I am constantly in a state of being hungry and not wanting to spend any money. Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave room for many options. However, the idea of 5 ingredients or less meals can be an easy solution to this issue. Put your dorm community kitchen to use and create recipes that are healthy for your wallet and body!

Breakfast: Avocado Toast

Olivia Berens

This is my all-time favorite breakfast! It is so simple and can be put together in minutes when you are trying to rush out of the door. Feel free to get a little crazy and add a fried egg to the toast or pair it with fresh, seasonal fruit. Delicious! 


-1 avocado

-1 slice of bread

-1 squeeze of lemon

-Sprinkle of Trader Joe’s "Everything but the Bagel" Seasoning


1. Toast the bread until desired toastiness.

2. Carefully cut open the avocado, remove the pit, and scoop into a bowl. Mash it with a squeeze of lemon and salt.

3. Spread the avocado mixture on top of the toast and top with the seasoning. Done!

Olivia Berens

Lunch: Protein-Packed Salad

Olivia Berens

I love to make this 5 ingredients salad for my long days at work. You get protein from the quinoa and garbanzo beans, which will fortunately keep you full for hours. If you're not a fan of tomatoes, you can always switch it out for some other vegetable you like or add chicken/shrimp. Even more protein! 


-1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection

-1 can of garbanzo beans

-A handful of cherry tomatoes

-1 bag of Trader Joe’s fully cooked quinoa

-Dressing of choice (I used Green Goddess)


1. Cook the quinoa according to directions and let cool.

2. Open the garbanzo beans and drain the liquid.

3. Toss all ingredients together in a Tupperware container.

4. Shake and enjoy!

Olivia Berens

Veggie Tortellini with Chicken

Olivia Berens

Trader Joe's has pretty much been in the spotlight this entire article, and I'm here for it. This pasta dish is so flavorful and makes enough servings for about 4 people, so you can either split it with friends or save it for throughout the week! Meal planning can always save you time. Also, I highly recommend using these Brussel sprouts. They come pre-seasoned and give awesome color to the dish! 


- 1 package of Trader Joe’s Spinach Tortellini

- 1 package of All Natural Chicken

- The rest of the tomatoes you didn’t use in the salad

- ¼ cup of Roasted Garlic Marinara

- 1 package Seasoned Brussel Sprouts


1. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and sauté until cooked.

2. Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the brussel sprouts and tomatoes. Stir for about 15 minutes or until tender.

3. Boil water and cook the tortellini according to the instructions.

4. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the vegetables.

5. Add the chicken back in along with the marinara sauce.

6. Stir until fully mixed. Done!

Olivia Berens

It doesn't take a million ingredients to create a delicious meal. If you are on a budget, like to fuel your body with fresh food, and don't have a lot of time on your hands, this new 5 ingredients mentality is perfect for you. Simplicity is your new best friend.