The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Warm winter meals that require little to no preparation

3 min read

Fettuccini alfredo can be enhanced with your favorite add-ins, like meat or vegetables. | Elizabeth Foster

Cooking in college can often become boring and repetitive, so if you’re looking to spice things up, here are three new recipes to try. Not only do these recipes look good, they’re also relatively quick and easy to make, only requiring a handful of ingredients and under an hour of time. So let’s get into it!

Shakshuka, a savory eggs-and-tomato dish, originated in North Africa and is now enjoyed throughout the world (but especially in the Middle East). Traditionally, the dish is eaten for breakfast, but it can really be enjoyed at any time of the day; those who don’t like their breakfast spicy might prefer to save it for dinner instead. 

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 sweet onion (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 6 eggs

Optional (to garnish):

  • ¼ cup feta cheese 
  • Fresh cilantro (to taste)
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. After melting your butter in a cast-iron skillet, saute the onions over medium heat, then add the red bell peppers, minced garlic, and spices. After sauteing for 2-3 minutes, pour in the tomato sauce and let cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring the mixture continuously. 
  2. Bring the heat to low, and make six indentions in the sauce with the back of a spoon. Crack the eggs into these indentions so that they sit on top of the sauce. 
  3. Put the skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for 10-12 minutes. After cooking, eat as is or garnish with the feta and cilantro and serve with crusty bread on the side.

Stuffed bell peppers look like they might be complicated to make, but they’re actually super easy! This version of the recipe incorporates a cheesy bean-and-rice mixture that’s quick to mix up and tastes great.

You will need: 

  • 1 ½ cups white rice
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 14 oz. can black beans, drained
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
  1. In a skillet or pan, stir the rice, onion, diced red bell peppers, tomatoes, broth or water, and taco seasoning. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Mix in the black beans and corn and set to the side.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the other red bell peppers in half and hollow them out. Pack in the rice mixture and sprinkle the cheese on top. Place the stuffed peppers in the casserole dish and cook (covered!) for 30 minutes, then take the cover off and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, scallions or bacon sprinkled on top.

If fettuccine alfredo is your go-to order when getting Italian food, you might be surprised just how easy it is to make at home. It’s by far the easiest recipe in this article: it only takes butter, heavy cream, garlic and two types of cheese to make the sauce for this dish, and the pasta takes no time at all to cook. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 24 oz. fettuccine pasta
  • ⅔ – 1 cup butter
  • ¾ pint heavy cream
  • ¾ cup grated romano cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)


  • Parsley or basil (to garnish)
  1. Cook the fettuccine alfredo in a large pot until al dente (about 10 minutes). Drain water and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter at medium heat and saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes before adding in the heavy cream. Slowly add handfuls of the cheese in, stirring until each handful melts fully into the sauce. Cook the mixture, stirring continuously, until it starts to thicken.
  3. Pour the mixture in with the pasta and mix to coat. Serve as is or with parsley or basil to garnish.

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