Cheesy Carbs Minus The Guilt: 3 Surprisingly Healthy Recipes

Finding the time to make healthy meals in college is hard. Tired of eating salad and then pizza while all the while trying to convince yourself that it was a healthy meal? I know the feeling. When you’re running from class to class, studying and then going to the group meeting at the library, it seems like you may not even have a second to breathe. For the days where you’re running around like a mad woman, here are some tasty yet healthy, quick fixes for on the go.

Spinach and feta grilled cheese


Serves two. I love this because it’s like having a little calzone except you can brag and say you made it yourself. This would be a great party snack, or something to eat while you study if you’re in a time crunch.


  • ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ lb. frozen cut spinach
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 oz. feta cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

How to:

Mince the garlic and add it to a skillet with the olive oil. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Add the frozen spinach and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through and most of the moisture has evaporated. Then, add a little bit of salt and pepper.

Cut the rolls in half and add about ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella and ½ oz. of feta to the bottom half of each roll. Divide the spinach between the two sandwiches, top with a tiny bit of red pepper flakes, plus ¼ more shredded mozzarella on each.

Place the top half of the ciabatta roll on the sandwiches and transfer them to a large non-stick skillet. Fill a large pot with a few inches of water to create a bit of weight, then place the pot on top of the sandwiches to press them down like a panini press. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the sandwiches are crispy on the bottom. Flip the sandwiches (carefully), place the weighted pot back on top, and cook until crispy on the other side and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.


Creamy tomato and spinach pasta


Serves four. You know that guy you really like and finally got the guts to ask on a date? Invite him over to your place for dinner and impress him with this super yummy dish. It’s not as messy as long spaghetti noodles so you won’t get sauce all over your face.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ lb. penne pasta
  • ½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach

How to:

Cook the pasta as you usually would and drain it.

While waiting for the pasta to cook you can dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (takes about 5 minutes).

Add the diced tomatoes (don’t skip out on the juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic and stir. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved.

Turn the heat to low. Then, cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Stir the sauce with a whisk until the cream cheese has fully melted and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it’s melted. Add what’s left of the parmesan and whisk until melted again.

Put in the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it’s wilted (about 3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. You can adjust the salt and pepper to your preference! Serve warm.

Black bean quesadillas


Serves 10. Healthy, filling and delicious?! What more could you ask for! These quesadillas are perfect for those late nights when you’re craving some Mexican food but can’t afford to buy anything (we all know the feeling). These would also be the perfect snack for a girls night just staying in and watching movies!


  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ small red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 batch taco seasoning
  • 10 taco sized tortillas

How to:

After draining the beans, rinse lightly and place the beans in a large bowl along with the corn (you don’t need to thaw it).

Rinse the cilantro, take off the leaves, and chop roughly. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, and shredded cheese to the bowl with the bean/corn mixture. Finally, just mix up some taco seasoning, add to the bowl and stir everything until it’s all blended together.

Place a half cup of the mixture on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook in a skillet on both sides on medium heat until golden and crispy when the cheesy filling has melted.

There you have it! Healthy doesn’t have to mean tasteless and bland. Trying to live a healthier lifestyle shouldn’t have to mean juice cleanses and diets; eating better is great for your body to make look good and feel good too!

Featured image via Pexels.


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