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In college, it’s so easy to give in and go with quick and cheap meals. The $2 six-pack of ramen can be so tempting when you are trying to limit spending. But eating healthy does not have to be expensive! Meal prepping can save you so much time, money, and energy when you create a schedule and begin to plan out your meals. The biggest change I have made since I started to cook was knowing what I want to eat for the week before I step in the grocery store. If I don’t have an idea of what meals I want to make, I pick up so many random items and end up spending a lot more money than I should have.  

A buddha bowl is an easily customizable meal that is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is a great way to fill your stomach with protein, healthy fats, and vegetables when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking.  

Prep time: 10 minutes 

Cook time: 40 minutes 

Total: 50 minutes 


1 avocado 

1 sweet potato 

½ onion 

1 small head broccoli 

2 handfuls of kale 

1-2 cups quinoa 

1lb chicken tenderloins (optional) 

3 tbsp olive oil 

3 tbsp hummus (or to taste) 

2 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste) 

2 tbsp minced garlic 

Sauce of choice  

Spices of choice 


  1. Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

  2. Cut up the sweet potato, onion, and broccoli to desired size, place in a Ziploc bag with a few drizzles of olive oil, and seasonings of choice. Shake bag until vegetables are coated thoroughly  

  3. Empty bag onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.  

  4. While vegetables are cooking, in a medium-sized pot bring your quinoa and water to a rapid boil while covered. Once boiling lower heat and let simmer for around 15-20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.  

  5. While the quinoa is cooking, cut up chicken tenderloins into bite-sized pieces. Add chicken into bag with a small drizzle of olive oil and seasonings of choice. Shake until coated. Heat a medium-sized pan over high heat, add olive oil and minced garlic. Add chicken to pan and cook until internal temperature reaches 165°F 

  6. Add washed kale to pan and sauté. Remove from heat.  

  7. Once everything is done cooking combine all cooked ingredients to a bowl or to meal prep containers  

  8. Cut up the avocado and add on top of bowl, along with hummus, lemon juice, and sauce of choice.  

  9. Enjoy! 

This buddha bowl lasts 5-7 days in the fridge.

I recommend separating cooked ingredients and combining them in a bowl when you want to eat it later in the week. 

Buddha bowls are extremely customizable, you can take out the chicken and add tofu or add chickpeas for extra protein. You can also add whatever vegetables you have in your fridge from past meals. This recipe is a basic buddha bowl perfect for any additions you would like to add.   

Cooking in college does not have to be hard, you should be able to eat whatever you want without having to worry about breaking the bank! I am always learning ways to make meals healthier and taste even better. Start with simple recipes and you’ll be happy to see how easy it truly is! 


Holly Hanscom is a junior at Loyola University Maryland studying Communication with a specialization in advertising and public relations with a minor in marketing. In her free time you'll likely find her hiking with friends or family, reading a new book, or trying new recipes.
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