Finals Foods

by Eve Neider

We all hate hearing the “F” word: finals. We just want to be soaking up the sun by the pool listening to music, not buried in papers. The stress from trying to save our GPAs can make us forget to eat or have a bag of potato chips for dinner that just makes our stomachs growl two hours later. During finals season, we don’t have time to cook a huge meal. It’s convenient to just get fast food, but our pockets are empty from ordering so much. Our minds will be more clear when we eat nutritious foods that keep us feeling full. 

These easy, healthy recipes will make you hungry for knowledge. These recipes are ones that I have tinkered with and accumulated over the years from friends and family and will keep you sharp during finals.

Berry Spinach Salad 

Fresh berries in a sweet, tangy vinaigrette are a must for your spring menu! In a bowl, mix together 6 cups of spinach, ½ cup of raspberries and blueberries, 1 cup of cut strawberries, ⅓ cup of crumbled goat cheese, ¼ cup of pecans, and ⅓ cup of chopped red onion. To make the vinaigrette, blend together 1 ½ cups of raspberries, ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ red wine vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, ¼ tsp of salt, and a small diced shallot. You can also just buy dressing at the store. Add to the salad as needed and mix together. Blueberries have been proven to improve memory and certain cognitive processes. This showcases peak season fruit in a simple, light meal!

No-bake Energy Balls 

Energy balls are easy to make and loaded with protein and fiber to make you feel full and packed with energy! Combine 1 cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of flaxseed, ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter, ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, ⅓ cup of honey, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Place in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Form the mixture into balls with your hands. You can leave them in the refrigerator or freezer. These are easy to carry around as a snack or a sweet, healthy dessert! 

Breakfast cookie in a mug 

Those mugs are good for more than just coffee! Mash ½ banana well with a fork in a mug. Stir in 1 ½ tbsp peanut butter, ½ tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp milk and mix together until well combined. Add in 4 tbsp oats and tbsp raisins and mix together until well combined. Microwave for 45 seconds- 1 minute. It’s fluffy, flavorful, and fast to make! 

Chicken Enchilada 

Chicken enchiladas are a filling, delicious meal! Wrap corn tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Spread 1 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a dish. Most stores have pre-cooked chicken, such as the Perdue brand. Mix 2 cups of chicken and 1 cup of enchilada sauce. Fill each tortilla evenly with Mexican cheese, frozen corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, and chicken and roll. Spread the enchilada sauce over all the enchiladas and sprinkle with Mexican cheese. Microwave for about 7-10 minutes. You can serve with sour cream or individual guacamole packs. 

Thai Peanut Noodles 

Ramen is the go-to college meal, but this recipe puts a creative twist on it. Prepare chicken-flavored ramen noodles as directed on the package. Add 2 tbsp of peanut butter and 1 tsp of sriracha sauce. Drain all but ¼ cup of the liquid. Mix everything together until it is well combined. Top with chopped peanuts or green onions, as desired. 

These recipes can be a fun activity to do with friends whom we probably don’t see a lot during finals week! Why not study together over a delicious meal. All of these recipes can be made in the dorm room without a kitchen; all you need is a microwave!

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