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Healthy, Quick, Budget-friendly Recipes

Here are some easy, healthy, and delicious recipes easy enough for the college student to whip up.

By Regina M. Torres
On May 3, 2011


A Hummus Among Us

There is nothing quite as simple, cheap and delicious as a batch of homemade hummus. A complete source of protein when combined with bread such as pita, hummus is also rich in iron, vitamin C, as well as vitamin B6 and folate—not to mention a good portion of fiber, amino acids and the good kind of fat (monounsaturated). While fresh chickpeas are best, canned are fine to use as well. Make a batch, and it will last in your fridge for up to 3 days just fine, or up to a month in freezer. Dip pita or veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and celery into hummus, or spread on sandwiches for a treat from the Middle East. You can adapt the recipe to suit your taste by adding roasted red pepper, garlic etc.


• One 16 ounce can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans

• ¼ cup liquid from chickpea can

• 4 tablespoons lemon juice (preferably fresh)

• 1 ½ tablespoons tahini (good to have but not necessary)

• 2 (or more) cloves crushed garlic

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Drain chickpeas and set aside liquid. Combine all other ingredients in blender/food processor. Add liquid from chickpeas. Blend on low until thoroughly smooth.



Guiltless and Absolutely Scrumptious Chocolate Chip Cookies

This chocolate chip cookie recipe will blow your socks off. Make a big batch and see how many friends you accumulate, not to mention how calm you will feel licking the batter from the bowl during finals week. Once fully cooled, keep tightly sealed or else freeze for later consumption.


• 2 ¾ cup flour

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 cup Earth Balance (or other margarine)

• ¾ cup brown sugar

• ¾ cup sugar (preferably unprocessed raw)

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 2 egg equivalent found in a brand like Energy Replacer or you can mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch and ¼ cup water

• 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together margarine, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla and egg replacer mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix well together. Spoon dollops of mixture onto an oiled or sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until a nice dark golden brown color. Let cool well before storage.



Crazy Good Cranberry Spinach Salad

Tangy and sweet, with the antioxidant power of cranberries, spinach, nuts and seeds, this salad can be put together easily in the morning of a busy day and eaten on the go. Low in calories per serving, yet rich on taste, this easy and economical salad can be eaten alone, with croutons, partnered up with a hearty soup and garlic bread, or toppled onto your favorite toasted sandwich.


• 1 tablespoon Earth Balance margarine

• ¾ cup almonds (toasted and salted are best)

• 1 pound fresh spinach, torn into pieces

• 1 cup dried cranberries

• 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

• 1 (or more) tablespoons agave nectar (or other sweetener)

• 2 teaspoons minced onion

• ¼ teaspoon paprika spice

• ½ cup (or more) Newman's balsamic vinaigrette (or homemade/other)

In a saucepan, melt margarine over medium-high heat. Stir in almonds until lightly toasted. Remove from heat. Let cool. In a large bowl combine the spinach with almonds and cranberries. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, paprika, sweetener, and salad dressing. Toss well with the spinach and serve.



Brilliant Black Bean Tacos/Burritos

Vegetarian tacos (and burritos) are extremely delicious, hearty, creative and inexpensive to put together. You can substitute pinto or refried beans for this recipe, as well as create it to be as lavish, hot, and bold (or not) in flavors as your heart desires. It is a good idea to serve lime, cilantro, onion, jalapeño and lettuce as toppings, which make the flavors pop. Vegan alternatives to dairy sour cream and cheese are delicious toppings to experiment with (such as Toffuti sour cream and Daiya soy mozzarella cheese) along with Spanish rice, which is cooked in tomato sauce, corn, potatoes and peas as yummy fillings. Warm tortillas on a heated saucepan, turning them over before they burn; serve the tortillas warm with sliced ripe avocado, salsa, fresh diced onions, tomatoes, cabbage, sweet corn, jalapeño etc.


• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 small onion diced

• 1 medium red pepper diced

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• 1 can beans of choice (drained and rinsed)

• 1 big juicy tomato finely chopped

• ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

• Package of corn, flour, or other tortillas

• 3 cups thinly sliced/shredded romaine lettuce

• ½ cup shredded veg cheese or other cheese

• Sea salt or regular old table salt

Heat up oil in a large skillet. Add onion, pepper, chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook mixture until onions are translucent, stirring often. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and cilantro until heated through. Around this time, take your tortillas out and place them in a saucepan over medium-high heat until they start to bubble up, then flip over. Put whatever fillings/toppings you want over the warmed tortillas and have a great meal. Limes cut and squeezed over the tacos/burritos, along with chopped cilantro, jalapeno, and raw onion provide added fun.

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