A College Student’s Kitchen

What are some of the ingredients I’ve tried to keep stocked up in my kitchen? Lo and behold, the below essentials have kept me from starving when I ran out of my mommy’s home-cooked food 😀

1. Ramen – I have the normal Ramen + also Maggi, which is the Indian version of Ramen. I love this stuff. When I’m too lazy/busy to cook, this is my go-to. I try not to have too much of it in a week because it’s not exactly healthy, but it’s good, simple eats when you’re working on a paper and don’t have time for extravagance.

2. Tofu – Stir-fry is the second easiest thing to make for me. Since chicken is pricy, I try to keep stocked up on Tofu instead. It’s still healthy, it absorbs the flavors of the sauces I use well enough, and it still tastes great in stir fry. I prefer firm tofu so it won’t break apart when I’m cooking with it. One of these packages lasts me at least 4 timse..I use 1 piece per meal I make for myself, and the whole package is under $2 usually. Sometimes, I buy some fried tofu as well. That stuff tastes good but it’s sooo oily.

3. Eggs – I seriously love these things. Make omelettes for breakfast, put them into Ramen to make it slightly healthier, and scramble some into stir-fry when I’m making dinner. I also make omelettes and put them into sandwiches with some cheese and lightly sauteed onions for a delicious lunch sandwich that would probably cost 5x more if I bought it outside. I don’t usually bother with organic or brown eggs, and try to get the Jumbo sized eggs when I can. More for mah money!

4. Large White Onion – I usually just buy these 1 at a time because I don’t cook much. They’re pretty cheap/lb and the onions I get are huge and usually under $1 anyway. Honestly grocery shopping for a whole week’s worth of eats usually costs me under $15. It’s great. That’s the equivalent of 1-3 outside meals, but lasts me through at least 5-7 days instead of just one. Cheap!!

5. Bread – Necessary. Whatever’s on sale usually. Super versatile – I can make those sandwiches with egg & onion or I can just make normal pb&j’s. Or nutella & peanut butter or whatever other yummy combination I can think of to put on bread.

6. Nutella, Peanut Butter, Jelly – I’m smushing them into one thing. They’re great, any combination of the 3, on bread. I prefer  the peanut butter creamy not chunky though. And strawberry jam over any other.

7. Chicken Stock/Broth – This helps when making soup but also to make food I can have over rice without the whole thing being too dry. I usually buy just 1 can at a time, and use it over the course of the week making my stir fried veggies “wet” enough to have with rice.

8. Rice – Honestly, enough said. You should have some rice in your kitchen.

9. Frozen Peas – I prefer the rest of my veggies fresh but my peas – I always keep a bag of them in the freezer and defrost amounts as needed. They last pretty much forever 😀 And sometimes some peas thrown into ramen makes it a liiiitle bit less cheap feeling.

11. Coffee Singles – These are easier than going out and spending money on coffee.  My roommate keeps them around and I’ll make myself coffee if I’m staying in to study. You don’t need them if you’re not much of a coffee drink, but it’s an essential in our kitchen for sure.

12. Herbs & Spices – In our kitchen, this includes: sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper, oregano, basil, and whatever else you happen to find packets of in dining halls and cafes 😀

13. Milk – I forgot to mention this until now, but it’s super helpful. For coffee, with cookies, in cereal, or just by itself if you’re into that kind of thing. I buy a half pint at a time b/c I’m not much of a milk drinker. I get 1/2 gallon, 2%.

14. Cereal – I usually buy whatever is on sale, usually at least one that I like is reduced price. If it isn’t, I wait until it is.

15. EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Useful in cooking, removing eye makeup, baking, and everything. I love my oil, every kitchen’s gotta have some of this.

Everything else is extra and varies depending on sales, but here are some other things I frequently find in my kitchen

– Butter
– Cheese
– Vegetables – whatever I buy in Chinatown honestly. Bok Choy, Lettuce, Tomato, Mushroom, Green Pepper, Bean Sprouts, Green Beans, Broccoli, Snap Peas, etc.
– Pasta
– Pasta Sauce
– Lemon/Lime
– Ginger/Garlic
–  Canned Beans
– Tortilla
– Presliced/cooked Chicken & Turkey
– Uncooked Chicken breast
– Turkey Hot Dogs
– Chips
– Cookies/Muffins/English Muffins/Donuts/Croissants – some sort of breakfast-y thing

Yep. What do you usually have? Anything I forgot?