Photo By: Markus Winkler from Unsplash

Brock’s dining services are pretty good, but what if it’s a rainy day and you don’t want to leave your dorm room to get lunch? Or maybe you have 20 minutes to get to class and you’ve just realized that you didn’t eat breakfast? Sometimes, you might just be really tired of chicken fingers. 

Whatever the reason may be, that’s where dorm room ‘cooking’ comes in handy. Dorm room ‘cooking’ is cooking in the loosest sense of the word; none of these tips, tricks and recipes will be asking you to do anything much harder than cracking an egg into a bowl of ramen. 

Brock allows all students in residence to bring a mini-fridge with them to their room, and believe it or not, you can keep more than just leftovers in there. In your first few days at Brock, consider doing a quick grocery run to stock up on both snacks and ingredients. Zehr’s is not far on the bus.

Most people know that keeping some granola bars or fruit cups on hand is a staple of dorm room life, but keeping half a carton of eggs or a box of rice can be just as useful. 

There are simple meals that you can make with the things in your dorm room, common room, or if you’re in one of Brock’s townhouse style residences, your kitchen. 

Ramen is the quintessential stereotypical student struggle food, and for good reason. Ramen is cheap, easy, pretty filling and there are countless ways that you can spice it up. You won’t be allowed to have any appliances in your dorm room, but every common room comes equipped with a kettle and a microwave. Just make your ramen according to the instructions on the packet and throw in some extra ingredients. For some protein, crack an egg into the broth, cover it for a few minutes and you’ll get a poached egg on top of your noodles. Toss in some frozen broccoli or leftover chicken strips in there and you’ve got a meal. You can even make a simple peanut sauce with a spoonful of peanut butter, water, soy sauce and some spices.

A jar of peanut butter (as long as you’re not allergic) can also go a long way. Peanut butter and a loaf of bread or a box of crackers in your room makes for a simple and easy lunch right there. You could also add some fruit to keep things healthier. 

Keep some yogurt, granola and your favourite berries and fruits in your fridge and you can make your own yogurt parfaits. There’s not much you can’t do with a fridge full of ingredients and a microwave. If you want to figure out which ingredients to stock up on, or get some ideas, The Brock Press has articles about recipes to try at the start of term, easy fall-themed recipes, sweet treats to make around the holidays, and many more.  

Here’s a suggested grocery list to get you started. Obviously these are just suggestions, so if you have dietary concerns or restrictions feel free to swap out ingredients as necessary:

  • Ramen 
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Chocolate chips
  • Berries
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Milk 
  • Sandwich ingredients 

On top of that, be sure to grab anything quick and simple that you know you’ll be able to grab before the 9 a.m. lecture that you told yourself you’d go to every week but now wake up dreading on a Wednesday morning. The lecture might not be your favourite, but at least you won’t have to get through it on an empty stomach. Think granola bars, protein shakes, fruit snacks, pretty much anything you can imagine packing in an elementary school lunch box. 

It’s not gourmet cuisine, but dorm room ‘cooking’ is a useful skill to develop while you’re living in residence.