Comfort Food For College Students was a cookbook idea I had when both my daughters were in college and living off campus. I wanted to give them (and others) good, healthy recipes that were easily prepared.
College students need to start the day with a good breakfast. It’s been drilled into our heads since infancy. But in this day and age, who has the time? So here are some recipes that can be quickly made and eaten in a flash or even on the run.
Fruit – The USDA issued a report on the benefits of fruit last month. You can find it at http://www.mypyramid.gov/pyramid/fruits_why.html. In summary, the report said that most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol. They are important sources of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Dietary fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is also important for proper bowel function. Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells.
My breakfast is usually a fruit smoothie made of mixed fruit. I try to use locally grown, in season fresh organic fruits, but that’s pretty limiting in the mid-Atlantic Winter. I start with a local ripe pear and sometimes stewed apples, add a fresh banana, and then frozen mango and berries and enough local apple juice to allow blending. Many frozen fruits are more nutritious than fresh fruits, because heat and light destroy nutrients and most frozen fruits are flash frozen, right after picking. Read more: Frozen Fruits and Vegetables – Nutrition Facts – The Supermarket Diet – Good Housekeeping. Mush it all up in a blender and enjoy! You can even take it with you.
Eggs on the run
My breakfast choice when I’m tired of fruit, (and a sure choice on weekends), is a dish of eggs. Check out my Blog #10 for eggs and egg recipes. Here are a few more and one repeat, fried egg sandwiches.
Fried Egg Sandwiches – breakfast on the run. This is my savior on many a morning. Put a small dab of butter in a pan and when the pan is hot add the egg. Fry on one side and turn over. Puncture the yolk and add salt and pepper to taste. When the yolk is almost firm, put the egg on a piece of bread and return to the pan. Add another piece of bread on top. Brown on both sides, put the sandwich on a paper towel, and run out the door.
Preparation – The best way to hard boil eggs, is to start them in cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, and simmer for 12 minutes. Immediately plunge the eggs into very cold water and cool them quickly to room temperature. This ensures that the eggs will peel easily.
Preparation – Break the eggs up using a fork or a pastry blender, which I think is easier. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten. I add freshly ground white pepper and a few dashes of fish sauce instead of salt. (Eggs have a great affinity for anchovies). Spread on homemade brown sandwich bread (Blog #__) and you’ve got an egg sandwich on the run.
Egg Drop Soup – not on the run, but fast. Here’s a great leftover breakfast, a variation of Asian breakfast soup. Heat up a couple of cups of chicken stock, add some cooked greens and when the mixture is boiling add one well beaten egg. Let it cook a bit, and then gently pull the egg apart. I add hot sauce to take it up a notch.
Eggs at Leisure
Frittata – An Italian version of the French omelet, a frittata differs in several key ways. 1) frittatas always contain other ingredients in addition to eggs; 2) the ingredients are mixed with the eggs before the frittata goes into the pan; 3) frittatas are cooked in olive oil over a medium heat until the underside is set but the top still soft and then flipped completely over instead of folded (you can also grill or bake the fritattata to complete cooking the top; 4) frittatas are usually served in slices instead of whole. They may be served hot or cold, accompanied by fresh salads, bread, beans, olives, etc. Fritatta’s are usually made with about 6 eggs for several people. Here’s one version of the fritatta for college students, enough to serve one or two people.
Handful of cooked greens
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chop the onion into small dice and saute in a tablespoon of olive oil. Mince the garlic and add to the onions. Cook until translucent, about eight minutes. Remove and put in a bowl with the cooked greens.
Beat the eggs with a whisk until frothy and combine with the vegetable. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the egg mixture in the remaining olive oil over medium heat until the bottom is cooked through.
Turn the fritatta to cook the other side. (If it’s large, you can put a plate over the pan, reverse the pan to transfer the fritatta to the plate, then slide it back into the pan and cook until done.
Omelets are sautéed quickly in butter until medium brown but still runny in the middle for the traditional French omelet, then folded in half and slipped onto a plate. Cheese is the best filling for a french omelet, with an optional addition a sauteed onions and other soft vegetables. Cheese, tomato, and avocado is unbeatable! Sprinkle grated parmesan on top to take it up a notch.
More breakfasts in another blog.