Aug. 27, 2020

Cooking Tips for College & University Students

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

The return to college and university looks a little bit different this year, as a result of COVID-related changes. For students who are leaving home, some are venturing to the dorms, while others have rented a house or an apartment with friends. Some are learning online while others will be permitted to attend small labs. But they all have one thing in common – they will need to eat!

My friend’s daughter is starting university in September, and will be the single occupant in a two-person dorm room, to help with social distancing. She was told that “students living in suite-style residences can bring kettles, coffee makers, toaster ovens and cooking grills.” That made me think about college cooking. How many students are equipped to make their own meals from scratch using basic appliances such a toaster and cooking grill? There are many stories of college kids surviving on Mr. Noodle and Kraft Dinner, but something as simple as scrambled eggs and toast is equally affordable, and definitely more nutritious.

So, to all of the students who are heading to university soon, I’d like to provide this simple shopping list as well as some easy, tasty and nourishing recipes, which can be made using basic kitchen appliances. As you help your kids pack their bags, slip a printout of these grocery staples and recipes into their bag. One day, they will thank you!

Top foods for a small pantry :

- Favourite bread
- Whole grain cereal and instant oatmeal
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Canned beans, salmon and tuna
- Olive oil & vinegar
- Peanut butter
- Rice, pasta, quinoa or other grainsTomato sauce Favourite herbs and spices

Top foods for the fridge:

- Eggs
- Pre-cooked hard boiled eggs, such as EGGS2go!

- Butter
- Milk or alternative
- Cheese
- Vegetables
- Fruit
- Favourite condiments (mayo, ketchup, etc.)

If you have some time before your kids are off to school, spend it in the kitchen. I call this the “scramble and ramble” – we cook up some goodies while we chat about life. Before they leave for college, kids should be equipped with the basics, such as boiling water for pasta, scrambling eggs, flipping pancakes, grilling a chicken breast and properly cutting vegetables. You can also teach them about the safe cooking temperature for chicken and ground beef (a $10 food thermometer makes an interesting gift!)

Here are some easy recipes that university kids can make:

Simple Breakfast Sandwich

Prep time: 2 minutes

Requirements: microwave and toaster

1 Whole grain English muffin, pita or bagel

1 handful lettuce

Sliced tomato (optional)

2 slices deli turkey or ham

1 tbsp mayonnaise

Toast bread. Microwave egg patty on high for 75 seconds (for 1200w microwave; a little longer for low wattage). Add heated egg patty to the bottom slice of bread. Layer with lettuce, tomato (if using) and deli meat. Spread mayo on top half of bread and place on top of sandwich. Enjoy.

Traditional Veggie and Cheese Omelette

Prep time: 5 minutes

Requirements: grill, hot plate or stove top; non-stick skillet, whisk, spatula

2 eggs or ½ cup Naturegg Omega Plus liquid , well shaken

Pinch salt and pepper

1 tsp oil or butter

¼ cup any chopped and cooked vegetable: red pepper, mushroom, spinach, kale, etc.

¼ cup shredded cheese

Whisk liquid eggs with salt and pepper. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil or butter over medium-high heat. Pour in eggs. As eggs set on bottom, pull edges into middle of pan, tipping pan to allow uncooked portion to flow underneath. When egg is almost set; cook about 1 minute or until bottom is golden and top is still slightly runny. Sprinkle vegetables and cheese evenly over one half of omelette. Using a spatula, fold other half of omelette over broccoli mixture. Slide onto plate and enjoy.

So many options!

We all have different taste buds, so here are some other quick recipes that are great to try:

And of course, it’s always vital to have the perfect cookie recipe! We love these Complete Cookies , which boast coconut, chocolate chips, raisins and nuts.

Good luck to all students!

Margaret Hudson

President, Burnbrae Farms