Archive | September, 2013

Weekly Snapshots

26 Sep

Stocking up on fruit at the Urban Radish in Downtown L.A.

Now that college is in full swing, I’m suddenly drowning in endless pages of reading, essay deadlines, and extracurricular activities. Cooking a homemade meal offers a much-needed break at the end of my day. I slip into comfy clothes, dance on my own to my favorite Shakira songs, and take my mind off everything I have to accomplish. I have a bunch of new recipes that I’m excited to share, but for now want to give you all a taste of my week courtesy of my iPhone.

A romantic dinner that I prepared for my roommate and me.

I had my first acai bowl at this amazing food truck parked next to my school.

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I literally would not survive in college without eggs. They are packed with protein, quick to prepare, and extremely versatile. I have a whole post dedicated to egg recipes coming soon.

I nearly jumped for joy upon discovering my school’s weekly on-campus farmers’ market. In addition to all the wonderful produce at my fingertips, ethnic foods like this Jamaican jerk chicken add excitement to my lunch routine.

Roasted eggplant and zuchinni from the farmers’ market–easy to store and reuse throughout the week.


College Cooking: Quick & Healthy Breakfast

1 Sep
Greek yogurt with fresh fruit (and me in the spoon!). 
I’m the person who thinks about what she’s going to have for breakfast while in bed the night before. I love taking in the smell of freshly brewed coffee and flipping pancakes while reading the front page of The New York Times. Now with classes starting everyday at 8 and 9:30 a.m., my college schedule does not accommodate such luxuries.

Rolled omelette made with veggies from dinner the night before. 
Though my mornings are considerably more rushed than they were during those idyllic summer days, I refuse to compromise when it comes to breakfast. These two simple and healthy recipes take minutes to prepare and make me feel energized and focused during lectures. 

The first–greek yogurt with sliced fresh fruit–will work with whatever produce you have on hand, no kitchen appliances required. For extra sweetness, mix in a bit of almond butter or jam.

The kitchen in my dorm–where all the magic happens. 

The second recipe–mixed veggie and goat cheese omelette–was inspired by an exquisite mushroom and spinach omelette I had at French Blue in St. Helena, CA. The omelette’s exterior was just set, encasing the veggies like a blanket, while the egg inside remained silky and almost molten. While my homemade version does not match the buttery goodness of French Blue’s, it received a seal of approval from my roommate, who declared that if all else fails, I could become a chef. 🙂 

For the filling, I recycled veggies from a stir-fry I made the night before. Transforming leftovers is a fundamental skill in college cooking, because you maximize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen and never waste precious produce.

Mixed Veggie and Goat Cheese Omelette  

2 eggs 
Tblsp of milk
Handful of diced, sautéed vegetables of your choice (I used eggplant, red bell pepper, and zucchini) 
Crumbled goat cheese (or any other cheese you prefer)
Salt and pepper 

1. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-low heat. Crack one whole egg into a bowl with one egg white, placing the yolk in a separate bowl. Add the milk to the yolk and combine with a fork. Salt and pepper both egg mixtures to taste. 
2. Pour the egg/egg white mixture into the skillet, spreading it into a circle, and cook for a few seconds until just set. Place the veggies in a line in the center of the circle and sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over them. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the veggies and fold the two sides of the omelette over the veggies. Press down lightly on the omelette with a spatula, cooking until the yolk center is soft but not liquidy. Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the omelette immediately.

These recipes are part of my ongoing quest to cook nutritious meals from scratch in my college dorm. I encourage readers’ comments and suggestions as I continue on this journey. For more information about the College Cooking series, click here.