We all know that nutritious eating is key for brain power and lasting study sustenance. However, at Open Colleges, we understand that you have a lot going on and meal preparation is probably the last thing on your mind!
Balancing study, family life and work can be a challenge, so we have sourced (and road tested!) five nutritious and delicious meals you can easily fit into your schedule. The best bit? They take just 30 minutes to prepare!
1. Spiced quinoa salad with roasted veg and labna
This recipe is nutrient dense, filling and affordable. It’s super high in protein and being vegetarian, is cheap and easy to source. To prepare, simply bake veggies in the oven and cook the quinoa in the same way you would rice. Then, add seasoning, dressing and labna, toss together and you’re done! The labna is a creamy Middle Eastern staple made from yogurt that adds an exotic, calcium-friendly touch. This salad is delicious on its own or served alongside a piece of chicken or meat that can be easily sautéd on the side. See the full recipe here.
2. Parmesan dijon chicken and garlic broccoli
If you’re watching your waistline, this quick, lean recipe still feels incredibly decadent. Its flavour comes from a clever chicken marinade of just a dash of parmesan and breadcrumbs, made to sing with mustard. Enhance the flavour of your veggies with fresh minced garlic or even ginger, which is available ready-made at any good supermarket. An easy meal full of vitamins and antioxidants. Read the full recipe here.
3. Beef, mushroom and greens stir-fry
A stir-fry is always a mid-week winner because the ingredients are full of nutrients and are super quick to prepare. Buy your meat pre-cut to save time and invest in a good wok. Even teenagers can make this! The flavours fuse well so it’s delicious on its own or served over rice or noodles. You can even try konjac – which is a low calorie noodle replacement. The variation of condiments, vegetables and meat fillings keep stir-fries interesting, yet time friendly. Get the recipe here.
4. Salad in a jar
This option is easy, convenient and looks super cool in the fridge. Simply layer a host of your favourite, yummy and filling salad ingredients into a mason jar, then pour into a bowl when you’re ready to munch. We love tuna, chickpeas, rocket, cucumber and carrot, but the world is your oyster (although we seriously don’t recommend putting an oyster in there). To dress, try olive oil, mustard, honey and lemon. Kept in an air-tight jar, these beauties can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. Why not make a few jar mixes on Sunday to take to work this week?
5. Honey-lemon glazed veal chops
Entertaining guests? These lean and yummy chops are sure to impress. Your prep comprises of 6 ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, such as lemon juice, honey, ginger, mustard and lemon peel. Marinade the chops overnight or earlier in the day. Then, when guests have arrived grill for 12 minutes and serve with steamed vegetables such as broccolini, kale or broadbeans and an easy grain like quinoa or couscous. Delicious! Check out the full recipe here.
Healthy meals with lean protein, colourful veggies and fresh herbs keep things simple and delicious when cooking at home. With these options, you’ll still have plenty of time to complete your study assignments and enjoy yourself. Bon Appetite!
Images courtesy of IQuitSugar.com and BBC Good Food