Beyond Ramen

The cafeteria food is gross, you have no money and your dorm kitchen isn't up to par. Here are a few quick, cheap and easy recipes in the meantime.

It’s inevitable: You’re going to get tired of the cafeteria food that seemed so promising at freshmen orientation. But before you turn to another round of late-night, half-price appetizers, consider that your mini-fridge and microwave still have more to offer. Here are some simple recipes for dorm room dining.

Breakfast:

Microwave Omelette—For the early riser

Spray a small glass custard cup with olive oil spray.

Break and beat one egg into cup.

Mix in 1 tbsp water.

Choose your veggies, meat or other ingredients.

Mix about 1/2 tbsp of each into cup.

Mix in 1/8 cup shredded cheese.

Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes.

Carefully remove and invert cup onto plate.

Lunch:

Macaroni Pasta Salad—Put some summer in your semester

Prepare a couple packets of microwaveable macaroni, without adding cheese.

Combine 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing and 2 tbsp mustard.

Other ingredients could include olives, celery, pickles, onions, peppers or tomatoes. Add about 1/3 cup each and mix well.

Add salt and pepper.

Refrigerate.

Dinner:

Microwave Lasagna—Roommate brownie points. But no brownies.

Combine 1/2 lb ground beef and 1 minced garlic clove in a 2-quart dish.

Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring 2 times during cooking.

Drain meat. Blend in 1 1/2 cups water, 6 oz canned tomato paste, 8 oz canned tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp oregano, 1/2 tbsp basil.

Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Layer meat, 1/2 lb of precooked lasagna noodles, 1/2 lb shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 lb cottage cheese in a 2-quart dish. Repeat layers, ending with meat.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Cook on full power 12-14 minutes.

Dessert:

Puppy Chow—Keep in small bags or containers for easy snacking

Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter and 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well.

Put 9 cups of Chex cereal in a large plastic bag.

Pour the peanut butter-chocolate mixture over the cereal. Close bag and shake thoroughly.

Add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar to bag. Close and shake bag again until mix is coated evenly.

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