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Cougs Gotta Eat: Dorm Room Dining

We all know the dorm rules: No microwaves, no candles, no hamsters, and no boyfriends or girlfriends past open hours. Without a microwave or a cast iron skillet over an open fire, the option to eat a real meal in your dorm seems simply unattainable. Even with the massive variety of food the DC has to offer, sometimes you are just craving something different. So what do you do? Drive into Jackson for Denny’s, or walk across the street for McDonald’s? It’s in times like this you have to make the gut-wrenching decision of filling your belly with unhealthy foods and emptying your wallet, or eating a DC sandwich for the 10th time that week. You might even consider skipping a meal to eat a mixture of hot Cheetos with cold queso and a pack of peanuts you found in your backpack from 10th grade. But in a last-ditch effort to change the fate of your dining experience, you stumbled across this blog post, and I am here to help you on a practical journey of rediscovering what dorm room dining can really be! 

In order to make this entire experience worth the effort it must hit three criteria:

  1. It must be cheap.
  2. It must be quick.
  3. And it certainly must be easy to make.

As for being cheap, some of these recipes require extra tools such as a hot pot, bowl, fork, spoon, plate, and maybe measuring cups. They also require no more than 6 ingredients. Being quick speaks for itself. As college students, we do not have the time to cook a meal that takes longer than 15 minutes because we have to fit everything we do in life in between our 5-hour TikTok binge sessions and our 45-minute daily naps. If it is not easier to make than walking 10 minutes across campus to the freshman parking lot to drive 50 feet to McDonald’s, then it’s not worth it. So, without further ado, here are 3 cheap, quick, and easy recipes you can make without having to move more than 5 feet from your bed.

Cucumber Salad

College living and eating can look very beige, brown, and orange without a whole lot of green, red, blue, or any other color that comes from the Earth instead of a factory. This recipe is a definite staple for when your body is rejecting the bread, meat, and cheese diet and screaming for literally one vegetable to enter your system. All you need is a cucumber, soy sauce, honey, sesame seeds, salt, rice vinegar, a knife and a bowl. 

Ingredients you need

  • 1 large cold cucumber
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • pinch of sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. honey

How to Make Cucumber Salad

  1. Cut a cold cucumber in very thin slices where you can see through the slice and add it to a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Sprinkle a pinch of salt on the cucumbers and mix.
  3. Add soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds and mix well.
  4. Enjoy!

Slice time: 5 minutes. Prep Time: 2 minutes. *cook time and ingredient amounts may vary

One Pot Spaghetti

In my humble opinion, spaghetti is the greatest-tasting dish you could ever grace your tastebuds with. Not only is it filling, but it is super easy to make, therefore being a staple meal for anyone. This spin on the classic spaghetti recipe allows you to throw things in a hot pot and let it cook, giving you more time to procrastinate the 10-page Old Testament paper due in a day.

Ingredients you need

  • 1 box of pasta
  • 1 jar of roasted herb and garlic marinara
  • 2 ½ cups of chicken broth, or beef broth
  • 2 tbsp. cream cheese (softened)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make One-Pot Spaghetti

  1. Bring chicken broth/beef broth to a boil.
  2. Add spaghetti noodles to broth and allow to fully cook.
  3. Add marinara sauce, softened cream cheese, and parmesan cheese.
  4. Cover pot and let cook until hot and the cheese is melted.
  5. Stir everything together and enjoy!

Cook time: 15 minutes. Prep Time: 1 minute. *cook time and ingredient amounts may vary

One-Pot Burrito Bowl

Until Jackson adds a Chipotle, we have to make do with what we have. This rice burrito bowl is extremely versatile and easy to make. It will fill you up, and if you have a strong enough imagination you can pretend it’s Los Tres Amigos. 

Ingredients you need

  • 1 cup minute white or brown rice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning

How to make One-Pot Burrito Bowl

  1. Add in beans, corn, rice, and taco seasoning.
  2. Pour in chicken stock and stir to combine ingredients.
  3. Bring liquid to a light boil.
  4. Cover pot and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes (or until rice is tender).
  5. Turn off heat and sprinkle cheese on top.
  6. Cover pot with lid to allow the cheese to melt.
  7. Serve and Enjoy!

Cook time: 15 minutes. Prep Time: 0 minutes. *cook time and ingredient amounts may vary

And there it is, Cougs — three deliciously simple dorm room recipes that will have you eating in luxury. Through classes, work, sports, friends, and procrastinating, it can be tough to fit a whole healthy(ish) meal into your daily routine. So the next time you nap through the DC hours and think all hope is in McDonald’s, remember this blog post and thank me later. Don’t forget to pray before meals and that Cougs gotta eat!

THE USE OF HOT PLATES AND MICROWAVES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED IN THE RESIDENCE HALLS. Fully enclosed cooking devices (hot pots) are acceptable but are to be used with caution.

*It is important to always read the instructions on electric tools such as hot pots and ensure that your brand of hot pot is capable of making these dishes. Spring Arbor University is not held liable for damage done to these tools. The views expressed in this blog are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spring Arbor University.*

Written by SAU Marketing student Kaitie Mallory.