Food

At this point towards the dreary end of winter, we're more than halfway through a hectic school year, and too many resolutions to eat healthier during 2014 have been long forgotten.

Because of the reliability of microwavable meals and the comfy cafeteria line, the idea of preparing home-cooked meals slides easily onto the backburner. A lot of students – or anyone in the working world for that matter – let the busyness of the school and work day discourage healthy eating habits. Having the constant excuse of studying, most of us will end up patronizing the fast-food deep-fryers instead of kitchen pantries. There is no doubt in my mind about the need to have convenient cafeteria food; with busy classes and the need to purchase a meal plan, it is an understandable result that the grocery store becomes a force to be kept at arm's length.

To combat this unfortunate result, I took to Pinterest, and I thought it would be helpful to share some of the easy and healthy recipes that caught my eye. I can only hope that I have made a helpful guidebook for anyone wanting to change-up their dried-out meal routines.

This first recipe is a summary of the "Peanut Butter-Strawberry Wrap" recipe found in Prevention. Most likely, you can find the ingredients in your apartment panty or refrigerator. The wrap is a PB&J sandwich that subs in a lower calorie grain in place of bread, and healthy fruits instead of sugary jelly.

  • Use your favorite type of tortilla or wrap as the base for the sandwich
  • Layer on about two tablespoons of peanut butter (or any nut butter for that matter)
  • Complete the wrap with a layer of sliced strawberries or any other fresh berries you may have on hand

Achieving the final result is pretty self-explanatory: roll your wrap up in whatever style makes it easiest to devour, and enjoy!

This second recipe may seem best-suited for breakfast, but it will prove to be tasty option at any point during the day. The Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups recipe is a nice detour from a standard scrambled eggs dish. Essentially, these are "mini frittatas" full of high-protein eggs and egg whites, quinoa, and ham. For anyone unfamiliar with the circular seeds of the South American quinoa grain, this is the perfect opportunity to experience it. With its distinct, nutty flavor it's comforting to find that it cooks similarly to rice, and takes an even shorter time to prepare.

The above link will lead you straight to Kristin Porter's blog where I found the recipe. Its instructions are simple to follow. Be sure that before mixing the list of ingredients you cook your 3/4 cup of quinoa and let it cool. Following that, the quinoa, along with the other ingredients, can all be mixed in a single bowl. After everything is well combined, make sure you have a mini or regular sized muffin tin greased, and the oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the muffin tin.

After letting the cups cool for a while, you can keep them in your freezer to later heat up in the microwave at a moment's notice.

This next recipe is perfect for mornings or afternoons when the last thing you want to do is cook. I found this Fruit Green Tea Smoothie recipe on the Nasoya website. This recipe uses fruits as well as tofu and green tea. If you've never eaten tofu before, it's helpful to know that tofu is packaged in water, so you'll need to drain the package of tofu before you use it; this way your meal won't be super saturated with water.

Follow the link above to access the complete ingredient list. The smoothie recipe is designed to make enough servings for six people, so either divide the ingredient portions into a single serving size, or simply invite more people over for a taste-testing!

The last recipe I want to share is from the blog Southern In-Law. This Single Serve Brownie recipe is a healthy spin on a sugary treat, and manages to fit inside a coffee mug. It only calls for six ingredients, and, among many other things, happens to be vegan and gluten free. If you have a coffee mug and a microwave, then making this dessert will be a breeze. This is the perfect snack for all-nighters and satisfying any major chocolate cravings.

Besides being healthy, easy, and inexpensive, these recipes are perfect for people who have been curious about experimenting with recipes, but were unsure where and how to start. Hopefully this will inspire people to branch out in the grocery store, and not be afraid to make their meals fresh and interesting!