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.
I can't explain why, but for some reason things just taste better when eaten out of a jar. Whether it's cake in a jar, salad in a jar or the no-nonsense approach of dipping your spoon (or finger) into a jar of peanut butter or Nutella and going straight for the lick, there's something about eating these treats from a jar that makes the dining experience even more enjoyable. Maybe because it adds convenience or that Pinterest-y, crafty edge we all strive (usually unsuccessfully) to attain, but regardless of the reason, all I know is that this is a real phenomenon. And oatmeal in a jar is no exception.
I first saw oats in a jar several years ago on the blog Carrots 'N' Cake and have been making it ever since whenever I have a jar of almond butter that is empty enough to use. It's a very simple concept: once your jar of your favorite nut butter is almost empty (maybe one to two tablespoons left), you eat your oats out of it. The magic comes from the fact that the streaks of nut butter on the side of the jar mix in with the oats and you can scrape the sides to get the most out of your jar. This can be done with either hot or cold oats. I prefer hot oats because then the nut butter on the side of the jar really melts into the oats, making it taste super rich and indulgent. If you prefer cold oats, you can prepare overnight oats in the jar and keep them in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours at minimum), and then you'll be able to easily take it on the go in the morning - that's the beauty of the jar!
So, yesterday morning when I woke up and saw that my jar of almond butter was at its last licks, I made a bowl of my favorite oatmeal (oats, almond milk, banana, cinnamon, honey and ground flaxseed) and transferred it to the jar. I savored every bite while doing some last-minute studying for a midterm.
I only had time for a quick lunch yesterday, so I popped an Amy's Light & Lean frozen meal in the microwave: quinoa and black beans with butternut squash and chard. I added some cooked sweet potato chunks that I had leftover from dinner the other night and drizzled some sriracha on top. It may not look too pretty in the picture since the black beans give it a not-so-glamorous color, but it really hit the spot. My favorite Amy's meal is the brown rice and vegetables bowl, but this one was still good. Some brands of frozen meals don't taste like real food at all (probably because they aren't real food), so it's nice to find a brand you know you can count on to hit the spot so you have something to fall back on for those meals when you're in a rush or feeling too lazy to fuss in the kitchen.
I've been craving spaghetti squash, so I made some for dinner last night. I mixed the strands of half of a small squash with sautéed asparagus and onions, spinach, garbanzo beans and tomato sauce. Yum, yum, yum. And it didn't just taste good, it smelled good, too; my roommates were all saying how good the kitchen smelled when I was done. If you haven't tried spaghetti squash yet, get to cookin'. HC's Senior Editor, Michelle Lewis, just told me that she made it the other day for the first time and is now obsessed, so if I haven't persuaded you yet, then take her word for it!