The new school year is upon us, which means it’s time to say goodbye to mom’s cooking and say hello to overpriced meal plans, instant ramen, and fast food. But this does not have to be the case! Here at TYF, we have collected a list of cookbooks perfectly designed for the busy and broke college student life. Whether a meat eater, vegan, vegetarian, or anything in between, these cookbooks give you the steps and strategies to food bliss!
Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks: Create Extraordinary Dishes from the Ordinary Ingredients in Your College Meal Plan by Priya Krishna
When the college cafeteria is offering chicken and mashed potatoes for the 6th week in a row, this cookbook will dazzle your tastebuds. Designed for students on a college meal plan, create your own unique meals from ingredients you can gather around your college cafeteria. Most recipes require no cooking at all, and the ones that do only require either a microwave or a toaster. Also, Priya Krishna answers the tiresome question “What on earth are you going to eat!?” by providing vibrant charts that will tell you what recipes to cook based on the flavors you’re craving. With this cookbook, you’ll be the Gordon Ramsey of the college meal plan!
Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown
Originally designed for people on food stamps, this cookbook is a staple on my bookshelf. Implementing common packaged, canned, and boxed goods, this book shows you how to make delicious food that does not require 50 specialty ingredients. Also, Brown shares handy tips on how to save money on groceries with charts about when to buy certain produce, what to buy in bulk, and what essential items should be in your pantry. The “Egg Sandwiches with Mushroom Hash” on page 5 are to die for!
Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth by Leslie Bilderback
Cake is my favorite dessert hands down. However, I have no self-control. If I buy a cake, I’m going to eat the whole thing, and the freshman fifteen will become the freshman thirty. Never fear, because Leslie Bilderback has a solution— Personal-sized treats you can make in your dorm’s microwave! This cookbook contains everything from a basic “Yellow Mug Cake” (pg.11), vegan friendly options like “Sweet Potato” (pg. 111), to “Adults Only” mug cakes like “Pink Champagne” (pg. 51) and “Irish Coffee” (pg. 45). Bilderback also provides recipes for toppings and garnishes for your confections. The secret to sweet cake-y bliss is in your microwave.
The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook: Easy, Healthy Recipes for the Next Four Years & Beyond by Pamela Ellgen
With this cookbook, you can impress your friends with your cooking skills and be knowledgeable about the food you’re putting in your mouth, all while using only a handful of ingredients. Pamela Ellgen covers a multitude of dietary needs in this book with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. For students counting calories and macros, each recipe contains a chart that breaks down calories, grams of fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. From the “Go-To Green Smoothie” (pg. 38) to “Shredded-Chicken Street Tacos” (pg. 152), this cookbook will help you eat right during your time as a student. Bon appetit!
Recipes Every College Student Should Know by Christine Nelson
Think of this cookbook like a syllabus for college life cooking. Christine Nelson understands student life and provides recipes for quick breakfasts, backpack-friendly lunches, meals for you and your dorm mate (or your entire wing), and study break snacks. Step aside instant ramen and overpriced coffee! Within these pages, homemade iconic college staples are at your fingertips. you’ll learn how to make “A Great Cup of Coffee” (pg. 30), “Ramen Done Right” (pg. 95), and “Microwave Potato Chips” (pg. 36). Yum! Also, the cover is just adorable (ramen aesthetic gives me life).