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Nancy Goa / Spoon

Eat up: 5 dinner ideas to keep you healthy, happy and nourished

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

We are reaching that point in the semester. Midterms are coming around the corner, we are sleeping less and our motivation has seemed to have vanished from thin air. Our days are jam-packed with activities, deadlines to meet and assignments to complete. In the midst of all this chaos, it can be easy to forget how to properly take care of ourselves. Nourishing our bodies adequately is so important to help us live our best lives and help us thrive in whatever we seek to accomplish. Here are 5 easy, healthy and delicious dinner ideas that your body and your tastebuds will thank you for!

1. Pasta

There is really nothing better than diving head-first into a hearty, warm and cozy bowl of pasta after a long day. Growing up in an Italian family, pasta has always been my #1 source of comfort and joy. It is also so easy to make, it almost feels illegal not eating it. My favorite variation at the moment is boiling Barilla spaghetti, and combining basil tomato sauce, tuna, spinach, carrots, and mozzarella. Then, I top it with Parmesan cheese and a dollop of ricotta and it’s ready! There you have a balanced and delicious meal full of protein, vitamins, carbs and fats.

2. Emily Mariko Salmon Bowl

This viral TikTok meal is truly spectacular. It is extremely easy to make and tastes like a gourmet meal. It is basically a deconstructed sushi bowl, and the combination of flavors is out of this world. I make some Basmati or jasmine rice, make a salmon filet in the oven, and mash these two elements together. On top, I add mayo, Coconut Aminos, avocado and mix it up. I scoop every bite with Nori (seaweed snacks) and add some vegetables on the side. This meal is super healthy and incredibly tasty.

3. Poke bowl

I’m going to be real: I don’t always have time to cook. On these days, I buy myself a poke bowl from Poke Hibachi (right next to Mad Mushroom!) or from Zen at the PMU. I make it with white rice, salmon, tuna, avocado, seaweed salad, edamame, carrots, cucumber, ginger and eel sauce. It is super fast to make, has tons of vitamins in those veggies, satiating carbs from the rice and excellent protein for the fish. A must-have in my dinner rotation, for sure.

4. Protein waffles

You are in college, living on your own, and stressed out. I think this makes eating breakfast for dinner valid. I love the Kodiak Vanilla protein waffles with the Kodiak Almond Butter Maple Syrup, it tastes like a dessert and is super nourishing. I microwave some frozen berries to make some “jam” and add them too. Try adding some turkey ham slices so as to amp that protein!

5. Avocado toast

A classic we could not forget about. There are so many possible combinations, you can never really go wrong with it. My favorite? Whole-wheat bread, smoked salmon, avocado and cottage cheese. Protein, healthy fats, micronutrients, carbs and flavor. What else could you want?

Alessandra is the vice-president of Her Campus at the Purdue chapter. She monitors article progress, ensuring they are uploaded on time and helps solve any problems that may arise. She is currently a senior at Purdue, majoring in Business Management, minoring in English Literature and concentrating in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Alessandra has worked for Victoria's Secret PINK as a campus ambassador, helping with the marketing and communications of the brand. She is passionate about entertainment and wants to work in the industry after she graduates. In her free time, Alessandra loves doing any kind of sport or physical activity. If she's not surfing, swimming or dancing, you can find her eating pasta, reading, making very specific music playlists, watching movies and traveling everywhere she can.