Cheap Eat$ Peeps- whether you love cooking, hate cooking, or have never tried cooking something besides a grilled cheese, this cookbook has amazing recipes and will help you save a lot of money! Three college students in Massachusetts wrote two editions of “The Healthy College Cookbook.” The purpose of the book is to give college students healthy meals on a tight budget with a busy schedule, and no cooking experience.
I came across “The Healthy College Cookbook,” on Amazon.com. First, I looked at the price: $9.37 with $3.99 shipping. That’s not bad, and it definitely costs less than your average TV show or celebrity cookbooks. Not to mention they expect you to know how to flambé or puree something right off the bat, or chop something up with the food processor you probably don’t own. Yes, these types of books work for people who have settled down in life, but not for us college peeps. Since we are constantly on the run, we don’t have much time to think about healthy eating. Instead, we get the cheapest and quickest thing we can find on-the-go. That’s when “The Healthy College Cookbook” comes in.
After reading the book. I felt my life transforming from college junk food bum to healthy and happy college undergrad. Now, I wanted to see how this book worked for other college students. So I let two of my friends use the cookbook separately for a week each. Each friend of mine has different characteristics so I was interested to see how this all would turn out. Melissa does not like to cook at all, and she likes simple recipes when she has to. Most of the time I give her crap because she’s always cooking frozen food, which isn’t very healthy or satisfying compared to a home cooked meal. Jason doesn’t mind cooking, but often finds himself cooking the same thing over and over…. Pasta and chicken, pasta and sauce, ramen noodles…you get my point.
After two weeks, I asked each one of them about how they felt after using the cookbook. Both seemed to agree on quite a lot of things. Melissa told me that the intro was the most helpful for her because it was very easy to understand. “For someone that hates to cook or just sucks, like me, this was really convenient. It helped me get everything I need. One thing I liked a lot was the cooking terms section, because half the time I have no idea what some of the terms mean when trying to read other standard cookbooks.” The Intro contains all of these sections in very easy to read language, and has an easy and clean visual appeal. It includes, cookware and cupboard essentials, “filling the fridge,” cooking terms, herbs and spices and the foods they compliment, healthy substitutions, helpful hints including shopping tips to saving costs, reheating, handling meats, and cleaning up. They even have helpful conversions like how many ml are in a teaspoon.
Jason said that he could see how the intro would be helpful to a lot of college kids, since it gives so much detail in regards to setting up your first kitchen at a college dorm and/or apartment. He said, “My favorite part about this book is how it’s organized. First off the recipes were really cheap and didn’t require a bunch of ingredients. The money aspect is important to me of course, because I like to save money for beer and going out. The recipes were very easy too, and I liked that it wasn’t obvious and traditional food. They had some real good stuff in their like Peanut Butter Oatmeal and Spicy Edamame Snack.”
The book features 11 sections of recipes including: Champions Breakfast, Appetizers and Snacks, Soups and Salad, Vegetarian Meals, Pasta, Seafood Chicken Dishes, Meat lovers, Side Dishes and Sauces, Bread and Muffins, and Dessert.
Personally, I agree with Jason about the organizational aspect of the cookbook because it provides easy-to-follow instructions from cooking, kitchenware, to living health. The book even provides a symbol map with one to four symbols that appear on each recipe. These symbols are: Vegetarian, Vegan, Super Quick, and Dorm Room Favorite. This made it so easy to flip through and decide one, what sounded good and two, if it was fast enough for what I needed. I am also a big health freak, so the fact that all of these recipes were on the healthier side made it even better! My favorite recipe was the Slow Cooked Chicken Fiesta. It was so good that it tasted as if a restaurant made it. It had tons of healthy veggies and all I had to do was mix them up and throw it in a slow cooker. Delicious!
Cheap eater$, I definitely recommend this cookbook. Not only is it cheap, but also saves you time and a heavy tummy (from constant junk food binges). Let this book be an inspiration to you, whether it is in life or as a book that inspires you to write you very own cookbook!