Dorm Room Dining Made Easy

Here’s an easy, healthy recipe that serves one — for those eating solo like college students.

The start of a new year means that many students are headed back to college. One of the downsides of college life is the dreaded “freshman 15” — the extra pounds that many students gain from poor eating habits. Establishing good eating habits as a college student may help form the basis for how and what you eat later in life.

Eating fruits and vegetables boosts your immune system and helps ward off illness, calcium helps you build bones to avoid problems later in life and eating breakfast contributes to academic performance. But, don’t forget that food is to be enjoyed! Eating and preparing foods with others builds community and can help alleviate the stress of college life.

There are quick, easy and healthy eating options if you’re faced with dining in your dorm room.

• Combine fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt and fruit juice for a breakfast smoothie. You don’t need a blender — just put ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

• Top a fresh salad with grilled or oven-roasted chicken strips, include fruits and milk to make this a quick meal.

• A easy and filling meal could include low-sodium canned soup, whole-wheat crackers with a single serving of hummus and milk.

• Another meal option is a mozzarella stick, canned three-bean salad and milk.

• Wrap it up! Spread a whole-wheat tortilla with drained and mashed canned beans, salad greens, chopped red pepper and salsa. Serve with canned fruit and yogurt to make a complete meal.

Veggie Burrito Bowl

1 cup cooked brown rice (or frozen pre-cooked brown rice)

1/2 (15-ounce) can black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2-3 tablespoons salsa

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon shredded cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese

Toppings as desired

1. Prepare brown rice according to package instructions.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine rice, black beans, mild or hot salsa, and salt and pepper. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds, or until heated through.

3. Add select toppings, such as diced avocado, diced tomato, guacamole, pico de gallo, sauteed veggies, cooked shredded or cubed chicken, tofu, chickpeas or corn.

4. Top off your burrito bowl with Greek yogurt and cheese, with a drizzle of salsa and a dollop of guacamole or sliced avocado, if desired. Makes 1 serving.

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