Dorm Room Recipes...Easy, Healthy and Delicious!
If you are new to the blog, I am by trade a high school history teacher, but currently taking a year off to take care of our three children. We live in the community where I teach and I truly enjoy going to school events and seeing both past and present students and getting updates on how they are all doing.
Recently, at our high school's annual Powderpuff football game, I ran into a bunch of alumni now in their first year of college. Some of the boys were complaining to me that although they are enjoying living in an apartment off campus, they really wish they had a meal plan because they have been eating a whole lot of junk.
The mom in me immediately said, well do you have a crockpot? No, they don't. I began a 10 minute tirade on the 50 million reasons why a crockpot is essential in life, and so forth and so on.
This conversation then turned into an idea...writing a blog post with a bunch of easy recipes for college students who either live in an apartment and have access to full kitchen appliances, and some recipes that only require a microwave.
Let's start with my favorite...the CROCKPOT. The crockpot is most likely not allowed in dorm rooms, but if you have an apartment I am telling you this is a must have! A slow cooker/Crockpot can be purchased relatively inexpensively. They come in an array of sizes and functions. I linked what I think would be most ideal for college students, HERE, HERE and HERE.
Now I know how cleaning goes in college, many moons ago, I, along with some of my girlfriends, actually made some extra cash on the side cleaning some of our guy friends' dorm rooms/apartments. One word... DISGUSTING!!!
So with that being said if you are going to use the Crockpot you NEED, yes NEED Crockpot liners. (*Note: You can still use the Crockpot without the liner, but will then have to wash it out, #notfun) They are disposable, so when you are done you just toss the bag. We use them in our house and my husband (the dishwasher) has a minor meltdown if I accidentally forget to put one in. Whoops :)
So onto the food already!!!
I found THIS awesome website that has a HUGE list of crockpot meals that require only 5 ingredients or less!!!!!!! Many of these ingredients are condiments or non-perishable items and are also pretty inexpensive. If you want some healthier options, HERE is a great compilation of "clean eating" slow cooker recipes.
Here are two of our families personal favorite Crockpot recipes:
Mexican Pulled Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (one small package or about 3 large breasts)
One large jar of salsa
One packet of Taco Seasoning
Dump half of the salsa in the bottom of the crockpot.
Place chicken on top of salsa.
Sprinkle entire packet of taco seasoning onto chicken.
Top with the rest of the salsa.
Cook on Low for 8 hours or high for four hours.
Pull chicken out of crockpot, place into large bowl. Pull apart with forks. Gradually add back in the liquid and salsa that is in the crockpot (add as much back as you'd like, I don't typically add it all back because it gets too soggy).
Eat on top of lettuce with some ranch dressing for a taco salad.
Place in soft tortillas and top with taco fixings (salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes)
You can also buy a can of refried beans and a package of 10 minute Spanish rice (you can find them cheap, a buck a package) to make a whole mea for you and your roomies!
Apple BBQ Chicken
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (3 large breasts)
A bottle of bbq sauce (smaller bottle)
A jar of chunky applesauce
Dump all ingredients into crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Remove chicken from crockpot and place into large bowl. Shred with two forks and gradually add mixture from crockpot back into the chicken (as much as you prefer).
You can eat it plain or on a roll. Steamed corn (the bags you can microwave) or any veggie on the side would be good. Sweet potato fries (found in freezer section) would also make a good side.
Next up, for all you dorm dwellers... the MICROWAVE!
I found THIS great site that has some super easy and fantastic microwavable recipes for breakfast lunch, dinner and dessert, did I mention they are on the healthier side too?
My final go-to college dorm/apartment food suggestion is... make QUESADILLAS! The variety of ingredients you can toss into these bad boys is endless. Breakfast, lunch, snack; you name it, they can do the trick.
If you live in apartment you can get a quesadilla maker or just use a large frying pan. Either of these two options will give you a crispier, more restaurant-like result. The microwave works as well, you just cannot achieve the same type of crisp.
Quesadillas are SO easy to throw together, the tortillas stay fresh for a pretty long time (keep them in the fridge), and they are delicious!
Here are some suggestions that are my personal favorites:
The California Quesadilla:
Bacon (the pre-cooked microwavable kind or the bacon bits in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
Tomato ( or buy a container of fresh salsa/pico de gallo)
Chicken (to make it easy get some sliced from the deli)
Cheddar or cheese of your choice
Broccoli Cheddar Quesadillas:
Microwavable chopped broccoli
Microwavable Sausage (optional)
Peanut Butter and Bananas Quesadilla:
Chocolate Chips (or Nutella)
Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas:
Shredded Chicken (or you can buy canned chicken)
Blue cheese dressing or crumbles
Monterey Jack Cheese
Blueberry Breakfast Quesadilla:
The Greek Quesadilla:
Spinach (frozen chopped, or fresh)
Feta cheese, and a little mozzarella to hold it together better
Olives (black or kalamata)
Small jar of roasted red peppers
Tomatoes, chopped small or a small can of petite diced tomatoes.
So my collegiate friends, I hope this helps or inspires you to get a little more creative with your dorm room/apartment cuisine!
Be sure to message me or send me pics of what you make!!
Nicole (Mrs. Charles)