4 Recipes for the Poor, Yet Health-Conscious Student

It’s the constant battle for almost everyone without a stable income: how to eat clean without draining your wallet. Believe it or not, you don’t have to eat Ramen for dinner every night to save money, and you don’t have to eat all-organic salads for every meal to stay healthy. Here are some inexpensive, nutritious, and, not to mention, super easy recipes for you to try.

Chickpea Salad

This light and delicious salad from Cheap Lazy Vegan on YouTube is great either on its own or on toasted whole wheat bread.

You’ll need:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 large dill pickles, and a splash of pickle juice

3 stalks of celery

1 small white onion

Salt, paprika, and cumin, to taste

  1. Drain the chickpeas and pour them into a bowl or container with a flat bottom. Using an immersion blender or a large fork, mash the chickpeas until they have a somewhat smooth consistency.

  2. Chop the pickles, celery, and onion into very fine pieces and add them to the chickpeas.

  3. Splash some of the pickle juice into the mixture, and then season with the salt, paprika, and cumin. Mix well.

Three ingredient pancakes

These super healthy and ridiculously easy pancakes from Moniisza on YouTube are great for a quick breakfast that’s super filling. That’s not to say they you can’t eat them for dinner or a late night snack, too!

You’ll need:

⅓ cup of quick oats

½ cup of your favorite non-dairy milk

1 banana

Cinnamon, to taste (optional)

  1. Blend the oats into a fine powder similar to flour.

  2. Add the milk, blend again, and add the banana (and cinnamon, if you wish). Feel free to add more milk until you reach the desired consistency.

  3. Pour the batter onto a medium-heated, well-greased griddle to cook. Keep an eye on them, because they take a bit longer than regular pancakes to cook.

  4. Flip, let them cook, drizzle with your favorite syrup, and enjoy!

My Go-To Chili Recipe

Who said comfort food can’t be healthy? Chili’s one of those things that everyone makes a little differently. I like mine super spicy and chunky enough to eat with tortilla chips, and I reduce the amount of sodium I put into it and opt out of adding meat to make it healthier (and vegetarian! #MeatlessMondays). Plus, all the beans make this meal a great source of protein.

You’ll need:

Olive oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 green bell peppers, diced

1 can of low sodium black beans, drained

1 can of low sodium kidney beans, drained

1 can of low sodium pinto beans, drained

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cans of tomato sauce

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

1 can of yellow corn, drained

Garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, paprika, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, to taste

Ground red cayenne pepper, to taste, depending on how spicy you like your chili

Plenty of cumin and chili powder

  1. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with olive oil and saute the onion and bell peppers until the onion is translucent.

  2. In a slow cooker (or a large pot on medium-low heat if you don’t have one), combine the onions, peppers, all the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, corn, and spices.

  3. Simmer for at least two hours, then serve.

TIP: Fresh chili is never as good as second-day, leftover chili. Make enough to have leftovers!

Spicy Jambalaya

If you’re a big fan of Cajun food, this one’s for you. Here’s another filling dinner that has plenty of nourishing vegetables while still being packed with flavor.

Olive oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 green bell peppers, diced

2 red bell peppers, diced

3 stalks of celery, diced

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

2 cans of low sodium vegetable stock

2 cups of uncooked brown rice

A handful of fresh chopped parsley

Celery salt, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper, and garlic powder, to taste

2 bay leaves

Ground and crushed red pepper, to taste, depending on how spicy you want it to be

Plenty of paprika

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot (on medium heat) with olive oil, and saute the onion, peppers, and celery until the onion is translucent.

  2. Add the diced tomatoes and garlic.

  3. Next add the vegetable stock and rice, and turn the heat to high.

  4. Add in all the spices and bay leaves, and mix well.

  5. Continue to mix and boil off the vegetable stock as the rice cooks.

  6. Turn off the heat, add the parsley and mix again.

TIP: If you’re feeling fancy, garnish your plate with more fresh parsley.

Hungry yet? All four of these recipes make more than one serving, so they’ll save you cooking time during the week. Hit up the grocery store and try one out yourself. Snap a picture, Instagram it, and tag us in your post with @HerCampusMinnesota!