Sick of eating cereal and ramen for lunch and dinner? Want to spend less money eating out and finally start cooking for yourself? Put down that frozen pizza, because HC’s Health Editor, Sammie Levin, is here to share her daily eats so you can get ideas for healthy, satisfying meals that are easy enough for any time-strapped collegiette to make. After you read Collegiette Eats, your taste buds, wallet and waistline will thank you.
Being banana-less again yesterday morning (my food supply is rapidly approaching nonexistence because I don’t want to go grocery shopping before leaving for winter break), I decided to make oatmeal with different fix-ins than usual. I prepared the oatmeal with almond milk and then stirred in a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, a few chopped almonds, two chopped Medjool dates, a half-teaspoon of vanilla, cinnamon and a tablespoon of almond butter. Yum. Creamy, crunchy and chewy all at once.
I got the idea for the combination of dates, almond butter and cinnamon from Healthy Crush’s almond butter stuffed dates recipe. Dates are incredibly sweet—they seriously taste like candy—so adding creamy almond butter to the mix takes it to a whole new level of richness. Dates are full of fiber (good for digestive health), potassium and other vitamins and minerals. But they're sweet for a reason: one Medjool date has 16 grams of sugar and about 65 calories, so make sure to eat them in moderation. The next time your sweet tooth is acting up, try one or two almond butter stuffed dates and taste the magic yourself.
I had approximately eight minutes to eat a quick lunch at home before taking one of my finals. I wasn't too hungry, but my exam was two hours long, so I wanted to eat something to get me through it. I heated up a can of Amy’s split pea soup and made a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread topped with a Light Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge and smoked turkey with some pepper sprinkled on top. I also had a pickle on the side. A very green meal (maybe not the healthiest of greens out there, but color-coordinated nonetheless). The hot soup was exactly what I needed after making the trek back from the library in the freezing cold. It was thick without feeling too creamy or heavy. When I got back from my exam, I immediately got into bed and drank a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and mini marshmallows to celebrate and unwind.
One of my housemates who is going abroad next semester leaves today, so last night a few of us went out for a last supper at Tomukun, a Japanese noodle bar in Ann Arbor. Since I’ve been battling a cough for awhile and it’s been so cold outside, I decided to go for my second soup of the day. But this bowl was a lot bigger than my bowl at lunch… I could’ve swam in it if I tried. It was delicious, though; so flavorful and fresh. It was a mixed seafood soup with shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid and crab stick with vegetables and ramen noodles in a spicy broth. It was defintely a step (or an entire staircase) up from the classic microwaveable ramen that we're used to in college. The Japanese and Vietnamese noodle soups that I’ve had in Ann Arbor at a few different restaurants are some of my favorite dishes, especially in the winter. I’m going to try to find a few recipes online to recreate one at home—look out for that in the near future!
By the time I was halfway through the soup, I was already really full, but I kept eating because it was so good. What I should’ve done is asked to get the rest wrapped up to go when I realized I didn't need to eat more, but I was caught up in talking with everyone that I just kept mindlessly eating. I find it especially hard to control my portions when meals come in such huge bowls or on such big plates, but when I am mindful of it, I try to save half for leftovers so that I don't overdo it. Another good strategy is, if you realize that the restaurant you’re at has huge portions, decide to split something with a friend. You save money that way, too - a bonus that every collegiette can appreciate.