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Stay healthy with these 3 recipes

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DECEMBER 08, 2014

The final countdown is days away. You have a 25-page paper due on the same day as your three-hour exam. You’ve been doggedly working in Main Stacks, resorting to letting the recycling stack up and buying new pairs of underwear instead of doing laundry. Worst of all, you reach out for a college quintessential — a bowl of instant ramen. But you deserve more than that, so here are some yummy nutritious recipes that are relatively simple to make.

Chao trang (rice porridge with egg)

Whenever I caught the flu as a child, my mom would whip up a delicious bowl of chao trang, which is Vietnamese rice porridge with egg. It is absolutely tasty, the recipe is quite doable, and most students probably have most, if not all, of the necessary ingredients at hand.


1 1/2 to 2 cups of rice (washed, uncooked)


1 or 2 eggs

Salt and pepper



Green onion

Soy sauce or fish sauce

Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Yields: Three to four servings

  1. Set the heat to low. Place the rice into a small pot, and add water until it is about 1 1/2 inches above the rice.
  2. Lower the heat. Cover the pot and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook until the mixture is thick. Add more water if you prefer your porridge less thick.
  4. Stir in the egg(s) when the rice porridge is ready. Set the heat to high and cook until solid bits of egg white appear — this should take about five minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper for flavoring. Optional: Add soy sauce, cilantro and green onion for flavoring.

Tomato soup

This is one of my favorite recipes to make since I first learned it after moving out of the dorms and into my apartment. It’s simple and healthy, and it doesn’t take very long to make, because most of the allotted cooking time goes toward simmering the soup.


1 1/2 to 2 pounds of fresh or canned tomatoes

2 stalks of celery

1 medium-sized carrot

1 medium-sized onion

2 cans of broth (veggie or chicken)

2 cloves of garlic

Vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Baguette bread

Time: 40 to 45 minutes.

Yields: Four to five servings

  1. Rinse and chop up vegetables into small pieces.
  2. Heat large pot, and add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add garlic.
  3. At medium heat, stir in the vegetables for five to seven minutes or until they soften.
  4. Add two cans of broth to the vegetables, and sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Voila! Serve the soup with a slice of baguette or your choice of bread!

Vegetable Chili

This recipe takes a bit more time, but it can yield up to two weeks’ worth of food, and you can leave it in the freezer so it will not spoil. Loaded with protein, it is hearty and delicious, and you will look forward to eating it after being cooped up in the library studying all day.


3 tablespoons of chili powder

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

3 garlic cloves

1/3 cup of cilantro

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of tomatoes, diced

1 zucchini

2 stalks of celery

1 onion

1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce

1 15-ounce can of black beans

1 15-ounce can of kidney beans

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium blue bell pepper

1 jalapeno pepper

1/3 bag of shredded carrots

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

Time: 1 hour

Yields: Seven to 10 servings

  1. Chop the vegetables into small pieces — in my experience, this is the longest part!
  2. Heat up a large pot, add oil and mix the vegetables for five to seven minutes or until they soften.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper and beans. Let the mixture simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Optional: Top with cornbread, cheese or crackers.

Contact Stacey Nguyen at 


DECEMBER 08, 2014

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