Back To College Nutritious Recipes

Thana Elshaafi shares easy, time-saving recipes that you can turn to help keep up healthy eating habits this term

The beginning of college brings with it elements of excitement and worry as students return to campus and navigate the challenges of juggling academics, social life, and personal responsibilities. With increasing commitments, cooking and maintaining a balanced diet can often become an afterthought. However, keeping a few simple and nutritious meals on hand  can help you make sure you enjoy healthy meals throughout the year without having to sacrifice valuable time in the kitchen. This article will provide you with some recipes tailored to a busy college lifestyle to stay well nourished during the year, and some resources with more free recipe ideas to add variety to your diet.

Savoury Egg Muffins (makes 12 muffins):

These egg muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or snack. You can prepare in advance of the college week to have throughout.


12 large eggs

½ finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons oil, for brushing

Salt and pepper, to taste

Spinach & Tomato:

1 handful of fresh spinach, chopped 

15-20 cherry tomatoes, quartered

100g shredded mozzarella cheese

Handful of fresh basil leaves


Broccoli Cheddar:

100g cooked broccoli

100g cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the 12 muffin tins with oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add in the onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour some of the mixture into the 12 tins, ensuring that each is not more than half-full. 
  4. Choose the topping combination and add each compenent of it equally into every tin.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through (the egg mixture is no longer wet).
  6. Allow to cool and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Blueberry Muffins (makes 12 muffins):

These muffins are a sweet alternative to the previous ones and can be enjoyed for breakfast or as something sweet in the evening.


Wet Ingredients:

175ml full-fat milk

100ml vegetable oil

75g honey

1 egg

Dry Ingredients:

200g plain flour

50g rolled oats

2½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of Soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

175g fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Add all of your wet ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, mix together your dry ingredients. 
  3. Add your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined. Add in the blueberries and coat in the mixture.
  4. Put muffin cases into a muffin tin and spoon the mixture into them equally. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with some more oats.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.

Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry (Makes 4 Servings):

This recipe is a personal favourite. It contains all the flavour you could want from a dinner while not requiring too much effort to prepare. If you prefer, you can swap out the tofu for chicken and prepare in a similar manner. Season with salt and pepper before adding in the cornflour and cooking in the oven.


500g pressed, firm tofu or chicken breast, cubed

400g broccoli

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon oil

½ chilli pepper

2-3 pieces of spring onion

½ tsp grated ginger

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon vinegar

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Spring onion and sesame seeds, to garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. 
  2. Toss the tofu in the cornstarch and place with the broccoli in the oven. Drizzle some oil over the broccoli if needed. 
  3. In a pan, add in the oil and once heated, toss in the chilli pepper, spring onions and ginger. Cook on a low heat until softened. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix in the ingredients for the sauce well.
  5. Once the tofu and broccoli are cooked, remove from the oven. 
  6. Add the sauce into the pan and allow to thicken. Once thickened, add up to ¼ cup of water and stir until mixed.
  7. Add in the tofu and broccoli and mix until they are thoroughly coated in the sauce. 
  8. Allow the sauce to thicken for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  9. Serve with rice, and top with spring onion and sesame seeds to garnish.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry (4 servings):

A healthy and quick dinner, this spinach and chickpea curry is a filling and flavourful addition to your dinner recipes for the week. It can be put together in 15 minutes and served with either rice or naan bread. The rest can be either lunch or dinner for the next day. Using a store-bought mix of all the seasonings used in curry helps to save money and time. Choose between mild or hot depending on preference.


Tablespoon of olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

400g can of chopped tomatoes

400g can of chickpeas

2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

2 teaspoons of curry seasoning mix

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and add in the onion. Stir until softened and add in the garlic. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add in the seasoning and stir well.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes and chickpeas and stir well. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add in the spinach and cook for a minute until wilted.
  5. Serve with rice or naan and garnish with coriander. 

Although balancing college life can sometimes be challenging, it is important to not neglect nutrition and regular meals. Along with these recipes, you can also find more on 101 square meals, a free recipe book developed to provide you with easy to prepare, low budget recipes. These quick and delicious recipes will help you to create satisfying meals while not taking up too much time out of your day. Hopefully, you will find these recipes helpful and enjoyable throughout the college year.