Each year, college students across the nation leave the luxury of home-cooked meals behind and venture into a life of finding sustenance in the cafeteria or dorm microwave. After leaving the nest, a first foray into self-sufficiency for many young adults is cooking, a seemingly daunting process when living in a dorm room where hot plates are not allowed. Here are five simple five-minute meals to make when the dining hall is just too far away.
Mac n’ cheese in a mug
For those nights when cravings for carbs and protein hit you like a train, this simple snack will sate even the cheesiest of hungers.
Ingredients: Elbow macaroni pasta, butter, milk, salt, pepper, shredded cheese of choice
Step 1: Fill mug a third of the way with pasta, and add enough water to cover the pasta. Add a pinch of salt, and microwave for two minutes and stir. Repeat three more times, for a total of eight minutes or until pasta is fully cooked.
Step 2: Once pasta is fully cooked, add cheese, a splash of milk, 1/2 a teaspoon of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir.
Listen. Nothing could ever compare to the real thing when it comes to the ‘za. But when you’re hungry, you’re hungry.
Ingredients: Tortilla, tomato sauce, cheese and any other toppings
Step 1: Warm the tortilla in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Step 2: Smooth a thin layer of tomato sauce on the tortilla and cover with cheese. Add any toppings you’d like. Microwave until cheese is melted.
Essentially the salad of the meat and cheese world, nachos are an excellent easy choice for when you’ve been out all night on Sixth Street and don’t feel like walking to Whataburger. Pro tip: Go heavy on the cheese.
Ingredients: 1 cup shredded cheese, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon butter, tortilla or corn chips, salsa and jalapeños. Optional: Onions, grilled shredded chicken or beef, corn
Step 1: Add 1 cup of shredded cheese, 1/2 a teaspoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of milk to a mug. Microwave for one minute and stir to bring the mixture to a semi-liquid consistency.
Step 2: Pour cheese sauce and salsa over chips. Top with Jalapeños or any other nacho topping you desire.
Broccoli and cheese casserole in a mug
This recipe is similar to a lot of Texas mothers’ recipe for broccoli and cheese casserole, with one key difference: the absence of an oven.
Ingredients: Frozen broccoli cuts, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, quarter cup mayonnaise
Step 1: Using a microwave rice cooker, cook 1 cup of rice until tender.
Step 2: With a microwave steamer, steam around a handful of broccoli cuts.
Step 3: Combine rice, steamed broccoli, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup shredded cheese, a pinch of paprika, as well as salt and pepper in a large mug. Microwave for 45 seconds and stir thoroughly.
This is the breakfast of snooze button champions. Let yourself catch five more minutes of sleep and take this out the door for breakfast on the go.
Ingredients: 1 cup steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, fruit of choice (any type of berry, sliced bananas, etc.) and honey
Step 1: Combine milk and yogurt in container with lid. Add oats, mixing them evenly through the milk and yogurt mixture.
Step 2: Add fruit to the oat-milk-yogurt mixture and top with a honey drizzle. Seal shut and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.