By Francesca Keel, Correspondent
Image Credit: Francesca Keel for Horizons
Learning how to cook is an important part of becoming an adult. Having homecooked meals at college can provide comfort away from home. Every week, I give myself a target budget of $35 to get groceries for meals that are quick and easy to cook. Some of my favorite college, budget-friendly meals are soups, different variations of stir fry, and anything that can be bulked by carbs like rice, pasta, or potatoes.
Being able to cook for yourself can give you a sense of empowerment and independence. Food is what gives us students the fuel to attend challenging classes and keep our bodies going. Having the ability to cook just one meal a week yourself means that you know exactly what you are eating.
In the first edition of this column is my family recipe for marinated pork chops. Coming from a Filipino family, pork marinated in soy sauce served over fresh rice and vegetables is a staple meal that can be prepared after a long day of work, or in advance if you have time. While the pork marinade is simple, you can add additional ingredients to taste; my family usually adds onions for more flavor. This is the kind of recipe where you can either cook the pork all at once or cook each piece individually throughout the week. Always make sure to serve it with fresh white rice and a green or two to bring color to the dish. My personal favorite side is bok choy, best served steamed or sauteed with just salt and black pepper. Look for the recipe below!-Soy Sauce Marinated Pork Chops.
-Active Cooking Time: Thirty minutes.
1 pound thinly sliced pork chops
- 2 cups Soy sauce
- ¼ cup Lemon Lime soda 1 lime. 2 cloves garlic
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
To begin, place the pork chops in a bowl or container that has enough depth to contain three cups of liquid. Finely mince the garlic and sprinkle over the pork along with salt and black pepper to taste. You can always add more salt after cooking, especially with the addition of soy sauce, so use a light hand.
A picture containing text, food, dish, meat
Description automatically generatedSqueeze the juice of one lime over the pork. To add more flavor, let the pork marinate with the juiced lime in the mixture. Then add two cups of soy sauce in addition to one-quarter cup of Lemon Lime soda This should be enough liquid to cover the meat, but you can add in more soy sauce if needed to cover the pork chops. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for at least thirty minutes.
Once marinated, take the pork out of the fridge while preheating a pan to medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add two tablespoons of neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil to the pan. Sear the pork chops in the hot oil for five minutes on each side. The pork will take on a golden-brown color and will have clear juices running to indicate that they are done cooking.
Allow to rest for five minutes off the heat while preparing the vegetables of your choice. For this dish, I wilt bok choy in the same pan. Plate the pork chops with freshly steamed rice and veggies and enjoy!