Just because you may be young, broke and stressed out about classes doesn’t mean you have to eat like a dog! These fall-centric, diet-restriction-friendly recipes for the hungry college student are easy to make, inexpensive and filling. They’re also made with ingredients that can be found in the Grubhub or ones that won’t break the bank at the grocery store. LET’S EAT!!!!!
- Cool Weather Sausage and Veggie Bake
This is the epitome of comfort food. A pile of warm potatoes, squash, tomatoes and Italian sausages with a hint of spice from the Hatch green chiles is warming and soothing on a cool fall night after classes. Take half an hour to chop up some vegetables, toss ‘em in a roasting dish, throw that hog in the oven and—voila! It’s gluten-free, and you can leave the sausages out for an equally flavorful vegan meal. Any leftovers taste just as good in the morning heated up with a fried egg on top.
- 1 butternut squash
- 8-10 fingerling potatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1-2 Hatch green chiles
- 4 garlic cloves
- A bunch of grape tomatoes
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of salt, add more to taste
- 3 tablespoons of pepper, add more to taste
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- Parmesan cheese
- (Optional) a pack of Italian sausages
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Smash the garlic cloves, remove the peels and roughly chop them up.
- Peel the squash, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then, chop the squash, onion and potatoes into uniform-ish bite-sized pieces.
- Cut the tops off the Hatch green chiles, then cut them in half lengthwise. Use your knife to scrape out the seeds. Then dice them.
- Combine the squash, onion, potatoes, chiles, garlic and tomatoes in a big mixing bowl. Add in a few glugs of olive oil, a dash or two of balsamic vinegar, the salt, pepper and dried rosemary. Then stir around to mix everything up. Make sure everything is evenly coated!
- Add the mixture to a baking dish (I use a cast iron skillet). If you want to use sausages, take them out of the package and shove them into the vegetables.
- Put that whole thing in the oven, and cook until the potatoes are tender—about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Take it out, serve it hot with a generous portion of Parmesan cheese on top and thank yourself for not going to McDonalds (again).
- Fall Peach, Kale and Tomato Salad
Late summer and fall are the best times to eat peaches, kale and tomatoes, so why not put them together? This salad is great for date nights or potlucks (or ravenously eating by yourself like a starving dog), and takes about five minutes to whip together. It’s crunchy. It’s sweet. It’s savory. It’s juicy. It’s straight bangin’. I particularly like it with a side of crusty bread and a glass of red wine. Leave out the cheese to make it vegan.
- 3-4 peaches
- A bunch of fresh kale
- 2-3 Heirloom or Roma tomatoes, depending on what you can get your hands on
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Cheese (I like goat cheese or Parmesan, but blue cheese or burrata would be good too. I don’t care—you’re an adult, choose your own damn cheese!)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and cut them up into bite-sized pieces.
- Cut the tomatoes into bite sized pieces.
- Chop up your kale.
- Combine everything in a bowl. Add your cheese. Slice your lemon in half and add the juice from one of the halves. Then, toss in a few glugs of olive oil and top with a few cracks of salt and pepper.
- Serve with crusty bread if you got it, or serve it alongside something else for a nice fall-tastic side.
- Aglio e Olio (garlic and olive oil for those non-Italian speakers) Spaghetti
So, you’ve done it again. Classes went all day, or maybe you were out raising havoc with your friends, and now you’re getting home late and you’re hungry. Don’t despair! This pasta’s name may sound fancy, but it’s as easy and scrumptious as, well, garlic and olive oil pasta. It’s also a great way to spice up the same-ol, run-of-the-mill spaghetti and marinara. This is an insanely delectable dish—the parsley, lemon, garlic, Parmesan cheese and Fresno peppers come together to create a symphony of flavor that will blow your mind. Your roommates or your date will consider you the second-coming of Gordon Ramsey if you surprise them with this. Use gluten-free noodles or leave out the cheese according to your diet preferences. Disclaimer: this recipe is portioned to one or two people, so up the ingredients if you’re feeding more than that.
- 1 pack of spaghetti
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 2 Fresno peppers
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Put a pot of salted water on the stove, then bring that thing to a rolling boil and add ⅓ or ½ of the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, peel your garlic cloves and slice them into thin coins. Then, cut the tops off the peppers, remove the seeds, and cut those into little ringlets.
- Coarsely chop up your parsley, then set aside.
- Take a large frying pan, put that on medium-high heat, and add your olive oil, garlic and peppers. Don’t let the garlic turn brown, or else it will taste bitter.
- By now your pasta should be al dente (which means “toothy” in English—there you go, your Italian fun fact for the day). Strain the pasta, but save ¾ cup of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the frying pan, along with the pasta water. Toss the noodles so they get coated in the oil, then add in the parsley and juice from half of the lemon, then toss again. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove the pasta from the pan and onto a plate. Add a generous portion of Parmesan cheese on top.
- Market Cider Mocktail
What’s fall without apple cider? Apple season typically lasts from late summer into November, and in Durango, apple trees are all over the place. This mocktail is refreshing and packed with flavor. Having a dinner party with your friends? Perhaps even Friendsgiving? Then bring this and add that taste of fall to your get together. Fall in a cup, how wonderful.
- 2 cups of non-alcoholic apple cider
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
- A dash of bitters
- Crushed ice
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 10 thin apple slices for a garnish
- Combine the cider, lemon juice, maple syrup and bitters in a jar, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Get 2 glasses. I like using Bon Maman jam jars, but any old glass will do.
- Fill the glasses with crushed ice, then fill with the cider mixture and top with an apple slice.