Tasty Thursday: Dorm Food

Today is day three of our preparing for college blogs. There are definitely going to be points in time throughout the semester when you'll get hungry and the dining areas will not be open. You may just get sick of dining hall food all together and need to take a break from it. While many dorms do not allow the use of a stove (side note, some dorms do have mini kitchens downstairs so you can cook food) in the room, if you have a microwave and mini fridge, you have the tools to still make tasty and cheap meals. There are a lot of options besides eating dining hall mac and cheese each night. Here are some key food items to keep around the dorm, and some simple recipes in case you get the urge to munch late at night.

Ramen Noodles

I'm pretty sure these were created with college students in mind. Ramen noodles are a quick fix if you need something to eat right away. These tasty treats are also dirt cheap. If you buy them in bulk you can get packages for about 20 cents per package. While they don't have microwave directions on the packages of regular Ramen noodles, I can assure you that it's easy to modify. If I don't have a stove at my dispersal, I fill a bowl with water, put in the noodles and seasoning packet and turn on the microwave for around three and a half to four minutes. There are tons of different flavors, and believe it or not, there are many different recipes out there dedicated to Ramen noodles. Here's a list of 100 different things you can do with them.

Soft Tortilla Shells

The possibilities are endless with soft tortilla shells. One of the easiest ways to make quesadillas is to grab two of these shells, place some cheese on the inside and microwave until the cheese has melted. Cut into quarters and you have a quick and cheap Mexican treat. If you have some fresh veggies kicking around, you can add them and add to the flavor. While you probably won't be cooking any chicken in the dorm room, you can buy canned chicken chunks (much like tuna) and keep that handy when you decide you'd like to make a Mexican treat. I've made these before, and they are quick, easy and fairly cheap as well. If you get the larger tortilla shells, you can also use them as sandwich wraps and pack a fresh lunch instead of hitting up the dining hall. Spread some hummus on it, add veggies and perhaps some sliced meat, and you've got yourself a healthy snack for later on.

Yogurt

I absolutely love yogurt, and if you have a mini fridge, it's always nice to keep some handy. I recently switched to Greek yogurt because of the protein in it. It also keeps you more full than regular yogurt. Like most products, I suggest buying a large container of yogurt rather than buying the single packs. If you have a small container, you can use that as your cup, and bring the yogurt with you. It saves you money in the long run, and when the large container is all used up, rinse it out and you have a new storage container! If you combine the yogurt with a handful of granola or even some cereal, you've got yourself a decent snack that can hold off your hunger for a few hours.

Dessert

I am a sucker for chocolate. I can't get enough of it, and while it's probably an unhealthy addiction, I can imagine many of you share this same struggle. My friend Andrew told me about an easy dessert to make, and one you can create in your dorm. The creation is called, Cake in a Mug. While I have not tried this myself I am definitely going to soon. Apparently you put a cake mix into a mug and microwave it for a few minutes (I imagine cooking times will vary) and within 5 minutes or so, you'll have a tasty, fudgy cake to eat. I'm all about fudgy cakes, and if you get a hankering for some chocolatey goodness, I encourage you to try this cake. It's quick and easy and perfect for the dorm room. The recipes I found had instructions to make the cake from scratch. I plan on creating this masterpiece soon and seeing if a boxed cake mix works just as well. You can be assured that I will let you know how everything turns out on my Facebook page.

So there you have it. If you get sick and tired of eating dorm food, you can always make some tasty treats in your room, without having to spend much at all. You don't have to be bound by the dining hall food all the time. Take a break and make a little snack for yourself!

What are your favorite dorm foods?

Seth P.