Maybe this will age me significantly (kind of like when I ran into someone the other day whom I used to babysit who’s now, like, an ADULT), but when I was little, I loved to watch the show, “MacGyver.”
Nay, my life revolved
around the show. I’d plan my day around it so nothing would get in the way of each episode. And every time I watched it, I was mesmerized equally by MacGyver’s skills and his mullet. Let’s be honest, both were pretty stunning.
When I was in college, I found that the MacGyver mindset came in handy in the kitchen (as well as in other college-related things, like duct taping a chair back together or using a backpack as a pillow. These things happen). Because when you’ve got nothing else to work with besides the typical college student staples, you’ve got to be pretty crafty when it comes to making gourmet meals.
Thankfully, the old noggin still remembers some of my culinary tricks. These tasty recipes use common ingredients that are more likely to be around in college. All you need are bread or tortillas, cereal, peanut butter, hot dogs, booze and Ramen noodles and you’ve got yourself a myriad of delicious options – no duct tape necessary. MacGyver and his mullet would be proud!
Pad thai is fancy. Ramen is not. But when you use those good ol’ Ramen noodles you’ve been storing in the annals of your dorm room or kitchen cabinets, toss them with Green Giant frozen mixed veggies and a savory peanut sauce (using peanut butter, another staple), you have a fancy feast without using fancy ingredients. Your roommates will be impressed.
Let’s be honest – these aren’t the prettiest things you’ve ever seen. But you should know by now not to judge a book by its cover (unless it’s titled, “Principles and Methods of Molecular
Biology and Biochemistry,” in which case, yeah, it’s probably as boring as it looks). These little frozen bites are packed with good-for-you ingredients like Cheerios, peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips so they’re sweet like dessert but also energizing. Perfect for all-nighters!
Pizza + hot dogs = Two of the college student’s basic food groups. This easy-peasy recipe combines the two using leftover hot dogs, zesty Muir Glen pizza sauce and shredded cheese to make a quick and satisfying thin crust pizza for lunch, an appetizer or dinner. Or second dinner.
Maybe the words “leftover” and “booze” don’t register together in your college experience, but if you’ve got some extra beer around and a hankering for dessert, these cupcakes are your go-to treat. They’re stuffed with vanilla frosting, they taste like chocolaty beer (or is it beer-y chocolate?) and if you frost them with peanut butter (and pretzels, if you have those on hand) they taste like MAGIC. Sweet, satisfying MacGyver-ed magic.
So there you have it! Four delicious and easy recipes using college staples that go above and beyond run-of-the-mill dorm room meals. May the MacGyver force be with you this school year!Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!