Eating in the dining hall is not always convenient. Aside from the probability that the food is unappealing, the college mess tent is also not accessible 24/7 – and neither are the local eateries, for that matter. Now is the time to practice the art of dorm-room cooking/food preparation. Since your locale limits your options, you won’t be preparing gourmet meals. You will, however, need two major appliances: a small microwave and a mini-refrigerator, which are the only appliances the campus powers-that-be normally allow dormitory dwellers to house. Arrange with your roommate beforehand who will bring what appliance, and ask your college’s office of student life to check if appliances are for rent. So, here are some ingredients for dorm-room cooking success.
Keep it simple. Opt for canned soup over brewing your own stock. Remove the lid with a handheld can opener, pour contents into a bowl, and nuke according to the label’s instructions.
Nutri-tip: Choose brands with fewer than 400 mg of sodium per serving.
You’ll find these in the campus mart’s frozen food section. Heat burrito according to the package’s directions.
Nutri-tip: It might taste like junk food, but with all the protein it packs, a burrito is basically a healthy meal.
You can find these healthy yet palatable patties with the frozen foods. Follow the heating suggestions on the box. Place the burger on a bun. (Do not nuke the bun!) Add your favorite beef burger toppings.
Nutri-tip: These faux burgers are full of real nutrients, including peppers, zucchini, and lentils.
Akin to Kraft Easy Mac and Cheese, this spiral-pasta-and-tomato-sauce concoction requires only water, a bowl, and a microwave. It takes about three minutes to prepare. And you can choose from three flavors.
Nutri-tip: Each serving only has 200 calories and 2.5 grams of fat!
These can be expensive, but frozen meals quickly satiate your hunger and offer the most variety.
Nutri-tip: Choose healthy meals, not the ones with enough sodium and fat to give a lumberjack high blood pressure and a heart attack.
Empty frozen stir-fry vegetables into a bowl. Cook on high for about four minutes. Stir in teriyaki sauce. Cook on high for 30 seconds.
Nutri-tip: For a change, substitute any vegetable for the stir-fry veggies.
Before you open the can of odorous fish, clear it with your roommate. Drain the water in a sink. Use a bowl to mix the tuna with a dollop of mayonnaise.
Nutri-tip: For your heart’s sake, select whole-grain bread, reduced-fat mayonnaise, and water-packed tuna.
Again, because of the pungent aroma, check with your roommate before cracking open a couple of hard-boiled eggs, which you can grab from the dining hall. Combine the eggs and a spoonful of mayonnaise in a bowl.
Nutri-tip: Since they have only 15 calories and no fat, consider using just the egg whites.
If this requires instruction, you may want to reconsider going to college at this time.
Nutri-tip: Reach for low-sugar brands. Sweeten naturally with fruit. Use skim or 1 percent milk.
Tools and Rules for Dorm-Room Cooking Tools