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Nancy Goa / Spoon
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5 Easy and Simple Dinner Ideas for Busy College Students

College has students constantly on the go from class to class. By the time we get back home, whether that be to a dorm room or a literal house, cooking is the last thing on our mind. That’s why we go for the easiest route, which is ordering take out, frozen meals or the notable “instant ramen.” Cooking doesn’t have to be a hassle in college, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can make nutritious and simple meals in a matter of minutes and keep up with your studies, too. Here are 5 quick and delicious college dinner ideas for the modern-day college student. Eat up!

Taco Bowls

Move over, Chipotle. These taco bowls are so easy to make and super cheap, too. All you have to do is decide what you want in your bowl. Are you a vegetarian like me? Substitute a meat option for beans or tofu with taco seasoning. Do you like an added crunch? Corn is a great option. The best part about this meal is that it’s quick and not too messy to create. This meal takes about 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 cup rice

½ cup protein: black beans, spiced tofu, or meat

1 can of corn

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 can of diced potatoes

½ cup of crushed tortilla chips

Optional seasonings: garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano and chili powder

Directions:

Cook the rice

Cook the protein

Heat up the corn and potatoes (in microwave or on the stovetop)

Once the ingredients are cooked, mix them together into a bowl and add seasonings and some fresh guac or salsa, too!

Kale Salad

Feeling bleh? It’s always a great idea to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. They provide us with so many nutritional benefits. Like iron, potassium and a powerful dose of vitamin C. This salad is crunchy, fresh and a healthy boost for your immune system! This meal takes about 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

 2 bunches of kale

1 lemon

1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil

1 large carrot

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Directions:

Rinse the kale with cold water

Create a dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard (stir well)

Massage kale with the dressing (this breaks down the essential proteins within the kale leaf)

Finely chop the carrots

Chop the kale

Incorporate the ingredients into one large bowl

Mix well and serve

White Spaghetti

This is a really delicious pasta meal that isn’t too heavy or greasy. It’s light and the olive oil dressing is the perfect way to coat the noodles. This warm meal is perfect for a cold day. This meal takes about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 packet of spaghetti noodles

¼ cup olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

Boil the water in a large pot

Cook and stir the spaghetti for 10-12 minutes

Drain the noodles

Pour in the oil and stir well

Serve in a bowl (add salt and pepper to taste)

Tomato Basil Soup & Grilled Cheese

A classic meal. You really can’t beat dipping the melted grilled cheese sandwich into a creamy tomato and basil soup. It’s an affordable meal that will remind you of your childhood. Reminisce and enjoy. This meal takes about 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 can of tomato soup

2 fresh basil leaves

2 pieces of sourdough bread

2 slices of muenster cheese

Butter

Directions:

Assemble the sandwich

Butter your bread and place it into a heated pan

Grill the sandwich until your bread is a deep golden color

Heat up the soup (stovetop or microwave)

Finely chop the basil

Mix the basil into the heated soup

Plate and serve

Vegan Cinnamon French Toast

Three words: breakfast for dinner! This dreamy meal is as decadent as it sounds. It doesn’t require too many ingredients, and it results in a perfectly sweet and fluffy piece of French toast. It’s so good that you’ll make it for breakfast, too.

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

½ tablespoon of maple syrup

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 slices of thick bread

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients (except bread) into one large mixing bowl

Preheat the pan with ½ tablespoon of vegan butter

Dip slices of the bread into the mixed batter for 20 seconds

Place slices on pan and cook until golden brown and flip each side every 3-4 minutes

Top with optional toppings like vegan whipped cream, fresh strawberries or Nutella

Cut the slices in half

Plate and serve

Features Writer for Her Campus UFL. Reader. Writer. UF English Literature student.
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