Fresh Fridays 
September 6, 2013
  Vol. V, No. 15    
One male and two female college students sitting at a table eating a spaghetti dinner.

Here in Boston the city is once again alive with students, who bring a welcome hum of activity and vibrancy as the summer tourist season winds down. Although many colleges and universities offer on-campus housing, students often choose to move into off-campus apartments. One of the trickiest parts of living off campus can be eating well. Luckily, the Mediterranean Diet offers great opportunities for quick, easy, and affordable meals, perfect for students with limited time between classes and social events.


If you are a student settling into the rhythm of a new school year, or know someone who is, here are some tips for a healthy semester:

  • Fish is fast and easy. Many different types of fish can be prepared quickly and simply, making it a great dinner option. Season room-temperature fish with a drizzle of olive oil and your choice of herbs and/or spices. You can cook fish on the stove or in the oven:
    • On the stove: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook a 4-ounce, 1-inch-thick fillet for 4 minutes on one side, flip with a spatula, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove to plate and tent with foil to rest for a few minutes before serving.
    • In the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F and create a pouch using a 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil. Place fish in the pouch and seal tightly. Bake in the pouch for 20 minutes for a 4-ounce, 1-inch-thick fillet. Remove from the oven and let the fish rest in the partially opened pouch for a few minutes before serving.  

  • Use your microwave and toaster oven. Cooking doesn't need to be fancy or complicated to be healthy. Look for recipes like the Egg & Veggie Bowl and Mediterranean Pita Pizza below that take advantage of the appliances you have at your disposal.
    • Steam vegetables in the microwave. Chop your vegetables, put them in a microwave-safe dish with a few tablespoons of water, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir, and then microwave one minute at a time until you reach the consistency you like.
    • Scramble eggs in the microwave. Beat 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir, and microwave again until eggs are almost set, 30 to 45 seconds longer.
    • Make pizzas, burritos, and wraps in the toaster oven. Top whole grain English muffins or pitas with tomato sauce, cheese and veggies; or fill wraps with veggies, beans, brown rice, and/or left-over fish or chicken. Place pizzas on the cooking tray and wrap burritos in aluminum foil to heat them up.
    • Reheat leftovers. Get moving fast by heating up yesterday's dinner for today's lunch. The microwave is great for soups, rice dishes, and casseroles. The toaster oven works well for foods with any kind of crust, bread, or wrap.   
  • Shop for canned and frozen foods. These affordable foods allow you to have healthy ingredients on hand at any time without worrying about food spoiling if you go away for the weekend. Look for canned goods like tuna, vegetable and chicken stock, tomatoes, and beans and frozen foods like vegetables, fish fillets, and chicken breasts.
    • Make an easy meal: Sauté an onion and a clove of garlic in a little olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, add a can of crushed tomatoes with basil, and salt and pepper. Defrost a box of frozen spinach in the microwave, drain and rinse a can of cannellini beans and add them both to the tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then toss with cooked whole grain pasta.  

Below are a few affordable, quick, and easy recipes to try for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Click on the titles or photos below to link to the recipes.

12 Great Ways to Use Kale.

Check out our newest 12 Great Ways... resource! We are introducing a new resource featuring a different fruit or vegetable each month over the next year on the Oldways Table Blog.

Travel with Oldways.
Painting of basket with bread, brussels sprouts and other bread in front of basket on table.

Spend a glorious week in and around elegant and interesting Madrid led by Oldways President Sara Baer-Sinnott and Ronni Baer, Senior Curator of European Art at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts

Photo of sunflower field with a brown building in the background from Umbria. 

From our base in Perugia we'll fan out on day trips to discover the food, wines, artisinal products, art, and ceramics that make the region of Umbria so special. 

Contact Abby Sloane at 617-896-4875 or [email protected] for more information.     
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Win a Book! The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan.

Congratulations to Fresh Fridays reader Amy Farland, the winner of our August Mediterranean Diet Pyramid Anniversary book give-away!

September is Whole Grains Month and a perfect time to pay tribute to the role whole grains play in the Mediterranean Diet.

Share with us the whole grain you prefer in your Mediterranean-inspired meals for your chance to win a copy of The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan.

Entering to win is easy: Just share with us your favorite whole grain to incorporate in your Med meals by posting a comment on our Facebook page, tweeting us @Oldwayspt, or emailing [email protected].    

Don't skip breakfast just because you have to get to class. Toast a slice of whole grain bread while you cook your eggs and you'll be out the door in minutes. 

Photo and recipe courtesy of the Egg Nutrition Center      

Tuna is a great source of inexpensive lean protein that you can keep in the pantry for those days when you need a quick lunch or dinner. This sandwich mixes up the usual tuna salad with some new flavors.

Recipe courtesy of Makeover Moms. Photo courtesy of the National Fisheries Institute.

Be creative in choosing vegetable toppings. Try red, orange or yellow peppers, thinly sliced onions or carrots, artichoke hearts, or left-over veggies from last night's dinner. 

An Oldways recipe. Photo © renamarie - Fotolia
Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        



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Whole Grains for Busy People.
Even whole grains can be part of a quick dinner. Lorna Sass offers 125 recipes made with quick-cooking whole grains in Whole Grains for Busy People.

Wild about Greens. 
Excited about the 12 Ways to Use Kale? Find even more inspiration for including leafy greens in your cooking from Nava Atlas' Wild about Greens.

September. Whole Grain of the Month: Rice, Wild Rice.