10 Healthy Meals from the Same 15 Ingredients

Often times, students view the kitchen as an overwhelming space. Making the effort to cook healthy meals from scratch can seem intimidating, time consuming, and expensive. In order to reduce these factors, I attempted to make 10 healthy meals from only 15 different ingredients that I purchased in one shopping trip to Trader Joes. The results were incredibly versatile and delicious, and any college student could replicate such plates with a little commitment.

Ingredients Purchased:

1. Chicken (freezer section)

2. Shrimp (freezer section)

3. Cauliflower/Broccoli patties (freezer section)

4. Minced Cauliflower (freezer section) 5. Assorted vegetable mix (freezer section)

6. Lettuce

7. Tomatoes

8. Avocado

9. Brussels Sprouts

10. Spaghetti

11. Eggs

12. Pineapple

13. Goat Cheese

14. Mozzarella Cheese

15. Parmesan Cheese

(Disclaimer: I did not account for ingredients like salt, pepper, spices, olive oil, etc. that I already had in the pantry.)


1. Chicken Caprese Salad

Ingredients Used: chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese (with balsamic and olive oil dressing)

2. Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients Used: shrimp, lettuce (arugula), goat cheese, spaghetti (with olive oil, salt/ pepper, and a squeeze of lemon)

3. Chicken Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

Ingredients Used: minced cauliflower, assorted vegetable mix, chicken, eggs

4. Veggie Pattie Chicken Burger with Avocado Caprese

Ingredients Used: Cauliflower/Broccoli patties, chicken, goat cheese, avocado, tomato, mozzarella

5. Avocado Pesto Pasta

Ingredients: Avocados, tomatoes, parmesan (with dash of garlic and lemon)

6. Teriyaki Turkey Burger

Ingredients: Turkey burger, avocado, pineapple (with Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce)

7. Chicken Pasta Carbonara with Balsamic/Parmesan brussels sprouts and salad

Ingredients: chicken, spaghetti, egg, parmesan cheese, brussels sprouts (roasted with balsamic and parmesan cheese), lettuce (with olive oil and lemon dressing)

8. Goat Cheese Omelet

Ingredients Used: eggs, avocado, goat cheese, tomato (borrowed roommate’s yogurt)

9. Pesto Chicken with Caprese Salad and Pineapple

Ingredients Used: Chicken sautéed in leftover avocado pesto, lettuce, tomato, mozzarella cheese, pineapple

10. Breakfast Scramble

Ingredients Used: Egg, avocado, goat cheese (borrowed a muffin, but healthier without)