Hello everyone, hope you are all having a beautiful and relaxing Sunday!☀️ I felt the need for a little adventure, so I decided to go for a hike with two of my friends to catch the sunrise from the Pinnacle, a high point on the Appalachian Trail! I prepared some REALLY good sandwiches, put my hiking clothes on, and left Philly at 3 AM in order to be able to catch the sunrise!
However, this blog post is not about my hiking adventure (although that was really fun), but about something that I assume might be more useful for you: how in the world can you prepare some easy, quick, cheap, and healthy meals while being a college student?
Being a Sophomore now, I am not on a dining plan anymore (thankfully), reason why I was pretty much forced to learn the art of being in the kitchen… And, to my surprise, I absolutely LOVE IT. I don’t exaggerate when I’m telling you that I have never done anything involving cooking or preparing food before. I was barely cooking eggs, and that’s because my dad used to be the person that was cooking back home, so I just got lazy and let him do all the work. Oops.
But now… Now it’s another story. I started preparing all these meals, and all I do is just create from my own mind. I’m wondering where all these ideas are coming from, and even some cooking skills (such as flipping the food in the pan, I CAN DO IT). One month ago I did not know how to prepare any meal, so I really hope the things I learnt in the past month will help and inspire you in your future meal prep, especially as a college student who barely has time, money, and on top of that doesn’t want to go back home with 5 kilograms more because of junk food. 🙂
Breakfast (or the most important meal of the day)
This one is my go-to breakfast meal! Yes I know it looks really YUMMY and it definitely is! And guess what? It takes me less than 5 minutes to prepare it. All you need is raisin bread (or, honestly, any bread, but I just love the taste of raisin bread in this combination), fruit of your choice (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, etc), peanut butter, sunflower seed spread, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and honey!
Spread the bread with peanut butter or the sunflower seed spread, add the desired fruit, add the walnuts or sunflower seeds, chia seeds, a little bit of cinnamon and honey, and you’re ready to have a delicious start of the day! I personally prefer combining peanut butter with bananas and walnuts, and the sunflower seed spread with strawberries/blueberries and the sunflower seeds, but it’s up to you to change it to suit your taste!
It’s a great and quick breakfast to prepare when you have friends over as well! Add some coffee and you’re all set.
Next, take a look at this delicious baked oatmeal prepared by my roommate Lauren! Another good option when you have friends over, but honestly you can just make a whole one only for yourself, because I can guarantee you that you will not stop eating! You can find all the details about the recipe on Lauren’s food blog, right here.
Lastly, you can always go with guacamole, egg, and toasted bread! You need one avocado, one big tomato, one egg, and bread. Cut the avocado and tomato into small pieces, mix them together until you get a paste, and then add lemon, salt, and pepper. Cook the egg sunny side up (I like to add salt and pepper over it too), toast the bread, and then you can enjoy the breakfast!
My lunch literally doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes to prepare. The key ingredients that you will need are: leafy greens (you can choose spinach, kale, arugula, or even better… all of them!), eggs, smoked salmon, avocado, sunflower seeds (or walnuts, cashews, pecans), crackers, lemon, and olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning.
The greens are your base, and then you just gotta get creative! Add the pieces of avocado, salmon, and egg. For the egg, I cook it in the pan as if I was cooking a sunny side up egg, but instead of waiting for it to be done, I start smashing it in smaller pieces so I can add it more easily to my meal. Add the seeds (here you can basically add whatever you want, whether it is walnuts, sunflower seeds, or chia seeds – make sure it appeals to your taste!). Finally, I love adding A LOT of lemon, olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper.
Here it’s pretty much the same, but I added pecans and semi-mashed potatoes. Honestly, that might be too much, but really depends on what you like.
It’s nice that you can easily take your lunch to go as well!
Another idea would be to cook mushrooms (yummy)! First prepare the salad. You know already: take some leafy greens and add olive oil, sunflower seeds, and lemon on top. For this meal, I chose to add some feta cheese too! I also used the other half of the avocado that remained from the day before, and crackers as usual. Then prepare the mushrooms. You heat up the pan, add olive oil, and cook the mushrooms in it until they turn brown with golden spots. Remove the pan from the heat and add butter, oregano, salt, and a bit of pepper. Add them to the plate, add some ricotta cheese with the mushrooms (they are so tasty together), and serve immediately!
I usually have a snack between lunch and dinner, at around 4 o’clock. I’m telling you, there is nothing better than CARROTS with HUMMUS. I get the hummus from Trader Joe’s (they have a really good one… wait, I actually get almost everything from there), and I just add some olive oil and pepper when I’m eating it. Cut the carrots and serve them in this pleasant combination!
Other idea would be to just prepare the first breakfast meal that I mentioned, but make sure you don’t overdo it. I usually use it as a snacks when I haven’t had it in a long time.
Now this was a very good dinner indeed! Prepare the usual leafy greens and crackers, and then it’s time to bake some potatoes! First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes, cut them in half, wrap their base in aluminum foil, pierce them with a fork a couple times, and then sprinkle with oregano, pepper, salt, and olive oil. Put them in the oven and bake them for about 45-60 minutes. Make sure to check before taking them out to see if they are done (that is, try stick a fork inside of them and see if it works). If they are done, you can serve them with butter and feta cheese (SO delicious)!
This being said, these are my ideas of college meals that you can have throughout a day. Honestly they don’t imply too many ingredients and I feel like you can get as creative as you want with the ingredients that I mentioned when it comes to preparing these meals. They are easy to make, cheap, and healthy. I already see you going to the grocery store!
Hope this helped you, and let me know if you have any other questions, ideas or want me to write about anything in particular! Also, feel free to leave in the comments pictures of your meals, I won’t mind haha!
See you next Sunday!