Easy recipes for college cooks _ the sacramento bee

The start of the school year brings a serious dilemma for today’s college students, far beyond which major or roommate to choose: whether to invest in the dining plan or pick up a spatula. Deep fry chicken fingers With rising college costs dogging families, the decision can have a considerable financial impact. Best chicken fingers restaurant A meal plan can cost around $3,000 per year; with smart budgeting, cooking meals instead could cost half as much, or even less.

Even as college campuses are scrambling to offer increased options on dining hall menus, from vegan breakfast burritos to hand-rolled sushi, dormitories and on-campus apartments are being outfitted with full kitchens, making it easier for students to ditch the meal plan.

For my daughter, a theater arts major whose irregular rehearsal schedule does not always mesh with dining hall hours, moving from the dorm into a campus apartment with a kitchen after freshman year offered her a chance to eat on her own time – and required a crash course in basic cooking skills. How to make chicken fingers at home A heads-up for other parents: Teach your kids how to cook real food – not just microwave meals – before it’s required for actual survival.

For gluten-free chef and blogger Phoebe Lapine, 30, the switch to home-cooked meals when she moved into an apartment for her junior year at Brown University was a welcome change and a valuable rite of passage.

“It’s an important part of your pre-real-world education,” Lapine says in an email. How to make fried chicken fingers “The first year out of college is one of the hardest for a 20-something. Easy homemade chicken fingers Many are moving to new cities, working long hours at entry-level jobs and learning to take care of basic needs on limited salaries. Oven baked chicken fingers recipe Knowing how to cook is a huge leg up.”

Priya Krishna, 25, started thinking creatively about cooking during her freshman year at Dartmouth College. Cooking chicken fingers “The dining hall is like a restaurant that you’re forced to eat at every night,” she says. How to fry chicken fingers “They are enormous feeding centers, and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. How to make chicken fingers in the oven That’s why students start getting resentful about their meal plan.” Her solution was to consider how to “cook” inside the dining hall itself, using the available ingredients in new ways. Homemade chicken fingers deep fried That resulted in her cookbook, “Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks” (Storey Publishing, $10.95, 128 pages).

“I did have a kitchen,” says Krishna, who lives in New York, “but I didn’t cook that often because I didn’t have time. Pictures of chicken fingers I liked having the dining hall as a resource.”

Lapine, also a New York resident, agrees that time is the enemy for college students rushing between classes, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs while keeping up with schoolwork. Healthy homemade chicken fingers “The grocery store was a 15-minute drive away,” she says. Chicken fingers recept “Outside the college bubble, that seems close. Chicken fingers rezept But in campus life, that might as well have been a different city.” Because she went grocery shopping only every few weeks, shelf-stable and frozen food became Lapine’s go-to meal starters.

“Cooking with humble shelf-stable ingredients gave me a real appreciation for the simple act of throwing together a meal from cans, jars and freezer bags,” says Lapine. Chicken fingers ingredients “It was very different from the meals I saw going down on Food Network, yet just as satisfying.”

Krishna’s approach, cooking within the dining hall itself, involved learning to mix and match items from different food stations, such as combining peanut butter, soy sauce, Sriracha and sugar to create a Thai-style peanut sauce for plain noodles. 4 fingers chicken recipe “Don’t be confined by the station,” she says.

Because outfitting and maintaining a kitchen can be an expensive endeavor, both Krishna and Lapine recommend investing in a few key pieces of equipment: a sharp knife, a skillet and a stockpot are a good start. Are chicken fingers healthy And they advise building a pantry of canned tomatoes and beans, frozen peas and spinach, and dried pasta and rice, along with fresh items such as bread, eggs, onions, potatoes, carrots, lemon and garlic, whose shelf life can be extended with proper storage.

While a spaghetti squash can look a little daunting because of its thick yellow skin, it is actually not that hard to cut through with a sharp knife. Chicken strips recipe healthy Just start at the stem and push the knife around lengthwise until you get back to the stem on the other side; the squash should then easily split into two.

Spaghetti squash has a pleasing texture that, yes, does mimic spaghetti, but with a buttery flavor. Baked chicken strips no breading Roasting the chickpeas and the currants on the baking sheet with the squash gives them a toasty, caramelized flavor, while the spaghetti squash seeds add crunch.

This creamy soup has a secret: There’s no cream – or even butter – in it. Baked chicken tenders no breadcrumbs Instead, bread and olive oil emulsify in the blender with the other ingredients to create a rich texture, making it easy to put together with a handful of pantry ingredients in just a few minutes.

The original recipe was made using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, which has the capacity to both heat and blend the soup; it has been adapted here for a standard blender. Homemade chicken fingers panko You will just need to finish the soup on the stove after it’s blended to allow the flavors to meld.

Toss together the chicken, peppers, onion, garlic, vinaigrette or oil, chili powder and salt in a large mixing bowl until evenly coated. How to make chicken tenders crispy Spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, stirring halfway through cooking.

During the last 5 minutes of baking, wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven until warmed through, or wrap the stack of tortillas in clean, damp paper towels and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.