[Annual Manual 2006] Quick Meals | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Annual Manual 2006] Quick Meals

When I left the comforts of my mom's kitchen for a dorm room equipped with a sink, micro-fridge and microwave, I knew it was time to look out for myself. I also discovered I had to defend myself from the evil eating habits of my roommate.

As I think back on those early college days, I realize that I had pretty good eating habits, compared to my roommate's, that is. There were many girls living on the hall who went a little nuts—they were away from their mother's healthful, watchful eye and they ate whatever they wanted. While that may be something to go ahead and get out of your system, here are some helpful and healthful tips to get you through some of the food evils that lurking behind those dorm doors.

The Midnight Run

It's late and you and your roommate have been good students, studying, researching and writing papers all evening. Suddenly your roommate turns to you and says, "How about some Krystals?" (It's best to imagine that your roommate has horns on her head in this scenario.)

Granted, there are some nights where you just have to cave in and have the grease, but for those nights where you might want something a little savory, here's a healthier suggestion: tortilla roll-ups.

Here's what you'll need: one tortilla, spreadable cream cheese (vegetable or chive and onion), shredded cheese (any variety) and ham (or turkey).

Spread cream cheese on the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and pile on about four pieces of meat. Roll up, slice and enjoy.

Sweet Tooth

I came back to my dorm room once and found my roommate eating cookie dough out of the tube with a spoon (again, picture devil horns). She wasn't depressed; she just wanted something sweet and thought raw cookie dough was the solution. I knew there had to be a better alternative to sweets cravings besides putting yourself at risk for salmonella. A safer solution: s'mores.

You'll need two graham crackers, one large marshmallow and a handful of chocolate chips. Place chocolate on one side and the marshmallow on the other. Heat for about eight to 10 seconds, and put the crackers together for a fast, sweet treat.

Sodium

The real shocker of my roommate's eating habits came in the form of canned ravioli. I kid you not. She ate it out of the can—didn't even bother heating it. Besides the fact that this is gross, canned foods are high in sodium. There is nothing easier then opening a can of soup and heating the contents in the microwave, but be aware that a can of tomato soup has around 700 milligrams of sodium, and a single serving of ravioli, close to 900. Fortunately, there are low sodium options not only in canned foods, but frozen dinners as well. It's OK to go with cheap and easy, but do a little labeling reading first.

The most important thing to remember about college eating habits is moderation is the key. Don't deprive yourself of every late-night grease expeditions; just be sensible. And please cook your food before you eat it.

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