Tag Archives: Tips

100-calorie trail mix recipes

6 Nov

TrailMix1Whenever 10 a.m. rolls around at work, I reach into my bag and scarf down a sickeningly sweet granola bar. I don’t particularity like granola bars, but in my constant rush to get out the door every morning, they’re all I have time to grab as a mid-morning snack.

I know I’m not alone in this act, therefore I attempted to develop some alternatives. What I ended up creating were three nutrient-rich and protein-packed trail mixes that used nothing more than what I had in my cabinets.

I portioned each out  to be about 100 calories and saved them in Ziplock bags to eat as 10 a.m. snacks throughout the week. Here’s what I came up with.

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Olive Oil 101: Production and Purchasing Guide

24 Jun

CreteI just returned from an amazing two week trip to Greece with my family! My mom’s part Greek, so it was fun to visit the home of our ancestors.

We spent four days in Athens, but the bulk of the trip took place on the island of Crete.

Crete is the largest Greek island and a perfect combination of the beach and the country.

My favorite part about Crete was the food. Cretian food consists of seasonal vegetables, fresh cheeses, perfectly stewed meats and of course, olive oil.

My mom is an olive oil addict, which means I am too. It’s our go-to oil for cooking and eating. Due to this olive oil obsession, my family toured a traditional Cretian olive oil factory, named Biolea.

Crete produces 30 percent of all of the olive oil produced in Greece and five percent of the worlds olive oil. There’s no place better in the world to learn about olive oil.

Biolea is an organic, family-run olive oil factory that is one of the few left in Crete that is making olive oil the traditional way. Most of the olive oil we eat comes from large industrial factories, whose main goal is quantity not quality.

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How to Cut a Cantaloupe

1 May

There are certain kitchen activities that seem so simple, but when you go to do them yourself, you have no idea where to start. I had this exact problem after impulse buying a cantaloupe the other day.

I pulled it out of the fridge ready to chow down and realized I had no idea how to cut it. After some quick googling, I found my answer and easily broke it down into bite size pieces.

Since my lack of cantaloupe cutting knowledge was almost a catastrophe, I wanted to share the steps just in case you find yourself in a similar predicament.

Step 1: Cut cantaloupe in half from top to bottom.

Cantaloupe Halves

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I Hate Cilantro

15 Apr

I love food. All types of food. Fresh food, cooked food, fermented food, I love it all. I’ve never been a picky eater and this is an attribute I am thankful for everyday. Food is too fun to restrict.

Even through I’m the furthest thing from picky, there is one food which I can’t stand – cilantro.

Cilantro, technically named coriander, is a leafy herb that looks similar to parsley. It’s used in many cuisines throughout the world, but I typically come across it when I’m eating Mexican food.

People describe its flavor as fresh and light, but I’ve never tasted these attributes. When I eat cilantro, I get a bitter soapy flavor and immediately spit it out.

I thought my visceral reaction to cilantro was a freak thing, until I started asking my family about it. Apparently, my brother, sister and dad all hate the stuff too. My mom stands as the lone cilantro proponent in our household.

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Spring Break 2013: Eating Cheap in Williamsburg, Virginia

5 Apr

Most senior college students spend their spring break lounging on the beach, drinking Malibu and getting tan. I spent my senior spring break exploring the rainy wonders of Colonial Williamsburg and running until I could no longer feel my legs.

As is the life of a college runner.

Overall, the trip wasn’t too bad and I’ve returned with some new money saving food lessons. Want to know which Lean Cuisine dinner is best? Need to know how to make the most of continental breakfast? Should you bring your George Foreman on vacay? I’ve got all the answers.

Conquering Continental Breakfast

I think my whole team would agree that there’s nothing better than a hotel continental breakfast. It’s free and all you can eat. The best way to make the most of this amenity is to go to breakfast on the later end and eat a decent sized breakfast each morning. That way, you won’t be hungry until much later in the day, saving you from having to spend money on snacks.

Cheap College Student Trick #1 – After you’ve finished breakfast, grab an extra bagel and yogurt. Bring them back to your room and you’ll have continental lunch also.

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Easter Leftovers Transformed

3 Apr
Left Overs

Easter leftovers: Ham, asparagus, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and pineapple stuffing

As I expressed in my last post, Easy Easter Side Dish: Pineapple Stuffing, my family goes a little overboard when it comes to holiday dinners. Lucky for me, that means plenty of leftovers. As a broke college student, nothing’s better than free food.

The problem that I have with leftovers is that after gorging myself on ham, pineapple stuffing and potatoes, the last thing I want the next day is more ham, pineapple stuffing and potatoes.

I’m not one to throw out perfectly good food just because I’m tired of the flavor profile. I prefer transforming it. Here are two easy recipes that take Easter staples and transform them into new meals.

Deviled Egg Salad SandwichDeviled Eggs

My mom always makes deviled eggs for Easter. I love them, but we always have a bunch leftover. Instead of throwing them away, I decided to turn them into an easy and satisfying lunch. Here’s what you do.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

  • 4 halved deviled eggs
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread (toasted)

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The Secrets of Acorn Squash

20 Mar

Acorn SquashOn my most recent supermarket expedition, I decided to buy something I’ve never cooked before. After wondering around the produce section for 20 minutes, while my roommate shot me death glares of boredom, I stumbled across the simple, acorn squash.

They’re the funny shaped squash that look like a cross between an acorn, a small watermelon, and a ruffle potato chip. As a typical broke college student, I checked out the price and for under $2 a squash, I knew I found my ingredient.

Once I brought it back to my college house, the Googling began. I found some great acorn squash baking tips online, but couldn’t settle for one recipe. That’s why I’m giving you two acorn squash recipes for the price of one! Feel free to pick a favorite.

Brown Sugar Baked Acorn Squash Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Parmesan and Thyme Crusted Acorn Squash Ingredients: (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

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The Health Benefits of Saint Patrick’s Day: Green Vegetables

16 Mar

Saint Patrick's Day Green SpinachSaint Patrick’s Day is synonymous with Ireland, beer and the color green. Since green is top-of-mind for many Saint Patrick’s Day fanatics, I figured no day is better to share the health benefits of green food!

There’s no such thing as a super-food, but if one existed, it would be a green vegetable. Dark, leafy greens are chocked full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary for full body health. Many college students overlook green vegetables as a source of nutrition, but in lieu of Saint Patrick’s Day, why not embrace the greens! (Sorry, green beer doesn’t count)

Health Benefits of Green Vegetables

The USDA recommends eating 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dark green vegetables each week. Why you ask? Well, green vegetables are linked to colon and heart health. They are also rich in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamin A. But that’s not all, green veggies are cholesterol free and low in fat, sodium and calories!

Still want to know more? Lets get more specific.

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How to Cook a Perfect Filet Mignon?

12 Mar
Filet Mignon with Broccoli and Snap Peas

Filet Mignon with Broccoli and Snap Peas

The last time I stopped home, my parents were nice enough to gift me a filet mignon. Filet mignon comes from the tenderloin of beef. This muscle is not overly used, so the meat is exceptionally tender and lean. The lack of fat makes filet a bit more difficult to prepare than say a New York Strip steak, which has lots of marbleized fat to forgive a cooking mistake. With filet though, if cooked too long, it loses flavor and you end up losing $20. I love filet, but on the drive back to college, I realized I had no idea how to cook one.

I’ve watched my dad grill off filets for years but I’ve never seen one cooked indoors. Like a true cooking pro, I turned to Google in search of answers and found some suggestions for pan cooking filet mignon. I took what I read, wrapped it up with what I’ve seen on the Food Network and dove headfirst into the world of cooking red meat.

Filet Mignon seasoned with salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper

Filet Mignon seasoned with salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper

How I Cooked my First Filet Mignon

Step 1: Heavily season both sides of the filet with salt, black pepper, and crushed Cayenne pepper.

I like my meat highly seasoned, but that’s mostly because my dad’s the grill man and in love with Montreal seasoning. If you’re not as into peppery steak, cut back on the spices.

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How to Eat More Vegetables

28 Feb

The USDA recommends that men and women between the ages of 19-30 eat between 2.5 and 3 cups of vegetables per day.

Let’s be honest, very few college students are actually reaching that number. We all know it’s important to eat our vegetables, but most of us find it difficult to fit them into our daily meals.

My mom’s a dietitian and I’m the first to admit I struggle with this (Sorry, mom). That’s why I’ve come up with some easy ways to sneak veggies into my diet. It’s been working for me, so I thought I’d share my tips with you!

Tips on eating more vegetables:

Lunch  –

  1. Throw fresh spinach into canned soup. It’ll wilt down when you heat it up, adding freshness to your soup and an extra serving of veggies.
  2. Add carrot shavings to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. People don’t believe me, but peanut butter and carrots actually go really well together. This is a great way to add a crunch to your sandwich and up your veggie count.
  3. Like buffalo chicken? Try mixing a low calorie blue cheese dressing and hot sauce to create a rich dipping sauce for celery and carrots. It’s the closest thing to making vegetables taste like meat.
  4. Bulk up your sandwiches. Every time you eat a sandwich, make sure to add tons of veggies. It’ll add nutrition and crunch to your lunch.

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