Too many college students (and working parents for that matter) buy pre-made, jarred tomato sauce when they want Italian food. Which is a shame, because it’s so easy to make your own at home and it’s usually cheaper! It also contains less preservatives! So I’m going to teach you how to make your own.
½ of a yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz can peeled diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
Red pepper flakes
Large sauce pot
4 out of 10 spatulas
1) Chop the onion and garlic as finely as possible. At the same time, heat three tablespoons of olive oil at low-medium heat in your sauce pot.
2) Transfer the onion and garlic to the pot, along with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes. If the onions begin to brown, lower the heat.
3) Add you tomato paste, and stir it into the onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
4) Add 1/3 a cup of red wine. Stir until mixed, and add your canned tomatoes, oregano, and basil, and 1 pinch of salt.
5) Raise the heat, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
That’s it, now you have tomato sauce! But how should you use it? You could brown 1 pound of ground beef, cook 1 pound of spaghetti and eat spaghetti with meat sauce. Alternatively, you could grill some Italian sausage (1 sausage per two servings), cook some penne (1/2 cup per serving) and eat sausage with penne. Heck, you could even grill some Italian sausage, toast some hoagie rolls, sauté some more onions, and eat Italian sausage sandwiches! It’s all up to you. All you have to do is ditch the jar and the world is your oyster.
It's still March, and that means it's still National Nutrition Month. Yes there is such a thing! Now is the time for those of you who have slacked off on those new years resolutions to start fresh, NOW! Honestly, we can start fresh whenever we want to and that includes right now, in this very moment. Don't wait until Monday to start exercising, start now! Don't hold off on the ice cream until the weekend, treat yourself right now! Don't give up on that last rep, finish it right now! We have so many opportunities in this life to create a new beginning for ourselves. This moment is an opportunity to start again.
It's easy to get discouraged when we create barriers and time limits on ourselves. Especially when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Setting goals is great but setting unrealistic ones usually end with us quitting or giving up.
According to a study done by the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 39% of people in their twenties achieved their resolution each year. These resolutions range from self improvement to fall in love. More than half had a hard time keeping their resolution because they got discouraged or didn’t have enough time anymore. NOW, is the time to revisit that goal and try again.Try to set reasonable goals but don't be afraid to push yourself past your limits, because incredible things happen when you do.
Go celebrate National Nutrition month by revisiting some goals and pushing yourself just a little bit further.
On a basic level, these are Mediterranean chicken tacos. The only crucial ingredients here are shredded chicken and pita bread. Sounds boring right? Think of it like you’re going to Pita Pit. The toppings are what make this meal stand out.
(For the chicken)
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast
1 16 oz can chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, or ½ tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon corn starch
(For the pita)
3 Pocket pitas or flatbreads, heated at 350 for 5 min
(For the toppings)
Hummus, Tzatziki, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Onion, Bell pepper, Jalapeños, Pepperoncini, Feta or another cheese, Lettuce, Cabbage, Corn, Black beans, etc.
A skillet and a small sauce pot
4 out of 10 spatulas
1) Heat the skillet to medium high (6 or 7) and add two tablespoons of olive oil.
2) Cut the chicken breast in half and place both pieces in the skillet. Brown on both sides for about 5 minutes.
3) Remove the chicken from the skillet and place the halves in the saucepot, along with the can of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, and set a timer for 15 minutes.
4) During this time, go ahead and preheat the oven. Now would also be a good time to prepare toppings.
5) Cut up whatever veggies you like, get out some hummus, whatever. My personal favorite combo is hummus, cucumbers, onion, lettuce, tomato, and feta with a few squirts of sriracha sauce.
6) When the chicken is done, move the pieces into a large mixing bowl to cool. Once they are cool use two forks to shred the chicken into small pieces.
7) Add the shredded chicken back to the skillet, along with ½ cup of the broth from the pot, the cornstarch, salt, pepper, garlic, oregano, and vinegar. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes.
8) Heat the pitas in the oven for about five minutes, or until warm.
9) When the chicken and pitas are done, move everything to the table.
10) ASSEMBLE PITAS!!
Put some chicken in your bread, and add whatever you want. It’s like you’re in Pita Pit, but it’s not 3 am and nobody is sneaking in just to use the bathroom.
Someone showed me a website with this recipe which, I decided to try. However, I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients, so I just kinda made do. It’s way better than I would’ve ever expected. It’s super easy, you only dirty a few pans and it keeps all week.
1 pound ground meat (beef, turkey, pork, chorizo sausage, your choice.)
1 sixteen oz can of black beans
1 sixteen oz can of tomatoes
1 eight oz can of corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 red, orange, yellow, or green bell pepper
1 cup Spanish or white rice
A pinch or two of cumin, chili powder, and oregano
Salt and pepper
A casserole dish, a large frying pan, and a small sauce pot.
3 out of 10 spatulas
1) On medium heat, brown the meat until mostly cooked through.
2) In a small pot, bring the rice to a boil along with 2 cups of water and put a lid on it.
3) Add the vegetables (and fruit, whatever, we get it peppers and tomatoes are fruit) and seasonings, and stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
4) When all the water has boiled out of the pot/into the rice, take it off the heat but keep the lid on.
5) Preheat the oven to 350.
6) Take out a casserole pan, and pour all of the meat, veggies, and rice into it.
7) Bake for 20 minutes.
8) Remove from the oven, stir your casserole, and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes.
9) Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
This stuff is really good with some salsa and some sour cream. It’s also great with guacamole. Do you know how to make that? It’s pretty crucial for this dish actually. Here, let’s make that real quick.
1 half of a small tomato, diced
1 half of a small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1) Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork.
2) Add the tomato, onion, and garlic. Stir.
3) Squeeze some lime juice, and add the salt and pepper. Stir.
Scoop out a big spoonful of the enchilada stuff onto a plate, top it with some guacamole and some salsa, stir it up and eat it. It’s also good to dip some corn chips into this mix. Happy Spring Break.
Do you guys like hummus? You probably do. Americans LOVE hummus. It’s getting so popular that some tobacco farmers are switching to chickpeas to meet the demand. But do you know how to make hummus? It’s like, embarrassingly easy. And it’s so much cheaper to make than to buy those little packages of Sabra from The Creamery or whatever. So let’s save some money.
Time: ~ 10 minutes
Difficulty: 1 out of 10 spatulas
1 can chickpeas (reserve the liquid, you’ll use it later)
1 clove garlic, chopped
The juice of ¼ of a lemon
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or tahini)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
A blender or a food processer.
1) Drain the liquid from the can of chickpeas into a container of some kind and dump the peas themselves into the blender.
2) Add the peanut butter, chopped garlic, lemon juice, and oil into the blender along with a small splash of the liquid.
3) Blend it all up until smooth. If the consistency is too dry to properly blend, add more liquid.
4) This is the only difficult part: adjusting proportions. Taste your hummus. Is it too chunky? Blend it more. Too thick? Add more liquid. Do you like your hummus silky smooth? Add some more oil. Want your hummus tangier? Add more lemon juice. Want it nuttier? Add more peanut butter. Adjust your hummus, tasting as you go, until it’s perfect for you.
Once you’ve got it how you want it, put it in an airtight container and it will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. There. Hummus. Dip some pita into it. Or vegetables. Whatever. The main point is that you not only made hummus, but that you made it how you like it. Speaking of, the Sabra Company makes different varieties of hummus, and so can you! You like roasted red peppers? Cut a red pepper in half and put it in an oven set to broil at 500 degrees for 12 minutes, then cut it into cubes and fold it into your hummus. Pine nuts are good in hummus too, if you can find them/want to buy them. Add a handful to a frying pan with a wee bit of oil on medium high heat, and stir them around until they turn golden brown, maybe five minutes. Add them into the hummus. The possibilities are limitless…in theory. After all, this is ground chickpeas we’re talking about.
Why should we even care about GMO’s? According to the Non-Gmo Project GMO’s are living organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. The process that happens because of GMO’s creates unwanted bacteria that does not occur through nature. GMO’s pop up a lot in the processed foods we eat everyday. More importantly, a lot of food that we buy doesn’t say that it contains GMO’s. So what can we do to look out for foods that contain GMO’s?
1. Buy Organic: When I suggest people to “buy organic” they tend to freak out and assume that they’re going to have to spend a fortune on groceries. That’s not the case! I’m only suggesting to buy foods such as fruits and veggies that would not normally contain GMO’s. And foods that are organic are generally free from modified organisms and additives.
2. Price Look-Up code (PLU): The price look-up code is the sticker you see on most produce foods. This 4-5 digit number informs you where the food came from and if it has been genetically modified or not. The sticker on produce is something to look out for when choosing a GMO free food. Numbers that start with an 8 are foods that have been in some way genetically modified. Codes that start with a 9 mean that the food is organic and/or is not genetically modified.
3. Dairy products: Watch out for dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese. Many of these dairy products do not have a GMO label on it. Not only that, but they are filled with high fructose corn syrup, which is used a sweetener in many high name brands such as Blue Bunny.
If your interested in finding out more about genetically modified foods or want to see which foods contain GMO, visit the website www.nongmoproject.org. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products.