Back when I was in college, a long long time ago, we had a mini-fridge, an electric wok (which was forbidden in the dorm) and an immersion heater for heating water. We made a lot of spaghetti and mac & cheese in the wok and yes, we did make grilled cheese sandwiches with our iron! Hey, it was the ’80s we were creative problem solvers.
To help college students who are attempting to cook in a dorm…or their first apartment, Chef Nisa Burns has written Kitchenability 101 The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy and Delicious Food.
A culinary graduate of the Art Institute of Virginia Beach, Nisa’s easy, healthy recipes have gained fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube nationwide. Her mission? To show college students how to become best friends with their kitchens in order to feed themselves for life, a process she calls becoming “Kitchen-able.” It’s about making cooking easy and natural, rather than intimidating and overwhelming.
To that end, Nisa shows students healthy, accessible alternatives to the cafeteria or drive-thru lane with her highly-anticipated cookbook, Kitchenability 101: The College Student’s Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food (on sale October 2012; Paperback $17.95; eBook $7.99), which comes with QR codes linking to Nisa’s popular how-to videos.
“It’s not about having a big, fancy kitchen—you can have amazing Kitchenability in your dorm room or apartment,” says Nisa. “It’s about developing a partnership with your kitchen, knowing what you can do and how you can play in it.”
College readers will learn that it is just as easy (and tasty!) to make an Avocado Lettuce Wrap as it is to heat up a processed TV dinner—and usually cheaper, too. Kitchen newbies have Nisa as their guide in each of these recipes, which helps students cook quickly and healthfully on a college budget.
“As you cultivate confidence in the kitchen, you’ll feel motivated to create foods that fit your lifestyle, instead of just eating whatever is fast and available. Kitchenability is about making awesome foods that nourish and strengthen your mind and body so you can succeed in college and beyond.”
Kitchenability 101 offers shopping plans, supply lists, budgeting tips, skills and recipes for cooking in college spaces—including dorm rooms, apartments and houses. The QR codes link readers to Nisa’s online video demos for delicious dishes like Gnocchi with Pesto, Chicken Mole, Creamy Hummus Dip, and Dark Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Mousse Filling.
Since my boys have been cooking for years I decided to try this book out with Summer, who came to our house only knowing how to make Ramen noodles at age 18! We started out easy but we will be trying several recipes in this book over the next few months. I explained to Summer that cooking is 85% following directions, and right there she got discouraged 🙁 I assured her I would help her and hopefully by the time she heads off to college in the fall she will have some basic cooking skills. She made the “Fancy Mac & Cheese”. I have never been a fan of baked Mac & Cheese but I was willing to give it a try. This recipe calls for Gruyere cheese which is a bit pricey on a college student’s budget, but we made it anyway. The recipe was easy to make and tasted pretty good. As a family, we all decided next time we would double the cheese and cut the pepper in half and then it should be perfect for our tastes.
We found the book to be well written and even labels recipes so you know which can be made in a dorm or apartment. Kitchenability 101 will make a great gift for any college student who needs to learn some great new recipes.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% mine.