Dorm Room Cooking Hacks with Trader Joe’s

Image Courtesy of  UrbanSpaces

By Olivia Wingert and Caroline Pitman

Dining hall food is exciting for about two weeks. After this honeymoon period filled with 

Chick-fil-A french fries and many trips to the frozen yogurt machine, it is time for a change. Having staples in your dorm room is helpful once classes get busy, and it can be fun to start cooking for yourself. Trader Joe’s is only a few metro stops from campus and carries all the needed dorm essentials.

Although it may not feel like fall outside quite yet, according to Trader Joe’s, it’s pumpkin season. If it can have pumpkin in it, Trader Joe’s has made it. A great way to embrace this season is with the pumpkin bread mix. It only requires oil and eggs, and the bread is perfect to make and share with friends on a chilly Sunday afternoon. It will also make your communal kitchen smell heavenly. Amazon sells great disposable loaf pan tins which make for easy cleanup. 

Another dorm room staple is a small blender. Magic Bullets run around $20 and are perfect for making personal-sized smoothies. At Trader Joe’s, stock up on frozen fruit, or even try a pumpkin smoothie for a fall treat. For extra creamy smoothies make sure to toss in a frozen banana, and you can pack in frozen spinach or protein powder for an extra boost. 

Shelf-stable food is perfect to keep in your dorm room. A mini waffle maker is only $10 and works really well, so grab Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Protein Pancake Mix and make a delicious snack. Combine the mix with water and top the waffles with maple syrup or for extra protein, peanut butter.

If you have a mini-fridge in your dorm room, having a variety of snacky veggies and a tub of hummus can really save you on those busy days. This protein-packed combo is healthy, inexpensive, and a fresh change from the salad rut we can all fall into. From Trader Joe’s, pick up carrot sticks, mini cucumbers, mini bell peppers, celery sticks, and mini tomatoes. Pair your favorite hummus with Trader Joes’ Rosemary Raisin Cracker Crisps or the pretzel thins to add a bit of crunch. Purchasing a pack of whole wheat tortillas allows you to make veggie hummus wraps as well.

For a quick and filling lunch, grab one of Trader Joe’s pre-made wraps. Don’t be fooled by their humble exterior, these wraps are a delicious, balanced, and filling lunch for when you have to gear up for that 3-hour chemistry lab. The true star of the wraps is the Turkey Club wrap with arugula, turkey bacon, turkey, and a dijonaise sauce. 

The closest Trader Joes to CUA’s campus is 2 metro stops down at NOMA. There also is one about a ten minute walk from the Foggy Bottom stop if you happen to be out and about. If you are hanging out around the Capitol, the Eastern Market/Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s is conveniently just a block away from the metro stop. 

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