Living on-campus, everyone has almost everything at their convenience. But buffet-style dining halls can get old after a while, eating the same thing every week that, more often than not, isn't the healthiest. While it may be nice at first if you're anything like me you might crave a nice freshly cooked meal after a bit. So for those days when you really just don't want to leave your dorm hall, you should be pleased to know that you don't have to, you can make a meal right in your microwave! The best part of it all is you don't have to be a super amazing chef to cook these dorm-friendly meals.
In addition to dorm-friendly, most (if not all) of these can all be changed to fit a vegan diet, I'm not a vegan or vegetarian, but I tried my best to include meals that are easily able to be altered depending on the person.
Without further adieu, 10 unique, dorm-friendly meals that will make you forget dining halls exist
1. A breakfast cookie
A cookie? For breakfast? You were probably going to end up doing this at some point, might as well make it a more appropriate cookie!
To make this you'll need:
1/2 a medium banana, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1/2 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of milk, 4 tablespoons of oats (rolled or quick oats) and 1 tablespoon of raisins (I believe these to be optional). You can find the recipe here.
2. Acai Bowl
This one is a little bit more time to consume (let's be real all, the healthiest things are). If you're willing to do it then it will be worth the while, the freshman 15 is a real thing, you guys! Take caution!
If you wanna make an acai bowl in your room you'll need:
1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 2 Sambazon unsweetened acai smoothie packs,1/2 of a large frozen ripe banana, 1 teaspoon of honey or agave nectar, 2/3 cup of frozen mixed berries and1/2 cup of granola or cereal.
Find the step-by-step recipe here!
3. Peanut butter energy bites
I think these are so neat because you can make these in bulk and then refrigerate them to eat throughout the week if you want. They're also a fantastic study snack and if you're feeling kind you can make them for the guys and gals on your floor! What's a better way to meet people then to bond over food?
You'll need: 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of old-fashioned oats (raw), 2/3 cup of toasted and sweetened shredded coconut, 1/2 cup of ground golden flaxseed meal and 6 tablespoons of chocolate chips. You can find the step-by-step instructions here.
4. Trail mix
The thing I love about trail mix is that there are what seems like a million different ways to make it. It's nearly impossible to screw it up. The basics for a trail mix include: pretzels, nuts, rice Chex, dried fruit, and seeds. A lot of trail mix recipes will add in chocolate or marshmallows because it's all about a balance between salty and sweet. If you're the kind of person who likes to munch throughout the day rather than eating a full meal, I suggest bringing munching on a bag of homemade trail mix throughout the day!
You can find step-by-step instructions here. Mix and match to find out what you like best!
5. Chocolate-peanut butter and granola apple bites
Mouth-watering and sweet, a nice snack or side dish for a Sunday afternoon. They're easy to make as well! We've all heard of peanut butter covered apple slices, just do that, sprinkle granola over it and drizzle some melted chocolate chips on top.
You can find the step-by-step instructions here!
Yes! That's right. Ramen noodles are so useful and they're so cheap, it's the ideal college meal. But don't think you can't make it better. This doesn't have a formal recipe, because you honestly can do whatever you want with it. Ideas including: add some fresh or frozen veggies to it, add some protein to it (i.e. chicken, tofu, etc) or add some hot sauce if you're into spicy foods.
7. Spinach, chickpea and feta pasta
The fantastic thing about cooking is that no recipe is the only option, you can always add something in to make it more unique or to adjust for your needs and taste buds. I'm a super picky eater personally, so I always find myself opting parts of dishes out or substituting them with other things that I prefer. With this recipe, you can always take the feta cheese out or substitute it with a different type (like parmesan or pepper jack). This meal can easily be cooked in a microwave in only a few minutes. Here is the recipe for you!
8. Avocado tuna wraps
Tuna is a fantastic protein. It's high in omega-3 and vitamin D, and it's delicious! Additionally, wraps are a great way to fit everything in the food pyramid into one meal, and it's also easy to make it a low-calorie meal. Avocados are all the rage right now, and the fact that this wrap is so easy to make, it's a perfect option for those times when you really don't feel like trekking across campus for dinner. For any of my veggie folks reading this, I suggest replacing the tuna with cottage cheese and adding tomato!
All the ingredients besides avocados and tuna, as well as the step-by-step instructions, can be found at this website.
9. Taco popcorn
Add some flare and flavor to your movie-night popcorn (I highly suggest buying a lightly salted flavor, or unflavored popcorn box instead of the buttered kind) by adding some taco seasoning! Other popcorn hacks include adding: parmesan and olive oil, chocolate or marshmallows, garlic salt or even a dry ranch packet.
10. Macaroni and cheese
That's right. You can make macaroni and cheese in your dorm room. In less than five minutes. You can buy a microwavable pasta bowl online or at a local department store. I found mine at Walmart. This is something that will definitely make your life easier if you like to make pasta. I for one absolutely, in no way, shape or form could live without mac and cheese, so I was so excited when I found out it was possible for me to make it in my dorm, whether it be by scratch (like this recipe) or by the box.
Vegan and allergy-safe versions here.
I understand not everyone has the time, nor energy, to make any of these meals and that the dining halls are so much more practical. However, if you ever find yourself growing tired of the eating the same food every day, and there's no doubt in my mind you will begin to miss home-cooked meals after some time, I urge you to give one of these meals a try! You'll probably enjoy it more than you think.