Easy, Healthy Meals That You Can Make in Your Dorm

I don’t know about you, but since quarantine began, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen. As a cook, I was never a Martha Stewart type. My culinary skills were limited to making pasta, sandwiches, and eggs. Since the pandemic took over in March, I've been experimenting with different foods and have improved my skills significantly.

 In my dorm at NYU, I am fortunate enough to have a full kitchen at my disposal, complete with an oven and a stove. I am proud to say that I have been making great use of this kitchen and have been cooking every single day. I’ve found some wonderful, easy, healthy, and quick meals that any average chef can make. Take a look:

Rosie’s Bok Choy Salad 

This delicious and light salad is super easy to make. All there is to do is to cut some fresh baby bok choy (and cut some red grapes- they are an excellent addition), fry some ramen, sesame seeds, and slivered almonds in a pan, and mix the dressing. Once this is all done, throw the ingredients together in a bowl, and the dish is ready to serve! This salad is perfect for any season, any meal, at any time of the day. Check out the full recipe here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/24382/rosies-bok-choy-salad/

Mom’s Acorn Squash 

This sweet acorn squash recipe can act as part of a hearty fall meal, or as a sweet dessert. This five-minute prep recipe created by Nirit Rosenblum is easy, tasty, and healthy. The steps are simple: cut open an acorn squash, scoop out the seeds, put in a quarter cup of butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of nutmeg, and you’re good to go! Wrap the squash in aluminum foil and stick it into the oven to broil for 30-40 minutes. Once the butter has melted and the squash is soft, the meal is ready to dig in to! You can’t go wrong with this scrumptious autumn dish. 

Vegan Pasta 

A healthier alternative to pasta and spaghetti is vegan pasta, which can be made out of lentils, hearts of palm, black beans, and more. Don’t be alarmed by the concept of pasta without dairy- these innovative types of spaghetti are surprisingly delicious and taste just like normal pasta. Adding some vodka, marinara, or pesto sauce will give the dish more flavor. Top this Italian style dinner dish with parmesan cheese, and it is ready to serve and make your tastebuds sing! 

Homemade Acai Bowl 

Although acai bowls from chain stores are delicious, they also tend to be expensive. This easy, budget-friendly alternative will make breakfast the sweetest, healthiest meal of the day. Take frozen blueberries, strawberries, and bananas (and add other fruit if necessary), and put them in a blender with some milk (almond or regular) and honey. Blend the ingredients together to make the classic acai base. Next, pour the mixture into a bowl and top with fruits, granola, honey, and other toppings. In five minutes or less, a colorful fruit bowl is ready to eat! 

Avocado Toast with Scrambled Eggs 

Another delectable and nutritious breakfast meal to make is avocado toast with scrambled eggs. Not only is this meal filled with protein and nutrients, it also happens to taste great. Just add smashed avocado on toast and top with Trader Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.” Then, scramble the eggs and cook them on the stove, while adding shredded cheese, salt, and ground pepper to the pan. Once the cheese is melted, the eggs are ready to be plated with the toast and eaten with a nice cup of coffee. 

Spanish Rice 

This Mexican-inspired rice is super easy and quick to make, with barely any prep time. For a serving for one, boil half a cup of rice in a pot filled with two cups of chicken stock on low heat. Once the liquid is absorbed, take the rice off of the stove and let it cool. While the rice cools, slice cherry tomatoes and onions, and add the sliced vegetables and black beans, shredded Mexican cheese, guacamole and sour cream to the rice. Mix it all together and it’s ready to eat! 

Shishito Peppers 

Another side-dish to add to a healthy dinner meal is flash-fried shishito peppers. Don’t be fooled by the name- most of the peppers are not spicy (one in a few will be a tad hot, but most of them are mild). To fry these tasty peppers, add two tablespoons of oil to your pan and place the peppers in. Then, add lemon and lime juice, and toss in some salt and ground pepper. Mix and flip the peppers as they brown, and after a few minutes, take them off of the stove to cool. Once the peppers are cool, they are ready to eat! Have a glass of milk nearby, just in case one pepper happens to be too spicy. 

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna 

This delicious dish is yet another healthy alternative to eating the usual pasta. This spaghetti squash cheesy pesto lasagna is easy to prepare and even easier to eat. This spaghetti filled with ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, pesto, and tomatoes is sent from heaven. Here is the link for the full recipe: https://peasandcrayons.com/2014/09/cheesy-pesto-chicken-lasagna-stuffed-spaghetti-squash.html