Gourmet Recipes for dorm life: quick and easy meals that won’t break your bank

Living in an on-campus dormitory was one of the most memorable experiences of my tenure in college. From the moment I first gazed upon my glorious freshman bachelor pad, I was absolutely ready to gorge myself with Pop-Tarts, Doritos and Oreos every day.

However, my stomach’s frequent disagreement with a myriad of junk, sweets and cafeteria grub soon indicated that I had best attempt to cook dishes with at least a hint of nutritional value. With the assistance of a few Google searches, as well as some cooking instructions from my mother, I learned how to sustain myself in proper, college student fashion. I now impart these teachings upon you, dear reader, with four easy and affordable dormitory recipes for college students.

French Toast On-The-Go

1 or 2 slices of bread
1 egg
maple syrup

French Toast On-The-Go is great because you can eat it out of a cup with a fork. So collegiate! First, tear each slice of bread into roughly 16 pieces and fill up one your cups with as much bread as you’ll eat. Move this cup to the side for a little while. In the second cup, drop a small slice of butter. Microwave the cup and then stir the butter until it is properly liquefied. Next, crack an egg and mix it in with the melted butter. To the same cup, add three spoonfuls of milk and as much cinnamon as you think you can handle without gagging. Stir your concoction until you’re comfortable with looking at it and saying, “Yeah, I could probably eat that.” Pour the mixture into your cup of bread and let it marinate. Finally, place the cup in the microwave and cook for about a minute-and-a-half as you prepare to take the tasty train to Flavor Town. Remove your cup from the microwave and apply maple syrup. This dish is ideal for college students because you can eat it while you walk, eat it on the bus and even eat it while you fail your introductory chemistry exam. Yum!

Mac & Cheese On-The-Go

1 cup of water
½ cup of macaroni noodles of your choice
½ cup of cheeses of your choice

College students don’t necessarily have the money to spend on tons of microwaveable Mac & Cheese cups, so here is an affordable alternative. Similar to French Toast On-The-Go, this dish can also be eaten out of a cup with a fork. First, place your macaroni noodles in a cup and add the water. Microwave the cup for five minutes, remove, and stir before microwaving for three additional minutes. Remove the cup once more and sprinkle the cheese. You can microwave your Mac & Cheese for another 45 seconds if the cheese doesn’t melt to your satisfaction. Finally, stir and enjoy. Mac & Cheese On-The-Go is fantastic because its preparation is so time efficient. You can use that five minutes of microwave time to venture down to the dorm laundry room to pick up or drop off some clothes, knock out a couple of homework problems for your freshman algebra class or continue to play Xbox because blowing off your responsibilities is more fun.

Gourmet Ramen

3 packs of ramen noodles
1 spoonful of oil
red bell pepper
2 green onion (scallion)
1 egg

Ramen noodles are the pinnacle of college student nutrition. Before I even came to college, I was making lame jokes about college students eating nothing but ramen noodles. Laugh now, kids. You won’t be laughing when it’s 3 a.m., you’re furiously trying to write two research papers that resulted from your own procrastination and your stomach is begging you to feed it. With this recipe, you can add a twist to conventional ramen noodles. However, you will need to live in a dorm with a kitchen to prepare this dish. First, cook the noodles exactly how the package says to do so. Next, heat the oil in a skillet or pan on medium heat until the oil shimmers like the final gleam in your sworn enemy’s eyes before you slay him to the ground. Add your spices and vegetables. The amount of each spice and vegetable will vary from person to person, so experiment to find the proper amounts that suit your palate. Finally, stir in your egg until it is cooked, and mix all of it with the ramen noodles. Now you’re feasting like an 18-year-old Guy Fieri!

Mom’s Spaghetti

(varies depending on circumstance)

Mom’s Spaghetti is potentially the easiest and most rewarding recipe on this list because there are quite a few different ways to prepare it. The ingredients for Mom’s Spaghetti vary because the recipe depends on what ingredients your mother would typically use to make spaghetti. The easiest way to create Mom’s Spaghetti is to go home, tell your mom you would appreciate if she would make you some spaghetti to take back to school, and then hope that she obliges your request. If this method is effective, congratulations! You have effectively prepared Mom’s Spaghetti and it is ready to eat in your dorm! However, some mothers are not so inclined to do so. The second method is to ask your mom for her spaghetti recipe and acquire the ingredients. Follow the directions carefully, and you will have Mom’s Spaghetti that’s almost as good as the stuff your mom makes. I once attempted to prepare Mom’s Spaghetti for a girl I was trying to impress. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had attached tape to each ingredient with cooking instructions written on each piece. Be certain to ask that your mother only assist you to the extent to which you request. Otherwise, you’ll be very embarrassed when you have to explain to the guy or girl for whom you’re cooking for that you have no earthly idea how to prepare spaghetti.

Good luck and bon appétit!

This story appeared in our April 20 print edition.

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To contact Lifestyles editor Tanner Dedmon email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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