Tag Archives: healthy recipes for college students

How to Make a Healthy Yogurt Parfait

Today, HealthWorks is going to show us how to make a healthy yogurt parfait that’s perfect as a study snack during finals or before a big test.

This recipe is simple, but the nutrients in it help with memory and iron absorption.

Healthy Yogurt Parfait Recipe

2 tbsp granola

1/4 cup washed blueberries

6 oz. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt


How To Video: Making Pasta with Vegetables

Making pasta is a quick and easy dinner option, but how can you make it healthier?  Try this recipe that includes whole-grain pasta and vegetables to make your meal more complete.  We used cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, and a green pepper, but feel free to include your favorite vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, or onions.

Click here to watch our other healthy recipe cooking videos.




Healthy Dinner Recipe: Pasta with Collard Greens

Collard greens are a great way to work calcium into your diet without eating dairy. Try this pasta dish for a well-balanced meal.

For the healthiest version of this recipe, use whole wheat pasta. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), half of your grains should be whole grains.

Serves 4pasta with collard greens recipe


  • 1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced across the grain
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Ground black pepper
  • 8-12 oz. pasta, whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup cooking water from the pasta
  • 1-2 oz. Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the collard greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain. Squeeze out excess water and cut crosswise into thin ribbons.
  2. In a large lidded frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, red pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute, and add the collard greens and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens begin to sizzle, turn the heat to low and cover, simmering for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package.
  4. Before draining the pasta, ladle 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the pot into the frying pan with the collard greens and onions. Drain the pasta and toss with the greens. Serve, topping each serving with Parmesan to taste.

Post a picture to Twitter or Instagram and hashtag #healthypsu. Your picture could be selected to be featured on our website!


Healthy Recipes: Roasted Butternut Squash and Walnut Orzo

Butternut squash’s beautiful orange color contributes to its wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A and C, beta carotene, potassium, and soluble fiber. Vitamin A and C help to protect your body from free radicals and reduce inflammation. 

Serves 6

Ingredients:roasted squash recipe

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon each dried sage and dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine squash, olive oil, garlic, sage, thyme, red pepper and salt. Mix well.
  3. Spread squash mixture on prepared pan. Bake 12 minutes. Stir. Add walnuts; bake additional 5-8 minutes until squash is tender and walnuts are lightly toasted.
  4. While squash is baking, cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  5. In a large bowl, combine hot orzo and squash mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if needed to moisten. Serve immediately.

How did yours turn out? Leave a comment about your cooking experience! Also, share a photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #healthypsu.

Healthy Side Dishes: Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

Did you know cauliflower is packed with antioxidants? Research suggests cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, can prevent prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers.

Swap out potatoes in favor of this vegetable side. You’ll be surprised by how close it tastes to true mashed potatoes. cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe

Serves 4


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 leek, white part only, split in 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soft-tub margarine, non-hydrogenated
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Break cauliflower into small pieces. In a good-sized saucepan, steam cauliflower, garlic and leeks in water until completely tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. While cauliflower is hot, puree until the vegetables resemble mashed potatoes. Use a food processor, or if you prefer a smoother texture, use a blender. Process only a small portion at a time, holding the blender lid on firmly with a towel. Add a little hot water if vegetables seem dry.
  3. Stir in margarine and pepper to taste.


So, how did they turn out? Tag #healthypsu on Twitter or Instagram with a photo of your Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” for a chance to become the featured image on the blog.

Healthy Dessert: Pumpkin Bread Recipe

While it can be easy to overeat at a Thanksgiving feast, you can still provide a healthy dessert option for your family. When deciding on a dessert to make for Thanksgiving dinner, consider this Pumpkin Bread recipe.

Did you know pumpkins are a great source of vitamin A, which helps support skin health? Don’t forget to show appreciation for your body every day by satisfying the daily recommended values.

Makes 2 loaves (9 x 5”)

Ingredients:easy pumpkin bread recipe

  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened
  • applesauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the oil, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar and water until well combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the walnuts at the end, making sure to get all the ingredients incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Divide the batter equally between two greased 9 x 5” loaf pans.
  6. Bake loaves for 60-80 minutes, until loaves are golden brown and baked through in the center. Let cool for five minutes in the pan then invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

How did your Pumpkin Bread turn out? Share a picture on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #healthypsu and your photo could appear on our blog!

Healthy Recipes: Turkey and Squash Soup

Get in the Thanksgiving mood with this Turkey and Squash Soup!  Whether you’re looking for a turkey recipe to celebrate Thanksgiving in your own way or searching for a way to use up leftover turkey, this soup is a nutritious and delicious recipe to add to your favorites list. For vegetables, this recipe also contains squash, corn, and even leeks, which are rich in vitamin K.turkey and squash soup

Ready to give it a shot?  We’d love to see your finished product.  Upload a picture of your soup on Twitter or Instagram, and the best shot will become our new image for the blog! Use #healthypsu to enter.

Serves 6


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds summer squash (1 small to medium), peeled, seeded and cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into 1/2 x 2” strips
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add leeks and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute more.
  3. Stir in broth, squash, thyme and cumin; cover and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add turkey and corn; return to a simmer and cook until the turkey is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add lime juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Did you try this recipe? Comment with any tips you may have for fellow cooks!

Healthy Side: Summer Salad Recipe

It may be getting colder outside, but you can still reminisce about the summertime with this salad recipe.

You will make your own dressing with olive oil, which contains a mix of antiox


idants that can lower your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) without affecting your “good” cholesterol (HDL). Make sure you buy extra-virgin olive oil instead of light olive oil, which is usually more processed.

Serves 4-6


  • 5 medium or large ripe tomatoes cut into wedges or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded if desired, then sliced and halved
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped


  1. Toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Add the feta cheese and mint and toss again.
  3. Taste, adjust the seasonings as desired, and serve.

Healthy Dessert Recipe: Frozen Fruit Cups

If you enjoy frozen desserts, you’ll want to make room in your freezer for this recipe. With three types of fruits and non-fat yogurt, it not only tastes great but also helps you to get your recommended fruits and dairy for the day.

Not only is yogurt an excellent source of protein and other essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, it also contains bacteria that’s good for your health, according to the American Society for Nutrition.

Frozen Fruit Cups

Serves 18


  • 3 bananas, mashedstrawberries
  • 24 oz. non-fat strawberry or plain yogurt
  • 12 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained


  1. Line muffin tin(s) with 18 paper baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix mashed bananas, yogurt, strawberries, and pineapple.
  3. Spoon into muffin tins and freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.
  4. Remove frozen cups and store in a plastic bag in the freezer.
  5. Before serving, remove paper cups.  These are also great to throw into a fast smoothie.  Just add water or milk and blend them in your blender for a fast smoothie.

Another great thing about this recipe is you can use whatever fruits you like! What ingredients did you use?

Snap a pic and tag #healthypsu on Instagram or Twitter for your shot at becoming the featured image on the blog.

Healthy Recipe: Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Pasta is one of the easiest foods to make and always tastes great.  Grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of the grains eaten in a day should be whole grains because they are the healthiest kinds of grains. This recipe uses whole wheat pasta, which can be found at almost any grocery store.

Pesto Pasta with Chicken

pesto chickenServes 8


  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce


  1. Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 7 to 9 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic until tender, then stir in chicken. Season with red pepper flakes. Cook until chicken is golden, and cooked through.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, grape tomatoes, and pesto. Toss to coat evenly.

To show off your creation, take a picture and upload it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #healthypsu. Your picture could become the featured image!

samantha schwartz

About the Blogger

Samantha Schwartz is a Penn State senior studying public relations. She is interning atPenn State University Health Services, assisting with the Healthy Penn State initiative.