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Quick Dorm-Room Meals

CerealAdjusting to dorm life from the comforts of home (and a fully stocked and equipped kitchen) can be a rough transition for college-aged foodies. But with just a few tools and a basic pantry, you can whip up satisfying meals for any time of the day or night.

Breakfasts
This whole-grain hot cereal (pictured above) uses bulgur and barley with oats to make an extra hearty and nutritious breakfast. Think about mixing a bigger batch of the cereal so it’s ready to use in an instant. For a cold alternative, mix a whole-grain, low-sugar dry cereal (Cheerios and Bran Flakes are two classic, good choices) with plain yogurt, fresh or dried fruit, a handful of nuts and a splash of lowfat milk. It will keep you fueled for hours.

If you’re in a hurry, try instant oatmeal cooked with lowfat milk and topped with peanut butter and banana, or top rye crisp crackers with mashed avocado and hard-boiled egg slices.

Snacks
Make your own healthy, air-popped microwave popcorn using this easy Alton Brown recipe as a guide. Experiment with different toppings, including a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and drizzle of olive oil.

To make your own trail mix, use a 1:1:2 mixture of nuts, dried fruit and dry cereal (and optional dark chocolate chips) to get a healthy dose of fiber, healthy fats, protein and something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Unsalted roasted almonds, dried cherries and Cheerios are a good combo.

Apple slices or carrot sticks and string cheese as a combination follows the perfect snack balance of fruit or vegetable plus some protein for a snack that clocks in under 150 calories.

Once the weather cools off, make hot cocoa using cocoa powder, a little sugar and 1% milk for a snack that gives you a boost of protein and healthy carbs.

Anytime Meals
For doctored-up soup, add a can of rinsed white beans to low-sodium chicken vegetable soup to make a hearty, higher-fiber meal.

In place if classic potatoes, microwave-bake a sweet potato, then top it with black beans, shredded cheese, steamed broccoli, salsa and lowfat plain yogurt. Alternatively, use the same toppings on microwave quinoa bowls.

If you stock boxes of whole-wheat mac and cheese, add some cooked broccoli (steam it in the microwave) for a complete meal.

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