Students: Get Ready to Live Off These Quick-and-Easy Meals

It’s back-to-school season, and for many college students, that means stocking up on frozen dinners and packs of instant ramen noodles. While these kinds of ready-in-no-time bites will certainly get you fed quickly, they often are highly processed and packed with added salt and sugar (bad news for your energy and waistline). Instead, whip up some of these fresh, nutritious meals—they are all simple to prepare and will give you the energy and brain power you need all day long to ace your tests. Plus, many are vegetarian, helping you get more fiber and vegetables (two things college students often don’t get enough of).

  1. Black Bean Taco Mini Bowls: Tacos tend to be looked down on from a health perspective, but by swapping out the ground beef for black beans, you’re adding one of the most antioxidant-rich foods out there. These black bean cups, ideal for a fast lunch, are made in muffin tins and only take a few moments to prepare.
  2. Avocado and Kale Fruit Smoothie: This is a quick, tasty breakfast that you can take with you as you head out the door for morning classes. Avocados help boost your memory—something you’ll need as you pore over your textbooks—and they give the drink a creamy texture. By adding kale to the blender, you’re also packing in tons of vitamin K, essential for improving long-term brainpower. And don’t worry about it tasting like a liquid salad—the pineapple and coconut help mask the taste of the kale.
  3. Sautéed Broccoli Medley: With only four ingredients, this dish is somehow both super simple and really delicious. Not only is it packed with vitamin K, but it’s also rich in antioxidants, potassium and lycopene. Just toss everything together in your sauté pan and you’re done in under 10 minutes.
  4. Spinach Salad in a Jar: Poor concentration can be attributed to low levels of iron, which is why it’s so important to eat lots of dark, leafy greens. And when you add quinoa to the mix, you’re also getting a dose of protein and complex carbohydrates, keeping you awake and focused. Pears and a maple balsamic dressing give this grab-and-go meal the right amount of sweetness.
  5. Mini Egg Muffins with Veggies and Cheddar: Eggs are a high-protein breakfast-time favorite and this is one of the easiest ways to prepare them. Just store these muffins in your fridge and you’ll have breakfast all week long. An added bonus? The high levels of B vitamins will help you hold on to memories, which you’ll need on big study days.

What are your fast and foolproof recipes that get you through the day? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Sitong Peng

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