Top 5 essential foods to whip out a quick meal

Living alone for the first time can be a very taxing experience for some people. There are way too many things to care for all of the sudden: work, laundry, cleaning, living expenses, bills, and of course, the dreaded cooking. Many of the people who absolutely hate cooking or don’t find the time for it end up raking up huge debt because they would rather order takeout or eat outside before even trying to cook a decent meal for themselves. Everything is a process, and anyone can start cooking too if they start with the basics. Here are 5 of the most versatile and easy to cook foods that anyone can prepare.


Eggs are the main ingredient of many different dishes that can be eaten for any meal of the day. All of the most common ways to prepare eggs also serve as effective introductory courses on cooking techniques like frying, boiling, and even steaming and baking. Crack a couple of eggs in the morning and make yourself scrambled eggs. Toss some vegetables in the pan before adding your eggs and you have an omelette. Add protein like bacon or sausage and you’re more than halfway through a complete meal!

Instant ramen

Yes, instant ramen has a bad rep of being unhealthy despite of how easy it is to cook, but there are only a couple of extra steps in the way of turning this into a real dish that won’t hurt your kidneys due to excess sodium intake. The best way to make instant ramen into a bowl of proper ramen is adding plenty of vegetables and some sort of protein. You can shred some vegetables and add them to the hot water, and fry an egg to top it all off. If you’re feeling more gourmet, you can go with some pieces of chicken, pork, or beef that have been quickly stir fried.

Tuna salad

To make a tuna salad all you need is a can of tuna and a couple of vegetables of your choice. The hardest “obstacle” to overcome is actually getting the tuna can open, so make sure you get one of these can openers here. After that, you can roughly chop a lettuce or cabbage, slice some tomatoes and bell peppers, season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and you have yourself a quick meal.


Pasta is a classic of smart and fast cuisine. If you know how to heat water on your stove, then you know all there is to know to make pasta. Set a pot with water to boil and add plenty of salt. Throw in the pasta once it’s bubbling and check regularly. In the meantime, if you’re feeling gourmet, lightly fry some onions and garlic on a separate pan and add your store-bought can or bottle of pasta sauce. When the pasta is ready, mix it all up and serve.


The advantage of beans is that they can be as simple or as complex as you want to make them. If you just want to cook them and season to taste, that’s fine. If you want to throw in some vegetables and spices, that works just as well. If you want to go all the way and make something more similar to chili, it’s not that hard either! Any option will give you a complex, nutritious dish that can be made relatively quickly and for a low cost.

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