Tuna Mac and Cheese

Category: Freshman Year
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Adding protein to mac and cheese is an awesome way to make sure that your quick snack can turn into a filling meal and keep you going all day. I always have tuna handy, and when you properly rinse tuna all of the fishy flavor is gone and you get a lovely protein. I make this all the time when I’m strapped for time and want something nice, cheesy, and filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Mac and Cheese
  • 1 Can of Tuna, rinsed

Step one: Microwave your mac and cheese; while it’s heating up, rinse your tuna. Add in the appropriate ratios of tuna to mac and cheese and enjoy

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Sauted Summer Squash with Orzo

Category: Senior Year/Vegan
Servings: 2-3 people
Prep-Time:  5 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Orzo is a delightful pasta that looks exactly like a rice. It’s buttery and tender and goes wonderfully with summer vegetables.

When I’m not in the mood for a vegan meal, I make this with breaded chicken cutlets, and top it with some butter and cheese; but you absolutely don’t have to do that to get the full delicious flavor out of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Orzo
  • 1 chopped Summer Squash
  • 1-2 tsp of Butter
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp of Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Step one: Saute your garlic and summer squash in a bit of EVOO

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Step two: Prepare your orzo as directed on the box

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Step three: Mix together your orzo and squash and top it with your Parmesan cheese and butter. Enjoy your delicious dish

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Classic Chicken Parmesan with Linguine

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 3 people
Prep-Time:  15 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Chicken Parmesan with aldente linguine is just delicious. It’s also ridiculously overpriced at most restaurants, and just as easy to make at home in your kitchen.

By making this at home, you have complete freedom on the seasoning, the cheese, and the pasta type. It’s all in your capable hands.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, pounded
  • Egg wash, 1-2 eggs
  • Flour to coat Breasts
  • Breadcrumbs to coat Breasts
  • 1/4 cup of Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cooked Linguine

Step one: Prepare your pasta as directed on the box; set aside. Preheat your oven to 350

Step two: Dip your chicken into the egg wash, then the flour, then the breadcrumbs

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Step three: Saute your chicken in olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side

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Step four: Top your chicken breasts with sauce and cheese and bake in your oven until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes

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Step five: Assemble the chicken parm and linguine and dig in!

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Creamy Pulled Chicken Nachos

Category: Slow-cooker
Servings: 4-6 people
Prep-Time:  15 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 hours

Why is this a survival recipe?

Chicken is a tough ingredient to cook in a slow cooker without drying it out. This recipe has enough cream and spice so that not only is the chicken still moist, it tastes just like the filling of enchiladas (which I do use it for in this recipe: here).

I make this in the morning before classes and enjoy delicious spicy chicken with nacho chips for dinner than night. Delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small can of Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 can full of Milk
  • 3 tsp of Hot Sauce
  • 1 package of Golden Onion dry soup mix
  • 1 cup of Peas
  • 3 Chicken Breasts, browned
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Step one: Brown your chicken on all sides and season with salt and pepper. Browning chicken seals in the flavor and moisture and makes sure your chicken doesn’t dry out. 

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Step two: Mix together your soup, soup mix, milk and hot sauce. Use the can from the soup to measure out the amount of milk you need

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Step three: Place your chicken in the slow cooker and cover with the soup mixture

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Step four: Cook on low for 4 hours; then add in the peas and cook for an additional hour

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Step five: Serve over prepared egg noodles, plain, or with nachos!

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Breaded Chicken Cutlets

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 2-3 people
Prep-Time:  10 minutes
Cook-Time: 20-25 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Knowing how to bread chicken is essential in so many recipes. Once you can bread and cook chicken breasts, you can make chicken fingers, Chicken Parmesan with linguine, chicken sandwiches, and use it in so many different ways.

This recipe I paired with summer squash and orzo, (which I also have the recipe to: here), but you can serve these cutlets over rice, pasta, with potatoes, really any way you’d like. This recipe is a perfect staple.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of Breadcrumbs
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Butter
  • 3 Chicken cutlets

Step one: Preheat your oven to 350; flatten your breasts by pounding them with your rolling pan between two pieces of parchment paper

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Step two: Dip your cutlets into your egg wash, and then into your breadcrumbs

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Step three: If your chicken is 1/2 an inch thick, cook it for 4 minutes on each side. If it’s thicker, adjust it by about 2 minutes for each half an inch! Then bake your chicken breasts for 10 minutes  at 350 to finish cooking them through.

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Step four: Plate with your desired side and enjoy

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Light and Creamy Pasta Primavera

Category: Senior Year/Vegetarian
Servings: 2-3 people
Prep-Time:  9-12 minutes
Cook-Time: 20 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Having pasta with sauce every night got very old, very quickly. Pasta Primavera sounds difficult, but is really quite simple and absolutely delicious.

If you don’t have fresh vegetables, you can simply use frozen veggies instead; it’s just as good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • 1 jar of White Wine, Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup of Broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Green Pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of Carrot, sliced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Dash of Poultry Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-4 oz of Pasta

Step one: Prepare your pasta as directed on the box; drain the pasta and keep it with a bit of pasta water still in the noodles to prevent them from getting sticky

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Step two: Combine your Alfredo Sauce with your Wine, Chicken or Vegetable broth (Don’t use wine if you’re not yet 21) and your garlic

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Step three: While your sauce is heating up, and the wine is cooking down, saute your vegetables until they are crisp tender and season

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Step four: Mix together your vegetables and pasta, pour your Alfredo sauce over the top and dig in

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Creamy Hot Dog Mac & Cheese

Category: Freshman Year
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2 minutes
Cook-Time: 3 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Mac and cheese is great, but eating a cup of cheesy noodles every day for lunch gets old very quickly. This recipe is ready in about 5 minutes, and you can easily make it on the go when you’re in a rush but still want a hot meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 microwave package of Mac & Cheese
  • 1-2 Hot Dogs

Step one: Prep your Mac & Cheese as directed

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Step two: Microwave your hot dog for 30 seconds; cut up into bite sized pieces

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Step three: Stir together and dig in 🙂

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Creamy Bacon and Peas Mac and Cheese

Category: Sophomore Year
Servings: 3 people
Prep-Time:  9-12 minutes
Cook-Time: 20-25 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

This recipe makes creamy macaroni and gets you your veggies for the day. I make this on days where I’ve already bacon in the morning so that step is eliminated.

I am a mac and cheese addict; it was actually the only thing I would eat for a year when I was 7.

Now at 21, I run a health and fitness blog in my spare time, and pictures of creamy delicious macaroni and cheese popped up so often that I decided to re-live my childhood and make my own.

If you don’t have time to make this on the stove top, you can also put all of the ingredients into a casserole dish and cook at 375 for 25 minutes. Just make sure you’ve stirred in the cheeses evenly. I recommend topping it lightly with breadcrumbs if you use this method.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 slices of cooked Bacon, shredded
  • 1-1.5 cups of frozen Peas
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup dry) of Elbow macaroni
  • 1/8 cup of Milk (a few splashes)
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Cheese
  • 1 triangle of Creamy Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Step one: Prepare your elbow macaroni to aldente in salted water; when you drain your macaroni, pour the water into the bowl of frozen peas to defrost them.

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Step two: Return your macaroni to the pot and pour in the peas. Reduce the heat to medium low.

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Step three: Add in your milk and stir; add in half of your shredded cheese and stir until it is completely melted

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Step four: Stir in the second half of your cheese. Splitting it up is important; if you put too much in at once it will clump up and be useless.

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Step five: Add in your wedge of creamy cheese and stir until it is melted. At this point, the milk should be fairly reduced. 

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Step six: Stir in your crumbled bacon and continue cooking if there is still too much milk. Adjust your seasonings according to taste.

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Step seven: Dig in! This recipe makes two portions, and it reheats beautifully. 

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Italian Red Sauce Stuffed Shells

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 4-6 people
Prep-Time:  25 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Italian stuffed shells are my favorite way to eat cheese, pasta, and red sauce. They are so filling and rich, and the flavor is so  mouth-watering  that I could eat it every day for lunch.

Italian stuffed shells can be modified in so many ways; you can use flavored sauces, add in cooked sausage, chicken, or beef, or use homemade sauces. This is also easily frozen and can be reheated for lunch, dinner, or just to have ready to go for a later date.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Jumbo Shells
  • 1 cup of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Marscapone Cheese
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of your favorite Red Sauce or Meat sauce

Step one: Preheat your oven to 350; prepare the Shells as directed on the box

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Step two: In a medium bowl, mix all of your cheeses, BUT ONLY HALF OF THE MOZZARELLA, until fully combined; stuff each shell with 1 tbsp of the cheese mixture

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Step three: In a baking pan (9×13 recommended), spread a layer of sauce on the bottom and line up your stuffed shells until the pan is full

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Step four: Cover shells with as much sauce as you’d like, then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella over the top of the shells

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Step five: Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbling!

Step six: Cover and let rest for 5 minutes, then dig in 🙂

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Creamy Four Cheese Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 4-6 people
Prep-Time:  25 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Stuffed shells are a classic comfort food that so closely resembles lasagna they could practically be twins. I cook stuffed shells on Sunday and pack two of them for lunch during the week for a delicious taste of home right in my dorm room.

Ingredients:

  •  1 jar of Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Pino Grigio (Sub Chicken or Vegetable Broth if under 21)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 box of Jumbo Shells
  • 1 cup of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Marscapone Cheese
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Alfredo Sauce

Step one: In a medium sauce pan on medium-low, combine Alfredo sauce, Wine and Garlic. **Tip! Pour the wine into the empty sauce jar and swirl to get the extra sauce out!**

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Step two: Simmer until the wine is reduced, tasting often. Stir consistently so it doesn’t spit!

Stuffed Shells

Step one: Prepare shells as directed on the box; Preheat your oven to 350

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Step two: Combine cheeses (ONLY HALF A CUP OF MOZZARELLA) in a medium mixing bowl; Stuff about 1 tbsp of cheese mixture into each shell

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Step three: In a baking pan (9×13 recommended), spoon in a layer of your alfredo sauce, then place your shells in side by side until the pan is full

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Step four: Cover shells with alfredo sauce and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella over the top.

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Step five: Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbling!

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Step six: Cover and let rest for 5 minutes, then enjoy!

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