I’m finally starting to get settled at home after moving back from college, and I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy as well. Now that I’m getting into a more normal routine, I want to start putting out content that will actually be useful during this time. Obviously I won’t be traveling in the coming months so it will be harder (and not as relevant) to post travel content right now. So, this is the perfect time for me to start introducing some other ideas I want to talk about!
Now more than ever I’m looking for new meal and snack ideas, since I’m pretty much preparing everything for myself at this point. I normally cook for myself anyways, but not being able to eat out or order food to-go as easily is putting more pressure on me to get creative so I don’t get sick of eating the same things every day (which I tend to do). I love a routine with my meals, but changing things up a bit is definitely necessary right now since I’ll be eating at home for a long time.
I’m sure lots of you are facing the same struggle, so I just wanted to share some of my go-to’s and some things I’ve been trying out lately to give you a couple new ideas! Most of these are things I’ve been making in my apartment at school, so they’re definitely not gourmet home cooked meals, but for the most part they’re relatively quick to make, and easy to take on-the-go!
I typically eat the same thing every day for breakfast, because I love starting my morning off with a routine, and then the rest of the day I can see how I feel. The first thing I make in the morning is hot lemon water, which helps warm up my body and wake me up a bit before I eat anything. I have pretty bad allergies, so this always tends to clear out my head and soothe my throat when I wake up. Either with my lemon water or shortly after, I’ll have some kind of fruit. I either make a big bowl with berries, banana, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and occasionally yogurt, or I’ll make a green smoothie (spinach, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, almond butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds, collagen powder, and coconut milk). I never know what I’ll be eating the rest of the day, so I like to get my fruit in right away.
After my fruit, I’ll start getting ready for the day, and this is usually when I work out as well (except when I have class). Once I’m set for the day, and usually by now I am hungry again, I’ll make my second breakfast, which is always avocado toast. I crave this every morning and never get sick of it, so it’s definitely a staple in my routine. I make my toast on Food For Life rice bread (double toasted), then top it with mashed avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes – so good! I’ll also typically have an iced coffee with my toast, otherwise I’ll get one later in the day.
I normally don’t make a huge lunch, but rather bring a few larger snacks with me to get me through the day. I like to eat more smaller meals instead of three big meals – I find this keeps me energized longer and I don’t feel as full/uncomfortable after a big meal. Here are a few of my go-to lunch snacks (I usually have about two of these throughout the day between breakfast and dinner):
- Banana-chocolate chip overnight oats: Fill half of a mason jar with rolled oats, then add chocolate chips, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, cardamon, and almond milk (just covering the oats). Refrigerate 3-4 hours, then add sliced banana (and sometimes peanut butter if I’m really hungry) on top!
- Yogurt and granola: Very simple, but always good and easy on the go. I like coconut milk yogurts, either Chobani or So Delicious, and sometimes LAVA plant-based yogurt. My favorite granola is the Purely Elizabeth Original flavor. If I have the time, I’ll also add some berries, cinnamon, and coconut flakes.
- Roasted brussels sprout salad: This year I discovered how much I love roasted brussels sprouts, so I always make a huge batch in the beginning of the week and save them to snack on throughout. My favorite salad to pack for lunch includes: spring mix, roasted brussels sprouts, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, a lemon dressing, and topped with either falafel, a veggie burger, or salmon if I have more time.
- Apple and peanut butter: This is definitely a more simple and smaller snack, but always a go-to. I will slice up a gala apple, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and dip it in organic peanut butter!
My dinners in college tend to be quick, easy meals that I get in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. That being said, I’ve found some favorites, and these are becoming even more handy now that I’m living at home and want to limit my trips to the grocery store (so less fresh produce, more frozen meals!). My favorites include:
- Cauliflower and kale gnocchi
- Cauliflower rice stir fry
- Broccoli-cauliflower patties
- Southwestern and masala veggie burgers
- Cauliflower pancakes (dip in coconut aminos!)
- Any frozen veggie mix – so easy to add to rice!
If I’m making a larger meal, these are some of my go-to options:
- Green lentil pasta with pesto and roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts
- Green lentil pasta with an olive oil and garlic sauce, mixed with sautéed spinach and heirloom tomatoes
- Coconut rice with beans, topped with stir-fry peppers and onions, and either avocado or guacamole
- Veggie tacos with (sometimes rice), beans, stir-fry veggies, and guacamole
- Sometimes all I want is a huge plate of roasted veggies! I normally add broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and zucchini.
There are obviously a lot more recipe ideas which I can discuss further if you enjoyed this post, I just wanted to start by sharing the snacks and meals I’ve been eating most lately (especially now while in isolation!). I hope this helps give you some inspiration, and I’d love to hear some ideas from you as well. Let me know if you have any feedback or want to hear more, and I hope that this new type of content is interesting for you!
Again, please stay safe and healthy during this time, and I’ll do my best to deliver relevant (but not overwhelming) content for you all. Thank you and I’ll see you next week!