Back to school bites: Easy meals for Beacons on the go


Shanarah Bargan

A student takes a bite of her oatmeal before her class. A balanced breakfast should include food from at least three out of the five food groups, such as pictured here with fruit, grains, and dairy. Photo by Shanarah Bargan / Mass Media Staff

Katrina Sanville, Arts Writer

Between busy schedules, crazy commutes and hours of homework, finding time to make food that is both filling and deliciousas well as cheapcan be hard for any college student. Takeout, frozen meals and dining hall food can leave students feeling heavy and lethargic. With a few simple ingredients, some time and a microwave (or oven), even the most novice college cook can make something delicious and healthy.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start the morning on the right foot? Rather than rely on a cup of coffee, energy drink or a granola bar to begin the day, effortless recipes can be made in the time it would take to make a cup of coffee.
For a sweet breakfast, overnight oats are perfect for a college student on the go. In a container, combine ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup choice milk, one tsp chia seeds, one tsp maple syrup, two tsp choice of spice (cinnamon, cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, etc.), and any other add-ins (chocolate chips, coconut flakes, etc.) before leaving in the fridge overnight, or at least for a couple hours. Top with fruit or any other add-ins. For dorm cooking, try to do equal parts oats and milk and use a standard kitchen spoon for the other ingredients. No microwave or stovetop is needed for these oats! The total cost for this would be around $1.50 per serving of oats.
However, not everyone desires to start their day with dessert. If that’s the case, making eggs or an omelet in a microwave can be just as easy as making a cup of ramen. To make scrambled eggs, combine two eggs with a splash of water or choice of milk in a well-oiled mug, and then microwave for 45 seconds for a 700-watt microwave or 30 seconds for a 1000-watt microwave. Mix the eggs with a fork before placing them back in the microwave and heating for 30 seconds for a 700-watt microwave or 20 seconds for a 1000-watt microwave. Repeat again for another 45-second interval, let cool and enjoy! To make an omelet, simply mix in any omelet add-ins, such as cheese, vegetables or meats, before placing in the microwave for the first round of heating. The total cost for this would be around $2.40 per personal omelet.
Beyond breakfast, inexpensive and healthy meals can be accessible for any course of the day. Whether these meals are a quick lunch, an easy dinner or a delicious dessert, these meals can be made within minutes.
For a fraction of the cost of Chipotledelivery fees not includeda burrito bowl can be prepared with a few simple ingredients. In the microwave, cook a Minute Rice cup according to the directions or preferred method of cooking rice, as well as heating the preferred amount of black beans. Top with salsa, cheese and any other toppings (protein, avocado, etc.) and enjoy. The total cost for this would start around $2.00 per bowl.
While Rice Krispies treats can be purchased from the store, making some at home can be just as easy and just as delicious. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 1.5 tablespoons of butter and two cups mini marshmallows for two minutes and 50 seconds. Carefully take out and stir, before placing back in the microwave for another one minute and 25 seconds. Combine with three cups of Rice Krispies, shape, and let cool on wax paper. Though the treats last no more than two days in an airtight container at room temperature, Rice Krispies treats can last up to six weeks in an airtight container in the freezer. With this basic recipe, all sorts of upgraded recipes can be created, such as Rice Krispies with Oreos and Peanut Butter Cups, Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies, or s’mores Rice Krispies. The total cost would be around $2.57 per batch of Rice Krispies treats.
Eating well on a college student’s schedule and budget can be difficult. However, simple meals are easy to find and easy to make. Whether it’s dining hall meals, fast food, a snack or a home-cooked meal, eating something can be better than eating nothing at all.