Dorm Cooking Basics

1. Reusable Dishware Set (cups included)

Target’s reusable dishware set is ideal for plating your dorm dishes! If washing is inconvenient, however, I recommend disposable plates and bowls.

2. Coffee Machine 

I own a Nespresso Original, but any machine is perfect as long as it fits in the room. While it is an investment, the machine has been a great alternative to the expensive iced coffee on campus. Plus, it saves time!

3. Ice Tray 

While the classic dorm freezer does not include an icemaker, these molds are perfect for making iced coffee. Simply fill with water, freeze, and enjoy! My favorites are the trays with the circular molds, but any shape works of course.

4. Clear Plastic Cups 

This is ideal for taking your coffee to class, or on the go! Sometimes when I am running late—which occurs more frequently than I’d like to admit—I’ll grab one of these with my dorm-made iced coffee.

5. Plastic Cutlery 

If you are open to washing cutlery, reusable cutlery works just as well for dorm cooking! If anything, it’s more environmental. 

Top Grocery Purchases 

This, of course, is subject to one’s preferences and dietary restrictions. I try to look for healthier options when I am able to, but no pressure–everyone is entitled to their own dietary preferences. My favorite spots are Trader Joes and Target! They’re both walking distance from campus and not too expensive. 

Trader Joes Finds 

1. Greek Yogurt

I love their strawberry yogurt, which—as strange as it may sound—reminds me of Dunkin Donuts’ glazed strawberry donut! A sweet option for the morning and tastes great with Trader Joes’ Granola Cereal.

2. Maple Pecan Granola Cereal 

I love to add this to yogurt in the morning or just to snack on.

3. Frozen Spinach, Broccoli, and Colorful Carrot Coins 

These microwavable finds are great for dinner bowls. After a long day, I love to stick these in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, with Trader Joes’ Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Sausage, topped with Sriracha.

4. Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Sausages 

Protein-filled, tasty, and comforting--great for dinner bowls! 

5. Grilled Chicken Strips 

In case you get bored of the chicken sausages... 

6. Sriracha 

If you’re looking for a sweet kick, Trader Joes’ Sriracha Drizzle is for you. Great for topping dinner bowls, salads, and in sandwiches. (see below)

7. Whole Wheat English Muffins 

These serve as a great base for breakfast and lunch. For a comforting breakfast, I’ll spread almond butter and top with banana slices! For lunch, I’ll spread Trader Joes’ Guacasalsa (yes, a combination of guacamole and salsa) and top with their Everything Smoked Salmon (see below). 

8. Everything Smoked Salmon 

Great for topping crackers, bread, or muffins for a quick snack, breakfast, or lunch! 

9. Guacasalsa Spread 

The creaminess of the avocado combined with the kick from the salsa makes this spread an ideal sandwich spread, dip, or addition to salads. A dorm cooking must-have! 

10. Almond Butter

A great combination with fruit—apples, bananas, dates—or a sandwich spread. My favorite mornings are those that start with Almond Butter

Target Finds    

1.   Almond Milk 

I prefer almond milk for coffee, but any milk of choice works. My favorite is Blue Diamond’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

2. Sliced Almonds

A great addition to yogurt, salads, or a breakfast English Muffin (with Almond Butter)! 

3. Protein Bars 

A great snack on-the-go, protein bars are great for sneaking something in during class. I like RX bars because they taste more natural than the typical protein bar–but, of course, this is up to preference. My favorite RX flavor is Chocolate Sea Salt

4. Fresh Fruit (Berries, Raspberries, Blackberries)  

A colorful addition to yogurt or just a snack! I love to pack these for class or combine them in a fruit bowl, with almond butter (see below). 

5. Chips/Crackers 

An absolute dorm necessity. Perfect for any event: a Netflix-binge session, a get-together with friends, or after a long day. My favorites are currently Extra Toasty Cheez Its or Sea Salt Tortilla Chips, but truly anything works.  

Some of What I've Made! 

Excuse the poor photography; as we all know, dorm lighting does not make the best lighting.

Fruit Bowl with Almond Butter

Daria Levy

This time, with the coffee! 

Daria Levy

Greek Yogurt with Blueberries, Raspberries, and Almonds 

Daria Levy

Smoked Salmon on an English Muffin, Homemade Crackers, and an Iced Coffee! 

Daria Levy

Sriracha Chicken Sausage Bowl with Spinach, Broccoli, and Carrot Coins 

Daria Levy

Store-bought Trader Joes' Chickpea Kale and Crispy Red Rice Salad Plated in the Dorm!

Daria Levy