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8 quick food fixes to make in the residence hall

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — When it comes to eating in the residence halls, you have a couple of options. You can go to the nearby dining hall for the umpteenth time, or you can get creative in your dorm room.

Here are eight recipes to try (with residence hall-approved appliances) on those days when you’re feeling a little adventurous and yet don’t want to leave your room.

BREAKFAST

Breakfast in a mug: The dorm-room take on scrambled eggs, this is an easy and delicious way to have a hot breakfast throughout the week. Combine and mix butter, one to two eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a microwaveable bowl or mug, microwave for about one minute and sprinkle shredded cheese and/or bacon on the finished product. 

Homemade cereal bars: After eating through your supply of grab-and-go granola bars, you're finally sick of this whole "breakfast" thing altogether. Don't lose hope. You can make your own cereal bars. Combine a cereal of your choice (try Multi Grain Cheerios) and some mini marshmallows in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, mix contents in the bowl and mold the mixture into a rectangular shape. Just be sure to make a stash of these at the beginning of the week so you're not rushing to your 9 a.m. class with marshmallow on your hands.

LUNCH

Pizza poppers: In case you haven't guessed, a microwave will come in handy during your time in the residence hall. To make a miniature pizza in your room, line a whole-grain pita with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, if you so choose. Microwave for a little over a minute.

Chili dogs: A hot dog on a nice, warm bun could hit the spot between classes. Wrap two hot dogs individually in paper towels and microwave them for about 30 seconds. Pour the contents of a can with chili and beans into a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a paper towel and microwave for about 90 seconds. Add the dogs to their buns and pour the chili on top.

DINNER

Cheesy chicken pita: For a healthy chicken pita, add a spoonful or two of cottage cheese to a pita pocket, top with chicken (buy shredded chicken from a deli) and add cheddar cheese. Microwave the pita until the cheese has melted and the pita is warm.

Fettuccine Alfredo: I bet you thought you couldn't eat fettuccine in a dorm room. Think again. Add a cup of fettuccine noodles and about two cups of water to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for two minutes, stir and continue microwaving the dish in two-minute cycles until the pasta is done. After draining the noodles, microwave the cream cheese and milk for about a minute. Add Parmesan cheese to the sauce, stirring until smooth, then pour the sauce on top of the noodles.

SNACKS

Tropical tortilla: In addition to pitas, tortillas can be used for myriad meals. If you feel like you could use more vegetables in your diet, add spinach, green apples, bell peppers, croutons, Craisins, almonds and cranberry dressing to a whole-grain tortilla. Let the veggie explosion commence.

Chocolate chip cookie dough truffles: At the end of a long day, all you need is chocolate. And maybe cookies. Why not both? Soften cream cheese by leaving it out while you do your homework. Place a few cookies in a plastic baggie, and smash them into cookie dust when frustrated by your homework. Pour cookie bits and cream cheese into a bowl and mix. Roll newly created dough into bite-size balls and put them in the freezer part of your mini-fridge for about 20 minutes. Microwave chocolate chips and canola oil in a microwaveable bowl, dip the balls into the chocolate sauce once it's completely melted and pop the truffles back into the freezer for about five minutes to harden the chocolate-y goodness.


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