Cheap and easy are the two main criteria for most college chefs; I also like to add healthy to that list. Using that formula, my roommate and I devised a recipe for Clean Out Your Fridge Fried Rice.

It’s not a novel concept, I know, but it’s delicious and costs nothing. When you’re hungry and there’s too much month at the end of your money, fried rice is a great go-to for a filling meal that can be made with just about anything you have on hand (as long as one of those things is rice).

One-pot meals like this one are my favorite because you have very few dishes to clean afterward, which is another bonus. I also have no patience for following recipes and prefer to make things up as I go along, so if you are like me this is an awesome recipe-free dish. Instead, I’ll just give you a few guidelines. Feel free to ignore any of them and make up your own. It’s pretty hard to screw this one up.

This will only take 10-15 minutes, will cost less than $5, and depending on what you add, it is pretty low fat and full of protein and vitamins. Win!

What You Need:

•    A large pan/pot/wok/cooking vessel of some sort
•    Cooked rice—white or brown, leftover or fresh—it doesn’t matter
•    Oil
•    Soy sauce

What You Can Add:

•    Cabbage and really any other veggies you might have that need to be used up, chopped up small
•    Minced garlic
•    Frozen peas, carrots, corn and edamame (beans only, not the shells)
•    Egg
•    Cooked meat—ground or minced chicken, pork, or shrimp, or crumbled bacon—whatever you have on hand
•    Diced tofu
•    Teriyaki sauce (not the syrupy kind though)
•    Chopped green onion
•    Chopped peanuts

Assembly Guidelines:

Heat your pan and add a small splash of oil.
Add any fresh veggies you might be using and cook for a couple of minutes until just tender.
Add garlic if you want, and cook for another minute, and then add any frozen vegetables and cook until defrosted.
If adding egg, push the veggies to the side of the pan and scramble the eggs on the other side.
Add any meat or tofu, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Finally, add the rice and stir everything together until it is hot. Add a splash of soy sauce and/or teriyaki sauce. Let the rice cook without stirring for a couple of minutes so some of it gets crispy.
Turn off the heat, and sprinkle on green onions and peanuts if you have them.