One thing I have had to learn over the past year is to make protein-ish, cheap, and filling meals quickly--I mean, when you're studying for finals or have three tests and two papers due in the span of four days, you do have to eat (clarification: you SHOULD eat, even if you don't HAVE to). Strategies have included canned food, cooking and freezing food on weekends, scrambled eggs, microwaved potatoes, and slow cooker meals. This week, I discovered a new one: pasta on the fly.
The basic idea is this: combine easy-to-make protein with frozen vegetables and rice-cooker pasta. It turns out that making pasta in the rice cooker takes very little time and effort. I have, on other occasions, used real pasta sauce, cooked garlic and onions, and added ground beef. But if I don't have the time for that, bacon (microwaved), garlic powder, butter, and shredded mozzarella are quite delicious! And for veggies, some defrosted broccoli or peas do just fine.
Making pasta in a dorm is pretty easy. Put water in the rice cooker, and when it boils, add pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, dump it into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Add crumbled bits of bacon, tons of shredded cheese, some butter, plenty of salt, frozen veggies, pepper, and garlic powder. Nuke to get the cheese to melt and the veggies to defrost, and you've got enough pasta to last you for at least a whole day.
Oh, and as for gluten-free pasta: it turns out that Wal-Mart now carries it, and a little goes a looong way. Win.
Study break over. Time to go back to micro and the second draft of my thesis...