With midterms fast approaching and interview season in full swing, food tends become less of a priority for us students. In an effort to remedy our lack of kitchen time during high-stress time periods, we often turn to frozen meals, boxes of Easy Mac, or chocolate-covered pretzels, which while delicious, do not suffice as a “well-balanced meal.” As a result, we are left with either takeout or making our own meals. Delivery gets expensive and cooking every night can be arduous for those who do not typically spend too much time in the kitchen.

The best solutions for eating on a busy schedule in college are to preplan your meals. Now, I realize that seems easier said than done, but with some strategic shopping and about an hour-and-a-half study break, you can have a few solid meals ready for the week.

When venturing to the grocery store, there are some things you should always put in the basket: dried pasta, premade pizza dough, bag of salad greens, tomato sauce, and salad dressing. Salt, pepper and olive oil are pantry staples, and must be purchased if not yet on hand. Browse the produce department and pick up your favorite mix of vegetables. Penny-pinchers, you can also purchase bags of frozen vegetable medleys. Extras like cheese, bacon, nuts and other proteins are also worth picking up.

With this mix of ingredients you can create some simple yet healthy meals. Tossing some cooked pasta with vegetables, protein, and salad dressing makes for a quick pasta salad that stays fresh for about a week in the refrigerator.

When you finish up the pasta, use your leftover vegetables for a salad. Don’t, however, make the salad in bulk as the greens will rapidly wilt and become soggy.

For those nights you don’t want to venture to Tuscany or Leo’s for a slice, making your own pizza is an inexpensive, hearty dinner. You can use items from the other two recipes to make one tasty pizza, and, of course, leftovers always taste better the next day.

Elizabeth Sabol-Jones is a junior in the College. She can be reached at [email protected] CULINARY QUIPS appears every other Friday in the guide.

Homemade Pizza:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Take the premade dough out of the fridge and let it sit out for about 20 minutes. When the dough reaches room temperature, sprinkle flour on the counter and start rolling out the dough.

3. Once rolled out, place dough on a cookie sheet and use a fork to poke holes in the dough to prevent air bubbles. 

4. Drizzle on a little olive oil and spoon on some of your tomato sauce.

5. Add cheese, plus any veggies or meat your heat desires.

6. Bake the pizza until its crust is crisp and golden.

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