Recipes to add to your Culture Cookbook This Year

Julia Stanisci, Staff Writer

Welcome back, Villanova! Although our return to campus this semester is, without a doubt, highly anticipated, it also poses to look a little different than normal. As a side effect of all the craziness going on, dining hall procedures have been altered, and many students are finding themselves living off-campus or in an apartment-style dorm for the first time. This exciting change comes with a daunting expectation for many: cooking for yourself. 

For those who didn’t opt to take up the culinary arts and become chefs during quarantine, this brief cookbook is filled with easy recipes that can be followed with basic and cheap ingredients. Note that most can be made in five minutes or less and will serve one person. Whether this is your first time living independently and cooking for yourself, or you’re just trying to add some diversity to your usual meal routine, enjoy

Overnight Oats: a healthy, easy and quick option that can be prepared the night before early classes and efficiently eaten grab-n-go style on your walk to class



½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup milk of choice 

¼ cup yogurt 

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup 

½ tsp Vanilla extract

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Other add-in ingredient ideas:

-Peanut butter, jelly, nuts and strawberries combo

-Banana with Nutella and/or peanut butter, chocolate chips or cocoa powder

-Strawberries, banana and vanilla protein powder

-Blueberries, peaches and vanilla protein powder

-Anything you want! Check Pinterest for some more fun and creative ideas 


-In a mason jar (for aesthetic purposes, obviously) or other container, combine oats and chia seeds

-Add yogurt, vanilla, honey or maple syrup, milk and other ingredients of choice


-Seal/cover with lid

-Let chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours (overnight is best!)

Yogurt Parfait: Easy, healthy and delicious. This will also make you feel extremely lavish if you make it in a wine glass.


Yogurt of choice

Fruits of choice


Optional: Honey, nuts, chocolate chips or peanut butter


-Layer ingredients in a bowl or glass and enjoy! Simple as that. 

2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes: Some may be skeptical about this one, but I swear that they actually turn out pretty good. Not the same as regular pancakes, obviously, but they are nutritious, yummy and fluffy


1 ripe banana

2 eggs


⅛ tsp baking powder, for fluffier pancakes

A touch of vanilla extract, honey or maple syrup for flavoring

Chocolate chips, chopped nuts or fruit


-Mash the banana (easily done by squeezing it in a ziploc bag or in bowl with a fork) until there are no lumps

-Stir together with eggs and other optional add-ins (batter will look more like whisked eggs than pancake batter, but don’t lose hope, they will turn out great!)

-Heat pan over medium heat and grease with butter or spray with nonstick cooking oil

-Drop batter onto pan in spoonfuls (leave at least an inch between each pancake)

-Cook for a minute or two until the bottoms and edges look golden brown

-Flip with spatula (tougher flip than normal pancakes; it needs to be slower and gentler)

-Cook for another minute

-Enjoy with maple syrup, powdered sugar or butter!

Avocado Toast: Ah yes, the essential. A perfect breakfast or lunch item that can be whipped up in minutes. 


Slice of bread

½ ripe avocado

Pinch of salt

Any extra toppings you like! Some fun different variations:

Feta cheese and sunflower seeds

Trader Joe’s everything bagel seasoning

Olive oil drizzle, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and sea salt

Poached egg 

Tomato and mozzarella 


-Toast bread

-Remove pit from avocado and scoop out avocado with spoon 

-Mash avocado in a bowl with a fork until it reaches your desired consistency and mix in pinch of salt

-Spread onto toast

-Add toppings of choice and enjoy!

Grilled PB & J: You all know grilled cheese, but have you tried grilled PB&J? Well, you should. It’s delectable.


2 slices of bread (I like whole wheat best with it)

Strawberry jam (or jam/jelly of choice)

Peanut butter (crunchy is best on this in my opinion)

Banana slices (or any other fruit you like with PB&J)


-Heat pan over medium heat, butter or spray with nonstick cooking oil

-Make peanut butter and jelly sandwich

-Butter outside of bread slices if you aren’t buttering the pan

-Place sandwich on pan and cook for four minutes on each side, or until golden brown and enjoy!

Chicken Quesadilla: A timeless classic. They really never get old. (Okay, maybe they do if you eat them every night for two weeks straight like I did, but they’re just so easy to make!)


Flour tortilla (or two, depends how hungry you are)

Shredded cheese 

Shredded or chopped chicken (you can buy grilled chicken at the store and shred or chop it up or get boneless chicken breasts to cook and then shred)

Butter or olive oil (for brushing or pan)

Optional add-ins: Peppers, hot sauce, beans, onion, jalapeno, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo…


-Cover ½ of the tortilla w shredded cheese, chicken and whatever else you would like to add

-Fold tortilla in half

-Heat pan over medium heat and spread with butter or olive oil

-Place quesadilla on pan and cook for two minutes or until the bottom is golden and crispy, then flip and repeat for the other side

-Remove from pan, let cool and give cheese a minute to set

-Slice and enjoy! 

Pizza Quesadilla: An exciting twist on the classic quesadilla! Healthier, quicker and cheaper than ordering a pizza (although you should definitely do that sometimes too… don’t forget to treat yourself!)


1 tortilla

2 tablespoons or so of pizza sauce (I just get a can of crushed tomatoes)

Shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese 

Optional add-ins:

Basil, pepperoni, turkey pepperoni, ham, red pepper flakes, and more…


-Spread pizza sauce over entire tortilla

-On one half, sprinkle as much cheese as desired and add any other toppings you’d like

-Fold in half (bringing sauce-only onto side with toppings)

-Heat pan over medium heat and grease with olive oil or butter (not necessary if it’s a good nonstick pan)

-Cook quesadilla for about three minutes until underside is crispy and golden 

-Flip and repeat until other side is golden brown and the cheese is melted

-Remove from heat, let cool, slice and enjoy!

Turkey Tacos: Did someone say Taco Tuesday? We love a themed dinner night. Get all the roomies in the kitchen for this one [Recipe serves 4 people].


1 pound ground turkey

1-2 Taco seasoning packets (ex. McCormick or Old El Paso)

Tortillas or hard taco shells

1 tsp olive oil or vegetable oil


Chopped onion, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, or other seasonings

Optional garnishes:

Guacamole, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, cilantro…


-Heat pan over medium-high heat and warm up oil until shimmering

-Add in optional seasonings (onions, garlic, etc) and taco seasoning and stir for about 30 seconds

-Add ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and any other seasonings 

-Divide evenly among tortillas

-Garnish and enjoy!

Pasta!: Any type of pasta is a great option for quick dinners with the roomies, from marinara sauce to pesto, but this Pasta aglio e olio is something special


½ pound spaghetti

Dash of salt

3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped

½ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)


2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1 tbsp capers, parmesan cheese for grating, and add chicken


-Boil water (add a dash of salt)

-Put spaghetti in boiling water and cook until al-dente (usually 8-10 min depending on pasta brand)

-While pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about a minute (but don’t let it brown). Stir in red pepper (and capers if using) and cook for ½ a minute more, then turn off heat

-Drain pasta (leave some pasta water if possible for texture). Return it to the pot and pour in the olive oil mixture. Add in parsley and serve with parmesan cheese  

Some other easy meal ideas:

-Chia pudding

-Omelets or breakfast burritos

-Mac and cheese


-Chef’s salad

-Chicken cutlets

-Stir fry/fried rice

-Flatbread/Naan pizzas

Happy cooking!