Many people choose to go vegetarian in college, but they can quickly find themselves stuck when trying to come up with food ideas. One of the biggest adjustments in college is learning how to cook yourself, and even though making ramen every night can seem tempting, you’ll probably get sick of it pretty fast. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of vegetarian meal ideas that you can easily make in your dorm room.
1. Peanut Butter and Honey Oatmeal
I practically live off of oatmeal during the school year, especially in the fall and winter when my room is freezing and I don’t want to get out of bed. This is the easiest oatmeal recipe in existence, and it takes about five minutes to prepare. Simply combine half a cup of plain oatmeal, one cup of your milk of choice (you can use water, but I strongly recommend using regular or dairy-free milk instead), a spoonful of honey and a spoonful of peanut butter in a bowl and microwave for two minutes. That’s it. It’s delicious, it’s easy and it’ll keep you full throughout a busy day of classes.
2. Banana Chocolate Oatmeal
I could probably write an entire separate article about oatmeal recipes, but I’ll limit this article to just two to show how versatile oatmeal is. For this particular recipe, you’ll need to combine half a cup of oatmeal, a cup of your milk of choice, a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder and one mashed banana, and then microwave that for two minutes. You can eat this on its own, but it’s also delicious topped with strawberries or cherries. This is a great breakfast option because it has no added sugar and is super filling, and it also tastes like a dessert.
3. PB & Greens Smoothie
Not everyone has a blender in their dorm room, but if you do, this is a great option if you want a breakfast that’s easily portable and also filling. Blend one frozen banana, a handful of spinach, a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and half a cup of blending liquid of choice (I tend to use almond milk). You can drink your smoothie out of a glass or a water bottle, or if you have a blender with with an attached drinking bottle, you can drink out of that without having to use another dish.
4. Omelette in a Mug
This recipe isn’t one of my own creations (recipe courtesy of Joyfulhealthyeats), but it’s great if you’re looking for a savory breakfast option, especially one full of protein. Coat the inside of a mug with olive oil or cooking spray, and beat two eggs with a fork inside of it. Feel free to add whatever additional ingredients you prefer (cheese, vegetables, etc.) and microwave for two minutes. Then you’re done!
5. Hummus and Veggie Toasts
This is a lunch staple for me, and it’s almost stupidly easy to make. Spread your choice of hummus (my favorite flavors are chipotle and tomato basil) on two slices of bread, either toasted or untoasted. Top with spinach and additional vegetables: I like sliced bell pepper, but mushrooms are also great, and you can even cook them in the microwave by slicing them thinly and heating them for two to three minutes.
6. Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, look no further than these veggie burrito bowls. Pick up some microwavable rice (it’s much easier to make than regular rice, which will take longer and be more of a hassle to drain), and add in some sliced bell pepper and canned black beans. When the rice is done, add whatever seasoning you want (I like cumin and chili powder), or throw in a spoonful of jarred salsa, which adds a unique flavor.
7. Microwave Potato Wedges
There are days when I’m just craving roasted potato wedges, but since I don’t have access to an oven at college, I have to make do with the microwave. Fortunately, microwave wedges are actually pretty good, and they’re very easy to make. Slice one (or two, depending on how hungry you are) potatoes and coat them in olive oil and seasoning (I like to do a tablespoon of olive oil and then half a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika). Place them on a plate and microwave for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. You can eat them as they are or serve them with a side salad or a microwaved veggie burger: either way, they’re delicious.
8. Ramen with Extras
Sometimes, you really just need a bowl of ramen. If you’re getting tired of plain noodles every single time, however, there are plenty of ways to spice yours up. Crack an egg into your noodles halfway through the cooking process (about two minutes in) or add in some chopped veggies. You can also drizzle in hot sauce or soy sauce for additional flavor, especially if the seasoning packet is getting a bit boring. And if you’re looking for good vegetarian ramen brands, Maruchen and Top Ramen’s Oriental flavors are both good options.
The next time you’re struggling for a meatless meal option, give one of these a try. You might just end up with a new favorite!
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