My friends often ask, “how do you find the time to cook healthy meals that look so amazing during your busy week?” In college, when I lived off campus in my own apartment, I would cook my own meals every day. My homemade meals would consist of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When I receive these questions from my friends, I always tell them that the art of cooking starts with the ingredients, as different ingredients create different cuisines and dishes. I don’t usually use recipes. I like to add my own twists and flavors to the dishes that I already know how to cook, such as classic family recipes or other common dishes. The question now becomes, how do you know what ingredients you will need for a recipe? Some people prefer to plan ahead and find a few different recipes that they will make the following week, and they will purchase all the ingredients during their weekly trip to the grocery store. Others, including myself, like to keep all the basic ingredients in their kitchen, so they can use them in any dish on any given day.
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain, and it is typically located in college towns and cities. The store aims to provide customers with high quality products at a great price; as a result, Trader Joe’s is a favorite among college students. They also carry a wide range of products, including various international cuisines, fresh food, and non-GMO ingredients. Additionally, they provide food that is made specifically for those who have food sensitivities or allergies.
Here is a list of basic items, as well as several versatile ingredients, for college students to keep on hand:
The Basics (usually work in just about any meal)
-Beans (canned or bagged)
Condiments and sauces (depends on what you commonly use)
I always find myself using these ingredients, no matter what I cook. They can serve as a base or as a topping, and most of them can be used regardless of the meal you are cooking, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Sara Kim graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a double minor in Health Policy and Management and Asian American Studies from Ithaca College. She currently works as an Event Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: as a foodie, she loves to try new foods and travel to new places.