Making Healthy Meals Manageable

While studying to become physicians and pharmacists can be challenging, preparing healthy meals for the week doesn’t have to be.

The Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group and Student Wellness Committee teamed up to host executive chef Xavier Smith for “Healthy Meal Prep for the Professional Student,” an event held Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Smith showed students how to prepare a one-pan balsamic chicken veggie bake and a black bean quinoa salad — all with ingredients that can be found at everyday grocery stores.

Anna Cherian, a second-year College of Medicine student with experience working as a registered dietitian before coming to NEOMED, helped host the event.

“Healthy meal prep is important for me and my fellow classmates because it can help save time and money. We all have busy schedules with long days of studying, labs and extracurricular activities. Cooking 2-3 hours one day a week is an easy way to make sure you are eating nutritious foods to fuel throughout the day. We are future health professionals so it’s important for us to learn these healthy habits for ourselves and future patients, says Cherian.

Want to give the recipes a try? Learn how to make the one-pan balsamic chicken veggie bake and black bean quinoa salad below.

One-Pan Balsamic Chicken Veggie Bake

*Adapted from The Real Food Dietitians

Serves four people


  • 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breast, tenders or thighs)
  • 2 packets of frozen vegetable medley of choice
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Feel free to add other vegetables or spices of your choice.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Whisk to make sauce.
  3. Place chicken in zip-close bag with half of the balsamic sauce. Toss and move chicken breast around to coat. Set in fridge.
  4. Place vegetables on the sheet pan. Pour remaining balsamic sauce over veggies and toss veggies to coat. Make sure all pieces are coated.
  5. Remove chicken from zip-close bag and move veggies around to make space for chicken. Place chicken on pan.
  6. Transfer pan to oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. This will depend on the thickness of the chicken.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Serves two people as a meal.

Serves four people as a side dish.


1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup corn

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt


  • Combine all ingredients and serve.
  • Can top off with salsa and cilantro for more flavor.
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