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Collegiette Eats: The Best Oatmeal You’ll Ever Have

Sick of eating cereal and Ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.

Breakfast

Growing up, I was all about cereal for breakfast. I thought life couldn’t get better than waking up to a bowl (or two) of Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios. Then I discovered oatmeal—and I’ve never looked back. Since my senior year of high school, I’ve had literally hundreds of bowls of oatmeal, and I still can’t get enough. It’s warm, filling (thanks to the fiber) and hard to get bored of since there are endless toppings and mix-ins you can add to switch it up. I may or may not be getting dangerously close to entering a monogamous relationship with oatmeal.

Yesterday morning, I made my a bowl of oatmeal with my favorite toppings: banana, almond butter, cinnamon and honey. Get used to seeing this one a lot on the blog, because I’m a big repeat offender (#sorrynotsorry). You won’t be sorry either once you try it. Now, I don’t want to brag, but since I’ve made this combination so many times, I’ve really perfected the technique. I should probably add making oatmeal as one of my employable skills on LinkedIn. The secret is microwaving the banana and almond butter in with the oatmeal so that they get warm and almost melt into the oats. It’s rich and dessert-y enough for you to forget that it’s healthy. 

Follow my steps below for a bowl of oatmeal that will convert even the most die-hard cereal fan. The flavors are a match made in heaven, and the combination of the fiber from the oatmeal plus the protein and healthy fats from the almond butter will keep you full for hours to get you through those rough morning classes.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Cinnamon to taste

Directions

  1. Combine oatmeal, water and almond milk in bowl.
  2. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in half of the chopped banana and add more almond milk until desired consistency reached.
  4. Microwave for 1 minute.
  5. Add almond butter.
  6. Microwave for 30 seconds.
  7. Top with remaining banana slices, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey.

Lunch

I like to have a variety of salad fix-ins on hand during the week so that I can easily throw one together in between classes. I recommend making batches of stuff that can be added to a salad—such as hard-boiled eggs, quinoa or roasted veggies—when you have time one night so that you have a supply during the week. Yesterday’s salad consisted of spinach, romaine, canned tuna, sunflower seeds, kalamata olives, a hard-boiled egg and balsamic dressing. I also had a side of canned lentil soup (I can’t eat lentils without thinking of Marcel The Shell wearing one as a hat).

Dinner

For dinner, I threw together a Mexican-inspired grain bowl: quinoa, corn and black beans (both from a can) and sautéed shrimp, topped with homemade guacamole. Homemade guacamole is easier than it sounds. You just mash together one avocado with the juice of one lime and add salt, pepper and a little sriracha (if you want a little kick) to taste.

Shrimp is so underrated. Raw shrimp only has about 15-20 calories per piece, it’s super easy to prepare and it adds tasty protein to your salad, pasta or stir-fry. Scared to cook it? Don’t be. Buy a package of frozen shrimp and follow these easy steps:

  1. Put the number of frozen shrimp you want in a bowl of water to defrost them.
  2. Once defrosted, peel the shrimp (unless you bought peeled frozen shrimp, then you’re good to go).
  3. Put shrimp in a Ziploc bag with olive oil (about a tablespoon) and desired seasoning (I used McCormick basil and garlic seasoning and a bit of cayenne pepper).
  4. Shake bag to coat shrimp.
  5. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to marinate.
  6. Heat olive oil and minced garlic in a pan over medium heat.
  7. Once garlic is sizzling, add shrimp and sauté until pink/grilled (the shrimp only take about 5 minutes to cook, so keep your eye on the pan). 

Time to go spend the rest of the day in the library. Happy nomming!

Sammie is a student at the University of Michigan where she is pursuing a BBA. A foodie since birth, she enjoys cooking, eating, smelling, looking at, photographing, reading about, and playing with any and all types of food. Her idolization of culinary delights is complemented by her active spirit- she enjoys running, swimming, barre classes, and even spontaneous bursts of interpretative dance if the mood strikes her. She has completed two triathlons and a half-marathon and plans to tackle more races in the future. She also dreams of traveling the globe, saving the world, and marrying James and/or Dave Franco. 
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