As a busy student, you have limited time to devote to cooking — but preparing your own meals is much less expensive than eating out. Plus, cooking for yourself will help you maintain a balanced diet. What you need is some ideas for easy meals you can whip up quickly. It’s possible to make all the following as single servings to avoid food waste from leftovers that you end up throwing out.
1. Tex-Mex Bowl
A meal can be both filling and healthy — a great example is this Tex-Mex bowl. Use equal parts quinoa and brown rice and add ingredients like beans, tomato, avocado, onion, chili peppers, and cilantro. Top with a fried or poached egg.
2. Pasta in Tomato Sauce
A serving of pasta for one person is about 60 to 100 grams. You can make the sauce yourself using tomato, onion, and herbs or purchase a jar of sauce — this will be more expensive but faster. Complete your meal with some chunks of sausage or vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
A great choice for a healthy breakfast or light meal any time of the day is an omelette. For the omelette itself, all you need is a couple eggs, a little cooking oil, and some pepper. You can make the filling from virtually any type of cheese and vegetables.
4. Pesto Pizza
For an individual-size pizza, use a naan or pita. Instead of pizza sauce, you can use pesto. Sliced tomatoes and mozzarella are ideal as toppings, but you can use different ingredients if you prefer.
5. Yogurt Parfait
To make yogurt parfait, combine Greek yogurt, granola, chia seeds, your choice of fruit (strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are ideal), and some honey. Prepare it the night before to have a ready-to-go breakfast.
6. Mediterranean Grilled Cheese
Put a twist on a regular grilled cheese sandwich by using feta. This goes great with Mediterranean vegetables like roasted peppers, red onion, tomato, and olives.
7. Eggplant Parmesan
Using a small casserole dish, you can prepare a single-serve eggplant Parmesan. You’ll need to prepare the eggplant first — dip it in egg, coat it in breadcrumbs, and then fry it until it’s golden on either side. Once you’ve done this, lightly grease your dish and add a layer of eggplant slices. Follow this with a layer of mozzarella and a layer of tomato sauce. Then, repeat all three layers one more time. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan. It takes just 30 minutes to bake at 180 ºC.
8. Baked Oatmeal
Hot oatmeal can be comforting — and it’s just as easy to prepare as cold oatmeal. Simply heat half a cup of oats with a cup of either milk or water (or a combination of the two). Then, stir in a spoonful of peanut butter, some chunks of apple, and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
9. Caprese Salad
Salads make great lunches and sides to larger meals, but they become boring when you always use the same vegetables. A new combination to try is mozzarella, tomato, and arugula. You can also make this classic caprese salad a little heavier by adding some avocado.
Although all these meals are easy to make, they still require a kitchen, which is something you don’t have when you’re living on campus. You’ll find apartments near Brock University at Foundry Lofts that have full-size kitchens with stainless steel appliances. There are also grocery stores nearby — as well as restaurants for times when you want a treat. Contact us now before all the units are leased.