Slow-Cooker-Meals-Students.jpgThe phrase ‘starving student’ doesn’t just refer to not having the money to eat, although that’s not a stretch when you consider the high cost of tuition, books, and living accommodations when you’re going away to school. Some students go hungry just because they aren’t quite sure how to quickly whip up a meal in their dorm room or first apartment. 

But there’s no reason to starve when you’ve got a well-stocked dorm room, and that’s why there is a list of must-have small kitchen appliances you should bring along to the dorm with you.

Each week for the next 6 weeks, I’ll focus on a different small appliance you can bring with you when you’re going away to school and show you exactly how you can whip up a few delicious, healthy meals with it.

These recipes don’t have to break the bank either—there are some great recipes that cost very little to make, but you’d never know that by how delicious they are.

 

Let’s start with a slow cooker

A slow cooker, also known as a crockpot, will be your best friend when you’re away at school. Today’s slow cookers are small, compact, and will fit neatly on a shelf when you’re not using them. You can also pull out the insert when the pot is cool and use it to store your leftover food in the refrigerator.

A slow cooker is a simple tool designed to create great meals, these are just a few slow cooker recipes for students going back to school:

 
Taco Chicken Bowls

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I’m sure you’ve heard of university students who do midnight runs to Taco Bell because they’re hungry. Not only will that start to really add up when it comes to money, but when you don’t control the ingredients in what you eat, well you really don’t know what you’re eating. These Taco Chicken Bowls from Budgetbytes.com will fill your taco craving.

Ingredients:

1½ lbs. chicken breasts

1 (16 oz.) jar salsa

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained

½ lb. (8 oz.) frozen corn

1 Tbsp chili powder

½ Tbsp cumin

½ Tbsp minced garlic

½ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp salt

to taste cracked pepper

2 cups dry rice

8 oz. shredded cheddar

½ bunch cilantro (optional

 

Directions

Add everything except the rice, cheese, and cilantro to the slow cooker along with ¼ cup of water (for good measure). Give everything a good stir and make sure the chicken is covered in the mixture.

Secure the lid on your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hrs.

Near the end of the cooking time, cook the two cups of rice according to the package directions (Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium pot with a lid in place, as soon as it reaches a boil, reduced the heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving).

After 8 hours of cooking, carefully remove the lid of the slow cooker. Stir with a fork to shred the chicken (it should be super tender and will shred easily). Build the taco bowls by placing rice on the bottom, then the taco chicken mix, shredded cheese and fresh cilantro.

Corn Chowder

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Sometimes you just crave comfort food, especially on a chilly night in the dorm room. This corn chowder is simple to make in your slow cooker, and so delicious you’ll have friends lining up at your door for a bowl. Recipe and photo from prevention.com.

Ingredients:

2 cans (15 oz each) whole kernel corn, drained
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 C low-sodium chicken broth
2 C 1 percent milk
¼ C trans-free margarine

 

Directions

Place corn, potatoes, onion, and broth in 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Cover. Cook on low 7 to 9 hours. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Puree half of the batch in blender. Return pureed mixture to cooker and stir in milk and margarine. Cover. Cook on high 1 more hour. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Simple roast beef

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Craving your mom’s homemade roast? Your slow cooker can help you with that. Just toss these ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning and you’ll walk into your room to a meal at night. Recipe from thesimpledollar.com. Photo from recipetips.com.

Ingredients:

1 2 to 2.5 lb. roast
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups beef broth or beef stock

 

Directions

Place all in slow cooker and cook for 8 hours.

Starving student doesn’t have to mean you’re actually starving, and these slow cooker meals will make sure you’re well fed when you’re bottoming out from studying or fatigue.

Here are a few slow cookers you may want to take along to your dorm.

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The Breville slow fast cooker is a pressure cooker/slow cooker all in one
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Want to set your food to cook from your smartphone? Try the Belkin WeMo Slow cooker.
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Dinner for one? You need a small slow cooker

Main image from kraftcanada.com