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Simple Recipes for College Freshmen

written by: Amy L. Gouger•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 5/12/2011

College freshmen, or even seniors, have more to worry about then what to make for dinner. Passed down to me by my grandmother, these recipes are simple, easy, and family favorites.

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    College Eating

    College is often the first extended period of time when young adults face the world with no adult standing over them. For many college freshmen, it’s overwhelming. Where are my classes? Should I go to that party or study? Some freshmen go to college with just a home economics class as their only cooking experience. Others need help figuring out just what to cook and how to do it in the limited confines of dorm or apartment living. These recipes have been passed down in my family for generations. Although the recipes have been adapted for college living, the recipes are time tested and family approved.

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    Most kitchens available to college freshman contain limited space and minimum appliances. College freshman should bring with them or have access to a small refrigerator, microware, a single electric burner, mixing bowl, slotted spoon, pot, pan, mixing spoon, and spatula. If the college allows, bring a Crockpot and toaster oven. Crockpots make no-fuss meals in a single pot with minimal assistance from the cook. The toaster oven is essentially a miniature oven. It toasts bagels, cooks fish, and bakes pizza.

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    College Style Poached Eggs on Toast


    • Egg(s)
    • ¼ tsp vinegar
    • Water
    • Butter
    • 1 slice of bread per egg


    Crack open an egg or two into a bowl of water. Add a ¼ tsp of vinegar. Vinegar helps keep the eggs together. Put into the microwave for 30 seconds. Add time in 30 second intervals until the yolk becomes covered with a thin layer of white. Keep a close eye on the egg because it overcooks quickly. Put the bread into a toaster or toaster oven until golden brown. Dress with butter. User slotted spoon to remove egg from water. Place on toast.

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    Egg Sandwiches


    • 1 English muffin
    • 1 egg
    • 1 slice of cheese
    • 1 slice of ham


    Poach, scramble, or fry an egg. Place cheese and meat on half the English muffin and microwave for fifteen seconds until cheese melts. Add egg and top with other half of the English muffin.

    Cooking Variations:

    Poach, scramble, or fry an egg. Butter the English muffin and cook it in a skillet on an electric burner until golden brown. Add cheese to one half and put the meat in the skillet to heat. Arrange the egg on the muffin and top with other English muffin.

    Healthy Options:

    Use a whole wheat English muffin, low calorie cheese, two egg whites, spray butter, and turkey.

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    English Muffin Pizza


    • 1 English muffin
    • 2-4 Tbs, of tomato sauce
    • 2 slices of American cheese


    Cut the English muffin in half. Top with sauce and then cheese. Microwave for thirty seconds until the cheese melts.


    Use a French baguette or roll. Add toppings like pepperoni. Change the cheese to mozzarella.

    Make It Healthier:

    Use a whole wheat English muffin and low fat/low calorie cheese.

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    Simple Salad


    • 2-3 cups of bagged iceberg lettuce mix
    • ½ cup of thawed peas
    • 1 sliced hard boiled egg
    • Handful of store brought croutons
    • ¼ cup of store-bought dressing or vinegar and oil (1 to 3 parts ratio)


    Put lettuce into the bowl. Top with peas, egg, croutons, and dressing. Serve. Makes one serving.


    For variety, change out the dressing, pick another flavor of croutons, and switch lettuce variety.

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    Grandma's Pot Roast


    • 1/4 London broil or bottom round roast per person
    • 1 potato per person
    • ¾ cup of frozen carrots per person
    • ¼ packet of onion soup mix per serving
    • 1 tsp of vinegar


    Put meat in a Crockpot or oven safe pan. Dice and peel potatoes. Add potatoes, carrots, and vinegar. Fill vessel with water to cover the ingredients. Mix in the onion soup mix. Plug in, and set Crockpot according to the manufacturers instructions. Generally, Crockpots contain one to three settings such as low, medium, and high. On high, the meal cooks for about four hours. If using the oven, set it to 350 degrees for two and a half hours. The potatoes and carrots should be soft and the meat brown.

    While fresh potatoes and frozen carrots work best, canned potatoes and carrots can also be used. Just wait to add them, a half hour before the meat is cooked.

    Tips: If you make this meal for two or more people, cook the entire roast. Leftovers taste just as delicious.


    If you make the meal for one or two people, slice a section of the meat for steak and dice the remaining for stir-fry. Both meals use a skillet over a single electric burner. Add a little leftover juice from the pot roast. For the steak, add mustard and ketchup to the pan and simmer until done. Add any veggies you like to the stir-fry. Cook instant rice in the microwave. Top rice with stir-fry.

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    Cooking as a college freshman need not be difficult. These tried and true recipes for college freshman are simple but delicious.