Tweaked Ramen Noodles
What you need:
1 cup of Ramen Noodles
1 egg
Leftover chicken
Sriracha Hot Sauce
Directions: Microwave Ramen Noodles for two minutes on high.
Add egg and cook for two more minutes on medium, until egg is poached.
Drain 3/4 of the water. Add chicken and top with Sriracha. 
Source: Taylor Stephan, co-author of "College Cooks."

University of Colorado roommates Taylor Stephan and Alex McKee said it's convenient for students, especially those living on University Hill, to feed their hungry Buff bellies at nearby restaurants rather than eating at home. But their bank accounts suffered the consequences.

"It gets really expensive, eating out all the time," McKee said. "We were adapting to survive is what it came down to."

That's why Stephan, a marketing major, and McKee, an economics major, joined forces with two other CU students and two alumni to write "College Cooks," a cookbook for students who are learning the basics of fending for themselves in the kitchen.

Stephan said he moved in with McKee and four other men his sophomore year, and after 18 years of living with mom and dad and a year in the dorms with a meal plan, the six roommates were lost in their small, shared kitchen.

It took some time, but eventually the students got over their fear of food and discovered the joy of cooking.


Now, they're sharing some beginner basics, including buying groceries, cookware necessities, budgeting and of course, their favorite recipes.

Stephan said the recipes in the book are just starting points, and that each one includes some additions recommended by the authors and their family and friends.

The group started simple, altering and improving traditional college meals like sandwiches and ramen noodles -- still one of Stephan's favorite snacks.

After about two minutes in the microwave, Stephan said he adds in a raw egg before popping the ramen back in for about two more minutes on medium to low heat poaching the egg. He drains most of the water, leaving only enough to keep it moist before adding some leftover chicken from the refrigerator and a final topping of Sriracha hot sauce.

"Most students already have a bunch of ramen laying around," Stephan said. "I just add a few things to it and it and make it my own."

McKee said after they made a few successful recipes that included Sriracha Hot Sauce, the group got a little Sriracha-crazy, adding it to every meal.

"It just got gross," McKee said.

Another lesson learned for the newbie cooks.

McKee said he realized the group was making progress when they turned a simple sandwich turned into a delicious dish. The classic BLT became an exceptional lunch, with five slices of bacon, a small sliced tomato, two slices of lettuce and a teaspoon of mayo on some sourdough bread, McKee said.

Stephan's favorite breakfast is a California-style omelet with avocado, cheese and tomato; his favorite dinner is a simple stir fry base of chicken and rice, piled with whatever veggies are in the house.

"We don't claim to be chefs, we just do because we enjoy it," Stephan said. "We just want to encourage students that they can do it and to try their own thing."

More recipes -- with and without Sriracha -- can be found in "College Cooks," which will be available on Amazon and a few local book store later this month.