Meal Prep: Breakfast and Tea Break

Malaysia is a food paradise. You are surrounded by tasty (but unfortunately, not the healthiest) food almost all the time and though it feels like a ‘cat in a fish shop’ kind of situation for the onlooker, it is clearly not the case. If you are into clean and healthy eating habits or at least care about what goes into your body, you will quickly find that dining out every day could be detrimental – to yourself and your wallet.

GIF from GIPHY

Of course, if you happen to live amidst a jungle (We still love you, UNMC) where your options are limited, your taste buds would soon need some new flavour and your body also would require a break from all the food you have been eating from the food stalls around. After much trial and error, I present to you the easiest of recipes, the most dormitory friendly ones that you could whip up with less than 5 ingredients, in less than half an hour, store it away for later and yet, keeping it healthier than the food we find around here.

Disclaimer: This does not mean that you have to strictly stick to the recipe. I myself tweaked this a lot in accordance with the nutritional value and availability of ingredients and of course, you should be able to make something that suits your taste the best. The food you eat should nourish your body, satisfy and keep you happy, and most importantly make YOU feel better!

[I will also provide a range of alternatives at the end of every recipe that you could use, marked with a star. Caloric values might vary slightly depending on the brand of ingredients used.]

  1. Creamy Egg Salad Sandwich

You can premake the filling and whip up a sandwich when you feel like it. It stays good in the fridge, in an airtight container for almost a week. The bread could be toasted if you are into that ‘I need different textures in my food’ kind of life, or it could also be eaten as it is. Good news – the filling is not limited to bread alone – you can eat it along with crackers, wraps or just on its own. It is still delish!

Ingredients:

[Makes five sandwiches]

  • 10 slices whole wheat bread
  • 5 Boiled eggs*
  • 3~4 tablespoons cream cheese*
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Additional:

  • Chilli flakes
  • Dried or fresh herbs
  • Lettuce for your daily dose of greens

Methods: 

  1. Separate the egg whites and yolks once they are boiled.
  2. Add the yolks in a bowl, followed by the cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix until it reaches the ‘spreadable’ consistency.
  3. Roughly chop the egg whites or use a fork to break them into tiny pieces and hence, mix with the egg yolks.
  4. Spread on bread and enjoy!

*If you do not feel like eating eggs, you can also use tuna from the can and follow the same recipe for a Tuna Salad sandwich!

*The usual recipes for egg/tuna sandwich use mayonnaise, which has a ton of highly processed vegetable oil with unhealthy fats and it is ridden with ingredients that you cannot even pronounce! Cream cheese is a healthier and much tasty alternative as it gives your filling a creamier and richer flavour.

In case you are lactose intolerant, there is also lactose-free cream cheese available in the supermarket.

Caloric Information

[For one sandwich]

2 slices of whole wheat bread ~160 calories

1 Egg ~75 calories

1 tbsp cream cheese ~49 calories

(If you are using mayonnaise, a tablespoon has 94 calories, with 10 grams of fat!)

Total ~284 calories

  1. Cheesy Spinach Egg Mug Muffin

Anything cooked in a mug means fewer dishes to do. This spinach egg mug muffin can be cooked in the microwave in less than 5 minutes and it also makes a healthy, wholesome breakfast. You can also premake the egg mixture and store in your fridge to whip up a quick muffin to take on the go for a particularly long and busy day as it will keep you full and fueled till lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons self-raising flour*
  • Half cup spinach*
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon grated cheese* of choice

Additional:

  • Dried Herbs
  • Chilli flakes
  • Onion slices or any other vegetable, chopped finely

What to do?

  1. In a mug, add your flour first and crack eggs one at a time, mixing with a fork to make it lump free.
  2. Then add the spinach of choice, salt, pepper, and any other additional vegetables or spices.
  3. Microwave for a minute.
  4. Take the mug out and add the cheese on top.
  5. Microwave for 30~40 seconds or until the fork or a toothpick comes out clean when you poke into the muffin.
  6. Your muffin/ omelette/frittata in a mug is now ready!

*Spinach can be replaced with any other leafy vegetable of choice.

*If you are about that low carb life, you can forego the flour and use two tablespoons of oat flour. For an additional protein boost, you can add another egg that gives your muffin a more frittata twist.

*Grated cheese can be replaced with a good slice of processed cheese.

Caloric Information

[For one muffin]

2 Whole Eggs ~150 calories

2 tablespoons flour ~56 calories

Half a cup of spinach ~6 calories

1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese ~25 calories, cheddar cheese ~52 calories or a slice of processed cheese ~96 calories

Total ~250 calories

  1. Chewy Chocolate Oat Bars

These health bars take around 5~7 minutes to make in the microwave oven and can be stored for 4~5 days in the fridge. It tastes good just out of the oven or chilled and can also be paired with milk for a more wholesome snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • Medium sized banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoon self-raising flour*
  • 1~2 tablespoon cocoa powder (depending on your desired level of chocolate flavour)
  • 1~2 tbsp whole milk (depending on your desired level of gooeyness)

Additional:

  • A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts
  • Sugar or honey

Steps:

  1. Combine the ingredients listed above until it forms a mixture that is easily spreadable.
  2. Depending on the desired level of gooeyness, add or deduce a tablespoon of milk and an optional tablespoon of water or honey.
  3. On a microwave-safe plate, line with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly, based on your desired thickness.
  4. ‘Bake’ in the microwave for 5~7 minutes.
  5. Let it cool before cutting into small squares and sprinkle some chocolate chips for an extra chocolatey taste.

*Plain flour can be replaced with any flour of choice – Whole wheat, oat, chickpea with the addition of just a pinch of baking powder.

Caloric Information

[For entire recipe. For individual bars, divide the entire recipe’s calories by the number of bars]

1 cup, 80g rolled oats ~265 calories

1 medium banana ~90 calories

2 tablespoons flour ~56 calories

2 tablespoons cocoa powder ~24 calories

2 tablespoons whole milk ~20 calories

Total ~455 calories

  1. [Skinny yet decadent] Brownie in a mug

Another healthier, dorm-friendly recipe that can be made in a single container.You can eat it warm or chilled and even add any topping from cream, ice cream, and nuts. So, when the cravings hit next time, you will know exactly how to make a brownie in a matter of minutes!

Ingredients:

[Makes one portion]

  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat or self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice* [Sugar, sweetener, stevia, honey]
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • A pinch of baking powder

Additional:

  • Chopped nut of choice, cashew nut or walnut works best
  • Raisins
  • Chocolate chips

What’s next?

  1. In a mug, mix the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. 
  2. Add yoghurt one spoon at a time and mix with a fork until it is free of lumps.
  3. Add the sweetener and any add-ons that you prefer.
  4. Microwave for about 50 seconds to a minute, depending on how gooey you like your brownie.
  5. Top with chocolate chips, chopped banana or nuts and you are good to go!

Caloric Information

2 tablespoons flour ~56 calories

2 tablespoons cocoa powder ~24 calories

3 tablespoons yogurt ~45 calories

2 tablespoons honey ~128 calories,

sugar ~96 calories

Total ~250 calories

Hopefully, these recipes help a struggling, starving university student by adding some clean flavour to their palette! It is not about dieting or eating less, you just gotta eat the right, balanced diet and feel pretty darn good about yourself.

GIF from GIPHY

Do remember, “every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body!”

 

Featured image from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWubeGdNNf4

Written by Samudhra Sendhil

"I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food." - Emma Bombeck

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