By Lillian Redding

My sophomore year of college, I started cooking for myself. I enjoy cooking, but it was a bit of an adjustment. Shopping and cooking was a lot to take in at first, I’ve found that there’s something therapeutic in cooking – planning out all the details and making everything on your own.

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon on Unsplash

In the beginning, I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the choices I had. There are so many types of bread at the grocery store; how was I possibly supposed to chose just one? What seemed to help my psyche – and my budget – was to stick to a few ingredients that I can put together in different ways. This keeps me from overbuying food but still gives me freedom to get creative.

When possible, I love going to the farmers market. I make cooking something to look forward to, rather than something I have to make time for.  

I try to keep meals simple and portable, so I can grab things on the way out the door. There’s peace of mind knowing there’s something I can take with me for breakfast, or a dinner in the fridge that doesn’t take too much time to prepare. Little things like this seem to help the more stressful parts of the week fall into place.

These are two foolproof recipes that I love making. Lasagna and quiche are both simple and allow you to get creative with or substitute ingredients. Quickly throw these together and eat them throughout the week.

Simple Lasagna

What you’ll need: lasagna noodles, pasta sauce, ground beef, ricotta and mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Boil the noodles so that they are cooked, al dente. They’ll cook the rest of the way in the oven.

Step 2: Cook the ground beef. Be sure to cook the all the way through. You won’t want to risk it not cooking in the oven.

Step 3: Start layering. Place a layer of noodles in an oven-safe dish, followed by a layer of beef, sauce-and ricotta cheese. Continue to add layers until you fill the dish. When you get to the top layer, you can add the mozzarella.

Step 4: Put lasagna in 350 degrees F oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese looks slightly brown

Lasagna is a fun dish because you can mix it up. Sometimes I’ll replace the beef layer with spinach or zucchini when I want something lighter.

Easy Quiche

What you’ll need: 5 eggs, 1 refrigerated pie crust, ¾ c of milk, salt, pepper, 1 c cooked ham, 11/2 c shredded cheese, 3 tablespoons of green onions

Step 1: Place your pie crust on a 9-inch pie plate and preheat your oven to 375 degrees F

Step 2: In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper

Step 3: Put the ham, cheese and onion into the pie crust and pour over the egg mixture, making sure everything is well coated.

Step 4: Bake quiche for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown