Someone mentioned food in the comments a couple days ago, so I thought I would do a food post. I’m off my campus meal plan because there’s not any/enough kosher food on campus for me to live on (there’s a deli that’s now supervised, which would be fine every once and a while, but it’s only open 4 and a half days a week, and really, how often can you eat deli?) I have Shabbos lunch and dinner with Chabad or Hillel, but that still leaves 6 days a week where I’m cooking on my own.
I do some cooking in the dorm kitchen (yes, I’m willing to use the treif stove and ovens as long as their clean. I’m the only one eating the food, and I have to kasher all my stuff when I convert anyway, so it’s not worth it to stress out over that right now), but the kitchen is small, only one of the burners works at any given time, and you can never tell which one it will be. I’m not kidding, you have to turn them both on, wait two minutes, and then hold your hand over each to see which one is hot. (It’s funny when you’re not trying to cook on them. ) This means I do most of my cooking in my room using my microwave and rice cooker(which I recently figured out how to set up to keep water warm all Shabbos! Hot tea on saturday morning is just about the best thing ever!). After almost 5 months, I think I have a pretty good selection of food worked out.
Morning Star Farms- They make soy based burgers, “bacon”, chicken nuggets, etc. They don’t taste like meat, but if you eat them with the expectation that what you’re going to eat is a texturized soy thing, they’re quite good. Just don’t expect it to taste like a burger. The one exception to this is the soy bacon, which (while it tastes nothing like pork bacon) tastes exactly like turkey bacon. Yum! The big advantage is that they have something like 15-16 grams of protein per serving.
Near East everything- Lots of rice pilaf and couscous boxed dishes, they make great lunches. No protien, but they’re yummy, and healthy, and turn out really well in the microwave. Also, they’re all kosher, even the meat ones and the cheese ones! Sesame Ginger rice is my favorite, and the toasted almond rice pilaf is also wonderful.
Wacky Mac- Microwave the noodles in enough water to cover them for 10 minutes, and then drain, add milk and the bright orange cheese-ish stuff, and you’ve got lunch! Faster than anything but the burgers. It’s not terribly healthy, but it’s still good, and it’s the best mac and cheese I can have. The only decent kosher Cheddar I’ve found is the Tillamook Kosher Mild Cheddar, and I can only find that on the West Coast.
Nachos!- I’ve found acceptable kosher shredded pizza cheese here. ‘nuf said.
Microwave risotto- This is, in all honesty, my favorite meal. One batch is enough to last me a full day, and it’s delicious.
- Microwave about a 1/4 cup chopped onion and 2 tablespoons of butter in a 9 inch microwavable pie dish for 2 minutes or so (the butter should be mostly melted)
- Add 1 cup arborial rice, stir and microwave for another minute and a half.
- Pour in 3 cups vegetable broth (Chicken broth would also work. You would substitute olive oil or margarine for the butter in step 1 to keep it kosher.) Microwave for 12 minutes, stir and then microwave for another 10 minutes. Rice should be mostly cooked by the end of that, if not microwave for 2 minute intervals until it is. (these times are for my small microwave, they would probably be different in a different microwave, and it may take a bit of experimenting to work it out)
- While the rice is cooking, chop up whatever vegetables you want in the risotto. I love adding carrots and onion with chick peas, but squash, bell peppers, etc would all work. You can really add whatever you want, experiment! After the rice is mostly cooked, add the veggies, stir and microwave for another 2 minutes to cook the vegetables.
This serves two people for a dinner (well, it served me and my friend for dinner, with a tiny bit left for lunch for me. Perhaps it would serve 3 for dinner if the people had normal appetites) and more if it were a side dish. Anyway, it’s delicious, give it a try. Let me know how it works out!