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With all the free time students have on hand during summer break, it’s the best time to crack out some pots and pans and try some new recipes.

From a simple pasta salad, to salmon, fried rice and even a sorbet, here’s a few refreshing, yet surprisingly easy, summer oriented recipes to try out during your upcoming break.

Pasta salad

Who doesn’t love carbs, am I right? Why not use those carbs to make… a salad? Pasta salad is an easy, fast and simple crowd pleaser. 

No directions needed, after boiling the pasta, just toss the salad together, mix the dressing and combine to desired dressing and salad ratio.


1 pound dried pasta, I like bowtie

1 cup sliced bell pepper (1 medium)

1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers

1 cup cubed tomatoes

1 cup grated parmesan cheese or hard cheese

1 handful of snap peas

1 cup of sliced mushrooms

1 cup feta

1/3 cup fresh parsley 


1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon oregano 

1 teaspoon chopped basil 

1/2 lemon, juiced


Recipes that just require a marinade are easily some of the best ones. If you just stuff a Ziplock bag with the ingredients for this spicy salmon, and then dump a salmon into it all. 

2 salmon filets

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

1 cup of honey

1/2 lemon, juiced

Cook in a 375F degree oven for 20 minutes with the skin side down. Flip and cook for another five minutes with the skin side up and serve with your choice of veggies. 

Tortellini with chicken sausage

Chicken sausage is so underrated! My favorite is from Aldi, I always get the chicken sausage with spinach, which pairs so well with this tortellini recipe. I am a college student, so making tortellini from scratch is not in my skill level. But, with some premade tortellini, spices and sauces, I think this makes for a killer meal. I serve mine with a side of salty snap peas. 

Cook these items separately, following the packaged instructions, then combine in large pot

1 container premade tortellini 

2 chicken sausage links 


1 tube tomato paste 

1 cup heavy cream 

1 tablespoon pesto 

2 tablespoons oregano

1 tablespoon basil 

2 tablespoons parsley 

Add mushrooms if you’d like, I go with 1 cup

Cauliflower shrimp fried rice

I’m all about the carb substitutes, and one of my personal go-to’s will always be cauliflower rice. You can find riced cauliflower at any major grocery store or chain, but you can always use real whole grain rice for this recipe.

Shrimp marinade (combine ingredients in ziplock bag and rest for one to 24 hours)

3 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp 

1 cup of honey 

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1 tablespoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Add shrimp to a wok or large pan and cook till the shrimp is pink. Add cauliflower rice and the below ingredients until everything is heated throughout, and serve! 

1 cup peas

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped bell peppers

1 cup broccoli 

1 cup snap peas

Sorbet, with fruit of choice

On those hot Houston days, you may want to indulge in an icy and refreshing sorbet. This recipe can be adjusted to use the fruit of your choice, and all ingredients can easily be combined in a food processor. After combining your ingredients, just fill it in a tub or container and freeze for about three hours. Happy Sorbet-ing! 

5 cups of fresh fruit, I use strawberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup honey 

1 cup water

1 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Want to make it a little boozy? Add three shots of your desired alcohol. I recommend vodka. 

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