Becoming a “dormet”

Sarah Guinn

Fun fact:  When I’m not out recruiting future Pioneers, I love to make believe that I am an amazing cook.  My love for cooking, like many Americans, can be chalked up to the prevalence of cooking how-to shows, reality TV and an obsession with Anthony Bourdain (if you’re not afraid of some swear words, check out Kitchen Confidential – amazing).

As a senior at Transylvania University back in 2005, I decided it was time for me to grow up and get off the meal plan and learn to fend for myself.  At first, it seemed I had condemned myself to a year filled with Lean Cuisines, Easy Mac and Ramen Noodles.  Surprisingly though, with a little creativity, I was able to come up with some pretty yummy and healthy noms.

Here are my tips for becoming a “dormet” (see what I did there?):

Microwave cake in a cup!

Essential tools:

  • Microwave
  • Essential microwaveable dishes, such as CorningWear or Pyrex dishes:
    • Mug
    • Casserole dish
    • Bowl
    • Steamer bags, such as the ones made by Ziploc
    • Storage containers (Gladware is my favorite)
    • Keurig – make yummy beverages even if you don’t like coffee!
    • Other microwave cooking tools
    • Microwave safe cling wrap – this will help you steam vegetables and keep your microwave clean of spills when cooking

Great ingredients to keep on hand:

  • Bread, tortillas and Flatouts are great for sandwiches, wraps and quesadillas
  • Cheese – sliced and shredded provide versatility for everything from salads to nachos
  • Tortilla chips – make nachos anytime!
  • Frozen fruit and veggies – Steamfresh makes great packets of single veggies and even rice for dinners
  • Lunch and canned meats such as chicken or tuna to add protein to your diet
  • Canned vegetables and beans can often be cooked easily in your microwave
  • Condiments – ketchup, mustard, mayo, soy sauce, hot sauce and salad dressings are all great for adding flavor
  • Dry goods – pasta, rice, couscous, ramen – make sure the type you purchase can be prepared in the microwave

Once you’ve assembled your equipment and ingredients and are inspired to become a dorm room gourmet, here are some other resources you may enjoy:

  • cookingwithoutakitchen – This is a great blog that includes tips, techniques  and meal ideas.
  • Hungry Girl – A site with lots of healthy recipes, search “mug” for noms you can make in a microwaveable mug, including eggs and desserts.
  • Pinterest – Try searches such as “microwave recipes” or “dorm room cooking” for an every updating cache of ideas
  • Youtube – Instructional videos on how to make yummy dorm food.  Just search “dorm cooking.”

Happy Cooking!