Were you finally getting used to doing absolutely nothing for an entire month? What about getting used to home-cooked meals that aren't cooked by you? Yeah, I know the feeling. Now that we are back at school and finally have things to stress about, cooking dinner is the least of our worries.   

Luckily, these five easy meals will help ease you back into the painful reality of having responsibilities. These dinner ideas are not only tasty and healthy, but super simple to make as well.

Chicken Avocado Taco

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 2 tortillas
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Monterrey Jack cheese shredded
  • cilantro
fish, vegetable, bread
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Heat up the olive oil over medium heat on a medium saucepan. Add the chicken. Let it sit for 3 minutes and flip it to the other side for 3 minutes. Slice the chicken to make sure it's cooked all the way through.

    chicken, fish, meat, seafood
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    Heat up the tortillas over stove top. Add the chicken, avocado, cilantro and cheese to the tortilla. Serve.

    avocado, chicken, tacos
    Angela Kerndl

Zucchini Chicken and Rice

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 onion chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 chicken breast
rice, chicken
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Start cooking the rice according to the box's instructions.

    risotto, wheat, brown rice, rice, cereal
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    In a medium saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Add the onion and stir on medium heat until slightly browned. Add the thinly sliced zucchini rounds and stir until slightly browned as well.

    squash, courgette, vegetable, zucchini
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    Toss the chicken in with the soy sauce and mix everything together. Let the chicken sit for 3 minutes, then flip and let it sit for another 3 minutes. Cut the chicken into small pieces and make sure there's no pink on the inside.

    zucchini, meat, vegetable
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 4

    Once the chicken is done cooking, serve it with the rice and zucchini.

    zucchini, chicken, rice, meat, vegetable
    Angela Kerndl

Nutty Chicken Tenders

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:25 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6-8 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
chicken
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Whisk together the mayo, bbq sauce, dijon mustard, honey and salt. Set aside.

    espresso, cream, coffee, soup
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    In another bowl, mix together the paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the spices. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and soy sauce.

    egg
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    In a food processor—a coffee grinder works just as well—grind up the almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix together. You can also use other seeds or nuts.

    chocolate, coffee, flour, sweet, wheat, cereal
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 4

    Cover the chicken in the egg and soy sauce mix. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.

    sauce, chicken
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 5

    Cover the chicken in the almond and pumpkin seed mixture. Transfer the coated chicken to the pan and cook on medium heat. Let the chicken sit on each side for a few minutes and until cooked all the way through.

    sauce, pork, beef, meat, chicken
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 6

    Serve with the honey mustard sauce and enjoy.

    mashed potatoes, gravy
    Angela Kerndl

This is a version of my favorite recipe from Daphne Oz's cookbook, The Happy Cook.  It may seem like a lot of ingredients but it's definitely all worth it.  

Kale Pesto Pasta

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:12 mins
  • Total Time:27 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 1/4 cup Italian style cheese
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
spinach, broccoli, pasta, kale
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375°. Tear half of the kale into bite sized pieces. Place the kale in a large bowl and mix with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Organize the kale on a pan so none is overlapping. Place in the oven for 7 minutes. The kale will be crisp.

    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook according to the box instructions. Drain the water, but set aside a little bit for the pesto sauce.

    macaroni, soup, cheese, pasta
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    In a skillet, heat another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and add the rest of the kale. Add the garlic and toss together. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat. In a blender, blend together the sauteed kale, basil, cheese, walnuts, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper until smooth. Add pasta water as needed so the mixture isn't too thick.

    parsley, broccoli, herb, vegetable, spinach, kale
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 4

    Toss the pasta with the pesto sauce. Top the pasta with more cheese and the kale chips from Step 1. Serve with chicken if desired.

    parsley, garlic, vegetable, basil, sauce, spinach, pasta
    Angela Kerndl

Burrito Bowl

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups lettuce
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 avocado
  • cilantro
  • Monterrey Jack cheese grated
  • chipotle sauce
salad, pepper, vegetable
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Cook the rice according to the box instructions. Heat up the black beans and rice over stove top on medium heat for a few minutes. Stir so they don't burn.

    cereal, legume, vegetable, corn
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    Chop the cilantro and tomato. Dice the avocado. Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces.

    lettuce, vegetable, salad
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    Once the rice is done, place it in a bowl. Top the rice with the lettuce. Then add the black beans, corn, avocado and tomato. Add the cheese and chipotle sauce. Add lime to taste. Serve and enjoy.

    pepper, vegetable, salad
    Angela Kerndl

Even though the assignments for your classes might be starting to pile up, don't let school get in the way of a healthy meal. These easy recipes are quick to make, leaving you with plenty of time to get back in the swing of another lovely semester.