Not Your Average College Food

Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Food trucks are awesome because they are usually fast, cheap, and convenient. Earlier this week, several food trucks came to our school to serve food at a carnival-like event we had for the freshmen. My friends and I all happened to order the same sandwich, an avocado and bacon grilled cheese. Although the wait was exceedingly long, the sandwich was absolutely delicious. Putting avocados in a grilled cheese sandwich…ingenious.

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I made a much healthier variation of that amazing grilled cheese sandwich by replacing the bacon with tomatoes and using whole wheat bread. It tasted even better! It was less salty (because there was no bacon) and the tomatoes gave it a burst of freshness. The way the melted cheese and avocado blend together is an unparalleled combination.

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I made the sandwich using a pan, which heated the sandwich perfectly so that the outer bread layers were well toasted and the cheese was just melted. The heat didn’t get to the avocado or tomato so they still tasted fresh and uncooked. This sandwich takes only 10-15 minutes to make in total so it is definitely a great option for making lunch in the dorms!

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AVOCADO AND TOMATO GRILLED CHEESE

Ingredients
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tsp olive oil
2 slices American cheese
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced

Directions
Brush olive oil on one side of each slice of bread.

Lay oiled side of a slice of bread face down. Layer cheese, tomato, avocado, cheese, and other slice of bread with oiled side up.

Heat pan to medium heat and place sandwich on it. After 2 minutes, flip it over and wait another 2 minutes. The bread should be toasted brown and the cheese should be melted when it is done.

Nutella Mug Cake

No oven? No problem!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sadly, the kitchen in our college dorm suite does not have a conventional oven. Although we won’t be able to bake cakes, we can still make mug cakes!!! Mug cakes are a college classic since they are a super quick, one serving snack or dessert. This was my first time making one so I was skeptical yet fascinated at the same time.

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These Nutella mug cakes were dessert after the home-made dinner my suitemates and I had (Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas). It was our first time sitting at our small dining table and eating a proper, home-made meal. It took about 2 hours to make the guacamole, quesadillas, and mug cakes and probably less than 20 minutes to eat it all! Still, it was worth it. The four of us agreed that we should try to cook dinner like that every Sunday night, a good way to start off each new week.

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The mug cakes turned out interesting…They were so rich that none of us could finish a whole mug cake in one sitting. The hard part about cooking them in a microwave is that they don’t get heated evenly so some areas were more cooked than others. Overall, it was impressive for a 4 ingredient dessert using a microwave, although not the same as a regular cake of course. Nonetheless, I’ll definitely be making more mug cakes in the future!

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NUTELLA MUG CAKE

Ingredients
4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Nutella
3 tbsp milk

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a mug and mix with a fork until evenly blended.

Cook in microwave for 80 seconds. The top should look done but if still wet, microwave for another 15 seconds. Use a toothpick to test whether cake is still gooey on the inside. Let cool in mug completely before eating so that it sets.

adapted from Kirbie’s Cravings

Easy Personal Flatbread Pizzas

In the vast and spacious land of Costco, it is easy to get carried away with buying groceries amidst the excitement of free samples and bulk foods. As my mom and I carefully navigated our shopping cart through Costco last weekend, we kept tossing groceries into the cart until it piled high and took the strength of both of us to push it. By the time we returned home, we wondered how on Earth we had bought so much food. It was lunchtime and we wanted to make use of the flatbreads we had just bought, something we had never seen in Costco before. So I thought, why not make our own personal pizzas? After all, we had so many possible toppings thanks to our huge Costco spree.

I took a piece of flatbread, spread tomato sauce on it, sprinkled some freshly shredded cheese, and gathered an assortment of toppings. As I started putting the toppings on the pizza, I soon came to terms with how small the pizza was and realized it would be a chaotic mess to fit all the toppings on the pizza. So I whipped out another piece of flatbread and divided the toppings among the two. The tiny pizzas were tossed into the toaster oven and they were soon ready to eat…All this was done in just 20 minutes!

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The simplicity and easiness of these pizzas was mindblowing. Homemade pizzas have always been daunting to me, but since making the dough is the hardest part of homemade pizzas, more than half the battle was already over! The flatbreads served well – the crust came out perfectly chewy, with crispy edges that had a lovely, satisfying crunch.

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These pizzas are excellent for a quick, homemade lunch that incorporates a variety of foods – the possibilities for toppings are endless!

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EASY PERSONAL FLATBREAD PIZZAS
(makes 1)

Ingredients
1 flatbread
3 tablespoons pizza sauce (or mix 2 tbsps tomato sauce with 1 tbsp tomato paste)
2 tablespoons shredded cheese
Toppings: mushrooms, onions, olives, mozzarella cheese balls, spinach, etc.

Directions
Using a spoon, spread pizza sauce in center of flatbread evenly, leaving about 1/2 inch crust

Evenly sprinkle shredded cheese on top of sauce

Add toppings

Bake in toaster oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until edges are golden and cheese is melted. If you use a conventional oven, it may take longer.