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Learn how to cook basic meals to cut back on junk food.

Jazmine Necesary

Learn how to cook basic meals to cut back on junk food.

How To Adult: Basic Meals

Do you ever walk into the kitchen and think, “Wow, I feel hungry,” but instead of cooking a meal, laziness makes eating a bag of chips and a box of cookies the only option. If this experience seems strange, then good luck favors you. Yes, cooking seems stressful, but not all foods take over an hour to make. Some alternatives to chips that take less than an hour to make include:

Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
The holy grail of all things pasta and cheese. A typical everyday meal that anyone and everyone can cook, it even comes in microwaveable packages now. Messing up mac ‘n’ cheese means you should probably just stick to chips. The Kraft box takes less than 20 minutes to cook. It can also transform into a pizza, not magically of course. Basically, you take a pizza crust , add cheese sauce and macaroni

Loaded Baked Potato
Fun fact, if you make a baked potato the right way right it is considered a balanced meal. The potato would serve as the carbohydrate, the bacon as protein, the butter as fats, the broccoli has fiber and cheese as vitamins and minerals (vitamin B2, calcium and zinc). To cook this, you just mix all ingredients together and fill in the the potato and bake.

Ramen Noodles
Almost every student’s go to meal.Take the noodles out of the packaging. Boil water. Add the noodles. Sprinkle seasoning. Wait three minutes. Enjoy your meal. Probably as easy as making cereal. Maybe even easier. They come in several flavors and brands. Cheap and affordable, also easy to cook. What else could one ask for?

Ravioli and Marinara
Stuffed pasta and pre-packaged sauce. It sounds pretty easy to make. A double treat, easy to make and filling. Also, it can be made in different and unique styles. For instance, add a twist and make it into a type of lasagna. To do this, you make several layers of ravioli and add cheese in between. That easy.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
Not only for Italian people. Spaghetti really cooks faster than people think or say it does. It takes about eight to 12 minutes to cook. Brands such as Hunt’s, Prego, Ragú, Barilla, etc. make this meal a lot easier to prepare since they manufacture meat sauces that go with spaghetti. You literally microwave balls of meat, add sauce, and boil a pot of spaghetti. Almost like magic.  

Rice and Chicken Casserole
It sounds complex but it really does not require much effort. It depends on how you want the meal to taste. In all simplicity, you get a cup of rice and cook a chicken. Get a casserole pan add the rice, cheese and chicken. You could also change it up with broccoli, garlic, tomatoes, scallions, etc. It should only take 30-40 minutes on average. It also tastes really good if you get it right.

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Caesar Salad
Salads do not always satisfy everyone, but when cravings get real anything can happen. Several salad options come to mind, but the easiest would include a blend of lettuce, carrots, endive, tomatoes, radishes and cucumbers. Cut up the vegetables and put them in a bowl. Add dressing and toss. Just that easy. It serves as a healthier alternative to fast foods or snacks like cookies, chips,etc.

Hot Pockets
The Hot Pocket company produces exactly 37 different flavors/ types of hot pockets. The likeliness of not finding a flavor that tastes good or at least appealing in times of excessive hunger would seem slim to none. While impatiently grumbling about the absence of real food in the refrigerator, take out a hot pocket. Important revelation, they even come in packs of two. Set it onto a plate and pop into the microwave. Surprisingly, time passes very fast while complaining (who thought) and after an intellectual argument in your head, a hot pocket awaits consumption.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What good do McDonalds, Sonic, Jack in the Box, etc. do when you can just make one at home. Save the $2 for some Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, they seem worth it. You make this with basic household food such as bread, cheese and butter. Spread the bread with butter and add the cheese slices, of course in the middle. Put it on a skillet, do not let it burn and enjoy with a glass of milk.