A practical way to save and eat healthfully while navigating international student life.
Full-time students like ourselves are busy, overworked, and for the most part pretty lazy. This combination of fun daily attributes begs the question “when do you find time for cooking?” Answer: instant noodles, DoorDash, and frozen pizza. For students, I understand that “cooking” is a daunting word that costs you everything you have, i.e., time and money. I am here to tell you that cooking properly will save you money and give you more time as a healthier person in the long run.
Some useful tools for staying creative in the kitchen
Say yes to cooking!
For many of you creative students studying subjects from fine arts to business, I am convinced that you have a small amount of creativity left in you at the end of the day for a bit of proper cooking. For those of you who are fed up with instant noodles, say yes to cooking. For those who are rinsing away their tuition money on DoorDash and Uber Eats, say yes to cooking. To those lazy, busy, overworked students who find they don’t have enough energy for the day ahead, say yes to cooking! This is daunting, this is change, but together we’ll create you a meal to be proud of.
Vegetable bake with grilled cheese and caramelized onion with bacon for meat eaters. Prep time 10 minutes. Cook time 40 minutes.
Contrary to popular belief, most meals can cook themselves with about 10 minutes of prep time. We can carry on powering through those assignments while the oven does all the work. As a vegetarian, I have a very simple diet. Roast some vegetables, boil some pasta or rice with lentils and peas, and mix it all together with a spontaneous choice of spices and seasonings.
So this is 10 minutes of cutting and washing some vegetables and two minutes to pour the pasta/rice/lentils into a pan of boiling water, and you have lunch and dinner for the next three days. “Three days?” you ask. What I forget to mention is the amazing thing about cooking … make triple the amount, and you are left with meals for the week.
Random pile of greens, yellows, and eggs on a slice of toast.
You can do it!
Now a simple meal like the one I have described is easy enough to put into words but how do you go about cooking it you ask? Now I could create a whole recipe for a few of the dishes I cook on a weekly basis but for all the aerospace students, aviation, business majors, and science geeks reading this, I am convinced you have enough creativity, just as I do, to create wonderful meals off the top of your head. And if not, you can always turn to your friend, the cookbook, instead.
A good example of how cooking can also be fun. Ever played toss the rice?"
Bulk up to save
For those of you that have now accepted that cooking isn’t very time-consuming but are still skeptical about the price of what you are getting yourself into, I will reveal one last well-known secret. Buy in bulk, cook in bulk, freeze in bulk, and not only do you save time but also spend a fraction of that “hard-earned” or “trust-fund-given” tuition money that we’re all trying so desperately to save.
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