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Inside Eats: Recharge for midterms with these simple recipes

Chia seed pudding is one of the quick, tasty treats college students can indulge in during their study breaks. – Photo by @lumisvegan / Instagram

As spring break waits just around the corner, midterms begin to pile up and stress levels skyrocket. Finding a moment to cook an easy, satisfying meal can be a challenge amid the chaos.

But with some straightforward recipes and basic culinary know-how, college students can savor these delicious meals without sacrificing precious study time.

Chia seed pudding 

Chia seed pudding is the perfect nutritious breakfast, rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, calcium and iron. With minimal ingredients, this customizable, budget-friendly meal can be prepped far in advance for those early morning lectures. 


  • 2 cups of milk

  • 6 tablespoons of chia seeds

  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup

Recommended toppings: 

  • Frozen or fresh berries

  • Chopped nuts or granola 

  • Chocolate 

  • Coconut flakes 


  1. Mix chia seeds, milk and sweetener in a bowl or jar that fits 3 to 4 cups.

  2. Stir well to combine the ingredients, ensuring there are no chia seed clumps.

  3. Cover and refrigerate the bowl for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the chia seeds to thicken and absorb the liquid.

  4. Once the pudding has thickened, give it a good stir — if desired, add a little more liquid to reach a smoother consistency.

  5. Serve the chia seed pudding with toppings like fruit, granola, nuts or chocolate. 

Protein zucchini rice bowl

This filling lunch made with simple ingredients includes modifiable protein and fresh vegetables guaranteed to keep you energized for those late-night study sessions. This recipe is a versatile, delicious and convenient option for busy college students. 


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or a non-meat substitution

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 cup rice (for minute rice, adhere to package instructions) 

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced 


  1. Preheat a nonstick pan to medium-high heat.

  2. In a plastic bag or small bowl, combine oil, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture over the protein. 

  3. Cook protein for 6 to 7 minutes per side or according package directions. 

  4. Remove the protein.

  5. Add diced onion and zucchini to the heated pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and soft. 

  6. While the vegetables cook, prepare the rice according to package directions. 

  7. Combine protein, vegetables and rice. 

Chicken Caesar sandwich

This refreshing twist on a classic college staple is cost-effective and tasty. This meal offers a harmonious blend of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals — but most importantly, eating it will be the best part of a stressful day. 


  • 4 thinly sliced chicken cutlets

  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs, whisked

  • 1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs 

  • Vegetable oil 

  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce 

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 6 teaspoons Caesar dressing

  • 1 large baguette cut into four pieces 


  1. Season both sides of chicken cutlets to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Assemble the dredging station by placing flour and a pinch of salt and pepper into a shallow dish. Add the whisked eggs to a second shallow dish. Add the breadcrumbs to a third shallow dish. 

  3. Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets by dipping them into the flour. Shake off the excess, then put the cutlets in the whisked eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs. Set aside.

  4. Add approximately 1/2 inch of vegetable oil into a pan and place it over medium heat. Once hot, carefully place the two chicken cutlets into the pan. Fry for approximately 5 to 8 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and golden brown on both sides. Set aside. 

  5. Split open each piece of baguette. Toast if desired. 

  6. Mix the romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and Parmesan until well combined in a medium bowl. 

  7. To assemble, spread some Caesar dressing onto the bread. Add some Parmesan cheese, top with a chicken cutlet, salad and more cheese. Sandwich together with the top part of the bread.

Amid the stress of midterms and applying for internships, taking a break to prepare a nourishing meal can be truly gratifying. Any chef will tell you that cooking is the most appetizing form of self-care. 

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