3 College Food Classics Made Healthy

Posted by Grace McCalmon on

RamenLunch When I think of college, several words come to mind. “Nutrition,” unfortunately, is not one of them. I spent my four years subsisting on a diet of whatever was fast, cheap, and easy. Meaning mostly frozen and pre-packaged foods that were filled with artificial sweeteners, additives, and nary an ingredient that resembled real food in sight.

What I didn’t know then was that just by making a few simple tweaks you can eat fast, cheap, easy – AND healthy.

Here we’re going to show you how to transform three dorm room favorites into nutrient-dense powerhouses. RAMEN Everyone’s favorite way to burn all the taste buds off their tongues! Old Ingredients:
  • Ramen noodles
  • Flavor packet
New Ingredients: To transform:
  1. Discard the flavor packet that comes included with your ramen.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pan.
  3. Add noodles and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. While the noodles are cooking, add in frozen veggies.
  5. Add soy sauce or aminos to taste.
  6. Add garlic, onion, and ginger powder.
  7. Once all the water is absorbed, your ramen is ready – just try and let it cool first!
 
Nutrition Facts Before   Nutrition Facts After  
Calories: 400 Fat: 16g Sodium: 1,240 Carbs: 52g Fiber: 0g Sugars: <1g Protein: 10g   Vitamin A: 0% Vitamin C: 0% Vitamin K: 0% Folate: 0% Iron: 10%   Calories: 225 Fat: 1g Sodium: 1,162 Carbs: 48g Fiber: 4g Sugars: <1g Protein: 7g   Vitamin A: 40% Vitamin C: 1% Vitamin K: 13% Folate: 3% Iron: 12%  
EASY MAC This late-night staple is there for you even when your friends aren’t, and Domino’s is closed. MacNCheeseLunch    Old Ingredients:
  • Noodles
  • Cheese sauce mix
New Ingredients:
  • Noodles
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup spinach
  • ¼ cup cherry tomatoes or other veggies (optional)
To Transform:
  1. Throw out the cheese sauce mix.
  2. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  3. Once noodles are cooked, add in shredded cheese and stir until melted.
  4. Add in spinach and stir until well mixed.
  5. Top with any additional veggies.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
 
Nutrition Facts Before   Nutrition Facts After  
Calories: 220 Fat: 4g Sodium: 700mg Carbs: 39g Fiber: 0g Sugars: 5g Protein 6g   Vitamin A: 0% Vitamin C: 0% Vitamin K: 0% Folate: 0% Calcium: 8% Selenium: 0% Iron: 8%   Calories: 208 Fat: 9g Sodium: 197mg Carbs: 18g Fiber: 3 Sugars: 1g Protein: 12g   Vitamin A: 58% Vitamin C: 13% Vitamin K: 169% Folate: 15% Calcium: 23% Selenium: 27% Iron: 7%  
  QUESIDILLA When all else fails, make yourself a dang quesadilla. QuesadillaLunchAnimation     Old Ingredients:
  • 2 flour tortillas
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
New Ingredients:
  • 2 whole-wheat, sprouted grain, or rice tortillas
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup spinach
  • ¼ cup beans
  • ¼ cup salsa
 To transform:
  • Swap your flour tortillas for whole-wheat tortillas.
  • Empty beans into a colander and rinse and drain well.
  • Mix beans, cheese, and spinach in a separate bowl.
  • Add mixture to one tortilla and top with the other tortilla.
  • Heat in a microwave or on a stovetop until cheese is melted.
  • Top with salsa to taste.
 
Nutrition Facts Before   Nutrition Facts After  
Calories: 515 Fat: 26g Sodium: 937mg Carbs: 48mg Fiber: 2g Sugars: 2g Protein 22g   Vitamin A: 11% Vitamin C: 0% Vitamin K: 0% Folate: 0% Calcium: 40% Selenium: 11% Iron: 0% B12: 8% Zinc: 11% Thiamine: 0% Magnesium: 0% Potassium: 0%   Calories: 444 Fat: 13g Sodium: 1003mg Carbs: 63g Fiber: 11g Sugars: 4g Protein: 20g   Vitamin A: 58% Vitamin C: 13% Vitamin K: 169% Folate: 30% Calcium: 23% Selenium: 27% Iron: 9% B12: 4% Zinc: 8% Thiamine: 7% Magnesium: 14% Potassium: 4%  

Know any college kids (or people who eat like them)? Share this with them! Do you have a guilty pleasure-made-healthy recipe? We'd love to hear in the comments below!  

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