It’s easy to pack on the pounds in college when you’re drinking beer every weekend and getting greasy food a few nights a week after the bar. There aren’t many options besides subs, pizza, and buffalo chicken everywhere you look, so eating right can be tough.
I’ve put together a small collection of recipes that are easy to make and pretty healthy. They also won’t break your budget as they don’t call for too many ingredients. If you’re trying to impress your girlfriend or just want to cook a nice meal for your roommates, give one of these a try.
Lo-Cal Buffalo Chicken Dip
Instead of making buffalo chicken dip with cream cheese, a whole lot of ranch dressing, and sour cream, this recipe will still give you the taste without all the calories.
Laughing Cow Spreadable Cheese
Combine all ingredients and heat up on the stove top. Serve with pretzels, crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips.
Your favorite store bought marinara sauce
No-Bake Lasagna Noodles (Whole Wheat if you can find them)
Low fat Ricotta or cottage cheese
Cook the ground turkey in a pan and mix it with the marinara sauce. Mix the egg with the ricotta/cottage cheese (add any Italian spices you may like too). Alternate layers of the no-bake noodles, cheese mixture, and sauce. Top with mozzarella and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Tip: If you’re still living in the dorm, you can make this recipe, too! You’ll have to nix the ground meat, but the lasagna noodles will cook in the microwave too! Just get a smaller cooking dish that’s microwave safe, and you can leave the dining hall food behind for a night.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pack Lipton onion soup mix
Cranberry sauce with whole cranberries
Mix all ingredients together and bake for 1 hour in a 350 degree oven. Don’t be afraid to try out new combinations too, swap the cranberry sauce for apricot preserves or the Catalina dressing for Russian dressing, if you like a sweeter sauce. With just a few ingredients, this is a dish you can make on a budget over and over again.
Healthy Mashed Potatoes
These mashed potatoes are still yummy and have that nice smooth texture without the butter. I was skeptical at first because I don’t like to mess with what I know is good (mashed potatoes full of butter), but these are delicious and you won’t even realize what you’re missing.
Yukon Gold potatoes (five or six peeled)
Chives (however many you like, they add a ton of great flavor)
Chicken broth (1 can)
Low Fat sour cream (one big scoop)
Boil the potatoes until soft. Whip together or mash manually and combine all ingredients.