By: Ben Casey

There’s a point in college when you make a PB&J with 2 saltines and no jelly instead of going to the Dining Commons. There’s a point when you’ll have a family-sized bag of chips for dinner to save money. There’s also a point when you’ll miss class the next morning with a stomach ache because of your fateful dietary decisions.

But, dear students, this is not the life we must lead! There is a better way! When going out is too expensive and the Dining Commons turns your stomach, you can turn to yourself. With only a microwave and some silverware at your disposal, you can create healthy snacks and meals in the comfort of your own dorm.

First, some rules for my recipe recommendations: each recipe will have no more than five ingredients, will cost no more than 25 dollars, and will be made using only a microwave, blender, bowl, plate, and silverware. With these rules, we can ensure that even the most ill-prepared freshman football player who has never set foot in a kitchen can keep themselves sustained.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie
Ingredients: – 1 banana
– 2 cups strawberries
– 1 cup milk
– 6-7 ice cubes
– 10 oz greek yogurt
If you’re one of the dozen college students considering eating breakfast, a smoothie is a great time-saver. Take two cups of strawberries and cut off the stems. Personally, I like to freeze my strawberries overnight. Next, slice a banana into pieces. Take these and the rest of your ingredients and put them in a blender on a high setting. Pour your delicious smoothie into a cup and enjoy.

Poached Egg
Ingredients: – 1 egg
– Salt & pepper
– ½ cup water
Here’s an easy way to make a poached egg in a microwave! Crack your egg into a bowl, pour half a cup of water into it and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke some holes in the top of the plastic wrap and put the bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Throw away any excess water, add some salt and pepper, and you have yourself a quick breakfast!

Chia Pudding
Ingredients: – ⅓ cup chia seeds
– 1 ½ cups milk
– 1 half tbsp of sweetener (sugar, syrup, honey, etc.)
For this one, you’ll need a jar with a lid, or something to cover whatever cup you’re using. I’ve heard of some people using empty Gatorade bottles for this with mixed results. Take your chia seeds, your milk, and your sweetener and put them all in your container. Next, put on “Hey Ya!” by Outkast and shake your container until all of the ingredients are mixed together. Put it in the fridge for at least four hours and you’ll have some delicious pudding with the consistency of applesauce.

Avocado Toast
Ingredients: – 1 slice bread
– 1 half-ripe avocado
– 1 tbsp cheese
– Salt and pepper
– 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
I’m both a vegetarian and a millennial so it was literally impossible to make this list without avocado toast taking a well-deserved place on it. Take a slice of bread and put it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. Next, cut your avocado into small pieces and begin mashing them on the bread. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top and add a bit of olive oil or butter. Now you only need to enjoy your toast and figure out how you’re going to pay back the massive loan you took out to buy that avocado.

Caprese Sandwiches
Ingredients: – 1 baguette
– 1 tomato
– Basil leaves
– Olive oil
This is a recipe my girlfriend gave me and she is a liar. I’m sorry. These are NOT sandwiches, despite what the name implies. What they are, however, is delicious. Cut your baguette into single-serving pieces. Next, slice your tomato as thin as you can handle. Now, take a single basil leaf and place it on the bread, putting the tomato on top. Drizzle olive oil over the top for an easy, healthy snack that is definitely NOT a sandwich.

Chicken Fajitas
Ingredients: – 1 tortilla
– 1 boneless chicken breast
– 1 tbsp chunky salsa
– Shredded cheese
– 1 lemon
Despite my delicate vegetarian sensibilities, I knew I needed at least one snack for all you omnivores out there. Take a pre-cooked chicken breast and cut it into strips. Put it in a bowl and pour salsa on top. Add as much shredded cheese as you like and mix it all together. Squeeze your lime into the bowl, making sure you get a lot of its juice onto the chicken. Put the bowl in the microwave on high for 12 to 15 minutes. Take it out and let it sit while you microwave your tortilla for 30 seconds. Pour the mix onto your tortilla, fold it in half, and chow down on your makeshift meal!

3-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream
Ingredients: – 1 pt whipped cream
– 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
As an apology for calling my girlfriend a liar earlier, I’m going to make her some homemade ice cream with this three-ingredient recipe. First, pour your pint of whipped cream into a bowl and mix it until it has stiff peaks. Next, add in your condensed milk and vanilla and mix those all together as well as you can. Pour the mix into a freezer-safe container and cover the top, leaving it to freeze for at least four hours. Now you have your perfect apology dessert!

Frozen Peanut Butter Squares
Ingredients: – Peanut butter
Okay, this barely counts as a recipe, since you only really need peanut butter and your hands. In order to make frozen peanut butter squares, you take peanut butter and shape it into a square. That is where the square part comes in. You might be asking, “But wait, what about the frozen part in the recipe?” Very observant of you! After we form our squares, we put them in the freezer for at least four hours to freeze them. You can repeat this process while mixing in chocolate syrup or Nutella for a little extra deliciousness.

Potato Chips
Ingredients: – 1 potato
– 1 tbsp olive oil
You’ve heard of microwave popcorn, but what about microwave potato chips? Take a potato and slice it as thinly as you can. Next, fill a plastic bag with olive oil and put in your potato slices. Shake until your potato slices are coated in oil. Next, take a plate and put a small amount of oil on it. Take your potato slices out of the bag and put them on the plate, putting it in the microwave for three to five minutes. Once you’re done, you should have crispy potato chips to chomp on!

Pizza Rolls
Ingredients: – 1 tortilla
– 2 tbsp pizza sauce
– 12 leaves baby spinach
– 3 tbsp mozzarella cheese
Someone somewhere woke up and thought, “Pizza needs to be more portable!” Thank you, whoever you are. This on-the-go snack starts by taking a tortilla and spreading pizza sauce on it. Next, cover the tortilla in baby spinach leaves and cover the whole thing in cheese. Put it in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, until the cheese is just slightly melted. Carefully roll up your tortilla and cut it into pieces. Add pepperoni or green peppers and onion or any other pizza topping you like for more options.

So next time the Dining Commons turns your stomach sour or your room is too comfy to leave for the night, remember these treats to keep your stomach full and your palate satisfied.

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