Quick and Easy Vegan Dorm Hacks

Those of us who have chosen to pursue the vegan lifestyle know what a challenge it can be to maintain a vegan diet in college. Day in and day out, we walk into a dining hall that really doesn’t offer much in terms of variety for vegans. We’ve all had those days where we wish we could just throw together something easy and filling in our own dorm rooms when we’re in a rush or just tired of the dining hall. So, here are my favorite hacks for eating vegan right in your own dorm room.

The Best Groceries to Have:

Vegans are definitely more limited when it comes to easy dorm room snacks and meals, but eating vegan with only a micro-fridge is still totally possible. I would even call it easy once you know the right food hacks for your taste. Here are a few of my favorite staples to keep in my dorm.

A favorite breakfast option for me has always been a tasty fruit smoothie. You can grab a few extra bananas from the dining hall, or keep a frozen mix with bananas in it in your freezer to start. My favorite frozen fruits for smoothies are strawberries, blueberries, and mango. All you need to throw it together is a cheap personal or bullet blender and some water. I use the Magic Bullet blender set, which sells for under forty dollars, and there are a ton of options even cheaper than that.

Photo Credit: Daily Express

In terms of heartier foods for lunch or dinner, one of the best foods a vegan can keep in their dorm is peanut butter. It’s perfect for a snack with some pretzels or an apple, or with jelly and bread for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is incredibly easy to put together in your dorm room with a plastic knife. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and healthy fats, and let’s be honest, it’s also really tasty.

Finally, another easy hack for eating vegan in your dorm is probably my favorite hack of all, the baked potato trick. Yes, that’s right, you can cook potatoes in the microwave. Stick your fork in the potato a few times to break the skin, and then wrap it with a wet paper towel (optional, but I like to do it so the potato doesn’t dry out) before cooking for eight to ten minutes. Make sure to flip the potato halfway through and voila, you have a filling potato just from your microwave. Pair it with a side salad or some microwaved vegetables by keeping bags of salad mix or veggies in your fridge.

Vegan snacks are definitely a no-brainer, but my favorites are peanut butter and chocolate chip Clif bars, Skinny Pop, pretzel crisps, tortilla chips with salsa, and veggie straws.

The Best Microwavable Meals:

Vegans have significantly fewer options when it comes to microwavable meals, so most of us have just been watching our friends eat easy-mac for dinner with jealousy. When you’re way too tired to deal with putting together even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, throwing a pre-made meal into the microwave can be so tempting.

My absolute favorite vegan microwavable meal is Amy’s Baked Ziti Bowl. This bowl is so easy and filling. It’s made with rice pasta and has delicious dairy-free cheese on top. Even if you aren’t vegan, I seriously recommend this meal if you’re just looking for some comfort food straight out of the microwave. Also from Amy’s, is their Brown Rice and Vegetable Bowl, which I have also tried and enjoyed. For those of us who go to Boston University, these dishes are usually available at Buick Street Market, which takes dining points, and City Convenience, which takes convenience points.

Photo Credit: Amy’s Kitchen

Barilla also does microwavable pasta dishes, including Penne Marinara and Penne Arrabiata. The Penne Marinara is pretty much a staple in my diet at this point, since it only takes one minute to cook and it seriously tastes like it was homemade. These pasta dishes are also available at Buick Street Market and City Convenience, so it really couldn’t get any easier than this for a filling and tasty vegan meal.

Another great tip is to look around for vegan soups that can simply be heated or cooked in the microwave. A favorite of mine is the Healthy Choice Garden Vegetable soup, but there are tons of other brands and options out there, including a few Amy’s soups. This tip pairs well with my next favorite, which is microwavable rice. Uncle Ben’s and many other brands sell rice packets that you simply pop into the microwave and cook for a few minutes. This is great for when you want something healthy but you don’t have the time or energy to leave your dorm. Pair a vegetable soup and some brown rice and you have a full vegan and delicious meal.

Finally, one of the best and easiest things you could keep in your freezer as a vegan in college is frozen vegetables. These can be paired with all of the other microwavable meals I have mentioned for some extra nutrition and volume. My favorite vegetable to keep in my freezer is frozen broccoli which I usually mix into one of the microwavable pasta dishes I mentioned earlier.

Being a vegan in college is no easy task, as very few of the options given to us in dining halls contain no meat or dairy, but it isn’t impossible. From your very own dorm room, you can make vegan meals that are filling and delicious, and not to mention ridiculously easy. Try them out for yourself and see!

 

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