Week Of Meals For College Students - California Inspired Menu

Garlic and Smoked Paprika Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps from Zagleft

Spring break is over and there are only a few weeks left until the end of the spring semester.  For many of you it will mean a summer break with possible jobs or internships, traveling or even taking a few classes over the summer to get ahead.  I've heard from my own kids that this time of the year is the most difficult to stay focused, but before you know it, it'll be over soon.

I took a little break from posting the college student menus for the week because... well, for one...you probably weren't going to be around to cook and two... I went away for spring break.  My family and I traveled to California to visit our oldest son and we had a wonderful time.  I know that I could live in southern California.  The weather is absolutely perfect and the beaches are simply beautiful.

The menu for you this week is all California inspired cuisine.  In California, we noticed such an emphasis on fresh foods and I wanted to bring some of it back to you.  Most of the recipes are already featured here on the blog, so click on the link and it will take you directly to the recipe and cooking directions.

Since the end of the year is coming soon, please think about things you'd like me to address in the college student section of the blog.  Would you like to know how to cook anything in particular?  What about tips on stocking your apartment pantry?  Drop me a note in the comment section to tell me what you'd like to see and I'll do my best to provide it.

Have a great week!


Pasta With Fresh Mint and Sweet Peas

Pasta with Fresh Mint and Peas from Zagleft


1/2 package of spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 tablespoon butter

Click HERE for recipe instructions.


Garlic & Smoked Paprika Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps

Garlic and Smoked Paprika Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps from Zagleft


1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 pound ground beef

1 clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2-3 wide lettuce leaves (I prefer using romaine because it's sturdier, but iceberg or bibb lettuce would work well too)


1/2 avocado, sliced

1 roma tomato, sliced

1/2 cup shredded cabbage or coleslaw

shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Click HERE for the recipe instructions.


Cheeseburger with Avocado Slices

Cheeseburger from Zagleft


remaining ground beef

olive oil

hamburger buns

1 or 2 slices of cheddar cheese

lettuce or fresh spinach


mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise (optional)

*use the other half of your avocado to garnish your burger


Use remaining ground meat to make your hamburger patty.

Begin by heating a skillet on medium high heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan.  Take a handful of the ground meat and place it in the palm of your hand.  Form a patty that is about 1/2 inch thick.  Place the hamburger patty in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes.  Flip the hamburger patty over and cook the other side for another 5 minutes.  Check to make sure the inside of the patty isn’t pink.  If it is still pink, cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

Remove the hamburger from the pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Prepare your hamburger bun with the cheese, lettuce and tomatoes and top with the hamburger.

* Here's an idea, instead of purchasing and using hamburger buns, make a cheeseburger wrap by using tortillas.


Spinach and Brie Quesadillas

Spinach and Brie Quesadillas from Zagleft


2 large flour tortillas


4 slices of brie, rind removed, about 1/4 inch sliced

1/2 cup fresh spinach

Click HERE for the recipe instructions.


Chef's Salad with Fresh Spinach 


1 cup fresh spinach

1 cup of torn lettuce (use the lettuce you used for the lettuce wraps)

1 tomato, sliced

1 hard boiled egg, sliced

1/2 cup shredded or thinly sliced cheese

dressing of your choice


Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the dressing and toss.


Light and flavorful California inspired Garlic and Smoked Paprika Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps - a fun, tasty and low calorie dinner. \ Zagleft

Meals For College Students

A weekly menu of easy to prepare meals for college students that are healthy and inexpensive. This week features fresh California inspired recipes.
Print Pin
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 5 dinners plus leftovers for lunch
Author: Joanie Zisk


  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • bag of frozen peas
  • butter
  • hamburger buns (optional)
  • tortillas
  • cheddar cheese
  • small wedge of brie
  • eggs
  • salad dressing (of your choice)
  • small package of coleslaw , shredded
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 shallot
  • fresh mint
  • garlic
  • leaves wide lettuce
  • fresh spinach
  • 2 tomatoes

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


TIPS FOR THE WEEK:  Look for your spices in the bulk section of your grocery store.  You can purchase a tiny amount of the spices you need for often under a dollar.

*To boil an egg  (I usually boil several eggs each week to keep in the refrigerator and snack on)

Put the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with an inch or two of cold water.  Add a pinch of salt to the water.  Place the saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Lower the heat to medium and continue to allow the eggs to boil for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove.  Cover and allow the eggs to sit for 20 minutes.

Remove the eggs from the pot and place in a bowl of cool water until the eggs cool down a bit, replacing the water to keep cool if necessary.  Once the eggs have cooled, strain the water from the eggs and store the eggs in the refrigerator.  They should be eaten within 5 days.

Related posts:

Week of Meals for College Students - Bubble Pizza and Fettuccine Alfredo Week

Week of Meals for College Students - Vegetarian Week

Week of Meals for College Students - Week of January 21, 2013

Easy Miso Soup Recipe

Cornbread Casserole

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