Eating on a budget doesn’t need to be boring. It doesn’t need to be Kraft Mac and Cheese or dollar slices every night. It doesn’t need to be instant oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are ways to make the best of what you have on hand! So yes, if you are one of those people that saves all of the soy and duck sauce packets every time you order Chinese food, it was for a reason! (And if you don’t, maybe it’s time to start.)
As I continued losing weight in college post-Jenny Craig, I needed to find ways to still eat as healthy as I could while living in a dorm room. My mother would send me those wonderful care packages that were filled to the brim with instant oatmeal packets, Nutrigrain bars, utensils, toilet paper, and anything else a student needs. She also began to send me Minute Rice cups! “Get some grilled chicken and make something with them!” she’d tell me. These wound up being a game changer for me while dorming, because it meant I could improvise a few different rice-based meals. The first thing I did was go downstairs to my dorm’s cafe and ordered myself a grilled chicken breast. Yes, they thought I was nuts and repeatedly asked if I wanted anything else, because most students get full-blown meals. What they didn’t know was that I was making my own meal.
Note: I realize that many college students probably don’t have frozen veggies on hand in their mini fridges, which makes total sense. Improvise! You can definitely just combine the rice and chicken, or if there’s veggies at a salad bar on campus, take from there!
Minute Rice cup (brown rice if you want to add more fiber and reduce carbs/sugar)
Grilled chicken breast (from your dorm’s cafe with your meal card)
1/2 bag of frozen broccoli (Steamfresh works best!) *You could also buy any veggies on campus from your school’s salad bar if that is more doable!
1-2 Soy sauce packets, as desired
1. Microwave your Minute Rice according to directions. Transfer to a plate.
2. Microwave bag of frozen broccoli according to directions.
3. Add 1/2 bag (or as much as desired) to your rice.
*You can save the broccoli you do not use for another meal! Simply let it cool and put in the fridge for another date. You could also double the recipe and save a whole meal for leftovers!
4. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Add to rice and broccoli.
5. Add soy sauce as desired. Enjoy!