Core Decorum: Ten food hacks for living in the dorms

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The end of the semester can be stressful for a lot of reasons. Food should not be one of them, especially if you are living in the dorms and are on a meal plan. But let’s face it: sometimes the cafeteria just doesn’t cut it. For many of us, fending for ourselves for meals every once in a while turns into an everyday occurrence by the end of the semester. If you are stuck on campus, you don’t have to resign yourself to eating ramen and ordering pizza. Read on for some dorm room food hacks culled from a number of food websites. Disclaimer: Different microwaves cook food differently, so make sure to keep an eye out while attempting these hacks in your dorm.

1.Instant oatmeal is a lifesaver, but it can be bland. Adding fruit or maple syrup will make your morning a little brighter.

2.Use your iron (or your roommate’s). Make a grilled cheese, quesadilla or panini in your dorm by wrapping a sandwich in aluminum foil, putting it on a flat surface and ironing each side for a minute or two.

3.Slice up an apple, throw on some honey or brown sugar and microwave it for a few minutes. Sprinkle on granola for a sweet snack.

4.Make your own healthy chips. Lay out thin slices of sweet potato on parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top and microwave until they are properly crisp.

5.Use that to-go box. Fill it up with raw veggies from the salad bar and steam them in your microwave for a smart snack. To steam, place raw veggies in a bowl, add a bit of water and toss, then microwave for a few minutes until crisp-tender.

6.If you have a coffeepot, you can use the pot to cook. Make hard-boiled eggs by putting eggs in the pot, running the water through and letting the eggs sit for approximately 10 minutes. Tip: Don’t add any coffee grounds.

7.Get more protein in your diet by scrambling eggs in the microwave. Whisk an egg in a mug with a dash of milk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and pop in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. Stir and put it back in for another 30 seconds, and – voila! – a filling breakfast.

8.Jazz up a cup of ramen by using your own sauce instead of the sodium-filled packet that comes with it. Try topping it with some of those steamed veggies you made in the microwave and low-sodium soy sauce.

9.Why settle for the same old buttered popcorn? Add some flavor by sprinkling on parsley flakes and parmesan, or spice it up by shaking some hot sauce into the bag.

10. Two words: mug cakes. Mixing up a few basic baking ingredients can get you a perfectly portioned dessert in just a few minutes. Check out Pinterest and Buzzfeed for dozens of recipes, including gluten-free options.

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