Channeling Ina: Dorm recipes for freezing weather

When the temperature is lower than your age and the ice patches outside of your dorm seem just a little too slippery, going outside isn’t really in the cards. Besides, it’s warm and cozy indoors, and with a few tricks (and a micro-fridge) you can make a dinner so delicious you won’t even miss going to Carm or Dewick for a meal — and I bet you’ll appreciate avoiding the tundra outside. These recipes will let you have a meal inside without so much as a frozen nose.

Honey-cinnamon sweet potato: Wash and dry a sweet potato, then prick about ten times with a fork or knife. Microwave on high power until soft when gently squeezed, about six to ten minutes depending on the microwave. Slice in half and top with butter, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. If you would like to kick it up a notch, dollop on a spoonful of salted almond butter.

Oatmeal with berry compote: Place ½ cup of frozen berries in a bowl with a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of sugar or honey. Microwave on high power for four to five minutes until the berries have broken down and resemble a thick sauce. Remove from the microwave and set aside. Take another bowl and combine ½ cup of quick or rolled oats and 1 cup of water. Microwave on 50 percent power for six minutes, then remove from the microwave and stir briefly. Top your oatmeal with the berry compote and any other toppings you have on hand — coconut, chopped nuts, granola, cacao nibs or Greek yogurt would go especially well with the berries.

Grain bowl with a poached egg: Place ¼ cup of dry rice, quinoa or couscous into a bowl with ½ cup of water, then cover and microwave on high power for five to six minutes. Uncover and fluff the cooked grain; it should be fully cooked and the water should be absorbed. Toss the grain with some olive oil and salt, then cover and set aside. Meanwhile fill up a second bowl with water, then gently crack in an egg and microwave for 1-2 minutes until cooked according to your preferences. Gently slide the egg out of the water and place on top of the grains. Season to taste with salt and pepper before you dig in. If you have a well-stocked room, you can make the dish as fancy as your pantry allows. Try topping the bowl with toasted sesame seeds and avocado slices; black beans and salsa; or roasted vegetables and some feta cheese. The world is your bowl of quinoa; dress it as you please.

These recipes are perfect for February and the current deep-freeze we’re enjoying, but don’t let that stop you from making them year round. Dorm room recipes are for everyone, whether you’re on the 160 plan or just don’t feel like going to the dining hall.

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