Dorm room cooked meals don’t have to be bland just because you might be limited in terms of actual cooking and don’t feel like traveling all the way to the dining hall. These are some ways to spice up your dorm room cooked meals.
1. Use actual spices!
Having a collection of spices in your kitchen is a good place to begin in order to spice up your dorm room cooked meals. It doesn’t have to be a huge collection if you’re worried about space, but as long as you have some variety your meals will definitely have some spice to them. Salt and pepper are a good start but its good to have a variety such as paprika, red pepper, and oregano. These can be stored away in a cabinet or in one if your desk drawers if you are concerned about storage. You can be as creative as you want and experiment with these spices in your meals. Whether you’re cooking dinner in your kitchenette or microwaving mac and cheese try experimenting and adding a little spice for some extra flavor.
2. Add Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables can add a new level of flavor to your dorm cooked meals. Take cereal for example. Whether it’s your breakfast of choice or late night snack, adding fresh fruit like strawberries, bananas or kiwi not only add flavor but instantly makes your breakfast healthier! Even having some fruit on the side will spice up your bowl of cereal or oatmeal in the morning. Chopping up and cooking vegetables like spinach, carrots, and broccoli can be a great addition to your evening meals. If you don’t have a way to cook vegetables, there are some that can be eaten raw. For example, you can slice up a tomato to include in your mac and cheese to add some color and flavor.
3. Spice Up Your Coffee
To start off the morning, many rely on coffee for that boost of energy to wake us up and get ready for the day ahead. Some might enjoy coffee black which is totally fine if that’s how you choose to drink it. If you are looking for a way to add some spice to your coffee beyond just cream, look to sweeter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. These ingredients also make a great addition to tea if that’s what you prefer. You can even recreate your Starbucks order with these recipes that include these ingredients and more which will save some money which is always a win/win.
4. Sauce it up!
In addition to spices, you can boost the flavor of your dorm cooked meals with your favorite sauces! Having a few bottles or even a few small packets from fast-food restaurants of your favorite sauces will add spice to your dorm cooked meals. Whether you just want to have a small drizzle or go all out with your favorite dorm room cooked meals like Sriracha, barbecue, buffalo or teriyaki sauce will add extra spice and flavor to your favorite meals.
5. Stick with Fresh Ingredients
It might seem like a college student’s dorm room cooked meals consist of pre-made frozen meals or meals that are simply ready to eat after being put in the microwave. It’s understandable how these quick, convenient meals can be an easy alternative to actually cooking, but it would actually be worth it to learn how to actually cook these pre-made meals. Cooking your own pasta or mac and cheese from store-bought pasta and sauce would mean learning how to cook a meal on your own which is definitely a useful skill to have. If you’re a fan of guacamole, try making your own instead of buying a pre-made one. Making your own guacamole does not require a lot of ingredients or time, as you can see here in this recipe. It is a delicious and nutritious way to add some spice to your dorm room cooked meals whether it is a salad, sandwich or served with chips. Unfortunately, options might be limited if you don’t have a kitchenette of your own. This might require reaching out a bit to a friend of a friend who actually has access to a kitchen once in a while to cook your meals. This could actually be a fun way to bond with your friends and even make new ones!
6. Recreate Your Favorite Restaurant Meals
Eating out every night might not be in your budget, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite restaurant meals. Think about what kinds of restaurant meals or appetizers you enjoy and look up how to make them. Similar recipes might already exist which can be found here or other websites that are dedicated to recreating restaurant dishes. Recipes like the quinoa fried rice from PF Changs are one that can easily be recreated and is definitely a more spiced up dorm cooked meal. If you’re a fan of Chipotle or Mexican food in general, you can buy the ingredients for your perfect burrito bowl and get creative with your own ingredients. You can treat you and your friends to a restaurant inspired dorm cooked meal without having to go out at all.
7. Rethink Ramen
Ramen noodles are notoriously cheap, flavorful, and irresistible. This makes them sound like a dream for the college student’s dream meal. This doesn’t mean that you can’t spice up your ramen after warming them up in the microwave and putting in the flavor packets. Ramen restaurants will include fresh ingredients and cooked beef or chicken in their dishes so that doesn’t mean you can’t do the same. Adding in fresh broccoli, cilantro or jalapenos will give your ramen a proper amount of spice and flavor that can be enjoyed at any time of the year but especially on a winter night. For extra spice and style, add a drizzle of sriracha or sauce of your choice onto your ramen.