6 Healthy Meals that Won’t Break the Bank or Make You Late
Author: Kailey Guillemin
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You likely heard of the freshmen 15 when starting university. Students put on about 15 pounds as they adjust to their new lifestyle of cramming for exams, hanging out with friends, and finding time to sleep. Now you have to cook a healthy meal? Who has time for that?

It’s possible to have a healthy meal that won’t make you go broke, and won’t take hours to make. You just have to find the right recipes first.

Because I know how busy you are (or should be), I did part of the work for you. Below are six delicious recipes that are good for your stomach, delightful for your taste buds, easy on the wallet, and will allow you to keep going with your busy day.

Maple Cinnamon Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

Okay, so maybe the name sounds complicated, but it uses a crockpot. That means you can put everything in the pot, set your timer and forget about it for several hours. Plus oatmeal is highly nutritious. It’s full of antioxidants, fibre, can lower bad cholesterol, and it fills you up.

What you need:

  • 1 ½ cups of steel cut oats
  • 6 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Total Time: 4 hours and five minutes (but you can carry on with your day)

Chicken and Vegetable Quinoa Bowl

Quinoa is something you need to add to your diet if you haven’t already. You’re getting fibre, lots of protein, essential amino acids, and if you have a gluten intolerance, it’s an excellent substitute. This recipe is an excellent supper or post-workout meal.

Although this recipe has a fair amount of ingredients, many of them you can get small packets of that will last a long time. The broccoli you can get frozen, which is cheaper than fresh and still just as good.

What you need:

  • ½ large diced sweet potato
  • 1 head of broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of sliced, cooked chicken breast
  • ¼ cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon of tahini
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Total Time: 40 minutes

Greek Salad Nachos

Who doesn’t love a good plate of nachos? Especially when you have friends over for the night, nachos are the perfect snack to eat in a casual setting. How do you make nachos healthy though? By taking a Greek salad and turning it into nachos, that’s how.

By using whole grain options, you’re getting all the benefits from them that you don’t get from standard nacho chips. There are tons of vegetables thrown on this dish to ramp up the healthiness.

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup of prepared hummus
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 3 cups of whole-grain pita chips
  • 1 cup of chopped romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped olives
  • 2 tablespoons of minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh oregano/

Total Time: 30 minutes

Mug Brownie

Everyone deserves a snack, and this one’s for all of you chocolate lovers out there. Yes, you can have a chocolate dish that is not too bad for you. It’s still not something you want to enjoy every day for every meal. However, for those odd snacks you crave, there’s nothing wrong with eating a brownie out of a mug.

What you need:

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (stevia is an excellent natural substitute, but use a minimal amount)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of mini chocolate chips (optional, less healthy)

Total Time: 20 minutes

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Here’s a hearty vegan meal that even carnivores will love, and it only takes 25 minutes to make. Adding curry seasoning to the dish really kicks it up a notch for a more flavourful supper. You have the added benefits of spinach, or you could add in any vegetable you like. Pair it with whole grain rice to stay in line with healthier options.

Chickpeas are high in protein, which makes them an excellent meat supplement for vegetarians and vegans. Even if you are not a vegan, you can still enjoy the benefits from chickpeas.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of curry powder
  • 8 oz. of spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 29 oz. can of chickpeas.

Total Time: 25 minutes

Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

A stir fry supper is one of the easiest meals you can make in a short amount of time. Plus, what makes them so great is that you can add whatever you want to the mix. This beef and cabbage stir fry is quick and simple, and you can substitute the beef for leaner options like chicken or turkey, or add quinoa for vegetarians.

To make this meal even easier, instead of buying the different vegetables, a bag of coleslaw mix would do the trick.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of siracha
  • ½ tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ½ head of green cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb. of lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Total Time: 30 minutes

Another reason why these recipes are so awesome is that they use ingredients that you either have in your kitchen already, or will eventually use up anyways. Try out these recipes for your next meal and let us know what you think.

About author:
Kailey Guillemin

Kailey graduated with a degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she lives a double life in Manitoba – writer by day and dance teacher by night. When she’s not at her computer, you’ll find her curled up with a glass of red wine and knitting, or obsessively taking photos of her puppy.🐶🐾

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