Surviving College Without The Meal Plan! A College Collection of Creative Recipes

Part Two:  A College Collection of Creative Recipes from Nutrition Experts!

When September’s National Family Meals  month ends, October quickly picks up with Eat Together.Eat Better month, a Washington State University Extension initiative continuing the focus on families sharing time and activities around food.   Evidence shows children growing up eating around the table have better nutrition, self-esteem and better grades, and parents have greater savings.  These campaigns raise awareness of family meals in September and October setting a foundation of principles to continue 365 days a year, and in my opinion should not stop when children go away to college.  About 20.5 million students are enrolled in colleges and universities, and out- of- state enrollment is on the upswing, especially at state flagship universities. Would you then view this as a growing need for students to learn how to shop, chop and cook food in favor of healthy meals when ‘home away from home’ with friends, their new extended family?

US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015, show millennials (18- 34 years of age)  and most Americans are missing out on recommended servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy.  In addition, unhealthy fats and refined sugars are too high and fiber too low. This eating pattern misses the mark for vitamins A, C, and D, iron, calcium, potassium and fiber needed for strong bodies, alert minds, and a healthy immune system, especially important as we approach cold and the flu season.

The availability of many university dining hall’s options empowers students to make more nutritious food choices to help meet those recommendations, yet “take-out” tends to “take-over” when classes get overwhelming and when little or no (meal) planning takes place!   Hectic schedules seems to be the game changer. My son, living off campus, in full swing of the semester, offers this advice for himself and others “…devote an hour or two, one or two days a week, to do all your food prep to survive a few days with minimum cooking.”

Registered Dietitian, Faye Berger Mitchell, Editor in Chief of Foodie On Campus, reassuringly says “College students are definitely interested in cooking and eating healthy but knows that it needs to be quick and easy.”   Check out following Five Creative Recipes from nutrition experts, and share to help college students enjoy more healthy meals in their “home away from home”!


Healthy 5 Ingredient Salmon Patty
Healthy 5 Ingredient Salmon Patty

Salmon is a great source of high quality protein and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Chere Bork registered dietitian, coach, and co-author of the “5 Ingredients for Healthy Living” cookbook with her sister Laurie Meyer, also a registered dietitian, share their quick and easy salmon patty recipe.


Fiesta Mason Jar Salad
  Fiesta Mason Jar Salad, FoodieOnCampus

This make-ahead grab-and-go meal kills two birds with one stone! Nutritious and delicious, this plant based recipe is also environmentally friendly. No disposable containers here! The yogurt dressing and black beans supply the protein. Yogurt  also adds calcium. The variety of vegetables adds color for fiesta fun and vitamins A & C and fiber for a fiesta (the rest of your) of health!  


4 Ingredient Coconut Lime Quinoa
4 Ingredient Coconut Lime Quinoa, FoodieOnCampus  


This dish can stand alone and be served as a main dish or use it as a burrito filling, a side dish or toss in a little olive oil, nuts and veggies for a cold salad. Quinoa is a good source of fiber and unlike most grains, higher in protein.



Sweet Potato Nachos
Sweet Potato Nachos, Live Best 

A money-saving meal from registered dietitian and LiveBest author, Judy Barbe, has seven ingredients (sweet potatoes, black beans, avocado, and cheese – plus seasonings), is loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and it only takes 20 minutes to cook.



Festive Beef Fajitas
Festive Beef Fajitas


A simple beef and vegetable – including four of the five major food groups. When served with non-fat Greek yogurt it is packed with protein, Vitamins A and C, iron, zinc, and calcium. It is quick to prepare and you only need one non-stick pan making clean-up a breeze!

Share this post with the college students you know. Have them share with their friends, too!  Email me –about your favorite recipe above or email me with your tip or ideas for college students to enjoy  their “home away from home”  I look forward to writing a future post with your input!

 Next, Part Three of Three:  Feeding The Fast and Furious Breakfast

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