Goodbye until January!

As some of you may know, this blog was started for my Online Journalism class at Rowan. The semester is coming to a close and my class is ending, but with everything I have learned from the class I am going to keep posting on this blog. I enjoy posting recipes and tips to help college students, like myself, not starve their four years at college! Since the semester is ending I probably won’t be posting as frequently until I come back to school in January, but next semester you can all look forward to fresh new  ideas and recipes!

Here are my five favorite posts from this semester:

1. Apple Chicken Quesadilla’s
2. College Cooking with Samantha Kresz
3. Comparing Jarred Pasta Sauces
4. 10 Kitchen Necessities for Cooking in your College Apartment 
5. College Cooking with Kristina Pritchett: Black Bean Chili  

College Cooking with Kristina Pritchett: Black Bean Chili

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The temperatures are starting to drop outside and if you are looking for a recipe that will warm you up after that long walk home from class in freezing weather you have come to the right place. Kristina Pritchett, a junior journalism major at Rowan University, is sharing her black bean chili recipe with us.

Chili is a type of stew that can be made with beans, turkey or ground beef. There are tons of different variations of chili with a variance of ingredients, but the recipe Pritchett is providing for us is a vegetarian chili. “Chili is great for college students to make because you can make a lot of it at one time when you aren’t too busy and then freeze it to eat it for dinner in a couple days,” Pritchett said. You can also give the leftovers to your friends and neighbors down the hall!
Another reason this particular chili recipe is perfect for busy students to make is because it only takes about 25 minutes. A lot of chili recipes require a crockpot or take hours to prepare, but this simple recipe won’t take a huge amount of time out of your busy schedule.
Just because this chili is vegetarian does not mean meat eaters won’t like it! Lisa Micheletti, a senior Sociology major at Rowan University, doesn’t usually like vegetarian dishes. “Chili I’ve had before is usually made with ground beef, but I really liked the black beans Kristina made it with.”
“Because this chili is vegetarian and all the ingredients are healthy it is only 265 calories per serving,” Pritchett explained.

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
An 8 oz onion (peeled and chopped)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 14.5oz cans of black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
2 tbsp of chili seasoning
Salt
Optional: Corn bread for dipping

Process:

1. Cook onions and garlic powder in vegetable oil on medium heat in a pan. Stir for 8 minutes or until the onions are brown.
 2. Add beans, tomatoes, chili seasoning and water. Bring the pan to a boil and then reduce the heat. Stir occasionally. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
 3. Sprinkle in a little more chili seasoning to taste and stir. Sprinkle with salt.
 4. Put chili into your bowls. Add a dollop of sour cream on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Use the cornbread to dip into your chili.

This chili recipe makes about six servings and it only costs about $2 to make each serving.

Let me know how your chili turns out if you try this recipe. What other types of winter dishes would you like to see on College Cooking? Write your suggestions in a comment.

5 Healthier Christmas Cookies

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Tis the season for baking. Cookies might not be the most nutritional food, but since December is the month of gift giving, give yourself the gift of enjoying some Christmas cookies, guilt free. Here are a few types of cookies and links to recipes that are modified to make the cookies a little healthier.

1. Snickerdoodles- Snickerdoodles are a type of sugar cookie that are made with cinnamon sugar. In order to make this type of cookie healthier, Tanya Zuckerbrot replaces half the butter in the recipe with applesauce. She also uses whole-wheat pastry flour and replaces sugar with Splenda. With these little changes, the snickerdoodle still tastes yummy, but is only 73 calories per cookie and 3g of fat.

2. Whole-Grain Gingersnaps- Gingersnaps are flat brittle cookies that are made with ginger and molasses. Good Housekeeping makes gingersnaps healthier by replacing half the flour in the recipe with whole wheat flour. Also, they use fat free vegetable oil. These whole-grain gingersnaps only have 55 calories and 2g of fat.

3. Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies- Peanut butter cookies have always been a holiday favorite, but are loaded with sugar. Kalyn’s Kitchen made a sugar-free peanut butter cookie by using Splenda. She also uses natural peanut butter in this recipe, which cuts out calories and fat.

4. Chocolate Chip Cookies- The basic chocolate chip cookie never gets old, but there are many ingredients that are in the dough that can be replaced or omitted to make it healthier. Katie from Chocolate Covered Katie makes what she calls “Not Guilty Chocolate Chip Cookies.” These cookies are whole grain and have half the sugar of a normal chocolate chip cookie. If you really want to be good you can omit white sugar all together. That makes these cookies only 23 calories and 0g of fat!

5.Thin Mints- Thin mints are known for being sold by Girl Scouts, but this recipe will make you want to put these on your cookie trays this season. 101 cookbooks came up with a thin mint recipe that has no trans-fat and no shortening. The cookies are made with all natural ingredients which makes them tasty, but healthy.

Margarita Panini (using a grill pan)

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Though this is more of a summer dish, a margarita panini is a quick sandwich to make in between class. It’s almost finals and we will be spending most of our time in the library studying. Instead of eating take-out or not making time to eat at all, make this quick, easy panini that will fill your belly and save you time. I know most of you (like me) probably don’t have a panini maker. Don’t freight! As long as you have a grill pan and hand weight you can make this recipe.

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 roma tomato sliced
2 tsps extra virgin olive oil
6 basil leaves
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
2 slices of sour dough bread
Salt and pepper to taste
Process:
1. Spray your grill pan with PAM and put on medium heat.
2. Spread extra virgin olive oil on your slices of bread
3. Layer your mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil on your bread. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
 4. Put your sandwich on the grill pan. You can use a brick covered in tinfoil to place on top of the sandwich. If you don’t have a brick you can use a 2 1/2-5 lb hand weight, also.
 5. Grill for 2 1/2 minutes. Flip the sandwich and place the brick or weight back on top. Grill for another 2 1/2 minutes and your panini is ready to be eaten.

To make one panini it costs about $3 and there are 171 calories in this dish. Enjoy!

 

 

Eat This, Not That: Thanksgiving Edition

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Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and that means delicious food. If you are trying to eat healthy on Thanksgiving, here is a guide of what to put on your plate. The healthy choices are just as delicious, but contain less fat, sugar and carbs.

1.Pecan pie vs. pumpkin pie:  Pecan pie is loaded with sugar and corn syrup that is yummy, but of course is not healthy. Swap the pecan pie for pumpkin pie and you will trim about 115 calories 32g sugar. Pumpkin pie has the same amount of protein and fiber as pecan pie, but half the fat.

2. Sweet potatoes vs. mashed potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain four times the amount of sugar as regular mashed potatoes. Choose mashed potatoes instead, but make sure you use low or fat free milk. Also, use less butter than you normally would to cut out more fat.

3. Stuffing vs. green beans with almonds: Stuffing is loaded with carbs, sodium and fat, even more so if it is cooked inside the turkey. Instead, pick green beans with almonds. Green beans of course are nutritious, but the almonds add some more flavor. Green beans with almonds are a better choice than green bean casserole also because it is less sodium and fat.

4. Dark meat vs. white meat: This is one of the most important swaps if you are trying to stay healthy on Thanksgiving. If you choose white meat over dark meat you will be cutting out 215 calories, 6g of fat and tons of sodium. White meat also contains less cholesterol than dark meat.

Enjoy your healthy Thanksgiving!

10 Kitchen Necessities for Cooking in Your College Apartment

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You don’t have to break the bank when buying kitchen items for your college apartment. I put together a list of the ten most basic kitchen necessities that will get get you through the year, without spending a lot of money.


1. Pots and Pans- You will use these for almost everything, so therefore quality not quantity is important. Instead of buying a cheap set of a bunch of pots and pans, I would suggest buying one really good large saucepan, a frying pan and a large pot. It’s important to know about the different types of materials of the pots and pans before you buy them, such as aluminum, stainless steel and non-stick. I prefer non-stick because it makes cleaning up a lot easier.

2. Cooking Utensils- Utensils are something you want to buy in a set because there a lot of different types that you will use. You’ll at least need a spatula, ladle, whisk, tongs and spoon. A can opener, peeler, wooden spoon, pizza cutter and grater will also be very useful. Target has great utensil sets that have most of these items, if not more, for cheap. Rubbermaid, Chefmate and Calphalon are reliable brands that have good quality products.

3. Blender- A blender comes in handy for making smoothies and milkshakes, but also can be used in place of a food processor. With a blender you can make sauces and purees as well. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a single-serve blender from Hamilton Beach that I love for making smoothies. It’s also good however to have a large blender for when you are using it in place of a food processor.

4. Knives- Knives are another important part of your kitchen, but you don’t need a whole bunch of them. You really only need three types: a chef knife, a bread knife and a paring knife. The crazy sets of 10+ knives is unnecessary for a college kitchen. Make sure your knives are always kept sharp for best use.

5. Pot Holders and Kitchen Towels- You can find these at the dollar store. The pot holders or oven mitts are often forgotten, until you go to grab something out of the oven. Dishtowels are needed for cleaning up spills and splatters while cooking.

6. Measuring Spoons and Cups- Most recipes require you to measure out ingredients. I suggest getting measuring spoons that are attached with a ring so you don’t lose any. Measuring cups come in plastic, glass or metal. Pyrex is a great measuring cup to have because it is glass and therefore can withstand heat.

7. Baking sheets- Another item that is used frequently is an aluminum baking sheet. It isn’t only used for baking, but also for things such as frozen pizza and wings. Half- sheets are the ones that fit most home ovens. I would suggest having two baking sheets in your kitchen because they are used so often.

Baking sheets can be found at stores such as Target and Walmart for cheap prices.

8. Leftover Containers- Storage containers are great to have on hand so your leftovers can be preserved. It’s good to have reusable containers to save money. There are plastic sets and glass sets. Again, glass comes in handy because it can be microwaved, but plastic is nice for when you are bringing a meal to class.

9.Ice cube trays- Another item that is often forgotten is ice cube trays. My college doesn’t have refrigerators with ice makers, so ice cube trays are important. I love the trays IKEA has in different shapes, such as fish and flowers, because they make your drinks fun.

These adorable ice cube trays are less than two dollars!

10. Coffee Maker- Coffee is a staple in college students’ lives, so it’s good to have a coffee maker in your apartment. You will save money by making it yourself, rather then buying it at Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks all the time. There are tons of different coffee makers for every type of coffee drinker, so it really depends on how much you think you’ll use it. If you’re sharing an apartment with roommates who also have a love for coffee you guys can put your money together to buy a really nice one.

Let me know what other necessities you guys couldn’t live without in your college kitchens!

Traditional Breakfast (with a Healthy Twist)

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One of my favorite parts of going home is being lazy and having my parents cook for me. I especially love waking up and having breakfast already made, considering I barely have enough time to grab a granola bar when I run out the door at school. On rare occasions I will wake up early enough to make myself an actual fulfilling breakfast. This post is to show you how to make a traditional breakfast a lot healthier, without losing any of the taste.

By making a few small changes to this yummy breakfast I cut 344 calories out of the meal.

1. Eggs- Eggs are a great source of protein and are quick to make. I used just the egg whites because they have fewer calories, fat and cholesterol than the yolk. However, it’s not best to always take out the yolk because they do have some important vitamins. You can do a combination, like one egg with yolk and two egg whites.

2. Bacon- Bacon is a weakness of mine, but it’s no secret that it is high in saturated fat. Opt for Turkey bacon since it has less saturated fat and calories, but tastes just as good. You have to be careful which brand of turkey bacon you choose though. Oscar Meyer turkey bacon is actually less healthy than their brand of pork bacon because it has more sodium and cholesterol. Brands of turkey bacon that have fewer calories and more protein, such as Jennie-O and Applegate Farms, are the way to go.

3. Bagels- Bagels have a bad rep of being high in carbs and for not having many nutritional ingredients. Still, a lot of people, myself included, find bagels to be their guilty pleasure. Have no fear, there is a solution. Thomas’ has come out with bagel thins which are only 110 calories (over 170 calories less than a regular size bagel). It is basically a thinner version of a bagel, that way you get your bagel fix without over eating.

Switching out a few ingredients makes this breakfast nutritional and less fattening. For mornings when you don’t hit the snooze button, this is a great way to get energized and ready for the day.

Salad and Pizza All in One

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I came across a really simple recipe on The College Culinarian that I decided I would try out and share with you guys. Basically it is making individual pizzas using pita bread and then adding salad on top. Two of favorite foods in one! I switched up a few things, but the main concept is still the same.

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 whole wheat flat bread
1/4 cup marinara sauce (notice how i used Prego!Check out my previous post)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1 cup of romaine salad
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of rasberry walnut salad dressing
Process:
1. Add your salad dressing and extra virgin olive oil to your salad. Toss and set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spread your marinara sauce onto your pita bread, leaving an edge to serve as a crust. Then layer on the shredded cheese.

3. Once the oven is preheated, bake your pizza for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted.
4. Add the salad on top of the pizza. Enjoy!


There are about 208 calories in this pizza and it costs about $2to make one serving. You can slice it like a pizza or you can eat it whole. Try it out and tell me what you think in a comment.

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