Community: Forum: Recipes & Cooking

Vegan Cooking Tips and Recipes Forum

I am an entering freshman in college, and have been working on making the transition into veganism over this summer. However, the university I will be attending only allows a microwave, blender, and a mini-fridge in the dorm rooms. (That means no crock pot, George Foreman grill, hot plate, etc.)

As a result, I am concerned about what to eat while there. Does anyone have suggestions on what to buy/stock up on food-wise, as well as simple recipes that could be made with minimal appliances and limited time?

Thanks in advance.

Responses (5)

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    Posted by vegellie at 07/22/13 17:14:57

    Hey! I'm a rising junior who has been vegan since before college, so hopefully I'll be able to help :). I think it really depends on where you are going - I go to school at Davidson in NC, which really isn't the most vegan-friendly place. However, there are schools that make a huge effort to have plenty of vegan options in their dining facilities, which you should definitely check out. Also, does your building have a kitchen? I'd search out if you have any health food stores around you and bulk up on more food you can blend or just defrost/not have to cook (unless you do have a kitchen in your building). Making friends that live in apartments is also great. My freshman year they always let me use their kitchen and I baked vegan cookies and vegan food for us. But, you can do a lot with just a microwave and a fridge. Any type of wrap, salad, what-not. Also, I think there's a college vegan cookbook that has a ton of recipes that you can surprisingly cook in a microwave. That might be helpful. But I've survived vegan! So, I'm sure once you get into the swing of how you can make stuff, you will, too :).

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    Posted by SummerPerkins at 11/03/13 14:36:10

    I'm in the same situation with limited kitchen facilities, so I feel your pain! Here are some suggestions:

    1. Do a good walk-through in your dining facility to find out what's vegan there. You may even want to meet for a few minutes with the kitchen supervisor to discuss options and make suggestions.
    2. Keep a good list of packaged vegan foods (PETA has a good cheat-sheet for "accidentally vegan" foods) that you can refer to when shopping. Don't limit yourself to health food stores, either--regular grocery stores are much less expensive and have lots of options. Try Progresso lentil soup and Barilla Whole Wheat Penne with Tomato-Basil sauce (it's in the non-refrigerated packaged meals).
    3. Peanut butter and jelly are your friends.
    4. Look for friendly restaurants around campus--there are bound to be some. It's easy to get a vegan meal at Taco Bell, and they're open all night.
    5. Learn how to make your favorite foods in the microwave. Oatmeal is an easy one. Tofu scramble can be mixed up and kept in a jar, then microwaved one portion at a time. Veggie burgers microwave nicely. A package of frozen veggies and a package of microwave rice make a nice meal together. A can of vegetarian refried beans with a package of fresh veggies and tortillas make a batch of tacos.

    Good luck!

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    Posted by Redcordelia at 11/05/13 11:45:16

    Here's a link to that vegan college cookbook:
    If your dorm has a communal kitchen, you could make a big pot of food one day and keep the leftovers in jars to warm up and eat. You can make a lot of wonderful smoothies in your room. You can keep snacks like almonds and wheat thins that don't need to be cooked. It will be challenging, but you'll get the hang of it really fast and making vegan food in your dorm will become second nature. Really, you'll be surprised how fast you get used to your new setup. But make sure that when you cook at someone else's house, that you clean up after yourself really well. That way, you'll be invited back again the next time.

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    Posted by Immaterial at 08/06/14 19:20:51

    I find myself somewhat curious as to the rational the university might be using in allowing a microwave, blender and fridge, but nothing else.

    If it was mess they were worried about, I can't see why they'd allow a blender (certainly it can't be quiet that's their concern), and if it was starting a fire, I'm not certain how a microwave is safer than a crock pot (although to be fair, for all I know crock pots could be deadly).

    Given that you will in theory be there for years, it might (depending on whether or not you feel it's worth the effort) be worthwhile to try and find out the schools rational and seeing if you can perhaps persuade them to reevaluate their rules. (In which case personally I'd be inclined to go with an induction plate, because not only would it be hard to start a fire with, but everything is better with induction).

    Beyond that I imagine one could get inventive with an iron for the purpose of cooking.

  • irenesuhwon93's avatar
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    Posted by irenesuhwon93 at 08/05/14 18:24:49

    When I was living in a dorm the cafeteria has awesome vegetarian items but vegan was a little limited...
    Also you can do lots with a microwave! I ate alot of ramen, soup, etc. And to be honest if you did have a little hot plate or what not nobody is really going to notice. Just remember during inspection time to tuck it away. I know this may seem kind of rebellious but you'll see what I mean once you get to school =]

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