20210130 Easy Meals - JPrice

Coconut curry and spring rolls are easy-to-follow recipes that college students can quickly prepare and enjoy.

As college students, we often find ourselves getting sick of eating pasta, salad and frozen meals every night. Trying to branch out, we also find ourselves buying groceries to cook with, like carrots, tofu and potatoes but end up letting it go bad in the refrigerator. 

Do you have leftover produce? Leftover proteins? Are you on a budget? Curry is your answer. It takes around 20 minutes to make, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge already.  

Easy Yellow Coconut Curry 

Ingredients (Safeway prices):

Canned Coconut Milk - $1.50

Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce - $2.99, Not available at Safeway.

Onion or Shallot - $1.42

Rice - $2.29

Leftover veggies (potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, Brussel sprouts, etc.)

Leftover protein (tofu, lentils, a can of beans, chicken, etc.)

Yellow Coconut Curry is my go-to meal when I want something deliciously comforting but also super easy. You can throw whatever you want in it, put it over rice and have a tasty meal.  

In a medium sized pot, pour some olive oil in on medium heat, chop up an onion and sauté until translucent. Next, add your chopped veggies and protein. 

Do you have a half of a bell pepper that is about to go bad? Do you have some chicken breast leftover from the night before? Do you have a can of beans that has been sitting in the pantry for months? Throw it in! 

After sautéing for five minutes or so, pour a can of coconut milk in the pot. Let it simmer. Then add Trader Joe’s famous Yellow Curry Sauce. It’s full of flavor and you only need to add 1/3 of the bottle, even less, depending on taste. Any curry paste would also work in substitution.

Let everything simmer. Let the coconut milk cook off a little bit. Once it reaches the consistency of your desire, take it off the heat. Cook some rice and pour it over. If you’re a real foodie, top your dish with green onions and cilantro. 

With this meal, you can make a bunch of it, save it and eat it for a few days. It’s cheap and so tasty. 

Salad Rolls / Fresh Spring Rolls

Ingredients (Safeway prices):

Rice Wrappers - $2.49

Rice Noodles - $1.49

Peanut Dipping Sauce - $4.49

Leftover veggies (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce, cabbage, etc.)

Leftover protein (tofu, chicken, shrimp, etc.)

Just like curry, salad rolls are a perfect way to use leftover produce and proteins from your fridge. Curry is hardy, and salad rolls are light and fresh. 

Start by cooking your rice noodles as directed on the box. Rinse them with cold water, drain them and set aside.

Next, slice your veggies super thin, into a noodle like shape. Carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts are the best for salad rolls, but you can put almost any veggie in them. Proteins like tofu and chicken can also be cut into thin pieces. 

Once everything is set and ready, pour warm water onto a dinner plate. Next, take a rice wrapper, dip it in the water, covering every area, and set it on a working surface. 

Add your fillings next, starting with veggies, followed by proteins, and top it off with some rice noodles. If you want to get fancy with it, mint and cilantro are delicious additions. Once you have everything you want in the center of the rice wrapper, carefully fold it up like a burrito.

These salad rolls make for a fun, healthy, homemade lunch or dinner. Grab a housemate and try one of these meal ideas out.  


Allie Noland is a staff writer. Follow her on Twitter:  @allie_noland.

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