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?):
- Essential microwaveable dishes, such as CorningWear or Pyrex dishes:
- Casserole dish
- 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.”