This Millennial’s Guide to Quick, Affordable, Healthy Meals

by Emy Breitenwischer, B.S. in Food Science & Nutrition, Concentration in Dietetics & Nutrition Management

Having a nutrition background, people often inquire what I eat for meals or snacks and if I ever eat out. While I occasionally enjoy dining out, I prefer cooking my own meals when ever possible because not only can I control what ingredients are being used and how much, but I also feel 100x better after a home cooked meal.

At 25 years old, I understand how lack of time, low finances, and even the desire to prepare meals can be challenging when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to these obstacles, I’ve found ways to prepare easy meals that are healthy and affordable that I am sharing with you. Personally, I don’t consume a lot of meat solely because it’s hard for my body to digest and I find my body functions better with plant based proteins. That being said, if you’re a meat lover, please feel free to incorporate your favorite organic animal protein to any meal! You can also alter any recipe to your preference!

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Chia Seeds

  • ½ cup oats
  • Dollop of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Spoon full chia seeds
  • Spices: dash nutmeg, cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice (omit/add whatever you like)
  • 1/4 green apple, cubed
  • Sprinkle of dried cranberries

Cook oatmeal via your preference (I find it easiest to just microwave with water). When done cooking, add canned pumpkin, chia seeds & spices and mix. Add green apple & cranberries and enjoy!

Lunch or Dinner:
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Salad

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ½ jalapeno, diced
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: salt & pepper, cayenne, garlic, oregano
  • Feta or goat cheese
  • Salsa or Sriracha

Cook sweet potato. While potato is cooking, chop a few leaves of romaine and place into a bowl or container to eat. Place black beans & diced jalapeño into a small cup to microwave after sweet potato is done. When sweet potato is finished cooking, cut into little cubes and place into small bowl. Add a little olive oil (~1.5 tbsp) & spices and mix. Toss sweet potato on top of romaine. Microwave black beans & then mix in with sweet potato & romaine. Top with feta cheese, salsa and/or chopped avocado.

Lunch or Dinner:
Mediterranean Pasta

  • 1 Package/box of pasta
  • Olive oil
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Marinated Artichokes
  • Black olives, sliced
  • Corn
  • Feta cheese
  • Spices: salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, garlic

Cook pasta according to directions. When pasta is done cooking, drain & place into large bowl. Add olive oil, desired spices, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, black olives and corn. Mix well and taste. Add more/less of anything based on your personal taste! Add in feta cheese and mix. Tastes great warm or cold.
*This is a meal where you can add in protein (turkey, chicken, edamame, white beans) to be more filling

Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread
This bread is a filling snack/treat and delicious!! Click here for recipe.

Warm Cinnamon Apple Slices

  • 1 apple (red or green), sliced (optional to remove skin)
  • Organic raw honey
  • Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss apple slices, a couple tablespoons of honey, and about 1 teaspoon cinnamon (add more/less to taste). Place foil on baking sheet then top with coated apple slices. Bake for about 10 minutes on each side, or until slices are golden brown and tender.

written by Emy Breitenwischer, BS Nutrition and Food Science from Colorado State University

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2015 by 1444Angel -