College Student Meals - Easy Minestrone and Spinach Quesadillas Week

4 years ago

College Student Meals, featuring a week of healthy recipes including recipes and a grocery list for easy Minestrone, Spinach and Brie Quesadillas and a tasty Salisbury Steak.

Easy-minestrone-from-zagleft - College Student Meals and Recipes

I hope your Thanksgiving break was a good one.  If you returned home to visit family and friends last week, hopefully you were able to relax and recharge. The next few weeks at school will be tough ones with final exams coming up. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are probably the most stressful of the entire academic year, so just take a breath, try not to overload your schedule, get enough rest and try to eat right.  The end is in sight.

Here are a few tips to help you focus on what you need to do to suceed in these last few weeks of your semester.


Sit down and look at the rest of your semester.  What types of projects are coming up?  How many papers will you need to write?  Do all of your classes have final exams?  Try to estimate how much work it will take for you to do well in each of your classes.


Now that you know what you need to do, you need to actually do it.  Set aside extra time, if necessary to turn off the television, spend extra time on a particular subject and go to the library.  Don’t hesitate to go to the professor for help if you need it.  They want to help you succeed and by letting him or her know you’re concerned or need clarification over a particular area, it shows them that you want to do well.  Your professors will remember that.

Stay On Track

The problem isn’t making a plan or starting the plan.  The problem is usually being consistent and sticking with the plan.  Just try to remember the end goal…to finish the semester with success.  It can be challenging, but so worth it in the end.  Try to give yourself study breaks.  Work hard for an hour or so then reward yourself with a movie or fun activity.  Get together with friends during this time and try to set up group study time, plan to study for an hour or so, then head out together to throw a frisbee or play an activity outside.

These are just a few tips that will help you during this period.  What do you find works best for you?  If you have any tips or suggestions to add, please leave them in the comment field below.

Have a great week!


Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese - Roasting vegetables is a wonderful way to cook them. Simply peel and chop a sweet potato, drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all together well and place on a baking pan in a preheated 425 degree oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. You can roast the red pepper the same way, just check to see if the pepper is tender and lightly charred at around the 15 minute mark.  You’ll love the flavors of the sweet potato, red pepper and goat cheese together.  

College Student Meals - Pasta with Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese from Zagleft


8-ounces linguine (or use your favorite type of pasta)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed, peeled, chopped and roasted  / *See above for roasting directions

1 medium red pepper, chopped and roasted

4-ounces goat cheese


Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Remove from heat, drain and place pasta back in the pot or in a large bowl.  Pour the roasted sweet potatoes and the roasted red peppers from the pan into the bowl of pasta, making sure you also pour the remaining olive oil from the baking pan into the bowl too.  Mix well.  Top with crumbled goat cheese.


Quick Minestrone Soup - Minestrone Soup is so easy to prepare. Use your favorite kinds of frozen vegetables along with your favorite noodle. It’s quick, delicious, full of vegetables and the beans are a great source of protein.

College Student Meals - Easy minestroni recipe from zagleft


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

4 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup fresh spinach

1 cup frozen vegetables (your choice)

1 cup cooked pasta

1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

parmesan cheese


In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, basil and oregano to the pot and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Add in the spinach, vegetables and pasta and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Drain and rinse the red beans and add them to the pot.  Stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese.


Salisbury Steak


1 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

4 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup ground beef

salt and pepper

1/2 ciabatta roll

1/4 cup beef broth


Heat the oil over medium high heat in a small skillet.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet.

Season the beef with salt and papper, then shape into a round patty.  Add to the skillet and cook until starting to brown, then carefully flip over, and cook the second side.

Toast lightly the ciabatta and arrange on a serving plate.

Remove the meat patty from the skillet and place it on the ciabatta.

Bring the onions and mushrooms back to the center of the skillet, pour in the beef broth, and heat until boiling.  Continue boiling for 1 minute, or until slightly reduced, then remove from the heat, and spoon over the meat patty.


Chef’s Salad with Fresh Spinach 


1 cup fresh spinach

1 cup of torn lettuce

1 tomato, sliced

1 hard boiled egg, sliced

1/2 cup shredded or thinly sliced cheese (use some of the parmesan or goat cheese from earlier in the week)

dressing of your choice


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and toss.


Spinach and Brie Quesadillas


Spinach and Brie Quesadillas from Zagleft


2 large flour tortillas


4 slices of brie, rind removed, about 1/4 inch sliced

1/2 cup fresh spinach

Click HERE for the recipe instructions.

Are you following us on Instagram and TwitterFacebook and Pinterest?  Thanks for reading and please keep in touch by subscribing to ZagLeft.

Other recipes you might like…

College Student Meals – Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Week

College Student Meals – Week of Roasted Chicken Recipes

Easy Rice Pudding Recipe For One

Bean and Cheese Nacho Boats


  • Small jar of tomato sauce
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 can red beans
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Small wedge of brie
  • Salad dressing
  • Eggs
  • Ground beef
  • Linguine (or your favorite pasta)
  • Olive oil/canola oil
  • Dried basil
  • Oregano
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Ciabatta roll
  • Tortillas
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 red pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Mushrooms


  1. Use these ingredients to make 5 meals with enough for leftovers.

Joanie Zisk writes a food, wine and travel blog with a special section for college students.  You can read more at ZagLeft.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from food

Food & Recipes
by Aly Walansky | 4 hours ago
Food & Recipes
by Aly Walansky | a day ago
Food & Recipes
by Heather Barnett | a day ago
Food & Recipes
by Whitney Coy | 2 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Aly Walansky | 5 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Justina Huddleston | 6 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Michele Borboa, MS | 7 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Aly Walansky | 7 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Aly Walansky | 8 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Brandi Bidot | 8 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Claire Gallam | 9 days ago
Food & Recipes
by Justina Huddleston | 9 days ago