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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bradley U chapter.

I’m someone who likes basic, simple foods. I try to eat pretty cleanly. Since I’ve been at school, it’s been quite difficult to maintain my normal eating habits that I have back at home, so today I thought I would share of the meals I like to prep and some recipes that I’ve tried. As a vegetarian/vegan, it’s really hard to find foods that are healthy and also fit my requirements of what I consider healthy.

1. FRuits with peanut butter and Flax seed

Most people know I have quite an unhealthy obsession with peanut butter. I could eat it at every meal and put it on almost anything. Although, I did put the heading for it to go with fruits, which I will discuss momentarily, I like it best with toast. I don’t know what it is with toast, but if you do that and cut up bananas and put them on top, it’s literally the best thing I’ve ever had. It’s enough sweet that I can still taste the saltiness of the peanut butter and it just melts into your mouth. I could go on about that, but I won’t for the sake of not having what this article be about. Anyway, back to what this was actually supposed to discuss.

I really find that bananas and apples are my favorite things to combine peanut butter with. They are a quick and easy snack to prep and aren’t horribly messy. Peanut butter is very high in calories which is alright if you eat small amounts of it but consuming large amounts can be a large part of your daily calorie intake. Peanut butter isn’t very filling and shouldn’t be the only thing you eat with or without fruits. According to Verywellfit, the average women should take in about 1,600 to 2,400 calories every day and for men it’s about 2,200 to 3,200. This will obviously vary depending on age, weight, height, the amount of exercise and many other factors. To increase the healthiness of this, I liked to mix flaxseed into my peanut butter. Flaxseed has many nutritional values which I won’t go into fully, but for that I like to add it. It doesn’t really have any flavor so it’s not the end all.

2. Rice and veggies

For this, there are many different ingredients you can add or change up to make this taste yummy. I enjoy roasting veggies in the oven like cauliflower, broccoli or carrots. Even sweet or yellow roasted potatoes are a great way to add some flavor (even though these aren’t veggies). If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll cook things like mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, or even corn and peas in a pan and add sauces to it. Normally, I try to do just oil and not add anything else to keep it light but sometimes I’ll add sauce for flavor. I’ll mix this together with either jasmine or brown rice and eat up. If I’m feeling extra, I’ll cook a sunny side up egg or whatever egg I end up making if I pop the yoke, and also add a vegan sausage. This is a great meal to make if you need something quick and easy. If you make bigger portions of the veggies when you roast or cook them, you have them ready to go and then you can do a DIY bowl for another meal.

3. Avocado Toast

This is a great breakfast food or even just something to add a little spice to your day. There are different variations, but I’ll explain a few that I’ve personally tried. In one version, I just added avocado, raw spinach and raw tomato to toast and called it a day. I’ve also added an egg before to that as well. Sometimes, I’ll cook the veggies on the stove and add mushrooms. Another great thing you can add is vegetarian bacon. Morning Star Farms has so many vegetarian/vegan options out there even though they are a little costly. I recommend this brand to people that are just getting into vegetarian/vegan food because I think that most of the foods I’ve tried have been my favorite. Anyway, you can also add cheese if you want to make it more of a sandwich. There are so many different things you can add which is why I find this to be a fun dish. My brother likes to add lemon and seasoning to his avocado which I have found to be very tasty.

4. Smoothies

This one is one of my favorite things to have. I personally love smoothies so much and find this so fun to make. Depending on the day, sometimes I’ll make more of a fruity one or I’ll make a green smoothie. I also have protein shakes as well but I don’t think it’s considered a smoothie since it has the word shake in it, but I’ll add it to the list anyway.

For fruity smoothies, I tend to always need to add mango to whatever I’m making. Even if it’s a berry mix (typically strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and sometimes blueberries), there are always mangoes brought into the mix. Sometimes I’ll add bananas for the protein and the calcium, but otherwise I prefer to not add them to mine. Sometimes I’ll do a more tropical mix that has pineapple, peaches or strawberries, but it depends on what the store has. Sometimes I’ll get the pre-made mixes, or I’ll buy each of the fruits separately depending on pricing and the amount. Costco has nice bulks, but it can be hard to fit all of that in the freezer sometimes. I do enjoy adding spinach or kale to these if I’m really feeling up to it, but normally just spinach. You can also add flaxseed to these for additional nutrients, but it’s not necessary.

I find making the healthier smoothies a lot of fun. I like to add celery, spinach, kale, carrots and whatever other veggies that seem reasonable for a smoothie. I think the worst thing I have done is add too much celery since I actually really dislike it, but otherwise it hasn’t been that bad. I try to not add too much honey or some type of sweetener when I do this but sometimes, I really need a balance. If you dislike veggies, this is a great way to still get them but have them taste a little better. I don’t drink milk, so I use different types of milk to replace it. I’ve tried cashew, almond, coconut, pea and oat milk. These all taste differently, but it depends on what you want in a smoothie. Almond and coconut milk do have unsweetened options which is normally what I use for smoothies, if I want it thickened, I tend to lean towards cashew or oat milk. Oat milk has a decent amount of fat and is higher in calories.

The last of my smoothies is a protein shake. I tend to drink these if I feel I haven’t been getting enough protein since it can be kind of difficult. I prefer chocolate over vanilla but again that’s more of a personal preference. Besides the milk and the powder, I’ll add bananas and peanut butter to get more out of my shakes. My mother likes to add fruit if she is using the vanilla powder. I’ll admit she had made some amazing shakes, but that is something I refuse to tell her.

Kaia Wolfe

Bradley U '25

Hello, my name is Kaia Wolfe! I'm currently a second year and majoring in Special Education at Bradley University. This is my second year at Her Campus and I'm extremely excited to be writing for them. In my free time, I enjoy reading outside or in the library. I love going to coffee shops and trying out new foods or drinks. I did theatre for most of high school, including being the actress, directing my own one act, lights, sound, and I even worked with costumes a tad. For me, writing allows me to be expressive and as creative as I want. It's one of my favorite hobbies and I'm so glad to be able to share my pieces with you!