The weather is beautiful and finally hot! So that means the last thing we want to do is turn the oven on or spend time laboring over a hot stove. Salads are always a good summer meal option, but why not try a cold soup?
My favorite cold soup is šaltibarščiai, a traditional Lithuanian cold beet soup. It involves a lot of chopping, but overall it’s pretty easy to make. It is also delightful shade of hot pink. I recommend using kefir instead of buttermilk, but you can also omit the eggs and dairy make it vegan-friendly and no less delicious.
Not in the mood to use the stove at all? Martha Stewart’s Avocado, Radish, and Basil Soup is a no-cook recipe–just throw everything in the blender!
There are also cold soups to satisfy your sweet tooth. Try something like this cold berry soup. The ingredients may seem like an odd combination, but they go together surprisingly well.
If you’d prefer solid food, try one of these no-bake desserts.
And for those times when you just can’t beat a craving for a cookie, here are some instructions for making cookies in a pan on your stove. It uses low heat, so shouldn’t warm your kitchen up too much!
We spoke too soon! It would seem that chilly weather is back for a bit. But there’s one benefit to this unwelcome temperature drop: fresh baked goods hot out of the oven are appealing again. And conveniently, there’s a holiday on June 6th that encourages enjoying just that: National Applesauce Cake Day.
Not familiar with it? Neither were we, but it seems that The Internet is. While the origins of National Applesauce Cake Day are unknown, it is agreed that June 6th is the day to celebrate it. The consensus seems to be that it’s a celebration of the humble and delicious Applesauce Cake, which was lauded as a patriotic dessert during World War I and the Depression. It could be easily made at home and was more economical than other types of cakes, since applesauce reduces the amount of butter, sugar, and eggs needed in a recipe.
Easy and cheap? Sounds perfect for a busy student on a budget. Applesauce is also a healthier alternative to oil in a recipe or a vegan-friendly replacement for eggs and butter.
Let us know if you have any recipe suggestions or know of another wacky food-related holiday!
We are pleased to announce the Hirsh Health Sciences Library’s Open Workshop series for Spring semester. Workshops are held in Sackler 510 on Thursdays from 12noon-1pm. To learn more about the Open Workshop series and to register for a workshop visit: http://www.library.tufts.edu/hsl/education/workshops.html Upcoming Open Workshops for January and February: Research BaSiCSsss: Literature Search Skills for D’16 Thursday, January 15, 2015 Ovid: Searching for Evidence & Creating Alerts Thursday, January 22, 2015 PubMed: the Basics Thursday, January 29, 2015 Get that stat! Intro to Major Health Data Sources Thursday, February 05, 2015 Research BaSiCSsss: Literature Search Skills for D’16 Thursday, February 12, 2015, Web of Science Thursday, February 19, 2015 EndNote Thursday, February 26, 2015
Inspired by last week’s post about Healthy Oils, the crew at Hirsh Library is bringing a little Health to your Hanukkah (we are the Health Sciences Library after all). Now, Hanukkah is not the time to extoll the (debatable) virtues of a low-fat diet. How often do you get to actually CELEBRATE oil, anyway? But there are some opportunities to slip some nutritional powerhouses into your eight nights of deliciousness!
Maybe you’re looking to cut down on all that brisket, or you’re looking for an excuse to break out the smoked or cured fish. Here’s an easy recipe for Bourbon Cured Salmon with Dill and Fennel from Sydney Kramer at The Crepes of Wrath. Curing the fish takes 72 hours, so if you get started now, you’ll be ready to feast by the Fifth Night!
The Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are the subject of research for treatment and prevention of everything from heart disease to depression, and you can read about past and ongoing research at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Is there a vegetarian joining you for a Hanukkah feast? You might want to try this spicy, comforting Chickpea Stew with Eggplants, Tomatoes, and Peppers, featuring harissa, the addictive North African chile paste. Most of us need to eat more vegetables anyway (check out USDA MyPlate for information about choosing a balanced diet), so make extra! And while I am loathe to mess with the perfection of a traditional potato latke, you can make a latke out of just about any vegetable. Check out Amy Kritzer’s gorgeous array of Rainbow Latkes (Beets! Sweet potato and carrot! Squash! Zucchini! Purple cauliflower!).
Speaking of fruits and veggies, get an extra serving of fruit and fiber into those Dreidel-spinning chocoholics with Martha Stewart’s Apricot Gelt recipe.
Finally, it’s Hanukkah, and I’m not a monster, so here’s the only sufganiyot (jelly doughnut) recipe you’ll ever need.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy(-ish) Hanukkah from the Hirsh Health Sciences Library!
Who doesn’t look forward to the taste thrills of Hanukkah? Latkes and jelly donuts…so yummy!!!! But when you start thinking about some of the oils that go into making those treats so crispy and tasty (vegetable shortening!), maybe not so yummy…
Is there healthier oil out there for frying those latkes? Is coconut oil for donuts a more heart smart choice than shortening? Find out in the Hirsh Library’s newest addition to its collection, Healthy oils: fact versus fiction.
Now available at the Hirsh Library:
Healthy oils: fact versus fiction.
Myrna Chandler Goldstein and Mark A. Goldstein, MD.
Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 
Available: HHSL 4th floor – New Book Display
This month’s Under10 spotlight will be familiar to faculty, staff, and returning students—it’s Viga, a campus favorite for event catering. While you’ll probably enjoy their sandwiches or pizza on-campus at some point this year, I thought it’d be nice to highlight their takeout options, as Viga is a regular in my lunch spot rotation. There are four locations in the city and both the Stuart Street and Devonshire Street locations are within a 10 minute walk of campus. I have an arbitrary preference for the Stuart Street one, but there’s no difference in their offerings.
Viga’s menu consists of standard Italian takeout joint fare: calzones, pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, and wraps. They have a set rotation of daily specials for calzones, pizza, and pasta, which adds nice variety to their regular options. You can find these on their website.
With the exception of whole pizzas, everything is under $8.00. My go-to is their pasta, which is particularly cheering on a cold day. The baked ziti is reliably good; for specials, I like the Penne Badia (Tuesday) and the Pollo Tuscano (Friday). A small regular pasta runs from $3.39-$4.49 and small special pastas are $4.49 or $6.19. All pastas come with a fresh homemade roll, which makes it an even better deal. For $6.99 you can get a small pasta ($4.49 or under), a small salad, a soda, and a roll. Their other options are equally wallet-friendly: sandwiches run from $6-$8, pizza slices around $3, and calzones around $5.
At the checkout counter, there are a number of tempting baked goods. Their molasses ginger cookie is outstanding, a perfect balance of crispy and chewy, but I don’t think you could go wrong with any of their desserts. When you pay, be sure to ask for their frequent diner card. On your 6thvisit, you’ll get $3.00 off and on your 12th you’ll get $5.00 off. It’s one of the better visitor rewards programs I’ve seen.
The restaurants are usually packed between noon and 1pm—people sometimes spill out onto the sidewalk—but the line always moves fast. There are different stations for each type of food, so things progress easily once everyone has sorted themselves out. The Devonshire Street location has some seating, but the Stuart Street one does not. If you visit the latter and don’t want to head back to campus, enjoy the weather while it’s still nice in the Public Garden or on the Common.
Viga. 304 Stuart Street, Boston, MA. Monday-Friday 11am-3pm | 291 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA. Monday-Friday 11am-3pm. Both locations accept cash, credit cards, and LevelUp.
Do you have a favorite day-of-the-week special at Viga? Do you want to debate me that the Devonshire Street location is better? Write to us!
Now that everyone is back on campus and settled into their routine, the HHSL is beginning our Open Workshop series on Thursdays from noon-1pm in Sackler 510. These one hour classes are open to anyone affiliated with Tufts University or the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, and cover a wide range of relevant and interesting topics.
Our kick-off event is this Thursday, and will include snacks, as we take you through some of the most popular FAQs about using and accessing the library resources. You can find all of the upcoming classes and their descriptions on our Open Workshops calendar page.
Registration is required for the workshops, and you are absolutely allowed to eat and drink responsibly in the computer lab!
Come learn with us!
I recently convinced myself that August is National Tomato Month. Possibly because I have spent the last several weeks gorging on the beautiful New England tomatoes making their way to the Boston farmers’ markets and local farm stands.
Imagine my dismay when I discovered that August celebrates many foodstuffs, including sandwiches, catfish, and peaches, but according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, National Fresh Tomato Day falls on April 6th.
Now, if you dragged yourself through many, many miserably damp days in March and April of 2014, you know for a fact that there was not a local, sun-ripened, fresh tomato to be found in Boston on April 6th. And I’m not the only person who thinks August is the time to celebrate the glorious tomato. Consider the world-famous, tomato-centric celebration known as La Tomatina in Buñol, a small Spanish town in Valencia that attracts over 30,000 people every August.
This is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful ripe tomatoes of all varieties. They are also a superfood, rich in Vitamin C and fiber, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. Read more about the health benefits of eating tomatoes in the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.
If you’re looking for new ways to enjoy tomatoes, here are a few of my favorite recipes:
- Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen
- Roasted Tomato Soup from 101 Cookbooks
- Heirloom Tomato Tart from Joy the Baker
And of course, you can always just eat a perfectly ripe tomato all on its own, preferably over the kitchen sink.
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