College Meal Prep

As we go through college, we realize that it may be time to start getting little parts of our life together one by one including health! Routine exercising and some “touch-the-grass” times are great ideas. Another way I do this is through meal prep! This saves me money and forces me to eat more balanced meals with certain nutritional aspects I need (more protein, vitamin B, etc.). I am on campus usually all day (around 8:30am-8:30pm) due to classes, meetings, work, etc. I purchased a backpack on Amazon that was only around $25 that is very sturdy and has a built-in cooler/lunchbox as a front pouch. It looks very fashionable and is very useful. I meal prep around 1 day per week with a bunch of balanced meals that I can easily throw in tiny containers in my lunchbox to eat and/or microwave throughout the day. Some things that I’ve been making lately are curries, bowls, and casseroles. I also try to get some type of fruit that I can carry around easily (sliced pears in a ziploc, a tangerine, dried figs, etc.).

Now, how do you eat a balanced meal on a budget? Well, the meal prep helps a lot. I go to Costco (or Publix when there are good BOGO deals) to stock up on meats (ground beef, ground turkey, chicken thighs, etc.). Then, I put them in my freezer. When you see meat on sale, just get it and stick it in your freezer. Then, I grab some frozen, fresh, and canned veggies, maybe some jar curry sauces too. Quinoa and rice are also cheap things to buy in bulk. Then, one day per week I make all of these things in bulk and put them in my fridge to slowly eat at school from my lunchbox or reheat on a night that I come home late. (You can also make these foods in mega bulk portions and split ingredient costs among friends.)

For example, here is my meal prep this week: (all of these are my own concoctions, but if you need ideas ChatGPT is weirdly good at this too)

  • Chicken Saag
    • I had some chicken thighs in my freezer that I chopped into cubes and cooked with a premade saag curry sauce pack from the store. It turned out great!
  • Protein-rich Rice
    • I had leftover bean rice, daal, and a lentil curry pouch. I combined them in a pan to make a protein-heavy rice that can be eaten on its own or paired with the chicken!
  • Asian-inspired Ground Chicken
    • I’m mixing ground chicken and ground turkey with some five spice and oyster sauce to make an Asian-inspired meat that can be eaten with rice, quinoa, or just in lettuce cups!
  • Broccoli
    • I just blanch some frozen broccoli and mix with a bit of butter and garlic powder; these are neutral ingredients that makes this a good side dish to anything.
  • Grains (Rice, Quinoa)
    • I usually always have these on hand in my fridge to pair with protein and/or veggies.
  • Eggplant Pesto Casserole
    • I had some leftover pesto and spinach artichoke raviolis that I layered in a pan with sliced eggplant and extra parmesan then baked. It came out so good!
This entry was posted in 2023 - 2024 and tagged , by Isabella. Bookmark the permalink.

About Isabella

Hometown: St. Augustine, FL Campus Involvement: Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Project Manager/VP of Women's Baja SAE Team, FAA-related Research Job, College of Arts & Sciences Student Council Chair of Engineering Physics Why I chose Embry-Riddle: There are two big things that really pushed me to apply/attend to ERAU. One was the tremendous amount of hands-on experience that I could get just by asking to be a part of projects, teams, and research. The other was the numerous program-specific, non-gen-ed classes that started as early as freshman and sophomore year which made me excited to learn and apply concepts as soon as possible.

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