Sauteed Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce

0503_edf_chickenmustard_vertThis simple chicken dinner dish from Martha Stewart earned four stars on her site, but got great reviews for its quick, cheap and easy nature. The dish would make for a great weeknight meal.

Here’s the recipe (students may wish to scale down the proportions):


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)


  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.
  2. Pour wine into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  3. Pour any accumulated chicken juices from plate into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.

As previously mentioned, reviewers tended to comment on the low price and the ease of the recipe, making it ideal for college students. Some reviewers found small issues with the dish, though these issues are likely to arise out of cooking mistakes or taste preferences. One reviewer also recommended substitutions and additions for the dish:

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Taco Bake

Taco Bake

This Taco Bake recipe from The Country Cook is perfect for college students. It contains ingredients that most students are very likely to have on hand at all times. It takes very little time to prepare and cook, and it saves well–many reviewers raved that the leftovers tasted just as good as the original product.

Here is the recipe:


Taco Bake Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • water as called for on back of seasoning packet
  • 3 large flour tortillas (8-inch size)
  • 1/2 cup Salsa Con Queso
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend


  • Brown and crumble ground beef.
  • Drain excess grease.
  • Add in taco seasoning and water (following directions on back of seasoning packet).
  • Once the taco meat is ready, turn off heat and add in 1/2 cup salsa con queso. (Mild is the best option–the dish is already somewhat spicy)
  • Give it a good stir, until thoroughly combined.
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Spray an 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Layer the bottom of  the pan with a flour tortilla.
  • Now add about 1/3 of the ground beef taco filling on the the first layer.
  • Then add 1/3 of the shredded cheese.
  • Continue until you are done with all the layers: another tortilla, more taco mixture, more cheese.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are slightly golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then slice and serve.

Taco Bake
The Country Cook recommends topping the dish with sour cream and diced tomatoes.

Reviewers generally raved about the recipe:

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I tried a variation of this recipe for dinner on Sunday night. I chose to cut the recipe in half, and only do two layers, as opposed to three. It was super easy to make, and was delicious! The leftovers saved well, and still tasted great the next day–not as good as they tasted fresh out of the oven, but definitely still delicious. I didn’t have a circular pan, so I was unable to layer the topping as close to the edge as the original recipe shows. Here’s a picture of my attempt–sorry its a little blurry!



Cheesy Honey Mustard Chicken


This cheesy honey mustard chicken dish from Plain Chicken is incredibly easy to make, and includes very simple ingredients that many college students are likely to already have on hand. The recipe makes four servings, but could easily be divided to allow a student to make a single chicken breast.

Here is the original recipe:


  • 4 boneless chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • lemon pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbsp bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Season chicken breasts with lemon pepper. Place in 9×13 baking dish.
  • Combine honey, mustard, lemon juice and paprika. Pour over chicken. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Top each chicken breast with 1 Tablespoon of bacon and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Continue to bake until cheese is starting to brown (about 10 minutes).


The recipe did not have many reviews, but all of the comments on the post were positive. Several reviewers claimed that the recipe tasted just like Outback Steakhouse’s Alice Springs Chicken. Overall, reviewers said that this recipe was incredibly quick and easy, making it ideal for a college student’s weeknight meal.

Here are a couple of the comments from the recipe’s original page:

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Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream

tuscan-pasta-sl-1646355-lThis Tuscan Pasta dish from is hailed as “outstanding” by reviewers, earning an overall 5-Star rating. The dish uses easily accessible ingredients, and offers a different take on the typical pasta dish.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli*
  • 1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped**
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnish: fresh basil strips

*1 (13-oz.) package three-cheese tortellini may be substituted.
**1 (14.5-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, fully drained, may be substituted.


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan.
  • Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well.
  • Stir wine mixture into saucepan.
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired.

Reviewers raved about the recipe. Some were concerned that the dish was too rich, which is a matter of taste. Other reviewers also suggested substitutions for some ingredients. Here is what reviewers had to say:
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California Roll Breakfast Sushi (Burrito Adaptation)

California-Roll-Breakfast-SushiI found this California Roll Breakfast Sushi recipe from Farmgirl Gourmet this past weekend while perusing Pinterest. While it may be a little more time and effort consuming than most college-friendly recipes, I highly recommend this one. I made my own adaptation of the dish because I didn’t have certain ingredients, and it made for a great weekend brunch dish.

Here’s the original recipe from Farmgirl Gourmet:


  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 6 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 4 tablespoons jack cheese, divided
  • cooking spray
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 4 strips crisp bacon
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 large tomato, sliced

For the Spicy Sour Cream:

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (or other hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon milk


  1. Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. In a small bowl whisk 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons milk until incorporated. Pour into the hot skillet. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese and cook without stirring for 3-5 minutes, until the top is no longer wet. You may need to turn the heat down so you don’t burn the bottom.
  2. Place the tortilla over the egg and gently flip them out on to a cutting board. Place 2 strips of bacon in the bottom 1/4 of the tortilla (closest to you). Top with 1/2 of the sliced avocado and tomato. Roll up as tightly and gently as you can. Allow to rest for a second and then slice with a sharp knife into sushi rolls. Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, cheese, etc.
  3. In a small bowl mix the sour cream, sriracha and milk. Drizzle over the sushi rolls and serve immediately.

California-Roll-Breakfast-Sushi-5I wanted to try out the recipe, but I didn’t have sour cream, sriracha, or tomatoes. I adapted the recipe by substituting sauteed mushrooms and salsa for the tomatoes. I also altered the sauce entirely and created a cream-cheese based mixture. I softened cream cheese, mixed it with a little milk and added a generous helping of Texas Pete Hot Sauce. I beat the three ingredients together until I had a sauce-like consistency. When I went to roll the sushi, I also realized that I had added too many ingredients and was unable to roll the concoction into sushi-roll size. I chose to leave the dish as a breakfast burrito instead.

Here’s the picture of my adaptation:

I think that the original recipe could be adapted in many ways, but I definitely would like to try to create the sriracha sour cream sauce.


Chicken Sausage, Peppers and Tomatoes with Linguine

Chicken-Sausage-Peppers-Tomatoes-Linguine-61504This dish from Kraft is a twist on a basic pasta recipe, and is a quick and easy dish for college students to make. The recipe makes six servings, so students may wish to either decrease ingredient proportions, save the leftovers or create this dish in groups.

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 lb. linguine, uncooked
1pkg. (12 oz.) chicken sausage links, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
3 bell peppers (assorted colors), coarsely chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

-Cook  pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.
-Meanwhile, cook sausage and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 to 6 min. or until sausage is heated through and peppers are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 5 to 6 min. or until tomatoes are softened, stirring occasionally.
-Drain pasta. Add to skillet with 2 Tbsp. cheese; mix lightly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Chicken sausage should be easily obtainable at any local grocery store, but some reviewers used different types of sausage in the recipe if they did not have it on hand. One reviewer also suggested using a more flavorful sausage in the dish.

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Poached Salmon with Pesto and Feta


This delicious and incredibly simple salmon recipe comes from the recipe blog “Can You Stay For Dinner?” It offers a new way to consider cooking salmon, a cheaper fish that should be easily obtainable at any local grocery store.

The recipe is set to serve 3-4 individuals, so college students may wish to scale down the proportions.


1 lb salmon filet
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh basil pesto
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


-Bring the chicken stock and wine to a gentle boil in a large dutch oven (any two inch deep pan with a tight fitting lid).
-Add the salmon filet and lay the garlic slices evenly over the top to coat the fish. Cover with the pan’s lid and let the fish simmer in the hot stock for 7 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it flakes as you press the flesh with a fork.
-Remove the fish from the pan immediately, discard garlic, and spread evenly with pesto while the fish is still hot. Sprinkle with feta. Serve.

Reviewers raved about the recipe. One reviewer posted nutrition information, and another suggested a possible different way to cook the dish in the oven:

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Overall, this is an incredibly simple recipe made with easy and cheap ingredients. I can’t wait to make it myself!