Category Archives: Cooking Videos

Watch our collection of videos that show college students some healthy ways to cook.

Tofu Scramble

A protein-packed meal that you can eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Recipe By: Emily Pia, HealthWorks Peer Educator


  • ½ block firm tofu​
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil​
  • Chopped vegetables of choice (we recommend zucchini, peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes)​
  • ½ tsp minced garlic​
  • ½ avocado​
  • Salt, to taste​
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika ​
  • ¼ tso chili powder​
  • Hot sauce or sriracha, if desired


  1. Drizzle olive oil and add garlic to a pan over medium heat on your stovetop.​
  2. Add chopped vegetables.​
  3. Squeeze tofu in your hands over the sink to reduce water content.​
  4. Crumble into the pan.​
  5. Add salt, paprika and chili powder to season and cook for 3 min.​
  6. Serve with avocado and hot sauce/sriracha.


Rice, Chickpea and Spinach Skillet

An easy, inexpensive, and heaty 5-minute meal

Recipe By: Emily Pia, Community Nutrition and Food Security Club


  • 1 frozen steam pack of rice (10 oz.)​
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach (or ¼ package frozen spinach) ​
  • ½ can of chickpeas (chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same!)​
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (or any type of cooking oil)​
  • 8 oz your favorite jarred or canned tomato sauce​
  • Parmesan cheese (if desired)​


  1. Cook frozen rice according to package directions (usually three minutes in the microwave).​
  2. Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat on your stove top.​
  3. Add chickpeas, spinach, and ½ bag of rice to the pan and cook until spinach begins to wilt (put away the other half for leftovers!)​
  4. Add tomato sauce and continue to cook until all is warm.​
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese if you’d like, and serve!​


Pasta and Veggie Bowl

Perfect for busy nights!

Recipe By: Teresa Lesher, Community Nutrition and Food Security


  • Pasta of your choice (try whole grain!)​
  • As many chopped vegetables of your choice (try broccoli, mushrooms, peppers or zucchini)​
  • Pre-cooked chicken, turkey, tofu or protein of choice​
  • Marinara sauce (look for a low sodium/sugar variety)​


  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot.​
  2. Add pasta once water is boiling, and cook according to package directions.​
  3. When pasta has 1-2 minutes left, add raw vegetables to pasta water.​
  4. Once pasta is done, drain and top with protein of choice and marinara sauce.

Healthy Eating with HealthWorks Cooking Demonstration

HealthWorks utilized the kitchen in Beaver Hall to prepare a full, healthy meal for students. The purpose of the demonstration was to help students see how easy it is to make a nutritious meal with fresh ingredients.

In just thirty minutes we were able to prepare guacamole, black bean salad and vegetarian stuffed peppers. All three of these dishes are simple, healthy alternatives that can be prepared quickly for dinner or prepared at the beginning of the week to be eaten at a later time.

One of HealthWorks goals is to help students develop cooking skills that they’ll need when they move off campus.  The kitchens in the residence halls are a great resource to help you start learning skills that you’ll need when you move into an apartment. By setting aside time in the day to prepare meals, or even once a week to meal-prep, you can create a healthy, nutritious meal with your friends. The recipes used in our demonstration, along with many other easy and delicious recipes and video tutorials, can be found here on the Healthy Penn State website in the Health Eating section.

Health Promotion and Wellness now accepting applications for peer educators

Health Promotion and Wellness is currently accepting applications for HealthWorks, a peer outreach and education program at University Park. The deadline to apply is March 2.

HealthWorks offers two unique opportunities for students who are interested in health and wellness. These opportunities include facilitating one-on-one wellness services and conducting outreach events and educational workshops. During the application process students prioritize which opportunity they are most interested in.

Participation in the program is a three semester commitment, which includes one semester of training (during fall 2018)  and two semesters of service. For this reason, students who wish to apply must plan to graduate in fall 2019 or later.

Training for the program requires the completion of a three-credit course offered through Biobehavioral Health in the fall semester.  Students learn about the following topics in the course: alcohol and other drugs, financial literacy, sexual health, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress. There are no prerequisites required to register for the course.

After completing the 3-credit course, participants are required to complete 45 hours of service each semester. Members participate in one of two opportunities:  1) deliver free wellness services about stress and time management, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, sexual health and healthy relationships, and financial literacy;  or 2)  conduct educational workshops, hold outreach events, plan and implement health promotion initiatives.  A few examples of the health promotion initiatives include conducting healthy cooking demonstrations, writing blog and social media posts for Healthy Penn State and appearing in The Body Monologues.   A small group of students are trained to provide HIV test counseling.

If you’re passionate about health and promoting the well-being of all Penn State students, then HealthWorks is a great fit for you,” said Christina Volpicelli, a senior majoring in biobehavioral health.  “HealthWorks also offers many leadership and learning opportunities for its members such as video editing, leading health campaigns, public speaking and teaching skills to educate the Penn State community.  Everything you will learn and the people you will meet through this organization will benefit you throughout any career you wish to pursue.”

For more information about HealthWorks, including an application, please visit


How to Stay Healthy at Summer Picnics

Picnics and barbeques are a fun summer tradition. These events are a great opportunity to socialize with friends and family.  Picnics and barbeques also present challenges when it comes to healthy eating and drinking.

Here are some helpful tips to work your way around a picnic table:

  • Avoid dips that are cream cheese, mayonnaise or sour cream based. Try other fresh dips like guacamole and homemade salsa or use plain greek yogurt as the base for your veggie dip. Sub out regular potato chips for baked chips or homemade tortilla chips (1).
  • Instead of preparing the usual potato or pasta salad with mayo, try making a fresh green salad with fruit or a pasta salad full of fresh chopped vegetables with vinaigrette or Italian dressing. These types of salads are packed with nutrients and the ingredients don’t spoil as quickly in the hot sun.
  • Tired of hamburgers and hot dogs? Beef burgers can easily be replaced with turkey, chicken or even veggie burgers.  Tuna steaks are a great alternative to regular steaks and are full of healthy fats and proteins (2). Kebobs are great for grilling.  You can make them with almost anything and the size helps you be mindful of portion sizes.


  • Sodas and juices are always available at picnics. Both are tempting, but are loaded with sugar.  If you are looking for an alternative to sugar and caffeine, try seltzer water mixed with 100% fruit juice for a light fizzy drink. You can even opt for fruit-infused ice water for a refreshing drink.
  • If you do choose to drink at a picnic make sure you stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water for every standard drink. Alcohol and hot temperatures cause fluid loss and can lead to dehydration.  It is also important to have a plan for how you will get home safely if you are drinking.  Don’t drink and drive!  Keep in mind that if you are boating and/or swimming alcohol affects your judgement, balance, reaction time and increases risk taking.
  • Hydration seems to be key on a hot summer day! With plenty of activities going on at a picnic it can be easy to forget to drink water. The recommendations for how much water you should consume per day vary by sex and exercise level.  You should drink more on especially hot days or if you are really active outside.  Heat exhaustion is real, so be aware of your water intake.

As with everything, moderation is your best bet for a happy and healthy summer. Enjoy!

  1. EatingWell Magazine. (2012, May). Retrieved from
  2. Health Benefits of Tuna and Salmon. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2017, from

Fried Rice in a Mug

Quick and easy dinner!

*Makes 1 Serving

Recipe by:  Campus Dining Student Nutrition Assistants


  • Brown rice, single serve container​
  • 1 egg (substitute with 2 oz of tofu for a vegan meal)​
  • ½ c assorted frozen vegetables​
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce


  1. Prepare brown rice according to package directions.​
  2. Crack the egg in a large microwave-safe mug.​
  3. Add soy sauce to egg and mix with a fork.​
  4. Pour cooked rice into mug along with the vegetables.​
  5. Stir everything well.​
  6. Microwave the mug on high for 1 minute and stir. Continue microwaving for 10 second increments until egg is fully cooked.​


Chilaquiles in a Mug

Quick delicious protein rich breakfast idea!

*Makes 1 serving

Recipe By: Emily Schoettler, Campus Dining Student Nutrition Assistant


  • 1 egg​
  • 1 Tbsp lowfat milk​
  • 1 Tbsp shredded cheese​
  • 6 corn tortilla chips​
  • 1 Tbsp salsa​
  • 1 Tbsp plain greek yogurt​
  • 2 Tbsp guacamole


  1. Crack the egg in a microwave-safe mug.​
  2. Add milk and cheese and mix together with a fork.​
  3. Break 3 tortilla chips into small pieces and add to the egg mixture.​
  4. Microwave the mug on high for 1 minute, followed by 10 second increments until the egg is fully cooked.​
  5. Top with salsa, guacamole, remaining chips and plain Greek yogurt.


Oatmeal in a Mug

A fiber rich breakfast or snack

*Makes 1 serving

Recipe By: Morgan Fink, Campus Dining Student Nutrition Assistant


  • ½ c of quick cooking oats​
  • 1 egg​
  • ½ c lowfat milk​
  • ½ medium banana, sliced​
  • ½ medium apple, diced​
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter​
  • Pinch of cinnamon, optional


  1. Crack the egg in a large microwave-safe mug.​
  2. Add oats and milk and mix together with a fork.​
  3. Cut banana and apple into small pieces and stir into mixture.​
  4. Microwave the mug on high for 2 minutes.​
  5. Top with peanut butter.