college clip: cooking in my dorm room

I have made several videos and blog posts with recipes that I created cooking in my dorm room.  Although I have definitely previously mentioned things like my Aroma rice cooker/multi-cooker and Ninja blender, I thought it would be helpful to provide a comprehensive list of everything I used to cook in my dorm last year.  If you’re looking for some dorm-friendly recipes, check out these:

6 easy vegan dorm room breakfast recipes

carrot and split pea soup

vegan rice cooker mac n cheese

quick vegan tomato sauce

I post a lot of pictures and recipes on my Instagram @littleplantperson as well.  Stay tuned for even more dorm-friendly recipes to come on the blog, Instagram, and YouTube channel!


5 Tips for dorm cooking beginners:

  1. Check your university’s policies on rice cookers, hot plates, microwaves, knives, tea kettles, etc.  Mine allows only rice cookers, microwaves, and knives under 6 inches, and I have found these tools sufficient to make a variety of great meals.
  2. If you are required to have a meal plan, make use of the salad bar veggies to create delicious vegan meals!  My school has an option to take out cafeteria food once per weekday, and I always load up on spinach, peas, beans, tofu, broccoli, tomatoes, and other available items to cook in my multi-cooker or microwave when I get to my dorm room.
  3. A lot can be done with a rice cooker.  My Aroma rice cooker/multi-cooker has settings for white rice, brown rice, quick rice, slow cook, sauté then simmer, steam, soup, and even cake!  I have successfully made all kinds of grains, soups, toast, crispy tofu, and, yes, even cake.  I truly love this tool.
  4. Make big batches of different foods and store them in a fridge or freezer if you can.  Recently, every Sunday I have been making enough rice, barley, or other whole grain to eat for breakfast throughout the week, and I sometimes cook large batches of dried beans as well.  I also love to make huge soup recipes whenever I have a lot of hearty vegetables available from my farm job.
  5. Consider your space.  My first year living in a dorm I had a roommate, and I knew that cooking in my dorm room would be a little difficult with so little space.  I ended up purchasing an extra shelf that fit above my fridge, on top of which I kept ingredients as well as my rice cooker whenever I was not using it.  This year, having a single room, I keep all of my clothes in the closet and use the provided dresser entirely for food and cooking tools.  I also found a spare table that makes for great counter space.  The top of my mini fridge has been perfect for keeping my rice cooker readily accessible this year.  Do not bring more than you need, and take it from me that you will probably never use your favorite loaf pan that you just can’t bear to part with, so don’t bring it to college with you!


And here are my main tools from last year:

Firstly, this pepper grinder is amazing. I received it as a gift, and I keep it handy in my cooking area to add to whatever I’m making.
Here are some basic tools I also received as gifts. Although it’s hard to tell, they are mini versions of regular tools, and the compactness of this set was super helpful for storage last year when I had less space.
Here are two big mugs I used for microwaving things. I tended to make oatmeal and heat soup in the bigger one and make tea and other warm beverages in the smaller white one.
This is the Freshware cutting set I also received as a gift. When all I had to cut on was a desk, it was much easier to just put partially cut veggies into this apparatus to get smaller pieces without all the mess.
Here is my Aroma rice cooker/multi-cooker. I cannot imagine my life without this thing.
Here is what comes with the Aroma rice cooker/multi-cooker: a paddle for scooping out rice, a measuring cup, and a steamer basket, which is super handy.
This is the cutting board and six inch knife I use.
Mason jars. These are particularly useful for obtaining almond milk from the cafeteria for use in my dorm kitchen.
My TO GO WARE bamboo utensils. I take these everywhere.
Here was my little kitchen setup last year. This is my Frigidaire mini fridge, which I highly recommend, particularly because of its separate freezer. On the shelf behind the fridge, I kept my rice cooker, mugs, dishwashing stuff, and things like tomatoes that could be kept out of the fridge. Now my cactuses live on my fridge, and I keep dishwashing stuff, spare rags and towels, snacks, and all my spices on the shelf.
I just picked up some standard dishwashing tools to do my dishes, and they have been surprisingly durable, and, of course, I use Dr. Bronner’s soap for everything, including dishes.
Finally, here are my BIOBO bamboo dishes and colander. I love the way they look and how lightweight they are. My only warning is that they are not microwave safe, which is kind of a bummer in college where the microwave is a major cooking option. Regardless, I love this stuff.

There you have it!  My comprehensive list of tools I used, as well as some tips and recipe links for dorm room cooking.  As I said above, watch out for more recipes and cooking tips on this site, YouTube, and especially my Instagram, where I am constantly posting my pictures and recipes of simple dorm room creations.  If you like this post or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!  Happy cooking 🙂

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