough is fully combined, soft, and a little sticky (not overly sticky though)
-Fold in chocolate chips
-Scoop out about 1 ½ tablespoons worth of dough into a ball and onto the cookie shit with either parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet placed underneath. Keep cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet
-Bake for 7-10 minutes (this will depend on your oven’s true temperature and your personal preference). When they’re done, they should look puffy and a little underdone in the middle.
-Let them cool, and eat away!

I hope these couple of ideas help inspire you to try and cook something new in your apartment kitchen! It is super easy to experiment on a college student’s budget and time restraints. Don’t be afraid to try and cook something new! I’m sure your body will appreciate a break from the grilled cheeses and boxed mac and cheese. Don’t forget to take advantage of the More Store on campus. It is a great place to pick of essentials and fresh produce without having to go off campus. Now go on, and get cooking!!