Yes, you’ve got a meal plan. No, meals shouldn’t stop there! There are ways to eat healthy, on a budget, with nothing but a microwave available to you. If you don’t have a microwave in your dorm room, many residence halls have common rooms or common kitchenettes for students to use. Check with your RA! Dorm cooking is far from gourmet, but there are a few fun things you can do if you’re out of meal credits and have limited cooking supplies.
Sweet potatoes only take about 5 minutes to microwave. Poke a few holes in your sweet potato with a fork before microwaving. When your sweet potato is done cooking, slice it down the middle to make sure it’s soft and ready. To spice it up, grab a can of black beans and a can of diced tomatoes and pour them into the potato. Salsa works, too. Add 2-3 minutes to your microwave time for each additional potato you put in there. (This cook time also works for corn on the cob!)
A new trend in the frozen food aisle is steamable packets of vegetables! Steamed veggies are hard to do without a stove and strainer, but these packets are microwave-ready. All you do is follow the instructions on the package for cook time; the package serves as a cooking container. If you’re looking for more than vegetables or salad for dinner, use these steamed veggies as a healthy side dish option.
This is a great idea if need a quick, filling breakfast full of protein. You’ll need a microwave safe bowl and plate. Pour about half a cup of water into the bowl. Crack an egg into the bowl so it’s completely under water and cover with the plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute and then scoop out with a spoon. So easy! Add microwaveable oatmeal as a side, and you have a hearty meal.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, get ready. There’s a microwaveable dessert out there for you! In a microwave-safe bowl, combine your favorite fruits. You can either buy fresh berries, slice up an apple or banana, or find chopped fruit in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until the fruit is soft and hot. Sprinkle granola (and cinnamon if you like) on top. You’ve got yourself a miniature fruit crisp!
Again, these aren’t gourmet meals. However, they are healthy options when all you’ve got is a microwave and a student budget. Enjoy!