5 Simple and Delicious Meals Perfect for College Students

5 Simple and Delicious Meals Perfect for College Students

School has been keeping me really busy, so I apologize that you haven’t heard from me in a while! Good news is, I have finally made it through finals season and am home-free on Winter Break for the next few weeks! However, since I understand what it’s like to be stressed to the point where you don’t even think you have time to eat, I am going to share a few of the simple meals I like to prepare when I find myself crunched for time.

If you’re a culinary expert, you are probably going to want to ignore this post. However, if you’re like me when it comes to cooking, you like to keep things simple and easy. Creating fancy and intricate dishes can be fun, but when you’re busy and need a meal in a pinch, turn to this list.

1. Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

What you need: Tortillas (I like the spinach ones from Trader Joes as pictured in my Tortilla Pie post), refried beans, shredded cheese

How to make them: Spread your refried beans onto one of the tortillas, place onto hot pan, sprinkle on shredded cheese and top with a second tortilla. When the bottom side is golden-brown, flip and brown the other side. Top with salsa and/or sour cream if desired.

Looking for a side? Try Knorr Rice Sides Spanish Rice topped with shredded cheese.

2. English Muffin Pizzas

What you need: English muffins (plain bagels work great too), pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, any additional preferred toppings (I like black olives and pepperoni)

How to make them: Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the English Muffins and/or bagels in half, spread on some pizza sauce and top with cheese and any additional toppings. Bake for about 12 minutes. (I haven’t tried this, but if you live in a dorm and don’t have an oven, I am guessing these would work in the microwave as well. They would just be softer and less crispy. You could try toasting the English muffins or bagels before adding the toppings for a crispier pizza.)

15682686_1185811104820856_502433237_n

Looking for a side? Salads are a good option!

3. Spinach, Cucumber, and Hummus Pitas

What you need: Pita bread/pita pockets, hummus (I like Sabra Roasted Red Pepper or Roasted Garlic Hummus), sliced cucumber, spinach, sliced deli turkey

How to make them: Cut pita pockets in half, spread hummus on the inside, and fill with cucumbers and spinach. Add turkey if you are looking for some extra protein.

Looking for a side? Try baby carrots (or broccoli and cauliflower) and dill dip.

4. Grilled Cheese and Apple Sandwich

What you need: Your favorite bread (try Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane), your favorite cheese, your favorite lunch meat (ham and turkey work the best), sliced apples

How to make them: Make a sandwich out of all the ingredients and fry it up on the stove. Alternatively, if you like the idea of an apple sandwich, but don’t have the other ingredients or the time to grill a sandwich, you can make a peanut butter and apple wrap if you have tortillas. (I would leave the meat and cheese out of that one.)

15644945_1185809484821018_497604345_n

Looking for a side? Try blueberry Greek yogurt (Dannon Oikos is my personal favorite) with some granola.

5. Turkey, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast (or anytime) Burritos

What you need: Tortillas, 2 eggs, shredded cheese, sliced deli turkey (I’m a turkey girl, but ham and beef work great too!)

How to make them: First you’ll want to cook your eggs. While they will look prettier if you cook them on the stove top, you can speed up the process by cooking them in the microwave, about 45 seconds per egg. Remember, it won’t matter how pretty they look once they are wrapped up in your tortilla!

The rest is easy; place all the ingredients inside your tortilla(s) and wrap into a burrito! (Sorry I don’t have any good tips for burrito wrapping…)

Looking for a side? Try some fresh fruit!


The best thing about this list is the overlap of ingredients. You will notice that tortillas, turkey, and cheese are staples in several of these recipes. Shopping for one can be hard. You don’t want food to go to waste but you don’t want to eat the same thing over and over either. I have found that having multiple uses for the same ingredients makes grocery shopping easier. Your food will get eaten up before its expiration date, while still making sure you have plenty of variety!

Advertisements
Tortilla Pie

Tortilla Pie

IMG_20160607_184016568[1]

Tortilla pie is a classic dish that my mom made for us all the time growing up. It is very delicious and so simple and easy to make.

Start out with a fun 9-inch pie dish like this one:

IMG_20160607_174124168[1]

Then preheat the oven to 400°F. I sprayed my pie dish with some cooking spray to prevent sticking, wiping the dish with a paper towel to make the spray less thick and concentrated.

Then I poured the can of beans into a strainer so I could rinse them off and mix them with the corn.

IMG_20160607_174734517[1]

Time for assembly! Start out with a tortilla in the bottom of the dish. Mine are green because I used spinach flour tortillas from Trader Joe’s but you can use whichever kind you prefer. Spread on about 1/3 cup of salsa.

IMG_20160607_174644428[1]

Note: I haven’t tried this, but for all the experimenters out there, I think this could be even more delicious if a fresh salsa was used. I think I’ll try that next time!

After the salsa, add a few spoonfuls of the corn and bean mixture.

IMG_20160607_174933890[1]

Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

IMG_20160607_175139602[1]

Finally top with another tortilla. Continue this pattern – tortilla, salsa, corn and beans, and cheese – for the next two layers. Then top it all with the fourth tortilla.

IMG_20160607_175901125[1]

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes at 400°F.

See the full recipe below.


Tortilla Pie

IMG_20160607_183715052[1]

Ingredients:

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 1 & 1/2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • cooking spray

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray and then wipe it with a paper towel to evenly cover the pan with a thin layer.
  3. Open the can of black beans, pour into a strainer, and rinse in cold water.
  4. In the strainer or a separate bowl, mix together beans and corn.
  5. Lay one tortilla in the bottom of the pan and cover in a thin layer of salsa, about 1/3 cup. Then top with a few spoonfuls of the bean and corn mixture, and finally sprinkle on about 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
  6. Repeat step 5 for the next two tortillas. Be sure to spread the salsa, corn, and beans to the edges of the tortillas to prevent the edges from sagging.
  7. Place the final tortilla on top and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake at 400°F for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
  9. Serve with rice if desired. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Pie

Spaghetti Pie

Today I am going to share a simple and delicious recipe that my mother shared with me. It is extremely adaptable so there are plenty of ways to spice it up if you are looking for something a little more exciting; however, even the most basic version is a crowdpleaser.

IMG_20160206_181254[1]

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 lb. shredded cheese (I recommend mozzarella, but you can mix in other kinds for added flavor)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Your favorite pasta sauce! (I used Newman’s Own Marinara)

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. While pasta is cooking, separate egg whites from yolks and beat.
  3. Rinse pasta with cold water to cool. (This is very important to prevent the eggs from cooking when they hit the pasta!)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked spaghetti and egg whites, fully covering all of the spaghetti.
  5. In a 9 x 13 baking pan, layer the spaghetti mixture and the cheese, about 1/3 of each at a time. Be sure to fully cover the bottom of the pan with the first layer of spaghetti. (I also recommend spraying some cooking spray in the pan before you start, it makes the serving and cleaning go way more smoothly!)
  6. Make that final layer of cheese on top the thickest, to prevent the noodles from getting chewy while baking.
  7. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve topped with your favorite marinara or meat sauce and enjoy!

Variations:

  • You can choose to use the entire egg or just the egg whites for a healthier version.
  • If you want an egg-free dish, my mom uses a flax seed and hot water mixture as a replacement. 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 3 tablespoons boiling water is equivalent to one egg. Just mix and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  • Feel free to add other ingredients into the layers such as cottage cheese, kale, or any of your favorite pasta pairings!