Cooking at home takes time. If you want to eat good food, it can also be expensive, especially on a student’s budget. Dishes are a hassle and your favorite carb- and sugar-laden boxed, canned and otherwise packaged foods are convenient and utilitarian. Heating up frozen taquitos or ordering a pizza are often the most tempting routes when faced with mounds of homework, impending midterms and the desire to just “veg” after a long week.
But cooking at home doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. It might take a little longer than nuking half a bag of pizza rolls and smothering them in Sriracha or bottled ranch dressing. It might cost a few more dollars than standing in line at the egg roll stand in front of Littlefield fountain, but you’ll have leftovers to pack for lunch the next day and your food will taste better (I know, it’s hard to imagine a food more ethereal than those flaky, juicy egg rolls, but trust me).
Try these two recipes that together make a healthy, inexpensive and delicious dinner that takes about as much active time as waiting for that one really rude waiter at Kerbey Lane to bring you your check.
Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme
1 package of grape or cherry tomatoes (whichever are cheaper!)
¼ cup of olive oil
4 stems of fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Spread rinsed tomatoes out on a baking sheet and add olive oil. Coat thoroughly with hands.
Distribute coarsely chopped garlic evenly over tomatoes
Sprinkle leaves of thyme evenly over tomatoes (add a few extra springs for good measure, if you wish)
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
Bake for 1 hour.
Black Bean Quesadillas
1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
½ tomato, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, rinsed and chopped
2 cups queso fresco (mozzarella, cheddar, gruyere, feta, or Monterrey Jack will also work — use what you have on hand), shredded
10 wheat tortillas
1 tsp chili powder
¾ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp of cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
¼ tsp of oregano
½ tsp of salt
pinch of black pepper
Mix rinsed and drained beans with frozen corn in a large bowl. Add diced tomato, red onion, garlic, cilantro, shredded cheese and spices. Stir until mixed.
Taste and adjust spices.
Warm a skillet over medium heat with just enough oil or butter to coat the pan.
Fill half of each tortilla with mixture and fold over.
Cook on each side until golden and crispy and filling is melted.
Serve (with sour cream, salsa or Sriracha if you must) and enjoy!