Humpday Cooking Class: What We Ate

Wednesday, November 12, BYL hosted our final cooking class of the semester. On the menu this week were turkey meatballs with pasta, a pear and gorgonzola green salad, and some dark chocolate squares for dessert. Meatballs may seem decadent, but our class coordinators Jenny and Rose put together a recipe that was simple and healthful. Read on for our recipe.

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Turkey Meatballs and Pasta:

☐ 2/3 cups rolled oats

☐ 2 eggs

☐ 2 tsp salt

☐ 16 ounces (1 lb) ground turkey

☐ 1 jar tomato sauce

☐ 8 fresh basil leaves (or 2 tsp dried)

☐ Additional spices (try an Italian mix, Herbes de Provences, a little cayenne pepper for a kick, or whatever else you like!)

☐ 1 box spaghetti

Preheat oven to 400°F, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the tomato sauce into a medium-sized saucepan and heat. Boil water in a large pot, and add the spaghetti. While the tomato sauce is simmering, pulse oats in a food processor until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and mix everything with a rubber spatula until the mixture is combined and uniform throughout. Roll the mixture into 12 balls and space them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through (there should be no pink inside).
* Recipes serve approximately four people.

PRO-TIPS:
The recipe can be doubled to make a larger batch of meatballs, which can be frozen and easily reheated in a microwave for a quick meal in the future. Fresh spices are tasty, but dried ones work just as well (and keep for a very long time). Adding spices to your food can help you cut down on your sodium intake.

November 20, 2014

Yo, Yogurt

Earlier this semester, BYL’s student group sweetened its weekly meeting with a “yogurt buffet.” The group enjoyed Greek frozen yogurt with a smorgasbord of toppings: strawberries, raspberries, sliced almonds, honey, dark chocolate, and chia seeds.

 

greekyogurt

Image source: http://healthfullyeverafter.co/

 

We opted for fro yo to make this snack more of a dessert, since the meeting was 9 PM. For less added sugar, unsweetened or minimally sweetened yogurt is a better choice. Greek yogurt it also a great choice, since it has about twice as much protein as normal yogurt. In addition to protein, yogurt has calcium for strong bones and probiotics for healthy digestion.

If you don’t like plain yogurt or if you want something a little more filling, try adding some toppings. Here’s some inspiration:

  • For protein and healthy fats: a scoop of peanut butter or other nut butter, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds
  • For vitamins and fiber: berries, sliced fruit like peaches and bananas, frozen fruit, dried fruit, coconut
  • For spice: a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom
  • For a little extra sweetness: dark chocolate chips, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, a small dollop of jam

Are you vegan? Or just not yogurt fan? Try all of the toppings above on plain oatmeal.

Or maybe you’re already a self-proclaimed yogurt-topping expert. Take it to the next level with this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/emofly/healthy-yogurt-toppings

However you decide to eat yogurt, keep it in mind as not only a breakfast item, but as a healthful and filling snack any time of day.

November 10, 2014

Health Fairs x 2

Last weekend, BYL was busy!

On Friday, November 7, we hosted a table Tufts’ Mental Health Day celebration. Led by BYL group members Katie and Edmund, we passed out smoothie recipe cards and discussed several fitness apps that can help you stay healthy and active. We also offered a raffle for 6 iTunes gift cards so that students could actually purchase these apps.

Smoothie recipes we shared:

  • Blackberry and Cinnamon
  • Banana and Nutmeg
  • Chocolate and Almond
  • Blueberry and Almond Butter

Fitness apps we shared:

  • Fitness Point, for weight lifting form and rep counting
  • MyFitnessPal, for keeping track of your daily diet
  • Map My Run, for finding the mileage on your favorite run, bike, and walking routes
  • Sleep Cycle & Power Nap, for making sure you’re snoozing well
  • Fitbit, for tracking activity throughout your day
  • Yoga Studio, for pose ideas

On Saturday, BYL supported a group of Area 1 RA’s at a Health Fair in Miller Hall. This event had stress-reducing coloring books, a mini-yoga class, and some recipe ideas for very simple dorm snacks. The first of these was a 1-min blueberry muffin-in-a-mug, one of BYL intern Grace’s favorite breakfasts that is filling yet slightly sweet. The second was mini cucumber stacking sandwiches, s a crunchy way to get veggies and protein at the same time. Both of these recipes can be made in a dorm room with few supplies and little fuss. See below for our mug-muffin recipe.

blueberry muffin

1 Minute Microwave Muffin in a Mug

  • 1/4 cup quick oats (1 package of instant oatmeal)
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • Small handful of berries (fresh or frozen, optional)
  • A little brown sugar or stevia
  • 1 Tbsp. milk (or soymilk, almond milk, lactose free milk)
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Mix everything together in a mug and put in microwave for 1:30 minute. If top is not firm, place back in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is cooked.

To switch things up, substitute blueberries with raisins, chocolate chips, or any other fruit.

November 9, 2014

Dose of Daily D

Vitamin D is not like other vitamins. Whereas most vitamins are acquired through food, our bodies can actually MAKE vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is a necessary part of calcium absorption, which maintains strong bones. More recent research is demonstrating that it may play a part in many other body processes.

Here’s the tricky part: in the darker months – especially at northern latitudes, like Boston – there is not enough sunshine for us to create enough vitamin D on our own. As November arrives and the sun takes its vacation, it’s time to focus on getting this vitamin through food.

Vitamin D is found naturally in a few (but not many) foods: fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, and egg yolks are great examples. Luckily, foods like cereal, orange juice, milk, yogurt, and non-dairy milks are now often fortified with vitamin D.

If you are interested in seeing exactly how much you need, the Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 600 IU per day (“IU” stands for International Units, a measurement unit that some vitamins and medicines use). As a reference, a cup of fortified OJ has about 140 IU; a cup of milk has about 120 IU; and one large egg as well as one cup of cereal each have about 40 IU. 

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Sources:

 

November 9, 2014

Fall 2014 Cooking Classes: 2 Down, 1 To Go

The semester is whizzing by and the BYL student group has already hosted two cooking classes. Jenny, our Cooking Class Coordinator, teams up with different group member for each class to plan a menu that is nutritious as well as tasty. In September, Jenny and co-leader Michelle put together a Healthy Taco Tuesday. On the menu: home-baked tortilla chips, cauliflower tacos, a side of black beans, and frozen bananas dipped in Mexican chocolate.   October’s class was co-led by Kinsey, and was themed Meatless Mediterranean Monday. Attendees made Israeli couscous, Armenian lentil wraps with tahini sauce, and baked cinnamon apples with Greek yogurt.

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Both of the classes this semester have featured vegetarian dishes. Though meat can certainly be part of a healthful diet, we wanted to introduce students to an alternative take on protein sources. Meat-free meals – whether you make them an occasional choice or a lifelong habit – have a lower environmental impact and are often less expensive. While these first two classes involved more elaborate recipes, our final class of the semester will focus on a few simple recipes that college students can easily replicate in small kitchens with limited resources. Class will be held on Wednesday, November 12. Check out our Facebook for signups!

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November 9, 2014

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