As promised, here’s the food I showed you on my Eating Healthy on a College or any Budget video. Find ones you like and stock up on the ingredients so that you always have them at your finger tips. Once you try a few, consider buying the ingredients in bulk so you can get the best price — and so you can cook extra portions that you can store and eat later in the week.
Buy the kind you need to cook for at least 5 minutes. To make this a comforting and delicious meal, add 1/2 a ripe banana, a small handful of raisins, and sprinkle with cinnamon and a tiny dash of nutmeg.
Over Easy Egg Salad
Simply cut a circular wedge of iceberg lettuce, add a tomato slice or two, drizzle dressing of any kind over it, and then cook one or two eggs over easy or sunny-side up and stack the egg or eggs on top of the lettuce. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy. The creaminess of the egg yolk makes this super tasty!
Use any lettuce, like Romaine and Iceberg, they are yummy and cheaper than other lettuces. If you find other lettuce that is more budget-friendly or on special, go for that.
These orange spuds are cheap, easy to make and highly nutritious. All you need to do is wash them, poke holes in them with a fork, microwave them until they are soft, sprinkle cheese on top, maybe add a dab of sour cream (if you are not on a diet) and salt and pepper to taste.
Black Beans and Red Peppers
This is one of my daughter’s favorites. For this dish, chop red onions and red bell peppers and toss into a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook on medium high for 3 minutes and then add a can of black beans. Cook until hot and serve with a pinch of cheddar cheese or even a wedge of avocado — if you are not on a diet you can also add a dollop of sour cream.
PB & J
This old favorite is actually good for you as long as you use peanut butter that is made out of just peanuts, and that you spread it on whole wheat or whole grain bread. Buy peanut butter in bulk, and you can can add preserves of any kind that you can also buy in bulk.
Whole Wheat Pasta
Cook any whole wheat pasta and any pre-made or homemade pasta sauce. Mix the sauce with the pasta and put in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to infuse the pasta with the sauce. If you have the funds, also get Parmesan cheese or use cheddar to top this dish.
When cooking pasta, you can really stretch it by making extra and storing what you don’t eat so you have ready-to-eat leftovers later in the week. You can also freeze the pasta with the sauce if you make too much for even you to eat.
These are a staple of mine and my college student daughter’s. I made these a thousand times in a thousand ways. Anything can go in them, they are super easy to make and take very little time.
The simplest quesadilla is one with just cheese. To make a cheese quesadilla, all you do is lightly coat a frying pan with olive oil, place one whole wheat tortilla in the pan, layer cheddar or any other cheese lightly all over and wait for the cheese to melt. Then fold the quesadilla in half, place on a cutting board an slice into triangles.
Another great addition is beans, bell peppers, onions, chicken, and almost anything you can imagine — and then to top it off try adding sliced avocados and a dollop of sour cream (unless you are on a diet, and then this entire dish is likely not the best choice).
As you can see, my daughter loves quesadillas and ate everything on the plate after I shot my video. She also ate the over easy egg salad, the pasta and an apple. I will make sure she gets on the rebounder later.
Chili and Brown Rice
Cook the chili and the rice (brown rice is flavorful and full of fiber — and note that in the video I used white rice). I like to make extra so I have lots of leftovers that I can eat later in the week. Also shred some cheddar cheese, cook an egg over easy or sunny-side up. In a bowl, add a heaping scoop of rice, a scoop of chili, pinch of cheese, and top it with an over easy or sunny-side up egg. Other great toppers are avocado and sour cream, unless you are on a diet.
Fruit in Season
Right now there is not a big variety of fresh fruits in season, but the ones that are in season taste delicious and will cost you less than the ones that come from some distant location — also known as a big footprint.
Some budget-friendly fruits in season in the Winter, are apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, pomegranates, and bananas. In the Spring, you will start to see a whole new crop of fruits, and that is when you should take advantage of it. Same with the Summer, enjoy all the fruits that come with the summer and get them from local Farmer’s Markets — or even venture out to a local farm. In early May, look for a video on RoundTV about an organic strawberry farm along the coast of California.
If you do not live where there is much fresh fruit, go ahead and buy canned fruit. Be sure to choose cans of fruit that are in their own juice, rather than a sugary liquid.
Buy any nuts in bulk, shelled or unshelled (unshelled takes longer to eat), mix them with raisins and dark chocolate chips to make your own trail mix. Pack 2 to 4 ounces with you and eat 1 to 2 ounces of the mix when you need a snack while at school or away from home. This way you will always be fed and won’t be tempted to hungrily go to an unhealthy fast food place where you get food that can wear your body down with bad fats and empty calories.
Make sure you don’t eat nuts without measuring them out first or you will be more likely to eat too many. Nuts are high in fat and a great protein source, buy you don’t want to pig out on them.
Buy food like chili, beans, pasta, pasta sauce, rice and oatmeal in bulk. This will be more cost effective and allow you to prepare more food than you can eat so you can save the rest for leftovers.
Make any of the meals any time of day. Make lunch for dinner, breakfast for lunch or dinner for breakfast. You body will not know the difference, but will surely benefit from the nutrients — and if you keep your portions to a minimum your wallet will become fatter rather than you becoming fatter.