Easy and healthy meal inspiration for you this summer

Summer has arrived, bringing gorgeous weather and tons of opportunities for travel, events, and socializing. But with the thrills of new jobs and trips around the world with friends and family, don’t forget to look after yourself! 

When out and about, a healthy diet is often pushed to the side simply due to perceived price or time investment. We get it; it’s tempting to order fast food rather than cook a meal (we simply can’t deny the convenience factor). 

However, there are a myriad of benefits to eating healthier — from the fulfillment of cooking, better nutrition, and, of course, some delicious leftovers the next day. So whether you’re looking to cut back on fast food or searching for a way to save dosh, here are a few healthy meal and snack options for every time of day this summer! 🌞

What is healthy anyway?

But before you declare to your friends that you’re in your ✨Healthy Food Era✨, you need to ensure you’re not just talking the talk. 

Healthy food comes in all shapes and portion sizes, and given everyone’s different metabolisms and dietary restrictions, a healthy meal will differ from person to person. We’re only looking to outline a few foods that move away from the romanticized university student diet of ordering a meal that’s lacking in the veggie department. Additionally, this doesn’t mean you have to cut all the desserts and sweets out of your life — everything in moderation!

Bonita breakfast ideas

Here at SAMRU, we’re all about that breakfast grind (it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason). We get that you may skip it for a larger lunch or out of an overwhelming feeling of “Eh, I don’t really feel like it,” but there are reasons you should make it a daily routine. The early morning calories will give you the energy you need and balance out your hunger throughout the day.

Plus, if you’re in a rush, breakfast can also be the easiest meal to prepare in a pinch, so you won’t have to keep the squad waiting when you sleep past your alarms prior to a Sunday hike. 

Cereal is always a go-to and a certified childhood nostalgia classic, although we won’t be talking about the sugar-filled stuff today (despite how delicious a bowl of Fruit Loops is 🥣). Mix some plain or whole wheat Cheerios or Corn Flakes (or their no-name equivalent) alongside some fresh raspberries, blackberries, and oat milk, and you’ve got a delicious concoction to start your day. This breakfast soup can even be prepared in as little as a minute if you aren’t too comatose in the morning to get the ingredients.

Buying a tub of vanilla Greek yogurt to mix with some honey and granola alongside your morning tea will also give you that good bacteria boost to start the day with a delicious crunch. No wonder people in yogurt commercials are always so cheerful.

Should you be in a real rush, where every second is so dire you can’t stick around any longer, the classic ripe banana or red apple should be just enough to keep you going without a complete and utter collapse until lunch.

Loosen up with a luxurious lunch

While we can go on for hours about how lunch is that incredibly flexible friend that will make anything happen with your schedule, it really is the perfect time to make anything happen. Leftovers? Perfect time to munch on em. Feeling like a light snack instead to tide you over until a larger dinner? You got that too.

You can easily make a portable lunch with one of humanity’s greatest innovations — the tortilla. From a hummus and vegetable tortilla to turkey and cheese to an egg salad wrap, you can spend less time wondering what to cook and more time planning out a last-minute trip with your pals.

A salad to go will never hurt either! 🥗 If you’re looking to stay mobile, toss some lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and purple onions together along with your favourite protein, and you’re rocking for the day. Just remember to go light on the sauce, as most salads lose their healthy status when drenched in enough sauce to fill your water bottle. For a couple of healthy sauce suggestions that you can still cover your greens in, check out this blog by Green Healthy Cooking!,

Delectable dinner druthers

When looking at healthy dinner options, chicken and rice are perhaps THE go-to combo for some cheap yet delicious protein. Additionally, that chicken you crafted up can be stored in a container for some easily transportable lunch the next day, checking off lunch! Maybe there’s a reason it’s all your bodybuilder friend eats. 💪

Stealing some inspo from our $50 meal prep blog (which you should definitely go read for some cheap AND healthy meals), bow-tie pasta prepared with some pesto and parmesan is a devilishly cheap and delectable option, as is pasta salad!

Finally, for those rainy nights when you feel like wrapping yourself in a blanket and becoming a warm, toasty cinnamon bun, soup is never a bad option! The possibilities are endless, from canned tomato soup alongside grilled cheese to creamy vegetable soup. Experiment with the spices you toss in, and you’ll be cooking like a master chef in no time!

Some scrumptious snacks

We’re crazy about hummus here, and barring an allergy, you should be too. There’s potentially no better option for when you need something small to take the edge off. The iconic chickpea spread with a side of celery, bell peppers, or pretzels to scoop is unrivaled when it comes to satisfying your cravings. 

Popcorn can also get a bad rep when looking at it alongside its buttery salted movie theatre counterparts. The truth is, some homemade kernels that rely on you enjoying them as mindless food during a TV show rather than a buttery fountain of goodness can be filling without sending your saturated fat intake through the roof. Talk about being the host with the most when movie night happens at your apartment!

Secure your gourmet meal ingredients with a Good Food Box!

Are you unsure of what to make and need some healthy ingredients around your kitchen for inspiration? The Good Food Box (GFB) has you covered!

Done in collaboration with the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary, the Good Food Box is an affordable assortment of fruits and vegetables perfect to use as meal ingredients or a healthy snack alongside your culinary adventures. In addition, there are three sizes you can choose from depending on how much you plan to cook over the next couple of weeks!

Large Box 35-40 lbs. of produce $40.00, Medium Box 25-30 lbs. of produce $35.00, Small Box, 15-20 lbs. of produce $30.00
Large Box 40-45 lbs. of produce $40.00, Medium Box 30-35 lbs. of produce $35.00, Small Box 20-25 lbs. of produce $30.00

Perhaps most convenient of all, these delightful boxes of ingredients for future Instagram stories get delivered right to campus! To sign up for the next delivery date on June 19, 2024, fill out this form before June 10.

You can find the full list of Good Food Box order deadlines and delivery dates for the rest of 2024 on our website and our IG stories @SAMRUBuzz!

Now you’ve got a fine assortment of healthy meal and snack ideas at the ready this summer! Whether you plan to open a personal five-star restaurant or are just looking to spice things up for supper, we hope your cooking endeavors make your tastebuds and wallet dance! 🤑

For some more quick and painless recipes, you can meal-prep in your residence for cheap, check out our previous blog post for the hottest residence recipes around! 🍲

If you have any inquiries or suggestions, you can always send them our way to info@samru.ca.