Tag Archives: food

Adventures in the Kitchen: Bake and Save Chicken

Filed under: College Life, Food, Tips - Angelina
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Blogger Megan Lehman Biography





The first semester is almost over and I have spent all my time either at school, work, or in one of my new favorite places – the kitchen. I don’t know about all of you, but before I started college, I did not do a lot of cooking. I baked cookies, cakes, and brownies courtesy of the wonderful Betty Crocker’s mixes, but my mother did most of the cooking. I am sure that most of you are in the same, or at least a very similar boat. I have decided to start writing this series, Adventures in The Kitchen, to teach simple, healthy, and delicious meals for college students on the go! Let’s begin with the first recipe!

Bake and Save Chicken

Step One:

Buy boneless, skinless, chicken breast either frozen or from the meat department at your local grocery store. Then pick out a marinade for the chicken. My favorite happens to be balsamic vinaigrette.

Step Two:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the chicken in a bag and pour about half the bottle of marinade in the bag. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for about half an hour.

Step Three:

Get out a casserole or any oven safe dish. Place the chicken in the dish once the half hour of marinating is up and the oven is preheated. Bake the chicken for about 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, check the inside of the chicken by cutting it down the center. If there is any pink, place it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

Step Four:

Gobble it up! Now think about this; if you buy the large bag of chicken and make the whole thing now, you can save it in the fridge or the freezer to eat later! Saves time and ensures that you will eat at least one healthy meal a day!

Stay tuned for more healthy, simple, and delicious recipes to come!

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5 Survival Tips Without The College Meal Plan

Filed under: College Life, Money/Budget, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Is this your first year without a college meal plan? Fear not, here are a couple of ways to manage without spending all of your money eating fast food.

1. Cook Weekly Meals, Not Daily

Cooking all of your meals at once will make it easier for you to eat at home. If you run into a hectic week full of midterms, you can just pull out something you’ve already made! Every time you open the fridge you will see plenty of food options and not just empty space. My advice is to purchase some a lot of food containers!

2. Plan Your Meals!

As students, it’s imperative to be organized. Adding a white board to your fridge adds plenty of decoration and can function to plan your meals and track what to buy. This way you never run out of food, and can always plan ahead to budget your money wisely for other things like Spring Break.

3. Find Your Inner Iron Chef.

Don’t waste gas and money to buy fast food if you already have the ingredients at home. Recreate your those foods at home – or find new recipes online or in a cookbook. I guarantee you will be extremely satisfied with yourself.

4. Family Night!

Get together with friends, family, or both and have a pot luck. It’s a great way to spend much needed time with your friends and take a break from cooking a full blown meal. Always remember the more, the merrier.

5. Budget Your Money

This is probably the most important tip. Spending too much money on groceries or fast food can be a problem for many students. If you spend too much, food can spoil before you eat it, while too little will leave you starving. Most students, including myself, spend around $50-60 every two weeks for groceries. That means your only spending $100 on groceries per month! Compared to the $5,000 + of the dining hall meal plans that only provide 2 main courses, peas, and soda that is pretty good.

Hope these tips help! I have been off my university’s meal plan for 2 years now and haven’t had to resort back to Ramen Noodles yet. Good luck chefs!

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5 Healthy Foods to Keep in Your Dorm / Apartment

Filed under: College Life, Health & Fitness - Angelina
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When you go grocery shopping every few weeks, which foods do you find yourself buying the most of? If it’s chips, sugary cereals, or lunchables, you might want to reconsider where you’re spending your money. They may taste good, but they’re not the best thing to put into your body. Splurge on a treat once a week if you must, but the rest of the time, focus on the “good stuff.”

Take a look at the list below to see five healthy foods that should always be in your dorm room or apartment.

1. Soup

A well-known comfort food. Soup is cheap, takes little effort and time to prepare, and pairs well with grilled cheese sandwiches, a side salad, or even just crackers. Eat it at home, or fill a thermos for when you’re on your way to class.

2. Greek Yogurt

You may have heard rumors that Greek yogurt tastes bad, but try it for yourself. I recommend Oikos and my personal favorite, Chobani. Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt, which means you’ll feel fuller and more satisfied longer. It also works in smoothies, desserts, and with fresh fruit mixed in.

3. Brown Rice

Nowadays, cancer is a huge cause of death, but studies have shown the more fiber you have in your diet, the less risk you have for getting it. Brown rice, oatmeal, and most kinds of beans will help you get this fiber in each day.

4. Fruit

Switch it up and keep a few bananas, kiwi, pears, pomegranates and/or peaches around. Buy them in bulk or ready-to-eat. It might be more expensive, but at least you’ll reach for it first if it’s already cut up.

5. Almonds

They reduce bad cholesterol and help you lose weight, what more could we ask for? They’re also a great in-between-classes snack, giving you that extra boost of energy you may need to get through your last class. Also try: walnuts, pecans, or cashews.

Unless you shop when you’re hungry (which is a big universal no-no) it should be easy to shop healthy with a list like this in hand to guide you.

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Summer Fun Never Felt So Cool

Filed under: College Life, Seasonal Celebrations - Angelina
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Summer is about having fun and relaxing. Sometimes that can be hard in serious heat. If you’ve been watching the news lately, you know that half the U.S. is under a nasty heat wave. Arizona has been experiencing temperatures up to 109 degrees, and it’s estimated that 30 people have died from heat-related causes. This is a great reminder that it’s important to keep cool in the summer. Not all college students have air conditioning, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways to still keep cool, and have fun doing it.

Ice Ice Baby

Admit it. You still drink Kool-Aid, right? Luckily, this is one thing it’s okay to never outgrow because in the summertime, Kool-Aid ice cubes can be your best friend. Pick your favorite flavor, mix it up in a pitcher, then pour some in one or two ice cube trays to suck on later. You can even add the ice cubes to a glass of water for a kick of flavor. Or you can try this recipe from Food Network for delicious margarita pops.

Catch Up on Some Flicks

If it’s 90+ degrees outside, try catching a double feature at your local movie theater. Close your blinds, lock up the house, and go see two or three movies back to back. Their air conditioning will definitely cool you down while you enjoy summer flicks!

Get Soaked

Invite a bunch of friends over to have a water balloon fight outside or at a nearby park. Make teams and dress the part with team colors! Bonus points if someone brings water guns. This would be perfect to do when you get back on campus with some college friends in a wide open area, just don’t hit someone that is not in on the fun.

Go Ice-Skating

Some indoor rinks are open year round, so grab a friend or a date and hit the ice! If you’re with friends, play a game of Red Light, Green Light, or Freeze Tag (just try not to hit anyone else not playing).

Make sure you enjoy the summer sun and have some fun before heading back to school, just keep hydrated and wear loose, light-colored clothing. Just because it’s hot out, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun!

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The Thick and Thin of Summer Fitness

Filed under: Health & Fitness - Social Community Manager
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photo of guy

By guest blogger Michael Chan

Michael is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in English and pursuing a minor in Architectural Studies. He is an aspiring young writer who hopes to someday impact the world through his written work. He plans on traveling to Italy someday to pursue his interests in Renaissance architecture.


Summer is finally here, but are you still carrying around that Freshman 15? With a less than healthy diet and little exercise, it’s common for us college students to expand horizontally during the school year. Whether you’re looking to get in shape for the beach, or trying to shed a few pounds, here are a few tips and resources that will get you to that point while spending little to no money.

Exercise – Just Do It

Keep a Journal

Start a journal to record your goals and track your progress along the way. While this may seem unnecessary at first, it’s actually a great way to stay focused on what you want to get out of your exercise and diet; it also confirms any improvements that you’ve made over time and can even serve as a source of motivation. If that sounds like too much work for you already, Pyramid Tracker is a great online resource that allows you to easily assess and monitor your physical and dietary activity for free.

Alternative Exercises  

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about getting in shape is that you have to work out at the gym, and in order to do, drop a good chunk of money for a membership. Bodyweight exercising is a budget-friendly alternative to paying for a gym membership. These exercises can be done at home and require no equipment. Find a full list of bodyweight exercises that you can do at home, or if you’re looking for a routine to follow, you can find free full body workout plans for beginners along with detailed videos on the proper form of each exercise. If you’re on the go, free mobile apps offer training workouts, where you can also add your own music playlist.

What you eat

Your diet is just as essential to getting back in shape as your workouts. Don’t go completely depriving yourself though; it’s ok to indulge a little every now and then. But keep this word in mind: moderation. If you’re looking to shed some extra pounds while keeping your stomach full, white-meat poultry, lean beef, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt are some good sources of protein (these are also great for building a little extra muscle!). Last but not least, make sure you drink at least 8 cups of cold water everyday; studies have shown that drinking 64 oz. of cold water can burn up to 70 calories, and staying hydrated boosts your immune system.

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