Friend or Pho?
Our Resident "Food Dude" Serves Up Two Simple Recipes to Try Over the Break
College is an exciting time, however our meals are typically not. Now you may think you are a master chef for cracking an egg over your instant noodle cup, filling it with hot water from your Keurig, and calling it egg drop soup. And although this may be creative, it’s a little, well … basic.
There is something to be said about treating yourself to a "real" meal. Whether you are proving to your parents that you are "somewhat" independent, attempting to impress your crush, or simply wanting a decent, home-cooked meal, these recipes are a satisfying and impressive way to do so — with very little effort.
Healthy Turkey Pho
What you’ll need:
- Beef broth or 1-2 bouillon cubes
- 16-ounce box of noodles (your preference)
- ¼-½ pound of ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3 asparagus, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 mushroom, diced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 diced onion
- Greek seasoning or seasoning of choice
- Place the beef stock on medium heat in a large pot; a 12-quart pot gives you plenty of room.
- While beef stock is coming to a boil, heat a medium skillet and add olive oil and diced onion.
- Stir until onion is slightly brown, and then add ground turkey.
- Add at least ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and seasonings of your choice. I like to use a Greek seasoning with basil as the main ingredient.
- Stir all the ingredients thoroughly until the turkey is lightly cooked throughout.
- With the beef stock lightly boiling, combine all the ingredients in the pot. Stir occasionally until the noodles are cooked completely.
- Serve in a large soup bowl. For an extra wow-factor, garnish with a bit of basil, cilantro, and lime.
This dish is incredibly easy, and it didn’t require me to buy much other than bouillon cubes and the ground turkey. My wallet thanked me. Some of you may have turned your nose up to the turkey, but the beef broth adds a strong flavor that will trick even the most sophisticated palate. The dish has a hearty-yet-healthy flavor with a taste that is absolutely original. It also saves and reheats pretty well. To really make use of your resources, try cooking this dish with some of your leftover turkey from the holidays.
Loaded Breakfast Casserole
What you’ll need:
- 1 pound of pork sausage
- 1 cup of cooked and chopped bacon
- 1/2 cup of diced ham
- 1 diced onion
- 1 diced bell pepper (I also add jalapenos)
- 8 ounces of cheese (Mexican blend or cheddar)
- 6 eggs
- Dash of salt
- Dash of pepper
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 teaspoon of seasoning (ex. Mustard powder, Cajun seasoning)
- 6 slices of white bread, chopped or crumbled
- (Optional additions) Spinach, mushrooms and shredded potatoes
- Heat a skillet to medium heat.
- Crumble and add sausage along with diced onion and a dash of salt, pepper and seasoning. Cook until evenly brown, then drain.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add milk and salt to the mixture. Add the crumbled bread slices, cooked sausage, bacon and cheese.
- (Optional) Add hot sauce to spice it up.
- Mix the ingredients well. Pour contents into a large, greased baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook 45-60 minutes.
- The casserole is finished when, after making a small incision in the middle, it’s solid throughout. If it is still runny, it needs more time.
- (Optional) Add a light layer of cheese on top when the casserole is almost completely cooked, and place it back into the oven until it's fully melted.
- Let it cool and settle for a few minutes then slice, serve, reheat and repeat.
Other than pre-cooking the meat, this is an extremely easy process since the dish is in the oven for the majority of the time. So, for the little effort needed, it goes over and beyond expectations. This dish is perfect for a slow Saturday morning filled with football. Grazers can keep making trips to it, and you can even reheat a plate for dinner. Either way, it’s almost just as good the second and third time around.
No matter what your occasion or who you’re with, these dishes will get plenty of compliments and requests for more. Each recipe is simple and manageable on a college budget, and they usually leave some tasty leftovers too!
Note: I am a senior on a budget. None of these recipes will require a plethora of ingredients or skill.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Jack P.