In addition to getting a new recipe under our belts at November’s Humpday Cooking Class (no pun intended!), we also took the opportunity to review some food safety basics. You can review, too:
- Bacteria LOVES room temperature but hates the cold. Store foods like meat, fish, and eggs in the fridge (at 41 degrees F or less) as soon as you buy them.
- If you defrost frozen meat or seafood, the best way to do it is in the fridge (not on the counter at room temperature).
- After defrosting meat or seafood, eat it right away – don’t re-freeze!
- Use separate cutting boards and utensils for foods that will be cooked versus foods that will not be
- If you only have one knife and one cutting board, wash them well before you switch from meat to other foods.
- Wash your hands well after handling meat and eggs – this means soap and warm water.
- Chicken, turkey, and ground beef: until you no longer see pink
- Steak: until juices run clear
- Fish: until flesh is opaque and can be “flaked” with a fork
- Eggs: to ensure that eggs are totally safe, cook until both the white and yolk are firm. If you do like runny eggs, pasteurized eggs are less likely to contain bacteria like salmonella.
December 2, 2014
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
November 9, 2014