With a new semester of college around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about how to start my year off with a bang. Some choose to revamp their wardrobe, while others get a new hair-do. I, on the other hand, have food on the brain. For myself, eating is not just a means to nourish my body: it’s a few moments of the day when I can remove myself from the hustle and bustle of reality and relax with a few delicious bites. Today, I was thinking about how I can advise students on how to freshen up their dorm room goodies stash. In the process, I came up with a few unique snack options:

1. Hazelnut Chocolate Popcorn: This recipe is really easy.  All you need is:

A) A cheap bowl that you can purchase at a dollar store or somewhere inexpensive

B) One bag of popcorn (if you want this snack to taste sweeter, use Kettle popcorn for added sweetness)

C) A durable spoon

D) Nutella

Pop some popcorn, dump the buttery kernels into a bowl, mix in a huge amount of Nutella, and get ready to make your roommates jealous!

2. Lo Mein Ramen

In the mood for Chinese food but your pockets are on a budget? Don’t worry, you can still indulge in your Asian food cravings with little money and time.  Here is a recipe for Lo Mein Ramen style:

A) One packet of Ramen (use just the noodles)

B) Two tbsp of sesame oil

C) Two tbsp of soy sauce

D) Garlic (if you don’t have access to the necessary tools to properly utilize fresh garlic  just purchase some garlic powder to still have the garlic taste)

E) Throw some veggies in there (if you have any)

A quick and easy way to whip up a take-out favorite.  Cook all the ingredients in a pan and presto! DIY-Chinese food!

3. Mac and Cheese with Fried Onion Crumb Topping

Here’s a spin on a dorm room classic! Purchase one of those microwavable mac and cheese bowls, nuke it as long as the directions call for, and when it’s done, top the macaroni with French’s® French Fried Onions.  This recipe may not help you stay clear of the freshman 15, but sometimes we have to treat ourselves to a very comforting meal.

4. Dump Cake

Want to impress your fellow hall mates at the next RA meeting? Bring Dump Cake! Dump Cake is incredibly easy, cheap, and can be enjoyed in so many ways.  All you need is:

A) 9 x 13-inch baking pan

B) Yellow cake mix

C) A canned fruit of your choice

D) One cup of butter

*Note: Unfortunately, you will need an access to an oven, spatula and a knife to complete this recipe.

For this recipe, all you need to do to cook this cake is place your canned fruit into a baking pan, pour the cake mix over the fruit, and top the mix with one cup of butter.  Evenly spread out the butter over the entire cake.  Bake until golden brown and enjoy!

Although your dining options are limited in college, it’s not hard to add some creativity to your plate.  I hope these meal ideas are just the thing to spice up your upcoming semester!

Do you have any college-savvy recipes?  Share your recipes with us!