These may not be the healthiest of options, but these five kitchen-less vegan meals are perfect for lazy students in dorms.
1. Nissin Top Ramen
Nissin Top Ramen is not notorious for being nutritious in any way—in fact, the sodium in one packet might raise your blood pressure a few notches—but props to them for having vegan options! Both the Oriental and Chili flavors are, in fact, accidentally vegan. You can get a pack of 24 of the Oriental flavor for $17.77 and 24 of the Chili flavor for $12.74 on Amazon — and in only two days if you have Amazon Prime. Once you’ve ordered your ginormous package of delicious ramen, all you have to do is break one of the blocks of noodles in half, put it in a mug with some water, and stick it in the microwave for a couple minutes! If you’re feeling a little more ambitious and have some extra ingredients lying around, here are some fantastic vegan ramen ideas from PETA.
2. Avocado Toast
If you or someone you know has a toaster, and you have access to some kind of grocery store, avocado toast is a dream come true in the midst of greasy dining hall food. My roommate and I like to pick up a loaf of bread and three avocados at a time from the local Target — where avocados are only $1 each — and then scavenge for salt and pepper (which we can always find somewhere on campus). You only need about half of an avocado for two pieces of toast, so find a friend and share the satiating experience.
3. Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice and Veggies
Assuming that most college students living in a dorm do not own rice cookers, the next best thing is Uncle Ben’s 90-Second Ready Rice. There are many flavors that are vegan; my favorites are the Spanish Style and Garden Vegetable. You can eat it alone as a snack or steam a bag of vegetables and add some avocado to make it a meal. It may sound a little strange, but avocado with flavored rice is exceptional! Amazon offers four pouches of the Garden Vegetable flavor for $19.03, Original for $16.99, and four pouches of Spanish Style for $23.99.
4. Baked Potato
A baked potato is always an easy, satisfying meal when you don’t have the time or energy to leave your dorm room. All you really need is a potato or two — which you can sometimes buy right at the Pod Market at SLU — and a microwave. Just poke the potatoes with your fork a few times, toss it in the microwave for five minutes, flip it around, and cook it for an additional three to five minutes until it’s soft. When you have your baked potato, the possibilities are endless! I like the simplicity of some olive oil, salt, and pepper, but you can really throw anything on a baked potato and still have it taste delicious. Here is a great thread with some creative vegan toppings.
5. Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese
This recipe is easy as long as you have access to a grocery store and waffle iron. All you have to do is put your favorite vegan butter and vegan cheese on two pieces of bread and stick it in the iron! It’s crispier than a normal grilled cheese and much easier (and you feel accomplished simply because it looks cooler). Here is a relatively inexpensive waffle iron from Amazon.
The best thing about being vegan in college is how resourceful you can become. These five meals are easy and delicious, and they’ll give you a much-needed break from the humdrum of dry veggie sandwiches from Subway and mediocre tofu dishes from the dining hall. So fire up that microwave, invite some friends over, and release your inner vegan chef!