Author Archives for themiamispread

When Life Gives You Lemons, Use Them.

Most people might be familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some flavor to foods. However, lemons are super useful in the kitchen and around the house and the following list will hopefully make you want to stock a few in your kitchen.

Prevent Browning

Potatoes and cauliflower tend to turn brown when boiling, especially when you’re having company for dinner. You can make sure the white vegetables stay white by squeezing a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice into the cooking water. You can also squeeze some lemon juice on apples to prevent them from browning while they are cut.

Clean Your Microwave

This clever lemon hack will eliminate the stench of crusty food in the microwave and make it easy to wipe down. Simply mix 1/2 cup of water, the juice of two lemons, and the leftover lemon rinds in a bowl and microwave on high for three minutes. Let that combination sit in the microwave for five more minutes before wiping down the sides of the microwave. The steam from the lemon water will loosen the gunk inside your microwave and make it easier to clean.

Keep Guacamole Green

Just imagine. You’ve made guacamole hours before a party and it turns brown before everyone can feast their eyes on the green goodness of it. To prevent this, sprinkle a pretty good amount of lemon juice over it to keep the guac fresh and green. The lemon juice is a natural complement to the avocados.

Refresh Cutting Boards

Onions, fish, garlic, raw meat, and so many other smells all on your cutting board. To get rid of the smells that linger on your cutting board, cut the lemon in half and rub it all over the board to eliminate those odors. You can also mix the lemon juice with water in a squirt bottle and spray it all over the board and wipe it down. Keep that squirt bottle under the sink for when you decide to cut raw fish on the cutting board.

Make Soggy Lettuce Crisp

Don’t toss that soggy lettuce into the garbage. With the help of a little lemon juice you can toss it in a salad instead. Add the juice of half a lemon to a bowl of cold water. Then put the soggy lettuce in it and refrigerate for an hour. Make sure to dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

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Top 10 Dining Changes for Fall 2017

Summer is almost over and the school year is quickly approaching! A lot has been going on this summer with some new changes to the dining facilities here on campus. Here are the top 10 changes for dining this fall.

1. Nut Friendly

We removed all nuts from our facilities and no longer use nuts in production of food. Pre-packaged nut items will still be sold in the market locations.

2. Rebrand Buffets as “Commons”

To help you better navigate dining styles on-campus, all buffets have been rebranded as “Commons.” The locations are: Bell Tower Commons, Western Commons, Garden Commons, Martin Commons, and Maplestreet Commons.

3. Vegan Made-to-Order Meals

Your Miami Chefs have developed several vegan options that are cryovaced (vacuumed-sealed) and frozen in individual portions. You can choose from four options including spicy roasted cauliflower, artichoke and potato casserole, three sisters vegetable stew, and a quinoa bowl with mixed vegetables. To enjoy one of these vegan meals, visit the Comfort Thyme station at Garden Commons.

4. Nutritional Update

New to our team is Ashley Blust, a full-time registered dietician. She is part of several projects to that will make nutrition more accessible. This includes showing allergens, diet preference identifiers, and nutritional information on menus at both a la carte and commons locations.

5. Maplestreet

Maplestreet Commons, an all-new buffet location, will feature pizza, a deli, paninis, custom stir fry, pasta, burgers and allergen-friendly options. Encounter will be relaunched as Maple Grill with an expanded menu including quesadillas and quinoa bowls, formerly from Americas. The Q will be introducing dessert items that can be served traditional or smoked. Looking for something on the lighter side? The Q now offers a made-to-order salad station.

6. Western Express

Western Express, formerly Tea Hive, will be your go-to spot for grab-n-go sandwiches, salads, and sushi. Start your day off right with breakfast sandwiches and fresh pastries.

7. Bell Tower Market With a Fresh Look

Look forward to more options at Bell Tower Market. Stir fry to-go and a full Traders’ Greens salad bar will provide more convenient and nutritious items for a quick meal. Bell Tower Market will continue to offer hot breakfast sandwiches, pizza, customized deli sandwiches, coffee, and smoothies!

8. Armstrong

Three new locations will debut this fall at Armstrong Student Center. Cafe Lux—Envision the perfect cup of coffee in a European-inspired venue. Accompany your drink with a rotating selection of pastries, soups and sandwiches. The Toasted Bagel (formerly Traditions) offering a variety of breakfast sandwiches. Red Zone—Enter by way of repurposed flooring from the Withrow basketball courts and immerse yourself in Miami sports history while dining on arena favorites. Have-to-try items: Avocado & Turkey Club, Schnecken (Cafe Lux); (The Toasted Bagel); Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwiches (Red Zone). Miami Ice will be your go-to place for gelato, ice cream, shakes, smoothies!

9. New Coffee Blends

Established in Columbus, Ohio in 1991, Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea Roasters was recently ranked as one of the Top 25 Best Coffee Roasters in America and is served at Café Lux in the Armstrong Student Center. Miami is proud to be partnering with a passionate company who’s mission is founded on the ideas of L.Y.F.E. (Leave you Feeling Energized) and L.O.V.E. (Leave Others Very Energized) — two mottos we can get behind.

A student taste test helped select a custom blend from Rooted Grounds Coffee Co. (owned and operated by Miami alumni). Now you can enjoy a cup of Miami Grind at Garden Commons, Red Zone, Miami Concessions locations (excluding Goggin), and through Miami Catering.

10. Enhanced Website

The Places to Eat section has been revamped to give more information about each location. This includes a staff listing with contact information, daily menus for commons locations, and a la carte menus in both English and Chinese. In each dining operation, you will find a QR code and link to connect you directly to these menu pages on our website.

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Why Snacking Is Good For You

To some people, the word snacking is associated with the act of eating processed and high calorie chips, cookies, ice cream, and candy bars. There is a difference between effective snacking and having a junk food snacking binge between meals. We are all guilty of splurging but eating smaller portioned snacks in-between meals is way more beneficial to your overall health.

Hunger is the main motivation behind snacking but factors like location, social environment, time of day, and food availability contribute as well. In fact, people often snack when there is appetizing food around, even if they’re not hungry. A recent study took a group of 55 adults and monitored their snacking habits to find that temptation and hunger were the reasons for eating unhealthy snacks. Replacing those unhealthy snacks with healthy options can make a difference when it comes to weight, metabolism, and energy.

 Good snacking may prevent you from overeating at meal time

Most of us get hungry about every 3 to 4 hours. So, if there’s a long stretch between meals, you’re likely to get hungry –– which is why a snack is appropriate. Without a healthy snack, there’s a good chance you’ll just make up for it by overeating at your next meal and eating more than you would have if you just had a small snack to help you get there.

If you increase your healthy snacking, you might reduce your overall calorie intake

Balance. That’s the biggest thing when thinking about snacking and planning what you are going to eat. If you have a snack to carry you to that next meal that you don’t eat as much at, then your overall calorie intake might be less if you plan correctly.

Gives you an opportunity to incorporate healthy food items into diet

It’s hard to eat healthy all the time. Snacking can help your diet become more well-rounded. Sneak those vegetables, fruits, and natural proteins in during snack time and your daily intake of those necessary vitamins and nutrients will be fulfilled.

Some healthy snack ideas to fill the gap between meals

  • Mixed Nuts
  • Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries
  • Apple Slices and Peanut Butter
  • Veggies and Hummus
  • Piece of Fruit
  • Smoothie
  • Trail Mix

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5 Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Whether it’s used as a remedy for a cold or a weight loss tool, apple cider vinegar can be used countless ways. It’s been around for hundreds of years and is sworn by those who use it. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from the grinding and fermenting of apples. The best ACV is generally unpasteurized, fermented, and naturally rich in enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids.

Salad Dressing

An easy way to consume Apple cider vinegar is putting it into a salad dressing. Salad dressings tend to be less in calorie and fat if ACV is included. Check out this recipe to make your own and learn the benefits of including it in your recipe.

Sore Throat

Next time you feel a sore throat coming on, try gargling with apple cider vinegar. Mix it with a bit of warm water and gargle every few hours. The acid in the vinegar coats the throat and creates a germ-proof environment.

Heal Sunburns and Bug Bites

If you find yourself with a sunburn, you can use apple cider vinegar to help healing, prevent blistering, relieve the pain and decrease the redness. Just combine a half cup of ACV with four cups of water and then dip a clean washcloth in the mixture and apply it to affected areas. Use the same method for helping the itch and pain of a bug bite.


Raw apple cider vinegar has countless benefits, but drinking a shot of it everyday diluted in water will boost your digestion and improve your gut health. To see the best results, intake a tablespoon of ACV in a glass of water around 15 minutes before a meal to stimulate digestive juices for better breakdown of your food.

Detox Your Body

Unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a liver and lymphatic boost which can help detox your body.  It helps balance your body’s pH and stimulates cardiovascular stimulation. Taking a ACV shot in the morning will kickstart your day. Those were a lot of big words, but basically it will help you get rid of bad things in your body and help you feel a lot better when it is apart of your daily routine.

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The Apps Every Foodie Needs

Being a “foodie” is a title many possess, but a true foodie will have these following apps on their phone to take their obsession with food to the next level. Whether it’s cooking or finding a local restaurant, these apps will elevate your foodie game. All of the following apps are available in the Apple App Store or GooglePlay store.

Kitchen Stories

Find delicious recipes with beautiful pictures, easy to follow step-by-step photo instructions, recipe videos, and clever how-to videos for free with Kitchen Stories. The app recently won a design award by Apple so you know the videos, photography, and minimal layout of the app are all very atheistically pleasing and user-friendly. The videos resemble Tasty videos that are typically on Facebook feeds, but are elevated to the next level.


Yummly is another recipe discovery app that combines pictures with recipes from around the web. The big difference is that you can filter recipes by the ingredients you already have so you don’t have to go to the grocery store to cook like a champion. You can also set up a personal profile so Yummly can customize what you see based on your allergies, diet, and foods you just don’t like.

eMeals – Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping List

This app is incredible for building a shopping list, prep for your meals, and staying organized. You can pay $5 a month to get personalized meal plans that are based on what you like, which can come in handy instead of sifting through recipe after recipe online. If you do like a recipe, add it to your recipe box, and the ingredients can automatically be added to your shopping list and sorted by the aisle they are in at the store. This just made grocery shopping a lot more interesting!

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal has created a calorie, diet, and nutrition diary designed to help you watch what you eat. With over 5 million foods logged, this app is bound to have what you are eating. It also has a barcode scanner integrated in the app to scan the food you are eating so you can adjust the portion and log it into your breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack category. When you sign up for the app, you fill out a personal profile based on activity level, age, weight, height, and weight loss goals, so the app can set a daily calorie intake limit. This app is so easy to use and breaks down food so you can see what you are eating by the numbers. Check it out!


With OpenTable you can discover, reserve, and manage restaurant reservations – anytime, anywhere. Find a restaurant, set a day, time, and how many people will be in your party. Every foodie has to try new dining locations every once and awhile and this app is perfect for doing just that!

Open Table-min

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5 Foods to Fight Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes: summer’s annoying little companions. Mosquitoes might be small, but they have a strong sense of smell that attract them to their victims. Knowing how to defend yourself against these tiny creatures is key in surviving the summer months.

Chemical repellents like OFF! help repel mosquitoes, but not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of these repellents. It’s because the chemical DEET is very effective at masking the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid. While DEET is effective, it can also be dangerous to your body. Foods can be used as a repellant and are healthier and more natural alternatives without the dangers DEET contains. Whether you consume it or apply it to your skin, these foods will help fight off those pesky mosquitoes.


Not only can garlic keep vampires away, it can keep mosquitoes away as well. That’s because garlic releases a gas called allicin, which is toxic to bugs. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s smell. When you eat garlic, the smell is emitted through your skin, which messes with insects’ sense of smell and makes them steer clear.


Citrus has a natural chemical called nootkatone. Nootkatone is a chemical compound found within citrus fruits that has proved to be effective in warding off mosquitoes. Grapefruit has the highest concentration of nootkatone, so eating plenty of grapefruit should make you less of a target to mosquitoes. Also, if you rub the inside of an orange or lemon peel on your skin, that also is an effective repellent and smells a whole lot better than garlic.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an old folk-remedy bug repellent that many people swear by. There isn’t an scientific evidence to back this claim up, but generation after generation has used it. Not only can you put some in a spray bottle (diluted with water) as a bug spray, ingesting a tablespoon three times a day is said to cause bugs to stay away from you.


Vanilla is a pretty appealing smell to most, except to bugs. Dilute one tablespoon vanilla extract with a cup water and wipe the mixture on your exposed skin to discourage mosquitoes, flies, and even ticks.


Tomatoes are an excellent source of thiamine. Thiamine is a B1 vitamin that is rich in certain vegetables and foods. Not only will a diet that has tomatoes included in it make you less attractive to bugs, but rubbing tomato juice on a bug bite is said to reduce pain and itchiness if you happen to get bit.

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Trail Mix It Up

Trail mix is the perfect snack for a pre or post workout, a hike, a long class lecture, or if you want a healthier alternative to a bag of Cheetos. There are thousands of combinations to appeal to various taste buds or cravings.

Countless articles state there are four ingredients to make any trail mix great — nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a “fun” ingredient (popcorn, chocolate chips, M&M’s, etc.). Obviously it doesn’t have to stick to this formula, but your bound to find a combination that intrigues you within it. These four ingredients balance flavor and nutrition to make a well-rounded snack.



Nuts provide a solid base to add more ingredients to, while also giving texture and flavor. Trail mix nutrients generally come from nuts because they are packed with protein and fiber. While peanuts are inexpensive and classic to mixes, there are other options that have more health benefits such as, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Tip: Go for raw, unsalted nuts or lightly roasted nuts with lower sodium.


Including seeds into your trail mix adds an extra punch of nutrients and texture. Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds each have unique qualities that are beneficial to your health and make a great alternative to nuts if you are allergic.

Dried Fruitsdried-fruits

Dried fruits are a great source of natural sweetness and can be used to spruce up your trail mix. Dried fruit is filled with nutrients. One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package perfect for a portable trail mix.

Fun Ingredient


Whether it be M&M’s, dark chocolate chips, or popcorn, trail mix doesn’t have to be boring! It’s all about balance between the healthy ingredients and the fun ones. Add a fun ingredient to fulfill that sweet or salty craving.

Build Your Own

After seeing the four key ingredients to elevate your snacking experience, it’s your turn to build you own trail mix! Trail mix is super customizable, so there might be combinations you like more than others, but try them anyway! Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Sweet & Salty – Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon

Energy – Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, dried cranberries.

PB&J: Peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, wheat cereal.

Classic: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt

Nuts for Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, raisins.

Beach Mix: Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes.

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