Eva’s Eats – Microwave Munchies


Dorm life can be tough. There’s the noise, the roommate, the late nights, the bathrooms… I could go on. However, there is one thing about dorm living that everyone from freshmen to seniors can relate to, and that’s the food. It’s an issue we’ve all had to face. What do we do when the caf is closed? What do we keep in our mini fridge, if we even have one at all? More importantly, how can we satiate our hunger on a budget?

As a dorm survivor, I’m here to tell you it is possible. I’ll even do you one better; I  am here to help you keep your stomachs full by reviewing the foods to keep in your fridge so you can get the most out of your dollar and microwave.

To start you off, my first review will be on America’s favorite food and a college-student staple: pizza…. Bagels or rolls? Two snacks will enter the ring, but only one will come out on top…

Bagel Bites: 200 calories/ 4 bagels. Price: $3.97 for 18 ct. @ Walmart.

The instructions say to place a tray of nine in the microwave for 2 minutes and 10 seconds, and then to allow them to cool for one minute.

  • This time did not cut it. An additional minute was required to melt the cheese. The box suggests letting them cool for a minute before serving. They cool QUICKLY!
  • Though one would expect the bagel to be soggy, the cooling period allows for it to toughen, nay, crisp ever so slightly, delivering a pleasant crunch. The cheese poses a problem. It congeals very quickly, giving it this almost grainy quality. This severely impacts the mouth feel.
  • The taste was okay. If you are expecting delivery-quality then this is not the product for you. However, if all you’re looking for is a bagel with sauce and cheese, this is for you.
  • Overall the bagel bite satisfied my hunger without leaving me with that gross bloated feeling typical of most junk food.
  • At $3.97 for 18 before tax, you’re looking at $0.22 per bagel. It’s not exactly breaking the bank, but considering how it suggest cooking by the tray, you’re only looking at 2 batches before you’re out, but the serving size of 4 bagels is more than enough to fill you up.

Texture rating: ⭐⭐ Taste rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Fullness factor: ⭐⭐⭐

Economy: ⭐⭐

Pizza Rolls: 210 calories/ 6 rolls. Price: $3.00 for 40 ct. @ Walmart.

The box said 1 minute and 10 seconds was required to heat the food the whole way through.

  • There must be something wrong with my microwave because the recommended minute and 10 seconds per 6 rolls was WAY off. The box didn’t say to let it sit, so some mouth scalding was inevitable; however, the food stayed hot; already one up on the bagel.
  • So anyone who has ever had a pizza roll cooked properly in a toaster oven is going to be extremely disappointed. The texture was not soft yet crunchy, gooey and moist; it was rather tough and thick. I am in no way suggesting you go out and sneak a toaster oven into your dorm room ;), but the microwave is not the best cooking method for these little guys.
  • The taste redeems the roll to a certain extent. The sauce is sweet, but not unpalatable, and there is also a more diverse range of flavor. I’m not going to say the people at Totino’s use gourmet spices, but they at least include pepper. The cheese has an indistinguishable texture, losing its substance in the sauce, but flavor-wise you can tell it’s there.
  • Overall, the pizza roll did the exact opposite of the bagel. It left a greasy feeling in my mouth and sat heavy on my stomach.
  • $3.00 for 40 is not bad, especially when you can get the store brand for $0.30 less. That’s roughly $0.08 a roll. Granted one roll won’t fill you up, six certainly do.

Texture: ⭐ Taste:  ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fullness factor: ⭐ Economy: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The pizza snacks have spoken: with access to only a microwave in your dorm room, the pizza bagel is the best way to go. The microwave does not compromise its texture and it fills you up without making you regret eating it. However, if your wallet is tight this month, the pizza roll is probably for you, but you may want to factor in the cost of some ranch dressing to cover up the texture though!

Thus concludes the first installment of Eva’s Eats. I will return next week bringing you more coverage on dorm snacks, goodies, and meals. Stay tuned for next week’s column, Binging on a Budget: Moving Beyond Frozen Burritos!