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Time is often a barrier to shopping for and preparing healthy meals. Some of us may find that we now have more time to learn about nutrition, explore basic cooking techniques, and experiment with new flavors and foods. The USDA recently launched an app to help people make more nutrient rich choices and understand the fundamentals of healthy, sustainable eating habits. Check it out and start making great plates today!

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Hokie How-to: Nutrition Edition

Check out our Youtube channel for fantastic how-tos for healthy snacks and meals!

If you're interested in trying more, we've also provided some cheap and easy recipes below:


Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cheddar
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup frozen bell peppers
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 pinches salt and pepper
  • 12 large eggs
  • 8 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
breakfast burrito

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing all of the filling ingredients for the breakfast burrito. Shred the cheddar if not purchased pre-shredded.
  • Dice the onion. Add the onion to a large skillet with ½ Tbsp. butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Add frozen bell pepper and continue to sauté until peppers are defrosted. Season the bell pepper and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer the bell pepper and onion to a bowl.
  • Crack 12 eggs into a bowl and lightly whisk. Add the last tablespoon butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Once the skillet is hot, spread the butter to coat the surface, then pour in the whisked eggs.
  • Push the eggs in toward the center of the skillet as they set on the bottom, until most of the eggs have set, but the eggs still look moist. Do not over cook the eggs or they'll become dry. Season the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • To assemble the burritos, add a scoop of scrambled eggs to the middle of each tortilla, then top with a scoop of cooked bell pepper and onion, and a handful of cheese.
  • To roll the burrito,s first fold the tortilla up from the bottom, then fold in the sides, and then finish rolling the burrito up until it has closed. Wrap each burrito in parchment paper using the same folding and rolling method (bottom up, sides in, finish rolling up). Label each burrito on the parchment paper or on masking tape.
  • Transfer the wrapped burritos to freezer bags, label and date the bags, then place in the freezer.

To Reheat

  • Transfer the breakfast burrito to the refrigerator the day before to thaw. Once thawed, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or heat in a skillet over medium-low heat, about 5 minutes on each side or until the tortilla is crispy and the insides are warm.
  • To reheat from frozen, use the microwave's defrost setting for about 5 minutes, then microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Source

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
peanut butter brownie oatmeal

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  • Mash the bananas well, then place them in a large mixing bowl along with the egg, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Whisk until the mixture is mostly smooth (there may be small pieces of banana).
  • Add the milk to the chocolate banana mixture, and then whisk until smooth again. Add the dry rolled oats and then stir until combined.
  • Pour the oat mixture into a 2-3 quart casserole dish coated with non-stick spray. Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp. peanut butter over the oats and drag a knife through to create swirls. If needed, warm the peanut butter slightly to make it runny enough to drizzle over the oats.
  • Bake the oats in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve warm, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Source

Prep Time: 4 mins
Cook Time: 1 min
Total Time: 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup stale bread pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped lunch meat
  • 1/4 cup frozen bell peppers
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
mug with eggs in it and a fork

Instructions

  • Tear or cut the bread into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Add the butter to the bottom of a large mug (10-12oz.) and microwave on high for 20 seconds or until it is fully melted. Whisk in the milk, egg, salt, and pepper with a fork.
  • Stir the meat, vegetables, and cheese into the milk and egg mixture first, then gently fold in the bread cubes until they are fully saturated.
  • Let the mug sit for one minute to fully absorb the liquid, then microwave on high for about 90 seconds, or until the center is solid and it has begun to pull away from the mug around the edges. Serve hot.

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 8 hrs, 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds, optional
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
jar of oats, fruits, and nuts

Instructions

  • To each of four containers add 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp sliced almonds, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • On top of the dry ingredients add 1/3 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup blueberries to each container.
  • Stir the almond extract into the milk, then add 1/2 cup milk to each container. Stir the containers well to prevent the chia seeds from clumping. Place a lid on the containers and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 4 days.
  • When ready to eat, simply stir with a spoon and then enjoy!

Source

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 oz. medium cheddar, shredded
macaroni and cheese

Instructions

  • Add the macaroni and vegetable broth to the rice cooker. Close the lid and cook on the "steam" setting for 5 minutes. It may take 5-7 minutes to come up to temperature before it begins counting down the 5 minutes of cook time. Stir the pasta twice during cooking, once when the cook time begins to count down, and again when there is about 2 minutes left. Close the lid promptly after stirring each time.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the cream cheese into chunks. After 5 minutes of cooking, the pasta should have absorbed all of the broth (if not, cook a few minutes longer). Turn the rice cooker to the "keep warm" setting, and add the milk and cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese has melted.
  • Finally, add half of the shredded cheddar and stir until it has melted, then repeat with the second half. If the cheese sauce becomes too thick or dry for your liking, simply stir in an extra splash of milk. Serve hot.

Source

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs, 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1 15oz. can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup brown lentils, uncooked
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or butter
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
chili with avocado and shredded cheese

Instructions

  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onion and garlic to the slow cooker, along with all the other ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir the ingredients in the slow cooker to combine.
  • Place a lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours (or low for 8 hours). After cooking, the lentils should be tender. Taste the chili and add salt to taste, if needed (this will depend on the salt content of your broth).
  • Serve the chili hot, with your favorite toppings.

Source

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • Spicy Black Bean Mixture
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 10 oz. can petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Nachos
  • 8 oz sturdy corn tortilla chips
  • 4 oz cheddar, shredded
  • 1 jalapeño, optional
  • handful of cilantro, optional
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, optional
nachos

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion. Add the olive oil and onion to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and transparent (about 5 minutes). Drain, but do not rinse the black beans, allowing some of the starchy liquid to remain coating the beans. Add the beans and diced tomatoes with chiles (not drained) to the skillet, along with the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Stir and simmer the mixture until it thickens and liquid no longer pools on the bottom of the skillet (about 10 minutes).
  • Begin preheating the oven to 350ºF. Shred the cheddar cheese, thinly slice the jalapeño, and chop the cilantro.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Spread a layer of tortilla chips over the baking sheet in a single layer, trying not to overlap the chips. Spoon about half of the black bean mixture over the chips, then sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over top. Repeat with one more layer of chips, black beans, and cheese.
  • Bake the chips, beans, and cheese for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and the chips are just beginning to turn golden brown on the edges. Remove the nachos from the oven and add a drizzle or dollops of sour cream over top. Sprinkle the sliced jalapeño, pickled red onions, and chopped cilantro over top.

Source

Prep Time: 8 hrs
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 8 hrs, 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 6 english muffins
  • 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Frozen vegetables for topping, optional
pizza

Instructions

  • Line two small baking sheets with foil or parchment paper (or do one sheet at a time, preparing the second batch the second day). Open the english muffins and line them up on the baking sheets with cut sides facing up. Spread about 1 Tbsp pizza sauce over the surface of each muffin, then top with about 2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella.
  • Divide frozen vegetables evenly among the pizzas (Vegetables may need to be chopped beforehand depending on their size). Press down lightly on top of each pizza to help compact the toppings and keep them in place as they freeze. Cover the baking sheets with plastic wrap and freeze for about 8 hours, or until the pizzas are solid.
  • Once the pizzas are frozen solid, carefully transfer them to a gallon sized freezer bag for long term storage (you may need two bags). For the best results, the pizzas should be cooked and eaten within 3 months.
  • To bake the pizzas, take out the number you wish to bake, place them on a baking sheet, and let them partially thaw as you preheat the oven to 400ºF (about 7 minutes). Once the oven is fully preheated, bake the pizzas for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the cheese is melted. Baking time will vary depending on your oven and the amount of toppings on the pizzas.

Source

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins

Ingredients

  • Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • Enchiladas
  • 16 small corn tortillas
  • 4 cups refried beans
  • 8 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro (or green onions), roughly chopped, optional
enchilada

Instructions

  • Begin by making the sauce. In a small sauce pot, combine the chili powder, flour, and oil. Heat over a medium flame, while stirring, for one to two minutes to toast the spices and flour. Whisk in the water, tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken. Once thick enough to coat a spoon, taste and add salt as needed (1/2 to 3/4 tsp). Set the sauce aside.
  • Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium flame until they are just flecked with brown on each side. The tortillas should be slightly more firm, but still pliable enough to roll. Stack the tortillas on a clean plate as they come out of the skillet.
  • Prepare a casserole dish by coating with non-stick spray, then spread a layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom (1/2 to 1 cup). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add about 1/4 cup of refried beans to each tortilla, plus a small pinch of shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla tightly around the beans and cheese, then place seam side down in the casserole dish. Continue until all of the tortillas are filled. Pour another 1/2 to 1 cup enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas in the dish, leaving some of the edges exposed so they can become brown and crispy. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  • Bake the casserole in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the sauce is thick and bubbly around the edges and the center is heated through. Top with chopped cilantro leaves (or sliced green onions).

Source

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr, 20 mins

Ingredients

  • Roasted Vegetables
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 1 bag frozen carrots
  • 1 bag frozen peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Pasta
  • 12 oz. uncooked ziti
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
baked ziti

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the onion.
  • Drizzle each baking sheet with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Toss the frozen vegetables on the baking sheet until they are all lightly coated in oil and spices (the more you toss, the more the oil will spread over the surface of all the vegetables). Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly charred on the edges. Stir once, half way through roasting.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente). Once cooked, drain the pasta and return it to the pot with the burner turned off. Add the sauce and toss to coat.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, the egg, one cup of the shredded mozzarella, 1/4 tsp salt, and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. Stir until smooth and even.
  • Coat an 8x8 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1/3 of the pasta and marinara sauce over the bottom. Layer 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over the pasta, then 1/2 of the roasted vegetables. Repeat these three layers, then end with one final layer of pasta and sauce, and the final cup of shredded mozzarella.
  • Reduce the heat in the oven to 375 degrees and bake the casserole for 30 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese on top is melted and slightly browned on the edges.

Source

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, optional
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 10 taco sized tortillas
bean quesadilla

Instructions

  • Drain the can of beans and rinse lightly. Place the beans in a large bowl along with the corn (no need to thaw).
  • Rinse the cilantro, remove the leaves, and chop roughly. Dice the onion. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, and shredded cheese to the bowl with the beans and corn. Lastly, mix up a batch of taco seasoning and add to the bowl. Stir everything until evenly mixed.
  • Place a half cup of the filling on one side of each tortilla and fold over. Cook in a skillet on both sides over medium heat until brown and crispy and the cheesy filling has melted.
  • To freeze the quesadillas, simply fill each one and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for one hour to solidify the quesadillas and then transfer to a freezer bag. To reheat either microwave (for a soft quesadilla) or cook in a skillet on low heat (make sure to use low heat so that the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).

Source

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup frozen carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 green onions, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled rice
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil, optional
fried rice

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the ginger and garlic to the skillet and briefly sauté for about one minute or just until they become fragrant. Add the frozen carrot and the white ends of the sliced green onion. Sauté for about two minutes more.
  • Add the frozen peas and frozen green bell pepper. Continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes, or just until the green bell peppers begin to soften. Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes more, or just until the rice is heated through.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and briefly whisk. Push the contents of the skillet off to the sides, exposing the skillet in the center. Add one additional tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet in the center, then pour in the whisked eggs. Cook the eggs for 1-2 minutes, gently scrambling, until they are mostly cooked through, then stir to mix them into the other ingredients in the skillet.
  • Drizzle the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil over the skillet and stir to combine. At this point everything should be heated through and coated in sauce. Serve immediately with fresh green onion sprinkled over top.

Source

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 33 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose fllour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
cookies

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until very well combined.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the butter (room temperature), pumpkin, brown sugar, and white sugar on low speed. Once they're well combined, add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined again.
  • Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed just until a thick, creamy batter forms. Add the dry oats and dried cranberries and stir them into the batter with a spoon.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheet in 2 Tbsp portions, leaving about 1.5 inches between each cookie. The cookies will not spread much during baking, so gently pat them down into flattened circles.
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until slightly browned on the surface. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before eating.

Source

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 8-inch whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips
peanut butter and banana quesadilla

Instructions

  • Spread the peanut butter over the surface of the tortilla.
  • Slice the banana very thinly and then arrange the slices over half of the tortilla. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the banana slices and then fold the tortilla in half.
  • Cook the quesadilla in a skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Source

Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 1 mins
Total Time: 4 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
chocolate mug cake

Instructions

  • In your mug, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt). Make sure there are no clumps.
  • Stir in the vegetable oil and milk until the mixture is smooth. Drop a tablespoon of peanut butter into the center and push it down into the batter.
  • Microwave on high for one minute and then enjoy!

Source

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MyPlate

Using this time to learn more about a nutritious diet? MyPlate can be used to learn about the food groups and portion sizes. It can be used as a great guideline to build healthy, balanced meals. You can also browse the website to find healthy, budget-friendly recipes.

SuperCook

Trying not to leave your house? SuperCook is a great resource to search for recipes based on the ingredients you already have at home!

Serious Eats

Trying to spruce up your cooking skills? Serious Eats is a great resource for cooking hacks and techniques, along with various recipes.

Tasty

Rather follow a cooking video than a recipe? Tasty has easy, simple recipe videos that are fun for the family!

Pinterest

Looking for something specific? Pinterest is a great go-to resource for recipes. Individual users post on the website, so you get a wide variety of recipes from multiple sources. Simply use the search bar to type in what you want (ex: easy crock pot recipes) and suddenly you have endless options!

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