Healthy Recipes to Try When You’re Social Distancing

One of the things students living in dorms miss out on is the ability to cook or bake in the kitchen. Although COVID-19 presents challenges for students, like moving out of living spaces and missing out on their college experiences, coming back home has some perks. I have found myself in the kitchen more since coming back from the pandemic because few businesses remain open, which results in limited activities. Working in the kitchen can be a stress reliever for some as it takes students’ minds off of the constant change the coronavirus brings. In addition, staying healthy and cooking at home may be tough when discounted take-out meals can be conveniently picked up. Here are some recipes to try out while you’re trying to social distance.

Protein-packed smoothie

This smoothie recipe has been my go-to while trying to eat clean and lose some weight. I have also been trying out intermittent fasting where I’m allowed to eat from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which requires me to start the day eating a protein heavy meal to feel full longer. This smoothie has around 15 grams of protein and can be paired with another high-protein food for a fulfilling breakfast or lunch. Making this smoothie only takes me about five minutes, which is great if you don’t like spending awhile in the kitchen. All that’s required is to put the ingredients into a blender in any order and mix it until smooth. You can also add green veggies such as spinach for more nutrition.

Ingredients:

¼ cup of crushed ice

1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit of choice

½ cup of unsweetened almond milk

2 scoops of Vega vanilla protein powder

Banana protein pancakes

These pancakes are the latest recipe I’ve tried out, and it’s definitely going to be a weekly eat. They’re a great alternative to carbohydrate-heavy pancakes and they allow you to get your daily fruits in as well. The pancakes resemble crepes, but I think they taste better! Although the protein pancakes take a little bit of prep, it’s worth it when the smell fills your home and the pancakes fill your belly.

Ingredients:

1 medium ripe banana

¼ cup of egg whites

1 scoop of Vega vanilla protein powder

1 splash of vanilla extract

1 pinch of cinnamon

6 strawberries

Directions:

1.  Mash ½ of the ripe banana into a bowl with the back of a fork. Mash until smooth.

2.  Pour your egg whites into the bowl with the banana.

3. Add your scoop of protein powder.

4. Stir your mashed banana, egg whites and protein powder until thick. If your batter is too thick, add a small amount of water if necessary.

5. Add your vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir.

6. Pour half of your pancake batter into a greased pan on low to medium heat.

7. Flip your pancake when it begins to turn golden. Repeat with the second half of the batter.

8. Remove your pancakes from the stove and plate.

9. Slice the remaining banana and strawberries to top your pancakes.

10. Top your pancakes with fruit and enjoy!

Barbecue chicken pizza

This lunch or dinner recipe is a great dupe for the famous California Pizza Kitchen staple. The pizza dough can be made from scratch or you can use premade dough from the grocery store. My family opts for the Publix dough that comes precut in a circle and is refrigerated in the deli section. This pizza is an alternative to traditional Italian dishes and perfect for when you want to try something new.

Ingredients:

Publix premade refrigerated pizza dough

½ bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce

½ red onion

3 cups of Kraft shredded cheddar cheese

1 cups of Kraft shredded mozzarella cheese

3 cups of Tyson Grilled & Ready chicken breast strips

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Salt

Pepper

Directions:

1. Spread the dough out on a non-stick pan and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Pour the barbecue sauce out and spread it all over the dough.

3. Chop ½ of a red onion and spread it out on the pizza.

4. Sprinkle the cheese over the pizza.

5. Place 1.5 cups of frozen Tyson chicken in the microwave for 2.5 minutes, then repeat with the other half of the chicken.

6. Cut the chicken further and spread it out on the pizza.

7. Sprinkle the seasonings for a finishing touch.

8. Allow the pizza to cook for at least 20 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Slice the pizza and serve.

Whether you’re enjoying the self-reflection and alone time that comes with social distancing or counting down the days until it’s over, these recipes are perfect for your time indoors.