When you’re short on time, it’s easy to fall into the habit of buying quick, cheap food. Unfortunately, the cheapest food is most unhealthy, and constant consumption of cheeseburgers and fries can really take a toll on the body. The key to not falling into the Freshman 15 is to cook your meals. It isn’t the most revolutionary advice, but you’d be amazed at the difference meal prepping can make. Realistically, “meal prep” is just fancy terminology for leftover. Cook a big batch of whatever the day before, then put everything in containers. The next day you’ll have food waiting for you, and your body and wallet will be very grateful. Here are some easy, delicious, healthy recipes we love and think you’d love too:
One Pot or Pan Recipes
Cajun Shrimp and Vegetable Sheet Bake: This super filling one-pan recipe has so many delicious ingredients in it and you’ll have leftovers for 2 or 3 days to come. Popeyes isn’t the only one who can do Louisiana fast.
Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Orzo: Another dish that will keep you full for days. This recipe is so rich and creamy, you’ll think you’re a chef.
Blackened Salmon with Avocado Salsa: Fancy sea-side restaurant or your kitchen? This meal takes a quick 10 minutes to whip up and will leave you feeling full and healthy when you’re done.
Garlic Butter Steak and Potatoes: No grill? No problem. Cook a big pan of stove top steak, potatoes, and maybe a vegetable or two with this easy, tasty recipe.
Filling and Easy Meals
Sun Dried Tomatoes, Spinach, and Tortellini Pasta: This dish is so good that you’re going to wonder why you ever went to an Olive Garden, ever. Minus the breadsticks.
Quinoa Fried “Rice”: People are often nervous about buying quinoa because it’s $5 a box. But this grain is so filling and good for you, you really get your money’s worth. Plus it’s really delicious.
Oven Baked Lime and Pepper Chicken: All the zest of a Mexican restaurant in the comfort of your home. Margarita’s strongly recommended.
Jerk Chicken: Get a taste of the islands with this authentic Jamaican dish. One doesn’t have to travel the world to be of worldly cuisine.
Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk: Sweet and savory, who doesn’t love a good curry dish? Treat yourself to this Asian inspired recipe one night and keep a few containers for the next.
Pot Roast: It’s like coming home to a meal made by mom. There are few things more comforting to the soul than a good ol’ fashioned pot roast.
Kale and Brussel Sprouts Salad: Never have trouble eating your vegetables again with this superfood-packed dish. You’ll feel so good after finishing, you won’t want to leave any leftovers at all.
Spicy Sunbutter Noodles: The zoodle craze was no joke, zucchini really is surprisingly delicious. Also, using a spiralizer is ridiculously fun.
Italian Sandwich Rollups: These pinwheel sandwiches are so cute and tasty, chances are you’ll get carried away making them. Which isn’t a bad thing.
All of these dishes are quick and delicious and will save you so much money in the long run. When one cooking session takes $15 in ingredients but lasts you three days, that deal will be hard to beat and impossible to find on a healthy scale. Though some recipes require extra equipment like a crockpot or spiralizer, they can be bought for $5-$20 and are a one time purchase. Give in to meal prepping and reap the benefits of a healthy college lifestyle and you won’t be disappointed.