BY SADIE HOBBS
I am going into my senior year of college at the great University of Georgia, Go Dawgs! Throughout my past four years of college, I have learned a lot. I have learned that you should not take a ton of summer classes, your friends will change, and you cannot survive off of ramen noodles because they will make you gain weight.
My freshman year I had access to the dining hall, but after that, I was on my own because I decided that living off-campus was my best choice. But with this, I then had to supply my own food, and I needed to make healthy choices. I also had the issue that I normally did not have time to cook because of tests, extra-curricular activities, and work. Over the years I have come up with some really easy and fast dinners that are also healthy and tasty!
One of my favorite go-to meals is lemon pepper chicken, rice, and a vegetable.
Always stock up on your favorite meats when they are on sale because you can individually wrap and freeze them. I do this with salmon, chicken, and ground meats.
The night before you want to cook this meal is when you put the meat in the fridge, always put it in a bowl or on a plate below any uncooked food so that there is no cross-contamination. Letting it thaw throughout the night and day will let you cook it faster, and give you more motivation to actually cook!
As for vegetables, I love broccoli, asparagus, and squash! They are super cheap to buy, last a decent amount of time before they go bad, and are easy to cook.
For broccoli and squash, you can boil them in chicken broth and cook it until you can easily pierce it with a fork. The chicken broth adds a little extra flavor!
For asparagus, I will bring water to a boil and add some of our seafood seasonings to the water then cook the asparagus until it can be pierced by a fork, but is still firm.
After the vegetables are cooked add a little olive oil and/or lemon juice!
The rice I use is normally Minute Rice. It comes in little individual servings which is perfect if you are cooking for yourself, and all you have to do is put it in the microwave. There are several brands that can serve one to many, just choose the one that is good for you.
The chicken is the most important part! I always cut the chicken breasts in half so they cook faster. After you cut them put some of our yummy seafood seasoning on both sides, while you are melting a little butter in a skillet.
Then add the chicken to the skillet cooking it until it is at 165 degrees in the thickest part. Meat thermometers can be bought at any grocery store, and will help you prevent eating undercooked meat!
Then, you are good to go! This usually takes me less than 20 minutes to cook and is way healthier than stopping for fast food on the way home from class.
One more cool thing is you can make extras of everything, and eat it throughout the week!
As a college student or young professional, your main goal is to build your future, and a healthy meal will give you the energy and motivation to help you along the way