When the ‘hunger games’ strike, the hunt for a meal on campus that is both delicious and nutritious shouldn’t be a fight to the death.
Health food often gets a bad wrap, but it’s kind of a big ‘dill’. Bad puns aside, when you pair clean eating with regular exercise, you’re adding years to your life. Your fridge could be the answer to reducing your risk of cancer, diabetes and other diseases, as well as preventing procrastination.
We know what you’re thinking – snacking on Brusselkale is not the way anyone wants to live their life. But eating healthy doesn’t have to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Simply speaking, nutritious food is freshly made, full of flavour, modest in refined sugars, and low in saturated fats.
So if you’ve had your fill of bland chicken and rice, try our top 5 picks for a healthy lunch at UQ’s St Lucia campus – all kale-free, under $20, and certifiably delicious.
BURRITO BOWL (GUZMAN Y GOMEZ)
All hail the mighty burrito bowl! Legend has it this stomach stuffer was devised with the overburdened, course-loaded student in mind. Enjoy all your favourite burrito fillings (like fluffy rice, black beans and salsa – yum), without having to go the whole enchilada – what more could you want? This lighter option is packed with the good kind of fats and carbs that will leave you feeling fuller for longer.
Ideal for the student who has crammed a week’s worth of contact hours in to one day, this Mexican feast will keep the afternoon tummy rumbling to a minimum.
CHICKEN TERIYAKI WRAP (SUBWAY)
The quick, hassle-free, old faithful – we couldn’t go past the classic chicken teriyaki wrap. Succulent chicken pieces, marinated in a sweet teriyaki sauce, perched on a bed of crisp lettuce. Drooling yet? Opting for a wrap will not only guarantee a drip-free lunch, but it actually contains less sugar than white bread. Extra points if you get it toasted with avocado (because that’s how we play).
If you’re a multitasker guilty of eating lunch with one hand, Subway is your healthy go-to. That is, if you can resist the seductive aroma of freshly baked cookies calling to you at the register… Good luck.
SMASHED AVOCADO (SAINT LUCY'S)
Smashed avocado complete with basil, feta, perfectly poached eggs and dukkah. This is the stuff dreams are made of.
If you’re the foodie up the back of a lecture theatre more interested in what’s on today’s lunch menu than solving a maths equation, this is the all-day breakfast for you. And while this may be a quintessential Australian dish, Saint Lucy’s takes it one step further by adding basil and tomato skins, making it a genuine café classic!
This charming alfresco setting is perfect for a lunch date that’s a little bit fancy.
QUINOA AND CHICKPEA BURGER (DARWIN'S)
Quinoa’s trying to fit in with the cool kids in this chickpea burger that has meat questioning its very existence! Vegetarians rejoice for this rustic roll oozing with Swiss cheese, tomato, fancy lettuce and caramelised onion. Yum!
As your favourite fitness centre, obviously we recommend opting for a side of garden salad with your order. But if chips miraculously appear on your plate, we won’t tell anyone… We’ll just see you at the cross trainer!
NAKED AÇAÍ BOWL (MR BEANS COFFEE)
We never thought we’d find a berry parading as a superhero so darn delicious. We’re coming out of the superfood closet and claiming our love for açaí!
When smoothies meet hipsters, they end up in bowls, and that’s exactly what the naked açaí bowl is – a berry smoothie topped with banana, coconut and toasted nut goodness. Filled to the brim with antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, this delicious snack definitely warrants the hype.
Please note: you must be fully clothed when consuming açaí bowl.
- Did you know you can adjust the sugar levels in your favourite bubble tea at Chatime? Try half sugar next time, or if you’re feeling game, go for no sugar!
- If you’re the type who won’t have a bar of it when you’re ‘hangry’, shoot over to the Fitness Centre. They boast the best range of protein bars and snacks on campus.
- Belltop Café, found atop Colin Clark (Building 39), always has a colourful display of freshly made sandwiches, salads, curries, bagels, rice paper rolls, and basically every kind of scrumptious goodie you can get your gob around!
- At the heart of the Bioscience Precinct next to Chancellor’s Place you’ll find Genies Café, a hub for smooth blend coffee and delectable eats. Whether it be a beef salad on a bed of roast veg, feta & macadamia, or grilled salmon with sweet potato mash, you’ll always find something fresh to tickle your fancy for under $20.
- Don’t go against the grain, go whole grain – opt for multigrain bread at Subway, or brown rice at Guzmen. Whole grain options contain grains that are unrefined, meaning they are better sources of fibre and other important nutrients, and will ultimately keep you feeling fuller for longer.