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I consider dinner to be the most important meal of the day. No matter what, we always end up remembering what we had for dinner the night before while breakfast and lunch tend to fade into a forgettable blur. Inevitably, you end up looking forward to the night’s meal in a way that you would never anticipate breakfast or lunch.

So, lets do ourselves a favor and not end up with a disappointing meal of ramen noodles by following some of these tips for quick and easy meals!

1. Rice

Before buying plates or cups, buy a rice cooker. Seriously. Relatively inexpensive, these things are lifesavers. They’re extremely easy to use: just throw in the rice and water and hit ‘cook’. They even automatically switch to ‘warm’ when the rice is done cooking! You can add chicken, vegetables and spices and it’ll cook them all together without you worrying about burning your meal, opening up a world of rice possibilities!

The Advantages of a Rice Cooker

2. Ethnic Foods

Most students tend to shy away from concocting exotic dishes like Thai red curry in favor of the more mundane frozen pizzas. Take a risk! Actually, it isn’t so risky anymore what with the pre-made sauces and instant curry packets that you can get at any grocery store. These are incredibly fast and easy ways to whip up a yummy meal without a lot of effort or time. Add in the rice from your new rice cooker, and you have a restaurant worthy meal!

3. Pasta

Probably the very first thing in a college student’s arsenal of easy-to-make recipes. If you’re experienced in the ways of pasta sauce, you know how easy it is to whip up your own, but to the novice cook can pick up the pre-made sauces in the super market! Pasta salads are another easy dish to make in a hurry. Check out the link above for an easy-to-make pasta sauce with chicken and peppers!

4. Soup

Saving the very best for last! Soup is my go-to meal if I’m in a rush or need some comfort food. Of course, you can easily get the canned or boxed versions from the grocery store but homemade soup can’t be beat! To make the vegetable puree soups (think “cream of”), all you need is a blender, and that’s about as complicated as it’ll get. Try throwing in the leftovers from your fridge into a chicken or vegetable broth and see what you come up with!

Of course, there will be days when you’re just not in the mood to cook and end up settling for take out, but make an effort and save the frozen foods for exam time!

Happy cooking!

So what’s for dinner tonight? Let us know in the comments section!

Image courtesy of stevendepolo via Flickr (CC BY2.0).