09/07/2014 12:29 pm ET Updated Nov 07, 2014

5 Essential Dorm Room Cooking Hacks

Ask just about any college student and they'll tell you that, at one time or another, they've cooked (or attempted to cook) something in their dorm room. Maybe they were tired of eating at the dining hall, maybe they didn't have money to eat out, maybe there wasn't a kitchen in their residence hall -- the reasons are many but the question is always the same: how can I make something delicious to eat using only a hot pot? Colleges have strict rules about cooking equipment in the residence halls which means that sometimes college students have to get creative. You'd be surprised what you can do with a microwave, a coffee pot, and an iron (yep, the same iron you use -- or are supposed to use -- to get the wrinkles out of your interview clothes).

Click Here to See All 25 Essential Dorm Room Cooking Hacks

Eggs are an easy and inexpensive way to add protein to a meal and make it more filling. They're also a healthy alternative to convenience foods that can contribute to college weight gain. Cooking eggs without a stove may seem like an impossible task, but you can make everything from poached eggs to miniature quiches in the microwave. If you're not allowed to have a microwave in your room (or don't have access to one in your residence hall) you can also cook eggs using a coffee maker -- who knew you could fry an egg on the coffee maker's burner? Genius!

Essential Dorm Room Cooking Hacks

Not all dorm room cooking has to be quick or simple dishes either; if you're tired of Ramen noodles and instant macaroni and cheese, try making a full dinner and dessert in your dorm room using a coffee maker and a microwave. You can cook chicken and rice in a coffee pot and you can steam fresh vegetables in the basket above. If you make an herb garden using upcycled tin cans, you can even trim some your fresh herbs for garnish. Then, finish your home-cooked meal with cheesecake that you made in just two minutes in a microwave a few hours earlier.

Whether you're searching for a way to make French toast and bacon for breakfast, an upgraded bowl of Ramen noodle soup for lunch, or a single serving of meatloaf and steamed vegetables for dinner, you can make it in your dorm room... but be prepared with some extra plates -- the tantalizing scent of a home-cooked meal wafting through the hallways may attract some unexpected dinner guests.

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-Kristie Collado, The Daily Meal

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