7 Easiest Meals to Prepare

Sudah makan?’ These two words are definitely a Malaysian way of asking ‘How are you?’ But if we thrust this question into the face of a college student, you might have just reminded him of his unfinished assignments instead. Been there, done that. I used to think that preparing my own meal was hectic and too time-consuming. I got no time to waste, I thought. But, guess what? After those weeks of fatty, oily fast food, and a not-so-severe constipation, I’d learned my lesson to eat properly. And it’s really not that difficult. Let me share with you a couple of (7, to be exact) easy meals to prepare. Your tummy and mind will thank you for reading this.

1. Salad in a Jar

“I sure hope this tastes as good as it looks.”

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? All you need is an empty jar and the ingredients you would like to have in a salad. Just in case you are wondering what other ingredients are there in a salad other then greenie, leafy stuff, you can actually add in your favorite choices of cheese, ham or even your leftover chicken. Yes, your leftover chicken. Now, how do you stuff a chicken into a jar, you say? You do not need a calculator or measuring flask and there is more than one solution to that. Shred it or dice it. And here’s how the salad ensemble should sound like from the bottom up: vinaigrette as the bottom layer, followed by meat or ham (if any), then layer them with the crisps greens. Add the toppings like cheese or raisins last and then close the jar lid! Shake it till all the ingredients are covered with the vinaigrette and there you have it. Not only does this jar turn into a proper meal, it keeps you on track on your daily veggie counts.

2. Freeze Your BLTs and PB&Js

“Now that’s what you call a steak with a budget..well sort of.”

Any types of sandwiches, actually. As you would know, BLT stands for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich while PB&J stands for peanut, butter and jelly. If you have heard of these a hundred times, you wouldn’t want to be judged when you make a face at the one hundred-and-oneth time. So why not kick these sandwiches up a notch by adding your own twist? For instance, swap bacon for canned sardines cooked in tomato puree! Or swap the J in PB&J for N—Nutella! Make a batch of your favorite sandwiches and chuck them into the freezer. If your roommates or classmates want to get their hands onto one of those sticky, gooey PB&Ns, get them to help you out. That way, just right before you go off to class, reheat one in the microwave and that’s it! Bless your tummy.

3. Power of the BLENDER

“Who says a liquid meal can’t fill you up?”

With a blender, you can literally drink your meal. Gulp, slurp, and gulp. But in this context, the drinkable meal refers to a healthy, natural smoothie. I am pretty sure there are those rush mornings when you don’t feel like bathing (because you just burned the midnight oil for a mind-numbing assignment) let alone sit down and graze your Big Breakfast. Invest in a blender. Buy fruits from anywhere you can find. Frozen fruits work just as well as fresh ones. Here’s how it works, with no specific measurement required at all: Add whatever fruits you like into the blender plus a bit of water to help your blender get started; close the lid and let the buzz begin! How cool is that? The possibility to have fruits in the morning is no longer a question and no equations are involved.

4. Waffle Maker Makes Delicious Other Stuff Too

“Time to improvise with flour de la crème.”

Quesadillas. It does sound a tad bit intimidating but guess what? It’s more convenient than making waffles out of a packet of waffle mix. To make these quesadillas, just use ready-made tortilla wraps instead of making your own. This way it saves time from all those mixing and whisking about. If you have leftover salad (like from number 1), even better! Lay a piece of tortilla in the waffle maker, top it off with your leftovers and if you like it cheesy, add cheese! Close the waffle maker shut and remove the quesadilla once it turns a little golden brown. In the meantime, you can catch up with your assignment. This waffle maker way of cooking up a meal is really convenient just so long you have a sweet corner of your (class) room to place this little equipment.

5. Stale Bread Pudding

“This looks wonderfully sinful to the waistline.”

In the midst of studying or revising your assignments, ever long for a dish that reminds you of the warmth of home? This is when you give day-old breads a second chance. There is always room for customization in terms of what kind of stale bread you have, be it French baguettes, plain toast or even wheat loaf. Just break these breads into smaller pieces and mix them in a bowl of egg mixture; heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and pour everything in. The pudding is ready when the bottom of it can be lifted smoothly off the pan. And because these breads basically taste bland, the possibility to add in extra flavors is endless. Make it sweet, savory, umami, anything that makes your tummy happy. But just a dash of salt and pepper into the egg mixture will add the right amount of oomph to this dish. See? No old bread goes to waste with these simple steps.

6. Instant Noodles alla Carbonara

“Let the Maggie work the Magic.”

Clearly, instant noodles and college students are two peas in a pod. Even if you are not a fan of anything ‘instant’, still you got to give this meal a shot. All you need is instant noodles, of any flavor because this recipe only needs the noodle itself, and a can of carbonara sauce. Boil the noodles like how you would normally do with instant noodles, and then drain it. Next, open the can of carbonara and pour it into the pot of noodles just enough to toss the noodles in. Although this meal can be prepared right at your fingertips, remember to not commit the ultimate culinary crime—allowing your noodles to swim in the carbonara sauce. If you’re a fan of the all-time-favorite Bolognese, then go for it! And then you can call it Instant Noodles alla Bolognese. Trust me; instant noodles will never taste the same ever again.

7. Microwave Mug Cake

“Any chocolate monsters out there? It’s gobbling time.”

One of the Internet’s biggest sensations besides K-pop. What’s not to love about this dessert “slash” breakfast “slash” supper? Believe it or not, it looks like a cake and it definitely tastes like one. The flavor of the cake is up to your preferences, but chocolate is a big hit. If you LOVE chocolate as much as I do, these are the ingredients you will need for this cake: Unsweetened cocoa powder, self-rising flour, sugar, salt, milk and oil. You like it fudgy? Add chocolate chips! Whisk the ingredients using a fork because it works magically like a whisk and it will help your cake rise nicely. Make sure that you are whisking it in a microwave-safe mug and never leave your fork in it. I repeat, use a microwave-safe mug. Then, chuck the mug into the microwave and let this wonderful appliance do its thing for approximately 1.5minutes, depending on the volume of your mug and the cake batter. In the meantime, you can sit and enjoy the smell of cake wafting in the air while reading your papers.

And how cool are these easy meals? As students, we tend to be given a problem and then a solution is expected from us. So, why not apply that ability to solve problems into preparing our everyday meals? With the above 7 simple meals to prepare, there shall be no excuse for letting your tummy rumble. Instead, let your palate enjoy every morsel of the dish. Now, go ahead and cook away while you sort out your assignments too.

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