For teens moving away to college, it can feel like food options are limited — especially amid a pandemic, when some restaurants and dining halls are closed. So, we’ve put together a list of quick, easy, microwave-friendly and (mostly) nutritious meals that college kids can make in their dorms.
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
This recipe takes oatmeal to a new level. Packed with protein and fruity goodness, overnight oats are a healthy breakfast option for kids on the go.
½ cup of old-fashioned oats
½ cup of milk
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
A few banana slices
A drizzle of honey
Preparation: Combine old-fashioned oats, milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract and peanut butter in a jar. Seal the jar and refrigerate overnight. Add toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
French toast in a mug
This microwavable French toast in a mug might not be the perfect French toast consistency, but it’s about as good as it gets sans stove — and the sweet flavor fulfills any breakfast cravings.
2 slices of bread
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation: In a large mug, melt the butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Roll the butter around in the cup to coat it.
In the mug, whisk the egg with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the egg. Add the vanilla then stir again.
Cut or tear the bread into bite-size pieces and add to the egg mixture in the mug, pressing the bread down into the egg. Let the mixture sit for a minute so the bread will soak up the egg.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until the egg is cooked through. It usually takes about 90 seconds total. Enjoy with the syrup!
Not-so-Instant Noodle Recipe
Instant Ramen has long been a source of nourishment for college students looking for a cheap meal, as many ramen packets cost less than a dollar and prep time is about two to three minutes. If you’re ever feeling fancy, though, or are just looking for a healthier and more filling version of your favorite two-minute noodle, look no further.
Note: If you don’t like any of the ingredients in this recipe, feel free to experiment and swap the carrots and peas for other veggies. Remember: A little bit of sriracha or soy sauce goes a long way.
A packet of instant noodles
1 cup of carrots and peas
Preparation: Begin by boiling water for the instant noodles. Add the broth to the water, and toss in the vegetables. Once the water is boiling, bring it back down to a simmer.
Add instant noodles to the water. Cook them to the texture you desire.
Add Sriracha to taste, and add the egg on top. Chop a handful of scallions and garnish on top. Enjoy!
If you’re traveling out of state for college, you’ll probably miss New Mexico-style cuisine when you leave. But with these microwaved enchiladas, you’ll have a taste of home wherever you go — with smothered Christmas chile to boot. This dish is ideal for a quick meal as it requires very little prep work and can be done in under 10 minutes.
Some small corn or flour tortillas
Any leftover food that might taste good in an enchilada, such as vegetables or meat
Preparation: On a microwave-safe plate, place a tortilla, and spread a little sauce on top. Adding too much will cause the stack to lose some structural integrity as the layers slide around.
Add some filling, and sprinkle as much cheese as you’d like.
Repeat by stacking another tortilla on top followed by sauce and more cheese. Do this until you have a stack of at least three tortillas high.
Cook your dish in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let it cool — you don’t want to burn your mouth. Add some sour cream and enjoy!
Easy fried rice
Looking for a quick, delicious and nutritious meal? Fried rice is packed with veggies, meat and an egg. Note: This one’s only for students who have a stove in their dorm.
Choice of meat (example: sausage)
Choice of veggies (carrots, peas, etc.)
1 clove of garlic, minced
Preparation: Add about a tablespoon of oil to a large sauce pan. While oil is heating up, cut up veggies and meat. (There are no exact measurements, just see how much rice there is and eyeball the amount you want to put in for each ingredient.)
Add and sauté the meat, veggies and minced garlic clove.
After 5 to 7 minutes, add rice. Add soy sauce to taste.
Mix everything together until well combined. Make sure the rice doesn’t clump together and the soy sauce is thoroughly mixed with the rice.
Add the egg: Make a well in the rice in the middle of the pan and crack the egg. Scramble the egg for about a minute or so in the well until it is mostly cooked, then mix everything again. Enjoy!