Homemade Favorites


The following are a few recipes that I eat at home that take a minimal amount of time to make and offer strong nutritive value.

Banana Soup

Banana soup is a family recipe that my mother has made for my siblings and me in the past. This simple recipe consists of bananas, bread, milk, and sugar. Although simple, banana soup has a large amount of nutrients. Additionally, all of the ingredients come from different food groups. Thus this diversity helps fulfill the daily requirements for dairy, grains, and fruit intake. Additionally, all of the ingredients are inexpensive, making banana soup a very cost-effective food. You can eat banana soup at any time in the day, but I prefer it as an afternoon snack.


1 Banana

2 Slices of bread (white or wheat will work)

1 cup of milk

1 teaspoon of sugar


Rip each slice of bread into about eight pieces, and place them in a cereal bowl. Slice a banana over the bread into the bowl, and then pour the milk over everything. Lastly, put the sugar on top of everything, and it is ready to eat.

Nutrition facts (for wheat bread, 1% milk, granulated sugar, and a medium banana):

Calories: 350

Total fat: 4.0g

Total carbs: 68g

Protein: 15g

Egg Sandwich

A homemade egg sandwich is certainly not an original recipe, but it provides a much more healthful alternative to eating one from McDonalds. In my egg sandwiches, I prefer to remove the yolks, which concentrates the protein and removes a large amount of fat. Like banana soup, this simple recipe mixes different food groups, making it very nutritious.


2 large eggs

1 thin slice of ham (optional)

1slice of cheese (your choice of type)

1 English muffin


Fry the two eggs to your liking. Cut the English muffin in half and place the fried eggs in the muffin. If you would like to include ham, you can either cut the slice into pieces and mix them into the eggs while they fry, or you can place the slice on top of the eggs inside the sandwich. Place the cheese inside the sandwich along with a little bit of salt, and the sandwich is finished.

If you would like to include only egg whites, let the egg lay in the frying pan for a minute to let the white slightly solidify, then gently remove the yolk and discard it.

Nutrition Facts (for a wheat English muffin, eggs with yolks, American cheese, and smoked ham)

Calories: 386

Total fat: 22g

Total carbs: 26g

Protein: 20g

Both of these recipes take only a few minutes to make, cost only few dollars, and have excellent nutritive value. What more could you ask for?

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A Meal to Impress Your Lady Friend(s)

By David Mattson

So you’ve decided it’d be a good idea to find yourself a lady friend. Although we know that guys and girls can’t be just friends, you think you know the perfect way to make yourself the man of her dreams: Bring her out on the town. Either this plan leaves you with said lady and a few pennies to your name or self-destructs after the third time around at Taco Bell. There’s another way. If you can throw together a homemade meal, she’ll appreciate your efforts and you’ll still be able to pay the electric bill.


One of the mainstays for lunch and dinners in the western hemisphere, you can’t go wrong with spaghetti. It can be dressed up with dim lights and mood music or kept casual as a quick meal before the night begins. While the noodles are basic, the sauce that accompanies them can make you legendary. Here’s what you’ll need:

Spaghetti: $0.80 / 16oz box  (This box will make enough for at least 4 meals)

If you haven’t cleaned for a while, you may want to try it before continuing.

Tomatoes: $9.80 / 20 Plum Roma Tomatoes

Olive Oil: $4.00 / 2 tablespoons + 2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Basil: $3.35 / 8 + 10 fresh basil leaves

Unsalted Butter: $0.25 / 2 Tablespoons

Salt, Black Pepper: You’ll probably already have this. If not, ask the neighbors

Cheese: $0.65 / ½ cup Parmesan cheese

Garlic: $.50 / head (about 8 cloves)


$19.35 for 4 servings (All prices were taken from the Giant  supermarket price catalog)

To make the spaghetti, follow the directions on the box or take a look here (the actual cooking doesn’t take place until after the sauce has started.)

For the topping, I’ve adapted an adaption of a recipe used by Scarpetta in NYC for its spaghetti. The sauce can be made ahead of time and either refrigerated if you expect to use it within a few days or frozen.

Serves 4

20 ripe tomatoes (preferably plum tomatoes)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 ounce ground Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, well washed and dried, stacked and rolled into a cylinder and sliced thinly crosswise into a chiffonade

1 pound spaghetti

For the Basil-Garlic Oil:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6-8 whole cloves garlic

10 whole fresh basil leaves

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of ice water nearby. Cut a small X on the bottom of each tomato. Ease the tomatoes (one at a time) into the pot and boil for about 15 seconds, then promptly move them to the waiting ice water. Pull off the skin with the tip of a paring knife. If the skin sticks, try a vegetable peeler using a gentle sawing motion. Cut the tomatoes in half and use a finger to flick out the seeds.

2. In a wide pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the tomatoes and season lightly with the salt and pepper. (Not too much all at once.) Let the tomatoes cook for a few minutes to soften. Then, using a potato masher, chop the tomatoes finely. Cook the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and the sauce has thickened.

3. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the basil-garlic oil. Heat a small saucepan over low heat with 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic cloves, and basil leaves. Keep the heat on low to allow the ingredients to warm slowly and release their flavors. When the garlic is lightly browned, turn heat off and let cool for 10 minutes. The longer you let the oil sit, the more infused the oil. Strain the oil, discarding the solids.

4. To cook the spaghetti, bring a large pot of amply salted water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti until just shy of al dente and drain, reserve a little of the pasta cooking water.











About this vigorously. Also, don’t smile. It makes you unattractive

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and cook over medium-high heat, gently tossing the pasta and the sauce together with a couple of wooden spoons and a lot of exaggerated movement (you can even shake the pan) until the pasta is just tender and the sauce looks cohesive. Remove the pan from the heat and toss the butter, basil and cheese with the pasta in the same manner (the pasta should take on an orange hue). Drizzle with just a bit of the basil-garlic oil on each plate.

How could you resist a chance at this? Mind, you might look just as disheveled after doing battle with the kitchen.

In just under 30 minutes (about the same amount of time it takes for you to get to a sit down restaurant and receive the entrée, you can have a meal made with your own hand. In addition, you’ll be on more comfortable turf and will have more fun.

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Korean-Style Peppered Chicken

By Ryan Henrici

There is a key difference between fast food and food fast. Both are prepared quickly, but the latter can be healthful and filling. No, I’m not talking about Hungry Man meals that you can throw in the microwave and eat in less than 5 minutes because, let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot of nutritional value there(see below). And no guys, I’m not suggesting throwing together some greens and calling it our meal—we need more than that.

Men’s Health Magazine has 6 protein-packed recipes that can be easily adapted for college guys looking to eat cheap, healthful, and fast—not to mention while applying minimal effort. Boasting the tagline “If you have 15 minutes, you have time to make a healthful dinner,” it is definitely a resource to take advantage of. Don’t let the word recipe dissuade you from giving these dishes a try: they are designed for the culinarily challenged among us. “Dump all the ingredients into a large ziplock plastic bag [and shake].” It really doesn’t get much easier than that.

The first recipe, Korean-style Pepper Steak, takes only 5 minutes to prepare and has over 30 grams of protein and almost 75% less sodium than the Hungry Man. This recipe could be easily adapted to be more economically centered by replacing the sirloin with chicken breast. Not only will this lower the cost of your meal, but it will also increase the total protein value. Additionally, you could make some extra and save it for a hearty chicken sandwich the next day.


Korean-Style Peppered Chicken



1 8 oz chicken breast

1 c bite-size bits of red or green bell pepper (or split between the two)

2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

Plus: 1 tsp sugar; 1 1/2 tsp olive oil; 1 tsp red-pepper flakes

Steps to a Satisfying Meal:


1.      Grill or microwave (warning: microwaving chicken will make it tougher) the chicken breast to about three-quarters cooked (still raw throughout the middle)

2.      Cut the chicken up into bite-sized strips

3.      Combine the chicken and all the other ingredients into a large ziplock bag. Shake vigorously to mix to ensure the flavors have permeated the meat.

4.      Pour everything in the bag into a medium-hot skillet, stir frequently to prevent burning and sticking.

5.      Once the chicken is cooked thoroughly and the vegetables begin to lose their water (2-3 minutes), serve over rice and enjoy!


Total Cost: ~ $8


Recipe adapted from Men’s Health Magazine

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Game Day Favorite: Buffalo Chicken Dip

By Jake Bear

There are many opportunities for enjoying delectable game day delicacies, but no area proves more bountiful than tailgates.  They can range from the typical burgers and dogs, to the more sophisticated rarities like steak and bacon-wrapped scallops.  Tailgates are popular for a multitude of reasons, but one of the main attractions for students is that they are for the most part very cheap.  Each person attending the tailgate usually brings only one dish and spends very little money for preparation, yet no one leaves for the game hungry; whether they just bring a small homemade dish, or pick up a 2-liter on the way, everyone leaves satisfied in the end.  However, while the tailgates are typically rather light on the wallet, they can be pretty heavy on the waistline.  Most dishes consist of mainly cheese and meat, which are most certainly delicious, but those searching for healthier options may find minimal-calorie foods difficult to procure.

While I do my best during the week to find healthful options in the face of limited dining hall menus, I easily succumb to indulgence come Saturday.  Greasy burgers, bags of chips accompanying salsa, and pretty much anything with cheese on it, it’s a safe bet I’m sampling it all.  Yet I do realize that some are not as careless as I when it comes to weekend dining, so I too see the need for healthier options at the majority of tailgates.  This being said I am usually the guy to cop out and just bring a bag of chips to the party—because no one else could have possibly thought of that right?  However, during this past break as my girlfriend and I prepared to attend a party we decided that instead of bringing what would likely be the fifth bag of Doritos, we would mix things up a little bit.  Recalling my previous tailgating experiences I remembered a dish that had stuck in my mind as one of my all-time favorites: Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Fortunately, the recipe is all but fail-proof, and with some minor tweaking can be  made with health conscious attendees in mind.

Probably the best part about this recipe is that it only takes about an hour from start to finish and can even be used by those who prefer delaying preparation till last minute.  Also, for those out there lacking cooking experience do not fret because I dare not attempt anything past the highly technical grilled cheese on most occasions and was capable of cooking this without issue.   We chose to prepare a batch and a half of the original recipe because it was expected that about 15 people would be at the party, and it was good that we did because even with only 8 people showing up there was barely enough for everyone to get their fill.  If you’re looking for a recipe to satisfy everyone at the party, as well as make an earnest attempt at considering your calorie-cutting counterparts, look no further; just don’t forget to set aside a bowl when you’re done or you may find yourself out of luck after everyone else has gotten their share.

The recipe is adapted from Mike Fullers “The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe


The recipe takes about an hour total time to prepare after pre-heating the oven to 350°


–         1 to ½ lbs of skinless, boneless, chicken breast (about two large chicken breasts)

–         1 ½ cups of light or fat-free ranch dressing

–         1 ½ cups of Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce (substitution is not recommended)

–         12 oz of light cream cheese

–         3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

–         Green onions or other garnish (optional)

–         A couple bags of tortilla chips to go along


  1. Place the chicken breasts whole into an appropriately sized pot of boiling water and cook for about 30-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked entirely
  2. While the chicken is boiling begin preparing the rest of the dish by first cutting the cream cheese into approximately 2’’ cubes and place equally into a 11.5’’ x 8’’ x 2’’ (or something of similar size) Pyrex style backing dish coated with butter spray
  3. Then cover the entire area of the dish with the shredded cheddar, ranch, hot sauce, mix slightly, and place in the oven for 10 minutes uncovered
  4. Remove the dish after 10 minutes, stir the dip to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly and place back in the oven uncovered for another 10 minutes
  5. While the dish is cooking the chicken should be done cooking and allowed to cool slightly, place the chicken breast on a cutting board and use a couple forks to pull the chicken to form thin shredded pieces exactly as you would in the process of making pulled pork
  6. After 10 minutes has passed remove the dish from the oven and mix in the chicken thoroughly making sure no “pockets” of hot sauce remain in the dish as they will likely form
  7. Following mixing cover the dish with aluminum foil or its respective lid and place back in the oven for about another 25 minutes
  8. After the 25 minutes pass remove the dish mixing one last time and if you desire transfer the dip to a more attractive bowl and garnish before serving with chips

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