This handout was designed by Don't Stop Eating to be part of the OFF TO COLLEGE HANDOUT breakout session held on behalf of MindsMatter at the Manhattan Business Academy. You can also download the PDF version here.

It was a pleasure to meet you all! If you have any questions related to this or other foo-related topics, shoot me an email at 


To cook good food you don’t need to be a chef. Let’s understand together what you need to have  available and what resources you can use it at your advantage.

  • Your apartment or share/dorm room, a small kitchen, the cafeteria;

  • A mini-refrigerator in your dorm room

  • A salad bar and fruit stand in your cafeteria

  • Cutlery, plates, pots & pans; condiments such as oil, butter, salt and pepper, appliances such as mini slow cooker, blender

  • Online supermarkets: Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Peapod, Freshdirect


Check for these essentials when are you preparing to move-in for the Fall semester. Which of these do you have already available and which of these do you need to purchase?

  • Microwave- most dorms have one

  • Dishware, drinking glasses, utensils

  • Food storage containers

  • Measuring cups

  • Can opener

  • Knife & cutting board

  • Pots and pans

  • Sponge and dish soap

  • Kitchen towels

Bonus Equipment

  • Mini food processor or blender

  • Slow cooker

  • Toaster

You can find cheap deals at most department stores.  Example of a Bundle set that you may find useful can be found here:



MyPlate is the government guideline that provides practical information to help you build healthier diets.You can browse more resources at



Shape Your Plate

A short description of each group of food, to help you make your diet a healthy and balanced one. Most references are from  


Grains -Whole grains are better sources of fiber and contain more nutrients . The amount of grains you need to eat depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity.

Proteins - Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, nuts and seeds. Example of meat proteins are lean beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, tuna.

Veggies - Any vegetable or a fresh juice counts as a member of the Vegetable Group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.


Fruit - Any fruit or fresh squeezed juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.


Dairy - Butter, whole cheese, milk and yogurt that retain their calcium content  are part of this group





Oils and Fats - All ingredients containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy. Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Also nuts and avocado are great source of healthy fats. (reference: American Heart Association)

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Snacks - A snack is a small amount of food eaten between meals. Snacks are as important as they provide a nutritional bridge between main meals. Snacks are also good after a fitness activity and when a lot of energies were spent. Snacks don’t have to be processed and can be as simple as a banana or an apple.

Water -  Did you know that your body is 60-75% made up of water? It’s no surprise that the amount you drink can affect your health. So, how much is enough? On average, men should ingest about 3 liters (13 cups) and women about 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water each day.



Ideas to Prepare/Conserve Food


  • Freeze it! -  Some foods are also good frozen. Usually they are whole foods, but in some cases pre-cooked foods can be frozen to be then microwaved for a quick meal.
  • Batch it! - Prepare food in advance and consume it during the week
  • To-go containers - Portion your pre-cooked food and carry it around during your day.

Food Safety

Here are some safety guidelines and tips by the USDA that can come useful to you, and to your parents if they wish to send you a care package:

What are the important things to remember about food safety?

USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline advises all consumers to keep these four basic tips in mind when cooking and preparing foods:

  • Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate. Separate raw meat, poultry and egg products from cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cook. Raw meat, poultry and egg products need to be cooked thoroughly.
  • Chill. Refrigerate promptly.



Sample Grocery List

Here a basic shopping list guide for your meals. Use the recipes in the next section as a sample to plan your week meals.



Sample Recipes


Here are some recipes you can use to plan your weekly meals and a grocery shopping list as shown above.


Vegetable Minestrone

This simple recipe is packed full of good stuff you’ll want to nurture your body and mind with:

Ingredients: 3 bunches of mixed seasonal green leaves , broccoli, 2 small zucchine or squash, 2 large potatoes, mixed bag of beans, mushrooms, 2 sticks of celery, 4 carrots, 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, sea salt or vegetable stock.

Method: chop green leaves, broccoli, zucchine or squash, potatoes, mushrooms, 2 carrots and mix well in a bowl with beans. You can portion the vegetable mix evenly into ziplock bags for later use and put them in the freezer.

When ready to cook, chop the 2 carrots, the celery stick, and the onion into small cubes. In a stockpot pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, and the celery/onion/carrots mix. Brown it at medium flame, then remove the garlic from the pan. Add the frozen (or freshly chopped) vegetable mix. Mix it up until vegetable is coated well with oil and get a bit soft. Add water and sea salt or vegetable stock  to your liking. Cover up and let it boil, then reduce flame and let it simmer until you can easily smash potatoes and beans with a fork.

Serve warm, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and some grated cheese on top (optional).

Each bag serves 4.


Cherry Tomatoes Pasta

Great as an improvised lunch, this dish is easy to carry around.

Ingredients: about ½ cup of any pasta shape, a bunch of cherry tomatoes, a fistful of mozzarella cubes (optional), fresh basil (optional)

Method: Add water to pot, add a good amount of salt and allow to boil. Add in pasta and drain when pasta is cooked. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. You can store away this pasta in a container for later use or you can serve it right away.

Chop a good amount of tomatoes and mix it in with the pasta. I like also to add some fresh mozzarella cubes, and a couple of leaves of basil.

Serves 1


Quinoa Bowl(s)

Quinoa is an extremely versatile and very nutritious grain, high in complex carbohydrates and proteins. You can boil it and make stock of it for an easy and quick lunch or dinner meal.

Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa, 1 zucchini (or squash) sliced and diced, half lemon, feta cheese (optional)

Method:   Bring 2 cups of water with the quinoa to boil and then simmer covered until the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes). Remove quinoa from saucepan.

In the saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-heat. Add zucchini, 2 pinches of sea salt, and squeeze the half lemon in it. Mix in with quinoa. Add some crumbled feta cheese on top (optional).

Feel free to substitute the ingredients you mix with the quinoa, and make your own quinoa bowls. You can also top with additional protein such as chicken, or salmon.

Another idea is to substitute quinoa with rice. Rice, like quinoa is an amazingly versatile grain. Use the ratio of 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice and cook for 35-40 minutes.


Vegetable Egg Frittata

Omelettes are tasty and super-quick to whip together. A simple omelette is delicious and brilliant for breakfast, lunch, or even a quick and light supper with a nice green salad. Once you’ve perfected this method, you can go on to add different ingredients to your simple omelette to make lots of lovely combinations.

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, a fist of grated cheese of your choice, a bunch of spinach leaves, peppers, 1 avocado, and a few cherry tomatoes

Method: In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, sea salt, and the grated cheese. Chop the peppers in small bits, roughly chop the spinach, halve the tomatoes and place aside. In a frying pan warm up the oil and add the peppers until tender. Add the spinach and the tomatoes, and once they are soft add the eggs, moving the pan around to allow it all to cook together. Ease around the edge of the omelette with a spatula, then fold it in half. Halve the avocado and slice it to serve it with the eggs.

Serve 1

Wild Salmon with Rice

Salmon is great protein and contains a good amount of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

Ingredients: 1 wild salmon fillet, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½  rice

Method: Heat up the oven at 350 degrees, brush the salmon fillet with the oil and wrap it inside a piece of aluminum foil. Let it cook for 15-20 minutes. With a fork cut the fillet to make sure is fully cooked inside. It is done when it is flaky.

On the side, boil ¾ cups of water with the rice and serve it with the salmon when it’s soft and cooked.

You can also add a small mix salad with cherry tomatoes, olive oil and sea salt.


Granola bars and snacks (Minimalist Baker)

These are amazing snacks that you can make in a batch and then carry around with you for a mid afternoon boost.

Ingredients: 1 cup dates; ¼ cup honey; ¼ peanut butter or almond butter; 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped; 1 ½ cup rolled oats

Makes 10 bars

methods: blend dates until smooth and consistent, mix together with almonds and set aside. Warm honey and peanut butter (or almond butter) and pour over oat, mixing throughout. Pour mix in a 8x8 dish or container lined with cling paper or parchment paper. Press down the mix until uniformly flat, and cover it up with more cling paper or parchment paper.

Let it set in the freezer 15-20 minutes to harden. Conserve in an airtight container for up to 1 week..


Avocado chocolate pudding (Clean Slates)

Ingredients: 3 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled; ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder; ¼ cup honey; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; sea salt

Serves 4

Method: Puree avocado, cocoa, honey, and vanilla by hand or in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate if time allows. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving. Enjoy it!


Frozen Bananas with Cocoa (Clean Slates)

Ingredients: 1 ripe banana; 3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder; ground cinnamon


Method: Cut banana into 4 pieces. Freeze on a plate, about 2 hours. Combine cocoa and cinnamon; dip one side of each banana piece in mixture. You can wrap in aluminum foil for later use, or serve right away.


Food Learning Opportunities

  • Worldwide Opportunity on Organic Farms (WOOF) visitors spend about half a day helping out on a host farm, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture, and receive room and board during their visit. The program is open to anyone 18 years of age or older, regardless of experience. Sign up for membership at

  • How Does It Grow is a series of videos teaching agricultural literacy through the power of storytelling. Watch the videos at

  • Good and Cheap is a cookbook designed for students on the budget and with little time to dedicate to cooking. Download the free PDF at

  • EWG - Dirty Dozen report and Food Scores App here.

  • Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution - Become an ambassador at your school!

  • Become best friends with you dorm kitchen and feed yourself for life. Download “College Student’s Guide to easy, healthy, and delicious food” by Nisa Burns, $7.95, e-book here.

  • Watch documentaries and learn how to cook on

  • Cooking/Food Books: “Superfood Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-dense Recipes” by Julie Morris, “Clean Slates” by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living

  • Blogs and recipes


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It was a pleasure to meet you all! If you have any questions related to this or other foo-related topics, shoot me an email at