5 Healthy & Cheap Microwaveable Meals

Between greasy food courts, late night takeout-fueled study sessions, and rushed snacking between classes, it’s no secret that the college diet isn’t always the best. It’s nearly impossible to spend hours cooking in the kitchen, and dorm rooms limit food preparation even more. However, being a student doesn’t mean that you have to live on pasta and pizza. Fuel your days the right way, like with these five nutritious meals, to keep you full and focused throughout your busy days. All you need is a microwave!

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1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is quick, easy, and inexpensive. Plus, it is extremely versatile, so you can switch up flavors so you never get bored. Fill a bowl with oats, add water and flavorings such as vanilla or cinnamon, and heat it up in the microwave. Cook as directed on the package or canister (e.g. steel cut oats have a different cooking time compared to standard oats). Then, experiment with different fruits, nuts, yogurt, etc. One of my favorite combos is 1/4 cup frozen fruit (let thaw first) and 1 Tbsp of roasted, salted almonds. 

2. Eggs

Eggs are inexpensive and full of healthy fats and high quality protein. They're truly one of my favorite foods. In a mug, whisk together 2-3 eggs with a fork and add fresh or frozen veggies of your choice (if frozen, steam in the microwave ahead of time to slightly defrost). Pop it in the microwave for a minute (adjust times based on individual microwave), and enjoy! Top with a seasoning (I love Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel seasoning) or grated Parmesan cheese. 

3. Quesadillas

Quesadillas are another versatile option. Fill a small (!) whole-grain tortilla with the egg combo above for a healthy on-the-go breakfast, lunch, snack, or honestly, even dinner. Or, forego the eggs and fill your tortilla with shredded cheese and a diced tomato. Heat on a plate in the microwave for just long enough to melt the cheese (it can happen pretty quickly!).

4. Rice Bowls

Rice bowls are a convenient way to pack in a lot of nutrients. Heat a microwavable rice cup (you can find these at many grocery stores, please try to pick brown rice!) first, and set aside. You can also swap in cauliflower rice instead (my preferred way to go!). Separately, microwave frozen veggies and eggs (see instructions above). Combine together and top with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. Top with nuts or salsa for an added bonus.  

5. Mug Cakes

These are great options to help curb your sweet tooth and they are AWESOME for portion-control. Here's a quick recipe (I got it from babble.com) - microwave for 60 seconds and you're done! 

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1-2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

There are hundreds of other recipes online (seriously search Pinterest!). So you can have your cake and eat it, too! ;) 

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