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Quick and easy: Recipes for the hopeless cook

Do you find it difficult to feed yourself without the assistance of Trader Joe’s frozen food? Are your parents disappointed in your utter lack of culinary competence? Are you prone to setting small grease fires? If so, check out these easy recipes for a fulfilling meal. Try not to set anything on fire, if you can.

Macaroni Pie

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour


1 box elbow macaroni

1 pound cheddar cheese, cubed

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 stick butter

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, then drain.

3. Melt the butter in with the macaroni.

4. Mix together the milk and the eggs.

5. Add to the macaroni-butter mixture with salt and pepper and mix.

6. Pour half of mixture into baking dish and top with half of cheese.

7. Pour rest of macaroni in and top with remaining cheese.

8. Bake for an hour or until top is golden brown.

- Liz Felix

Coconut Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion

1 bell pepper

3 garlic cloves

3 carrots

1 head of cauliflower

1 can of coconut milk

1 can of chickpeas

1-2 tablespoons of Thai Kitchen red curry paste (this won’t use the whole bottle, but it’s damn

good in eggs—or anything else, really)

Optional: Spinach


1. Cut/dice onions, pepper and garlic, then cook with olive oil on medium heat in a large pot for 3-4 minutes.

2. Dice carrots and add to pot, cook for 3-5 more minutes or until carrots are tender.

3. Cut cauliflower into florets (like medium-sized pieces) and add to bowl; cook another 3-5 minutes or until slightly tender.

4. Shake up coconut milk can and add to bowl with red curry paste and chickpeas; reduce to low heat and cook until hot.

5. Optional: Add however much spinach you’d like to the curry two minutes before done.

6. Optional: Best served with brown rice or couscous.

- Harry Hall

Pan-Fried Chicken

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


1 package of chicken breasts, defrosted

2 eggs (can use more if preferred)

Breadcrumbs (panko or otherwise)

Cooking oil (olive or otherwise)



Any herb/spices to fit your taste


1. Defrost chicken breasts. Best to do this over several hours, but you can use a microwave in a pinch.

2. Use a meat pounder/textbook/heavy thing to tenderize the chicken. Make sure to cover the breasts to avoid contaminating the tool.

3. Crack eggs into bowl and beat. Usually two eggs per package will suffice. Feel free to use more if necessary.

4. Spread breadcrumbs out over plate or cutting board. You should pour out enough to evenly cover each breast. Mix in salt, pepper and herbs/spices to fit taste.

5. Pour thin layer of cooking oil onto a pan and heat on a stove top until bubbling.

6. Dip tenderized chicken into egg and lay down breast onto the bed of breadcrumbs to coat.

7. Transfer coated chicken onto the pan. Cook through to desired crispiness. Add oil periodically.

- Aaron Brezel

Cajun Black Beans

Prep time: 5-7 minutes

Cook time: 20-25 minutes


1-2 onions, finely chopped

2 fresh tomatoes, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 can black beans

1 green pepper, sliced

2 bay leaves (optional)

Olive oil

Cajun seasoning (or all the spices you can find in your pantry)

Salt and pepper


1. In large saucepan, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Saute onions, green peppers and garlic on medium heat for 3-4 minutes

2. Add diced tomatoes and stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.

3. Reduce to low heat. Pour black beans in saucepan, add bay leaves and stir to mix all ingredients evenly.

4. Add Cajun seasoning and/or other spices to the mix. To make your own Cajun seasoning, simply mix salt, garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano, cumin, black pepper and basil. Stir.

5. Let stand for 5 minutes on low heat until beans have soaked up the flavor. Add 1/2 cup of water, if beans dry up.

6. Optional: Throw in white rice and/or chorizo to the final mix if desired.

-Alberto De La Rosa