Three recipes to try in your new apartment 

| Staff Writer

Illustration by Manuel Lopez

Living in an apartment comes with all sorts of changes. For many, moving off campus means committing to making your own food and no longer relying on the convenience of Bear’s Den or Paws and Go. Not only is cooking an added responsibility on top of a busy schedule, but planning and generating meals can also require a lot of time. To help with this transition, I compiled three of my own recipes that are perfect for first-time apartment dwellers and first-time cooks alike. These dishes all taste great and require minimal equipment (trust me, I tested them in my dorm). 

Roasted Tomato Gnocchi

This dish was largely inspired by stumbling upon a

package of dried gnocchi while shopping at Schnucks. With some leftover butter and tomatoes in my fridge, I threw together this recipe while I was preheating the oven to bake a cake (hence the roasted tomatoes).  Ready in only a few minutes, this dish is simple and comforting. 

Ingredients: 

1 package of dried or fresh gnocchi

1 tablespoon of butter

10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes

Grated parmesan and pepper to taste

Equipment: heat-safe bowl, oven-safe pan, saucepan, heat-safe spoon

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Slice each tomato in half and spread out the tomatoes on the pan. Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven until the tomatoes are blistered and bubbly — around 10 minutes. In the meantime, cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package. Place the butter in a bowl, and once the gnocchi is done, spoon the gnocchi directly into the bowl on top of the butter. Once the butter is melted, stir in the roasted tomatoes and parmesan, along with some freshly cracked pepper. 

 

Goat cheese and cherry salad

Fresh and filling, this salad is perfect for a quick lunch. I created this recipe to use up some extra goat cheese leftover from another recipe, and soon discovered that it pairs wonderfully with the sweetness from the dried cherries and the richness of the balsamic. Don’t be shy to experiment and customize this recipe to your liking. 

Ingredients: 

2 cups of lettuce of your choice

Dried cherries or dried cranberries

1-2 ounces of goat cheese

A quarter of a red onion

Roasted chicken, if desired

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment: cutting board, knife 

Directions: Wash, dry, and cut the lettuce. Peel and slice the onion, and dice up the chicken, if desired. Using a fork, break up the goat cheese into small crumbles. Top the salad with the cranberries or cherries, and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic. 

 

Blueberry muffins/bread 

Since I was young, this has been my go to base recipe for any sort of quick bread. This recipe is loosely based on the recipe from the “Better Homes and Gardens” cookbook, which I’ve adjusted and simplified over the years. The blueberries are a tart compliment to the sweet and flaky dough. If you don’t have a muffin pan, you can put the batter in almost any other pan and make bread instead.

Ingredients

2 cups of flour

½ cup of sugar

2 teaspoons of baking powder 

A pinch of salt

1 cup of milk

¼ cup of oil or melted butter

1 egg

1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Equipment: Mixing bowl, large spoon for mixing, measuring cups, muffin tins or alternate pan, cupcake liners or parchment paper

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400℉. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a spoon, create a ‘well’ by making a large hole in the center of the dry ingredients. Beat the egg and pour it into the well along with the milk and oil. Then, slowly mix the wet and dry mixtures together until just combined, adding the blueberries right at the end. The batter will be lumpy, but all of the dry mixture should be moistened. If making muffins, line the muffin tin with cupcake liners, spoon the batter into the tins, and bake for 18-20 minutes. If making bread, line the pan with parchment paper, pour the batter in, and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife comes out without any batter on it when stuck in the center. 

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