the college cookbook

i (jane) am back! it has been a crazy spring between school, social life, sports, and getting packed up to move back home for summer break.

throughout the year, i frequently posted on my insta and vsco pictures of my dorm cooking adventures. i received tons of positive feedback and questions, so i thought i would compile my tips, tricks, and favorite foods here today.

moving into a dorm and having my only source of food be the school cafeteria was not ideal for me and my adventurous taste buds. but looking back, i can confidently say i did not settle for anything less than delicious this past year. i attempted any and every recipe i found on the instagram explore page that didn’t involve an oven (which was the only missing element of my dorm “kitchen”). i made very frequent trips to the grocery store down the street which added a whole new element of food budgeting along with meal planning.

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sneak peak of my “kitchen” and kale prepping

the best investment i made this year was this single portable induction cooktop burner and this pan which made all the difference in being able to make home cooked meals in my dorm room. disclaimer- this may not be legal in all dorm halls. 

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inviting people over for weekend pancakes and eggs became a super easy way to make new friends (+ a dresser can make for a great countertop!)

along with my stove, i had a microwave, mini fridge (with freezer section), ninja blender, and keurig — which is great for quick hot water.

my main goal in cooking so much in my dorm was to eat clean and fresh foods, enjoy the food i ate, learn to be a better cook, and to exercise more creativity.

here are some of my favorite recipes from the year…

red pepper hummus

ingredients:  can of chickpeas, 1 red pepper, handful of spinach, teaspoon lemon juice, teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper

instructions: sauté the sliced pepper in oil. add the pepper and the rest of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth and even.

sweet potato burgers

ingredients: one sweet potato, can of black beans, cup of quinoa (super easy to get the microwavable “ready to eat” packs), olive oil, spices – salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder*

instructions: cook potato in the microwave for 10minutes or until soft, scoop out inside of potato into desired mixing bowl, add beans and quinoa and mix/mash until consistent and even. then, add teaspoon of oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper. cook on hot plate in oil until golden brown.

*many basic spices are available at drug stores around campus like cvs/walgreens*

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check out my post of this other amazing sweet potato recipe here

banana ice cream 

ingredients: 3 frozen bananas, 1/3 cup of vanilla soy or almond milk, toppings of choice (thin mint Girl Scout cookies, m&ms, chocolate chips, etc.)

instructions: blend all of the above!

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dorm life isn’t alway glamorous… especially when the only utensils in the room are plastic or paper (been getting better about using real dishes to lower waste!)

apple crisp – a dessert and breakfast favorite

ingredients: 1 apple, 1/4 almond/soy milk, tablespoon natural peanut butter, teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 granola of choice

instructions: dice the apple and microwave in a bowl with the milk and peanut butter for 1min. add cinnamon and granola as toppings. simple but delicious.

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i also became a lover of the “whatever is in the fridge wrap” which usually turned into a pretty rainbow of ingredients

best tips: 

keep avocados fresh for days after cutting into them by wrapping really tight in plastic wrap or plastic sandwich bag, exposure to oxygen is what browns the exposed inside of an avocado.

pasta can be made in the microwave by adding 3-5 minutes to the stovetop cook time.

freezer and canned foods can be healthy and nutritious. beans and corn are great examples of canned foods that are healthy and will last a long time in your room. our favorite freezer veggie burgers are these . they are completely vegan, gmo free, and made from natural ingredients (& cheap!!).

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lastly, this post by no means implies that i didn’t have my fair share of late night pizza, french fries, and chicken fingers. some of my favorite memories from this year have been sitting around a large domino’s pizza at 3am with good friends and lots of laughter. i had no intention of losing weight, wanting my body to look a certain way, or watch my calories/carbs/fat intake, i simply wanted to have fun cooking (slowly working on “adulting”) and enjoy the comforts of a [semi] home cooked meal on occasion.

happy cooking !!

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