Dorm rooms are known for being tiny, and college is known for adding 15 pounds to the average student. We can help you blow both of those stereotypes out of the water with our healthy recipe ideas for tight spaces. Being on your own for the first time can be scary, but learning to cook healthy meals for yourself doesn’t have to be. We have three tools to help you get the job done: steamers, slow cookers, and sandwich presses. Your friends will love your recipes so much, you might even find yourself cooking for others or blogging about your dorm room recipe adventures.
The first tool we will look at is the steamer. You can purchase a small little steamer that doesn’t take up much room at all. Nothing new here, originating in China over 3,000 years ago, steaming is actually an ancient cooking technique. Why is steaming better for you? No cooking oils or butter are used to prepare the food; and the steaming process does not remove the vitamins and nutrients from the foods which might happen with other cooking methods. Cooking with a steamer also means less mess and less clean up since you are using just one product. There’s nothing wrong with steaming vegetables, but that is not the only thing that you can cook in a steamer. Full meals including proteins can be made in the steamer quickly and easily. Even more good news, a fresh steamed, healthy meal can be ready in as little as 12 minutes; faster than pizza delivery! Fish prepared in the steamer always turns out great and you can also cook pork, chicken, or beef in the steamer too. The steamer is not only for dinners, you can quickly prepare breakfast or lunch during the time it takes you to get dressed for class. Because of its Chinese origins, many Asian dishes lend themselves to steamer cooking, so look for dumplings, pork buns, pot stickers, and the like for great lunch items or maybe a dinner side dish. One of the most popular steamer items in Asian countries is a steamed egg; comfort food made in a matter of minutes!
The Slow Cooker
The slow cooker, popularly known by the brand name Crock Pot is another old style cooking that can have a rebirth in popularity in your dorm room. They come in small sizes that can make one or two servings and also do not take up much of that precious dorm room space. Preparing meals in a slow cooker may mean a long cooking time, but there is very little prep time involved and coming up with new recipes is very easy once you get the formula down. You can put the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning and return to your dorm room 8 hours later to dinner that is hot and ready. When you cook in a Crock Pot, all of the flavors simmer together and make for a delicious meal. You can choose the ingredients you put in to the slow cooker and include meats, vegetables, and even starches all in one pot to make a stew, soup, or casserole. That means easy cleanup and a well-rounded, complete meal with the ingredients, seasoning, and tastes that you choose.
The Sandwich Press
If steaming or slow cooking are not your thing, or if you have a little counter space left, we recommend a sandwich press. Once again with the sandwich press, there is only one appliance and one thing to clean. Experiment with all different kinds of breads and sandwich fillings made warm and melty with a sandwich press, or panini press. Make a fulfilling, hot meal with toasted bread, warm meats, and melted cheese instead of “just” a sandwich. When picking out a sandwich press, to add to the convenience of easy clean up, make sure that it is non-stick. A sandwich press may sound like it is a one trick pony, but sandwiches are just the beginning with this fun appliance. The secret ingredient here is that you do not have to only make sandwiches on it. It actually doubles as a skillet or similar to a grill. You can easily prepare vegetables like slices squash and zucchini, asparagus and more. Meats, chicken, and pork, even grilled fruits are possible with this one, small space saving appliance. You can even make a spinach complete and bacon with the press; breakfast is ready! Another bonus with the sandwich press is that it cooks the fat, the calories drip away and it seals in juices and flavors.
Finding recipes for all of these tools is super easy online. The internet will give you access to hundreds of recipe ideas. Dorm living does not have to consist of pizzas, burgers, and French fries; using our space saving appliance cooking ideas can lead to healthy and inexpensive meals.