Easy Dorm Recipes

Article Written by Emily Gabel, Sophomore and SAND (Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) Member

Living in a dorm creates many challenges, due to the minimal space and cooking resources available. In a dorm, you do not have the ability to cook a full meal. Although some dorms have kitchenettes in the common areas, is it extremely rare that students utilize them to cook meals more than once a week. With these challenges, it becomes necessary to get creative when wanting to make a meal from the dorm building late at night.

There are many options for dorm breakfast recipes. My personal favorite dorm breakfast meal is overnight oats. Overnight oats are the solution to having a breakfast meal ready for you when you wake up, and a nutritional and tasteful one at that.

Overnight oats require a jar or container with a lid, oats, milk and any sort of add ins you prefer, such as fruits, nut butters or seeds. All of these ingredients are sold at campus markets. To prepare overnight oats fill a glass jar or container with old fashioned oats, to the level of which you think you’ll eat the next morning. Next, fill the jar with milk so that the oats are covered. If you are needing a caffeine pick up, pour 1 cup of brewed coffee into the container with oats, instead of milk. Finally, add toppings to the oats and any sort of spices or flavorings you wish. Simply cover the container with a lid and place in the fridge overnight and you have yourself a nutritious breakfast ready when you wake up!

A dish I love to make in my dorm for lunch or dinner is a Mexican corn salad. For those who would never choose to eat a salad for a meal at the dining hall, this may just be your kind of salad. This salad, unlike what you’re offered at the dining hall, is not lettuce based. A Mexican corn salad has a corn base, which is made from cooking canned corn in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes. After cooking the corn, add black beans, peppers, onions, cilantro and cheese to the corn to make a complete salad. A yogurt based dressing is paired well with this salad. You can make a simple yogurt based salad dressing with products purchased from campus markets. The dressing consists of plain yogurt, lime juice, paprika and cumin.

Not only are these recipe suggestions easy to make in your dorm room, but they are great ideas to mix and match with items served in the dining halls!

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Thanksgiving Recipes

Give thanks for all the glorious food you’ll be eating this Thanksgiving dinner! It arrives every year and we bet your mind is thinking about what food you’re going to eat rather than when your next exam is, and you know what? That’s okay! Everyone craves Thanksgiving food as soon as Halloween is over. Now you and your family have to start thinking of what you guys want to cook. Well, look no further, because we have a mini Thanksgiving feast below with ideas for food starting with appetizers all the way to desserts! (The turkey being the main feast, of course)


Pumpkin Seed Flat Breads


“Here’s a seasonal addition to your harvesttime feast. From its pretty orange color to the irresistible crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds, this flatbread is pleasing to the eye and taste buds. Using sunflower kernels instead of pumpkin seeds is a yummy change.”

Holiday Bacon Bites


“This easy three-ingredient appetizer is a perfect bite for guests to snack on when they arrive. You top Club-style crackers with Parmesan cheese, wrap them in bacon and bake until crisp.”

Main dishes (other than turkey):

Classic Cheese Lasagna


“A simple yet robust marinara and a trio of cheeses meld into an intensely flavorful lasagna. A classic, perfected.”

Turkey with Brown-Sugar Glaze

“This year, try a flavorful glaze made with orange juice, brown sugar, and vinegar on your Thanksgiving bird.”


Corn Pudding

corn pudding

“The pleasing flavor of this golden corn pudding side dish makes it real comfort food. And because the recipe calls for a packaged corn mix, it’s easy to prepare.”

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Cinnamon

Sweet potatoes with drizzled honey and a dash of cinnamon. The smell is so enticing and warm, which is perfect for this holiday season.


No-Fail, Homemade Pumpkin Pie Recipe


“This is a classic, unfussy pumpkin pie. We take it plain or, when feeling feisty, with a dollop of softly whipped cream. The spices are not overpowering, here. If you like your pie spicy, increase the cinnamon and ginger a little.”

Orange Glazed Cranberry Bread


“Moist & flavorful cranberry bread packed with orange zest, light cinnamon streusel, and an orange glaze.”

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Trick or Treats

One of the reasons why Halloween is such an enjoyable holiday is because it gives us some opportunities to get creative. Whether it’s turning your place into a haunted house, designing the perfect costume, or creating creepy and terrifying treats for your guests, Halloween gets our brain-goo flowing. Here are a few impressive Halloween food ideas for revolting, yet delicious, treats and meals you can serve to guests or just make it to scare yourself.

What’s cool about these foods is that they are all delicious AND they look absolutely disgusting/terrifying. Whether it’s a murdered meatloaf, some crunchy slithery snakes, or oozing skeletons, these recipes are sure to wreak delicious havoc.

Scary Snake Bites


Dead Man Meatloaf


Freaky Hot Dog Fingers

Hot dogs-min

Pizza Skulls

pizza skulls-min

Bloody Good Cheesecake


Slimy Jell-O-Snacks


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Pumpkin Recipes

Fall is here and it is time to start baking like it. If you’re obsessed with anything pumpkin, you’re reading the right blog post. These recipes all include pumpkin to boost your seasonal dosage of fall’s staple ingredient.


Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake – Soft, doughy, and loaded with pumpkin flavor! This healthy pumpkin pie breakfast bake will start your day off

Pumpkin Pancakes – Elevate your pancake game with the addition of pumpkin.

No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Bites – Quick, healthy no-bake pumpkin oatmeal energy bites that taste like cookies but are good for you.

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Muffins – Only 7 ingredients and 120 calories each.


Harvest Pumpkin Soup – Cooler weather means it’s time for soup.

Pumpkin and Cauliflower Casserole – You love fall? You’ll love this casserole.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese – Unique twist on a classic sandwich. pumpkingc_feature.jpg


Pumpkin Bread – Nothing like loaf of pumpkin bread to make your stomach happy and your kitchen smell great.

Frosted Pumpkin Bars – If you like pumpkin (and maybe even if you don’t) these pumpkin bars are for you.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies – These cookies are something different and great with a big glass of milk.

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Trail Mix It Up

Trail mix is the perfect snack for a pre or post workout, a hike, a long class lecture, or if you want a healthier alternative to a bag of Cheetos. There are thousands of combinations to appeal to various taste buds or cravings.

Countless articles state there are four ingredients to make any trail mix great — nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a “fun” ingredient (popcorn, chocolate chips, M&M’s, etc.). Obviously it doesn’t have to stick to this formula, but your bound to find a combination that intrigues you within it. These four ingredients balance flavor and nutrition to make a well-rounded snack.



Nuts provide a solid base to add more ingredients to, while also giving texture and flavor. Trail mix nutrients generally come from nuts because they are packed with protein and fiber. While peanuts are inexpensive and classic to mixes, there are other options that have more health benefits such as, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Tip: Go for raw, unsalted nuts or lightly roasted nuts with lower sodium.


Including seeds into your trail mix adds an extra punch of nutrients and texture. Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds each have unique qualities that are beneficial to your health and make a great alternative to nuts if you are allergic.

Dried Fruitsdried-fruits

Dried fruits are a great source of natural sweetness and can be used to spruce up your trail mix. Dried fruit is filled with nutrients. One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package perfect for a portable trail mix.

Fun Ingredient


Whether it be M&M’s, dark chocolate chips, or popcorn, trail mix doesn’t have to be boring! It’s all about balance between the healthy ingredients and the fun ones. Add a fun ingredient to fulfill that sweet or salty craving.

Build Your Own

After seeing the four key ingredients to elevate your snacking experience, it’s your turn to build you own trail mix! Trail mix is super customizable, so there might be combinations you like more than others, but try them anyway! Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Sweet & Salty – Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon

Energy – Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, dried cranberries.

PB&J: Peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, wheat cereal.

Classic: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt

Nuts for Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, raisins.

Beach Mix: Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes.

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July 4th Treats

Sun is out, fireworks are booming, and it’s America’s birthday! Other than some sunscreen and plenty of water, patriotic treats and desserts are necessities. Check out some easy desserts to bring to the cookout to impress your family and friends! (Click the titles for each of the recipes)

Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pizza


Pizza made out of brownie batter – what else could you want? This dessert is easy to make and looks great. Talk about impressing your friends!

Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Pops


July 4th is fun and all, but it’s generally HOT in July. While you’re sweating and playing an intense game of cornhole, a cool treat like this will sure help you out.

No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake


Since summer is in full swing, the last thing you want to do is heat up your house by using the oven. This no-bake cake just uses the freezer so it will keep you and your house cool!

Patriotic Pretzels

Don’t like strawberries or blueberries? Here’s a recipe for you! Chocolate covered, salty pretzels are a perfect portable snack for 4th of July festivities.

Oreo Pops

Dessert on a stick. Oreo Pops are a simple dessert that look very festive for the 4th. America’s birthday wouldn’t be a real birthday celebration without America’s favorite cookie!

July 4th S’mores Dip

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 9.06.09 AM

S’mores, minus the bonfire, but equally delicious. Check it out!

American Pie

This American Flag Pie is pretty simple to make and is the perfect centerpiece of your cookout. And it kind of makes you want to start singing the national anthem or shout “USA, USA, USA” while you eat it.

Give these recipes a try and make your family jealous of your baking skills! Happy 4th of July everyone! Whip up some of your favorite tasty treats, kick off your flip flops, and let the good times roll.

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Freezer Smoothies

“Fresh, healthy, easy-to-prep, and cheap” – four things that college students love to hear. Freezer smoothies start your day off right and are the perfect snack to cool off from the heat. To make it a “freezer smoothie”, divide or mix fruits in plastic bags, seal the bags and place them in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready, mix the ingredients plus some milk or water in a blender until the consistency is smooth.

Here are just a few simple suggestions and recipes to help your freezer smoothies go to the next level.

Buy Frozen

According to ABC News, the minute fruits or veggies are picked, they begin to lose nutrients, so exactly when it’s plucked, and how long after harvesting you eat them impacts there nutritional value. Most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, which means a lot of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are locked in. Buy frozen fruits and veggies when prepping smoothies because it’s healthy and makes your prepping a lot easier.

Look at the Label

When you buy frozen, look at the label. A lot of companies like to sneak in extra sugars or substitutes to freeze their products. The ingredients should be whatever fruit or veggie you are buying. Fruits already carry natural sugars and your smoothie will be sweet enough without extra sugars.

Buy a Blender

If you don’t have some sort of blender already, purchasing a decent blender isn’t going to break the bank! Check Target or Amazon for some affordable options. This Oster Classic Blender will do the job. Whatever you decide, shop smart. You don’t have to drop $200+ for a good blender!


Smoothies are highly customizable and you can replace ingredients easily.  You would be surprised with how many combinations people come up with once you do your research. A great site to research smoothies (and other recipes), is Yummly. It has tons of filters so you can narrow down what you are looking for. For example, if you are allergic or don’t like bananas in your smoothies, you can filter that out of your searches. Check it out!

Here are few recipes to get you started with your smoothie game.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – This three ingredient recipe is easier than trying to spell “b-a-n-a-n-a-s” (it’s tough without a little help from Gwen Stefani).

Pineapple Mango Banana – If you can’t go to a tropical island this summer, replicate it in your kitchen. This video includes the Pineapple Mango Banana smoothie recipe and a few others! 

25 Quick and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothies – A creative chart of some ambitious and unique combinations.

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Gourmet Popsicle Recipes

If you can’t fully enjoy a beautiful summer day without  a refreshing popsicle, look no further for inspiration. Tired of the same old, same old generic fruit flavors? Try these gourmet twists on some of our favorite summer classics.

Cake Batter

For that birthday party vibe, try these cake batter flavored popsicles. These are a great way to get an ice cream-like thickness, but in the portable form of a popsicle. You can add whatever sprinkles you’d like for a colorful surprise. While they do take a bit of time to freeze, the outcome is worth it when you’re basically licking cake batter off of a stick (as opposed to the usual spoon).

Bomb Pops

If you remember those red, white and blue delicacies fondly, you’re sure to enjoy this more adult version. Using real fruit, this recipe certainly makes the ice cream truck classic a bit healthier. Basically, you make three different smoothies and freeze them together in bright, colorful layers for a delicious summer snack.

Key Lime Pie

If you’re anything like me, you know that a staple to any summer diet is key lime pie. The tangy sweetness of a key lime pie is the perfect complement to warm sunshine and the smell of saltwater in the air (if you’re by a beach that is). A good graham cracker crust is hard to pass up as well. Finally, you can bring the delicious tastes of Key Lime Pie to your popsicles with this easy recipe.

Peaches and Cream with a Twist!

Peaches and cream is a classic summer flavor combination. Put them together in a popsicle form and you can’t lose. But what if you want something with a little more pop? Just add basil and honey to really bring out the sweet flavors in this recipe.


Fudge pops were a lunch room classic growing up. Now you can use everyone’s favorite (Nutella) as one of two ingredients in these super easy fudgesicles. They will satisfy all of your chocolate cravings while keeping you cool all summer long.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Mint Chocolate Chip is a totally refreshing flavor while cheesecake is rich and filling and deliciously creamy. Mix them together for this winning recipe. The instructions call for Magic Shell which gives this popsicle an added crunch.

Have a favorite new popsicle? Share your new love with us!

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Calorie Conscious Copycat Recipes

Eating out can be more expensive and, often, less healthy than whipping up something at home and with summer in full-swing, now is a great time to get in the kitchen! If you want the tastes of your favorite fast foods without the health risks — and wallet risks — you may want to try the copycat recipes curated below.


This copycat recipe for Chipotle chicken makes enough marinade for 10 pounds of chicken! Meggan, who writes the blog Culinary Hill, has fine-tuned this recipe over the years and offers helpful tips for different methods you might want to try. By cooking this chicken fresh at home, you can cut out a lot of sodium that often slips into fast foods. With the chicken, you can make your own burrito bowls, salads, tacos, burritos or quesadillas. Share with us your favorite variation!


Clocking in at less than half the calories of a regular Wendy’s medium Frosty, this copycat recipe definitely drew us in. What kept us reading was the fact that this recipe takes just 5-10 minutes to create. Additionally, you can make this recipe comply with a paleo diet. By substituting spoonfuls of sugar with honey and vanilla, this dessert is both healthy AND delicious.


Similar to a Frosty, our Starbucks copycat is for a Mocha Frappuccino. With just five ingredients, this recipe is easier than waiting in line at the “Starbs” around the corner. Coconut milk and Stevia make this coffee-based drink naturally sweet. Pour it into your favorite travel mug and get going!

Panda Express

Because you’re making this recipe at home, you can use whatever high-quality chicken you prefer, along with the other ingredients. You can also customize your spice level and how much or how little pineapple you want with your chicken to strike the perfect balance for you. This recipe takes just about thirty minutes to make. You can serve the chicken with rice if you’re really hungry!


This recipe shows you how to recreate Panera’s classic Mediterranean veggie sandwich at home. Making the sandwich at home means less sodium and fresher ingredients. The blog post included with the recipe also offers helpful tips for making sandwiches in general, which is essential information for students of any age.

Try these copycats at home and share any others you have with us on any of our social media accounts!

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Tasty Ways to Top Toast

It seems like every month there is a new trend in toast, so we weeded out the good and the … not so good to bring you a list of some of our favorite ways to eat toast! Try them all and tell us your favorite, but don’t just butter us up — we really want to know!


My personal favorite way to eat toast is to top a slightly browned slice of sourdough with ricotta and lox (with a piping hot cup of coffee on the side, of course!). This recipe is super easy and is pretty much a more gourmet version of a bagel.

If you’re looking for something a little more sweet, you could top a piece of ricotta toast with a fruit like figs, strawberries or blackberries. Some other savory options include a caprese toast with ricotta, basil, and tomato slices (preferably from a grape tomato) with a balsamic drizzle or toast topped with ricotta, beets and arugula. You can find even more ricotta toast options here.


Most people have at least heard of avocado toast, but have you tried it? While it might feel a little “extra” to mash up a ripe Haas, it is most definitely worth it. Give your avo-toast a little mediterranean zest with lemon juice, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, a hard-cooked egg, and a drizzle of tahini.

For a fresh, simple taste, top your toast with avocado, arugula and lemon juice. For an afternoon avocado-filled adventure, you could barbeque some shrimp and toss it atop a bed of avocado toast and spray with lime juice. You could even add feta cheese crumbles and scallions to your classic avocado toast or find more recipes here! Avocado toast is versatile meaning you can add pretty much whatever you’d like!

Greek Yogurt

Bread topped with … yogurt? Heck yes! Put down the smoothie bowl and pick up a butter knife to spread your smoothie onto a piece of toast! Top toasted bread with greek yogurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit for a healthy twist on two breakfast classics. You could use any flavor of greek yogurt and any type of fruit.

Try strawberry greek yogurt with cocoa nibs for a chocolate-covered strawberry toast. Or add a chocolatey-styled greek yogurt to toast and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sweet breakfast treat.


Top toast with hummus for a protein punch! You can add any veggie to hummus toast, but we love to add roasted asparagus, asiago cheese, and fresh lemon juice. For a refreshing treat, add cucumber and cracked pepper to your hummus toast. You could also top toast with both hummus and avocado (in slices) for a protein double whammy. Add radishes, arugula and pepper to that for a little bit of bite. If you’ve never tried microgreens, you definitely should. This delicious, fresh produce packs a healthy punch in a tiny package. Add them to your hummus toast along with feta cheese for a delicious snack anytime of day. You could also add roasted kale and your favorite spice!

Tag us in your artsy food pictures and share your favorite recipe!

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