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One Simple Meal that will Change Your Life

Most college students have a hard time finding that balance between food that is healthy, delicious, and affordable. I’ve eaten more than my fair share of ramen and Taco Bell, but recently I found a recently found a balanced, nutritious meal that is totally affordable, and now I eat it all the time.

And the meal is… *drumroll*

Raviolis and zucchini.

Okay, so you’re probably like, “wtf, that doesn’t sound exciting at all.” Bear with me, I swear it’s the best.

First of all, you can get all of the ingredients for this meal for around $8 at Target (or wherever you buy your groceries). All you need is 1 package of fresh ravioli ($3.99 – I like 5 cheese or portabella mushroom), 1 container of sauce ($1.99-3.99 – I usually grab whatever flavor sounds good that’s on sale), and 1 zucchini ($1.00 – I usually alternate between green and yellow, but tbh they both pretty much taste the same).

Secondly, it’s healthy (yeah yeah it’s pasta, don’t @ me) – which is to say it covers all the major food groups and leaves you feeling full and satisfied in a way that fast food just doesn’t do.


  1. Put your water on to boil and heat a medium skillet for the zucchini. When the water boils, cook the pasta for 7 minutes. 1/3 to 1/2 of the package is enough for one person.
  2. Once the pan is heated, add whatever type of oil you have in your pantry, and the zucchini. I usually slice mine into thin rounds, and then cut each round in half. 1/3 to 1/2 of the zucchini (depending on size) is enough for one person.
  3. To the zucchini, add your favorite spices. I usually use garlic salt and dried onions, but plain salt and pepper is fine too. Cook the zucchini until brown on one side, then flip and cook the other side until brown as well.
  4. Drain the pasta, add to a bowl with your desired amount of sauce. Place the zucchini on top (it tastes great mixed with the sauce), and enjoy your quick, cheap, nutritious, delicious meal.
  5. BONUS STEP: I recently discovered the magic that is frozen garlic bread – you can get it for $2.99 in the freezer section. Pop 1 or 2 slices in the oven to bake while you cook the rest of your meal, and savor that crunchy garlicky goodness that goes perfectly with pasta.

I know this meal sounds simple, but has totally become my go-to and I’ve yet to get sick of it. So next time you’re trying to decide whether to order take out, give this dinner a try instead!

Katrina Hicks

Northwestern '19

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