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Tasty, Affordable Recipes for a College Budget

Healthy Meals to Make When You’re Off-Campus

by Riley Holcomb

Here are three easy, healthy meals to make if you are living off-campus this year. All of these recipes are affordable and use ingredients that can be found at any grocery store such as Star Market or Trader Joe’s. These are all great meals that will keep you full without breaking the bank.

Recipe #1: Eggs and Avocado Toast

Ahh, yes: the most basic breakfast food that everyone and their mothers seem to make in the mornings. It’s very quick to prepare, which makes it perfect for the days when you wake up late for your Zoom class.


- Half of an avocado

- Bread of choice

- One egg

- Hot sauce (if you want)

- Salt

- Pepper

- Any other seasonings you desire (I recommend Nothing But the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s!)


  1. First, toast the bread to your liking.

  2. Cook the eggs. Personally, I like them sunny-side-up so that the yolk is runny, but that is not everyone’s preference—make whatever you want! (Scrambled, fried, poached, etc.).

  3. Spread half of an avocado on the toast. Make sure to cover all the corners, too.

  4. Add your seasonings. I like to put salt, pepper and any other seasonings on top of the avocado before I put my egg (I don’t know why, but I think it tastes better).

  5. Put your egg on top of the avocado.

  6. Add hot sauce, if desired, and you’re done!

Recipe #2: Arugula Salad with Chicken

This is a lunch or dinner meal that you can eat right after you make it, or take it to go if you are running errands. It’s extremely healthy and ensures you get your greens in, all the while tasting yummy.


- Arugula (or any lettuce you prefer)

- Chicken breast

- Vegetables of your choice

- Salad dressing of your choice (or, if you want to make your own ,you’ll need apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon and Dijon mustard)

- Seasonings for your chicken


  1. First cook your chicken. You will want to cut each chicken breast in half (long-way) to ensure it’ll cook all the way through. Put some salt and pepper (and any other seasonings you want) on both sides of the chicken. Place each piece on a pan with olive oil on medium heat. Flip the chicken every few minutes so that it cooks evenly throughout. After 10-20 minutes, the chicken should be cooked! (You can cut it in half to make sure.)

  2. Chop up any other vegetables you want in your salad. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, etc.

  3. Combine your arugula, chicken and veggies in a bowl and drizzle salad dressing over top. If you want to make your own, mix together one part apple cider vinegar to two parts olive oil. Add in a spoonful of Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until well-combined and pour over the salad. There you have it—your healthy salad is complete!

Recipe #3: Pesto Chicken Pasta with Broccoli

This dinner recipe is tasty and super easy to make. This is a great meal for people who are just getting into cooking and want to learn something new.


- Pasta of your choice

- Pesto

- Chicken

- Broccoli (can be frozen or fresh)

- Olive oil

- Salt

- Pepper

- Parmesan cheese (if desired)


  1. Cook chicken (look at Recipe #2 for instructions).

  2. Make broccoli. If you are using frozen broccoli, read instructions on the package about how to cook it. If using fresh broccoli, rinse it with water and chop into smaller pieces. Spread broccoli on a pan and drizzle olive oil over the top along with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and broil for about five minutes, or until the broccoli looks crispy.

  3. Boil water in a pot; make sure the water is about two-thirds full in the pot.

  4. Once the water is boiling, put pasta in the water. Read instructions on the pasta box for instructions on cook time, or take one noodle out and eat it to see if it’s ready.

  5. Drain the pasta and put back into the pot. Add in the chicken, broccoli and pesto, and stir until well-combined.

  6. Put in a bowl and top with parmesan cheese, if desired, and you are all done!

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