The Guide to College Kitchen Essentials

Among the many challenges of college, learning to cook or prepare food for yourself is one that tends to sneak up on people. One minute you’re living in the dorms hitting the nearby buffet, and the next minute you’re living off-campus trying to figure out what utensils or items you need to fix dinner.

While we can’t help you work through the cookbook, we can help breakdown what you will likely need in your kitchen and what each item is used for!

Spatulas

  • A metal spatula will help you flip things like eggs, pancakes and cookies while still keeping it all intact.
  • A rubber spatula will help you with heavy doughs and scraping that last heap of peanut butter out of the jar. This one is shaped like an egg so you can get the ideal image of what you’re trying to cook.

Spoons

  • A slotted spoon will help when making soups and pastas, so you can have the perfect mix between noodles, the broth/sauce and whatever else you’ve added to the dish.
  • A wooden spoon will help you stir the pot, but won’t burn your hands! Additionally, the wooden material won’t affect the taste of your dish like a metal spoon or be a melt-risk like a plastic one.

Knives

  • A chef’s knife is used for both slicing and dicing a wide variety of common ingredients that fall under the fruit, vegetable, meat or fish categories. This knife is the most important and versatile one you will own.
  • Paring knives are important because they do the job of a chef’s knife on a smaller scale. They are used for slicing and mincing smaller ingredients like strawberries and shallots.
  • A serrated bread knife is important for getting a clean, useful cut of bread. While they are mainly used for bread, serrated knives are extremely useful for safely sawing through foods with waxy surfaces like watermelons or tomatoes. Here is a great option for an entire set of knives in a great variety of colors.
  • With all these knives, you’ll also need a cutting board. A plastic cutting board is cheap and safe and won’t dull your knives out like a glass one. Cutting boards protect both knives and counters and make it easier to transport prepared ingredients to the next destination. This set of plastic cutting boards are pre-marked with the type of ingredient you should be preparing on each mat.

Utensil Drawer

  • A Y-shaped vegetable peeler does the same job as a regular vegetable peeler, but more. It can peel, not only your basic carrot or cucumber, but also harder-to-peel foods like mangoes and different kinds of squash.
  • A can opener might not be the first thing that comes to mind for a college kitchen, but when you need a quick meal, a can opener will make it easier to whip up some black beans, a pre-made soup, or any other canned food item.
  • Locking tongs will toss a salad, flip meat that is cooking on the grill or in a pan, and make it easier and safer to saute vegetables. These tongs can really lend you a hand … because they’re shaped like them.
  • An instant read thermometer is important if you plan on cooking any meats or fish. If meat or fish is not brought to the appropriate temperature, you can run the risk of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella.
  • It is important to have measuring cups for both wet and dry ingredients. Especially when baking, being able to measure out how much of each ingredient you are using is certainly useful. These measuring cups are shaped like fish so your baking will go swimmingly.
  • Measuring spoons are good for spices and ingredients that will always be used in smaller amounts. Try finding ones that fit in the spice containers you typically use.
  • A whisk is important for a variety of processes in baking, but also for making delicious, fluffy eggs in the morning.

Other Important Items

  • A salad spinner will remove excess water out of lettuce, pasta and fruits! It is really useful for making sure your produce is fresh and clean. Salad spinners can also be used for a variety of less conventional things like washing clothes!
  • A wire mesh colander is necessary for draining the excessive water out of a cooked pot of pasta. One with handles or legs will hold the colander up so that the noodles aren’t sitting in their own water at the bottom of the sink (yuck).
  • A rimmed baking sheet is especially useful for creating one-pan meals like the one in this blog post. It will also help prevent any spillage of cookies off the pan!
  • A skillet is necessary for sauteeing veggies, making an egg scramble and a variety of other recipes.

Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

On Deck: Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner

Baseball season is now in full-swing and that means it’s time for our annual Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner! Our baseball-themed dining event has been a staple of our spring events for years, featuring food straight from the ballpark. This year will also be the return of Seventh Inning Stretch to Martin Dining Hall after Martin closed for renovations last school year, so mark your calendars and get ready for an exciting, delicious event!


Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner

Date Location Time
April 12, 2017 Martin Dining Hall 5-8pm

The dinner is Wednesday, April 12 from 5-8pm at Martin Dining Hall. The menu is set to feature authentic stadium fare with snacks like soft pretzels, boneless wings, mini corn dogs, mozzarella sticks, nachos and popcorn. The main course offerings are highlighted by items like a hot dog bar, burger bar and BBQ pulled pork from The Q and more. And of course, it wouldn’t be a day at the ballpark without some ice cream, cookies and cupcakes for dessert, or some fresh squeezed lemonade to drink!

If you hot dogs, burgers and pizza aren’t your thing, there are some delicious alternative options like pita chips and hummus, grilled chicken, black bean burgers and more. Check out the full menu below.

We look forward to seeing you on April 12 at Martin Dining Hall for our annual Seventh Inning Stretch Dinner!

Menu


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Revisiting One Miami Special Dinner

Featuring a menu highlighted by food from around the world, the One Miami Special Dinner was a unique – and delicious – event. Recipes from 10 countries, including China, South Korea, India, Canada, Nigeria and others were served, providing guests with a varied dining experience. Whether you were craving Korean beef (South Korea), or wanted to try the tater tot poutine (Canada), there was a little bit of everything for everyone.

Some recipes from the United States also made appearances, like the Chicago-style hot dog and the chorizo and Monterey Jack pizza. Miami’s exclusive ice cream flavor, Red Brick Bliss, from Young’s Dairy located in Dayton was available for dessert, along with lemon sorbet.

As students came in, they also had the opportunity to add a pin to our world map to represent their hometown. By the end of the evening, the map was covered with pins in various countries around the world, highlighting the diversity in Miami’s student body.

Check out our Facebook album for photos from the dinner and make sure you like our Facebook page, so you don’t miss our next special dinner event! We still have a couple more lined up this semester!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Staff Spotlight: Christopher Pioske

As a music education major, a career in food service wasn’t on Christopher Pioske’s radar as a student at Miami University. After graduation though, Pioske joined Miami’s dining services as his wife finished up her degree and found more than a temporary job. Now a general manager at Armstrong Student Center, Pioske says he has found a career at Miami in dining services.

“To be honest, I never worked in food service when I was in school here. I did a little cooking at home, but when I started here, it was just a job,” said Pioske. “I came in here thinking it was just something temporary, but then I found I really enjoyed cooking and really enjoyed being involved with the university. It just kind of evolved into a career.”

Pioske began working in dining service at Bell Tower Place as a food service worker. He worked his way up to a manager position there before heading to the Middletown campus to run its food service operation for a short time. He was offered – and accepted – an interim general dining manager position at Armstrong and took the position officially in January 2016.

“When I was in school, a lot of my best experiences revolved around eating and dining halls,” said Pioske. “I had great experiences in the dining halls, and I want to do what I can to continue to provide those experiences for students today.”

As general dining manager, Pioske oversees the full-time and student-staff across Armstrong’s eight dining venues. He ensures lines are moving as smoothly as possible, checks in with staff and guests and monitors the business of one of the busiest halls on campus. Overwhelming for some, the bustling nature of Armstrong is one of the things Pioske finds most exciting.

“It’s definitely never boring. Everyday is a completely new challenge. You might be short help one day, or maybe you’re going to have extra groups, which are going to increase your guest numbers, so it’s challenging that way,” said Pioske. “I really enjoy the variety that comes day-to-day and meeting those challenges, along with my team, to give students the best experience we can.”

While Pioske finds the challenges throughout the day to be the most exciting part of his job, his favorite part of the job is the sense of community that comes with working in dining. Whether working on the Middletown campus with student-employees or on main campus with a mix of full-time and student-workers, Pioske has always felt a togetherness and genuine interest in the well-being of others.

“I hate to call it a sense of family, but it kind of is like family,” said Pioske. “Everybody feels responsible for each other and they care for the well-being of one another. I think it’s neat that no matter where you go, no matter how much you might argue with somebody, you know that at the end of the day they care about what happens to you. I think that’s a very special thing that we have as a department.”

For Pioske, an important part of providing the best experience for students is building those relationships, not only with his team, but with the guests who pass through Armstrong.

“It ensures we are able to provide the best service possible. To have that relationship with your employees means that they’re going to go above and beyond to make your guests happy and will do that extra little bit to get through the rush,” said Pioske. “And for our guests, hearing feedback can give us some fulfillment in knowing that we are meeting their needs or can provide an opportunity for us to improve their experience.”

When he isn’t working, Pioske spends most of his time playing with his two young children. With one almost two years old and the other four, he enjoys taking them places to experience new things. He also enjoys games, crosswords and reading in his free time. Anything that makes his brain work.

As a college student, Pioske never expected to find a career in food service. After finding a career in dining at Miami, he thinks it’s interesting to look back at how a music education major became a general dining manager at Armstrong Student Center.

“It just goes to show that no matter what direction you think you’re going to take, sometimes you find something else as you’re going along,” said Pioske. “You never know who is on the other side of that counter or where they come from.”


The Hard Questions

Favorite dish to prepare? To eat?

Prepare – I like to bake. I bake all sorts of things, but I probably like baking cookies the most.

Eat – I really like seafood. Seafood and pasta. I don’t think you can go wrong with some shrimp or something in pasta.

What’s your least favorite food?

Raw carrots.

What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

Probably how to clean a variety of stains out of things. It’s two small children. They take food, they take drink, they take everything, and it’s always everywhere.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Let’s just stick with my pasta. How about we just start out with a nice caprese salad. Maybe some cantaloupe with prosciutto. Something light for an appetizer. Then we’ll have some shrimp scampi. For dessert … what would I have for dessert? Cheesecake.

When are you happiest?

I’m happiest when I’m spending time with my family.

What is the title and genre of the book about your life?

I’m going to go with fantasy adventure for the genre. It’s about the journey, the experiences and overcoming challenges. I don’t have a good name for one though.

What do you want to be famous for?

I think I would want to be famous for something like discovering the cure for something or finding something that benefits mankind.

If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?

I would probably take my crosswords, for one. Oh, is there power? Is there internet on the island? That would probably be a thing then. I would take my internet. I don’t know … I try to avoid ending up on islands. And I’m just going to be practical and say sunscreen. Sounds like a good way to hangout.

Cat or dog? I own cats, but I prefer dogs.

Cake or pie? Pie. That’s an easy one.


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Tasty Ways to Top Toast

It seems like every month there is a new trend in toast, so we weeded out the good and the … not so good to bring you a list of some of our favorite ways to eat toast! Try them all and tell us your favorite, but don’t just butter us up — we really want to know!

Ricotta

My personal favorite way to eat toast is to top a slightly browned slice of sourdough with ricotta and lox (with a piping hot cup of coffee on the side, of course!). This recipe is super easy and is pretty much a more gourmet version of a bagel.

If you’re looking for something a little more sweet, you could top a piece of ricotta toast with a fruit like figs, strawberries or blackberries. Some other savory options include a caprese toast with ricotta, basil, and tomato slices (preferably from a grape tomato) with a balsamic drizzle or toast topped with ricotta, beets and arugula. You can find even more ricotta toast options here.

Avocado

Most people have at least heard of avocado toast, but have you tried it? While it might feel a little “extra” to mash up a ripe Haas, it is most definitely worth it. Give your avo-toast a little mediterranean zest with lemon juice, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, a hard-cooked egg, and a drizzle of tahini.

For a fresh, simple taste, top your toast with avocado, arugula and lemon juice. For an afternoon avocado-filled adventure, you could barbeque some shrimp and toss it atop a bed of avocado toast and spray with lime juice. You could even add feta cheese crumbles and scallions to your classic avocado toast or find more recipes here! Avocado toast is versatile meaning you can add pretty much whatever you’d like!

Greek Yogurt

Bread topped with … yogurt? Heck yes! Put down the smoothie bowl and pick up a butter knife to spread your smoothie onto a piece of toast! Top toasted bread with greek yogurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit for a healthy twist on two breakfast classics. You could use any flavor of greek yogurt and any type of fruit.

Try strawberry greek yogurt with cocoa nibs for a chocolate-covered strawberry toast. Or add a chocolatey-styled greek yogurt to toast and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sweet breakfast treat.

Hummus

Top toast with hummus for a protein punch! You can add any veggie to hummus toast, but we love to add roasted asparagus, asiago cheese, and fresh lemon juice. For a refreshing treat, add cucumber and cracked pepper to your hummus toast. You could also top toast with both hummus and avocado (in slices) for a protein double whammy. Add radishes, arugula and pepper to that for a little bit of bite. If you’ve never tried microgreens, you definitely should. This delicious, fresh produce packs a healthy punch in a tiny package. Add them to your hummus toast along with feta cheese for a delicious snack anytime of day. You could also add roasted kale and your favorite spice!

Tag us in your artsy food pictures and share your favorite recipe!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Mary Johnson

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Mary Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef, overseeing hot production, grade manger and the bakery at the Demske Culinary Support Center, where all centralized production for campus takes place. Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are her hobby.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I am from Louisiana and have a passion for cooking and renovating. I am a mother of seven and after having the privilege of being a stay at home mom for 32 years, I returned to school and graduated from Cincinnati State with a culinary degree. I’ve been with Miami University for 11 years.

My experience at Miami has been challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling. I began as a senior cook, was quickly promoted to food production leader, and then chef. I am now an executive chef. I have worked in dining halls, restaurants, and hot production at the Demske Culinary Support Center (DCSC).

Gingerbread houses and fruit carvings are my hobby. I have recreated, in gingerbread, many of the buildings on campus including Lewis Place, McGuffey, Old Main, Upham Hall, and more. I have done many fruit carvings for different events at the president’s home, dining halls, and NACUF’s competitions.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I am the executive chef at DCSC. Currently my responsibilities include oversight of hot production, garde manger and the bakery at DCSC, where all centralized production for campus takes place. My day-to-day duties include monitoring all activity between the three units, handling issues that develop during the day, notifying the units if products will be late, if substitutions will be made, and clarifying any discrepancies in orders. My most important role is to make sure all our customers get quality products, correctly, and on time. If at any time this does not happen, it is my responsibility to make the necessary corrections are made with as little inconvenience to the customer as possible.

I have input into menu choices, setting rotations for hot production’s soups and sauces, garde manger’s Uncle Phil’s Express items, and the desserts and pastries from the bakery. I also consult with different staff on event menus, providing information as to what my departments can provide. The bakery provides all the cakes, cookies, and specialty items for the “Me to You” program, and provides input on holiday promotions as well.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

I think “Put Your Best Fork Forward” means that every bite counts and that taking small steps to changing our eating habits can be positive steps to, hopefully, lifetime changes. I think the key to success is finding a variety of healthy foods you enjoy. It is easy when you love what you eat. The MyPlate guidelines suggest half your plate should be filled with vegetables and fruits (adding slightly more veggies than fruits) and the other half should be filled with grains and proteins. Of course, color is key, so include a colorful mix and you will get plenty of nutrients. Oh, and don’t forget your dairy. A glass or low fat or skim milk is a great choice.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

I think they can opt for healthy options offered by our dining services. Healthy options are a must on Miami’s menu. We work hard to give our students quality food. We give student access to ingredient and nutritional information and want to help them make informed, intelligent decisions. Healthy grab-and-go items are readily available if students are pressed for time. They should make a conscious, concerted effort to find healthy food they like, follow the MyPlate guidelines, make it colorful and it will be easy for them to “put their best fork forward.”


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Scott Rouse

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Scott Rouse.

Chef Rouse is an executive chef at Miami University with over 30 years of experience in food service. Chef Rouse is over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall and Dividends, in addition to the Middletown and Hamilton campuses, helping plan and execute Miami’s dining services.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

I’ve been in food service for 30 years. I’ve done many different types of food service. (i.e. Hotels, Fine dining, Senior living, Contract Food Service, Colleges, office buildings, and Free Standing Restaurants.) I’m a graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in May of 1991 and I love Creole & Cajun food.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I’m one of the executive chefs here on campus. I’m over Garden Commons, Martin Dining Hall, Dividends, the Middletown campus and the Hamilton campus. I help plan and execute many different aspects of dining, from special dinners to limited time offers, to the regular four-week menu rotations. I oversee daily production of menu items and assist where needed; anything from covering for someone on their break in the production kitchen to stir-frying in the Asian concept Zen.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

I believe people can make healthy food choices at any time, not just during National Nutrition Month. We always have healthy options available from baked fish to roasted vegetables to grilled skinless chicken breast. Not to mention all of the tasty vegan and vegetarian offerings. The hard part is sticking to those choices long-term to actually change your eating habits. I know this is much easier said than done. Believe me, I love a good cheeseburger just as much as the next person.

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

Neale Donald Walsch said “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” and I couldn’t agree more. Try something new. Maybe try the three sisters stew or the roasted cauliflower or some other dish you haven’t tried. Vegan, vegetarian or otherwise. Even if it’s just a bite of something new. You may just find your new favorite dish.


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

One Miami Special Dinner Primer

On March 30, we will be hosting the One Miami Special Dinner at Western Dining Commons for our first special dinner of 2017! Come join us for an event that will feature an exciting menu with items from across the globe that you’ll only be able to find on campus during this dinner!


One Miami Special Dinner

Date Location Time
March 30, 2017 Western Dining Commons 5-8pm

Look for items like Vietnamese noodle salad (Vietnam), Korean beef (South Korea), potato pancakes (Germany), roasted Japanese eggplant (Japan), chickpea curry (India), and many other delicious options.

The menu will also be featuring some unique North American additions with tater tot poutine (Canada), chorizo and Monterey Jack pizza (Southwest US), Cincinnati chili (Cincinnati, OH), and Chicago hot dogs with toppings (Chicago, IL), among others.

If you’re looking for some special sweets, a Red Brick Bliss (Dayton, OH) Sundae Bar will be available with sundae toppings or you may opt for a tasty helping of crepe cake!

We’ll see you at Western Dining Commons!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Talking National Nutrition Month with Chef Casey Johnson

March is National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign, focusing on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

So, we reached out to some of our talented and experienced chefs and asked them to share their advice for making healthy food choices this month and beyond. Today’s chef is Chef Casey Johnson.

Chef Johnson is an executive chef at Miami University, overseeing Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place and King Cafe. Chef Johnson, originally from Ohio, went to culinary school in New York, interned in West Virginia and found his way back to Ohio before taking his current position with Miami University’s dining services.


Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your background in dining.

My name is Casey Johnson. I’m originally from Toledo, OH and have lived in both New York and West Virginia for some time. I attended college at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and, while in school, I did my internship with the Greenbrier Hotel & Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.

After graduation I participated in the M.I.T program where I was a teaching assistant/sous chef at The Caterina de’ Medici restaurant on campus for Chef Alberto Vanoli for a year. Once I completed the M.I.T program, my wife and I decided to move back to Ohio for her to attend school, while living in Toledo. I worked in a couple different Italian restaurants and finally became sous chef for a local restaurant, Mancy’s Italian Grill.

From there I moved into a food & beverage director position for Hilton Garden Inn where I was one of the opening managers for their Findlay, OH property. During that time, my wife was accepted into the graduate program here at Miami University, so we moved south and I ended up getting one of the executive chef positions here at the university.

Q: Tell me what you do here at Miami, the different tasks you are responsible for and what role you play in our dining services as a whole.

I’m responsible for overseeing the management of Armstrong Student Center, Bell Tower Place, and King Cafe. That includes the day-to-day needs of each property, recipe management, proper food safety, and concept development. The chefs on campus are here to back up and assist the front line staff members. We obviously do a lot of the planning and technical recipe work, but the front line staff plays the biggest role in our dining service department on campus.

Q: The theme for National Nutrition Month this year is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” to emphasize that each of us holds the tool to make healthier food choices. What does this theme mean to you and in what ways do you believe people can make healthy changes to their diets during National Nutrition Month and beyond?

“Put Your Best for Forward,” to me, kind of summarizes what I had already planned for my year. Between the birth of my daughter at the end of 2015 and me turning 30 this year, I’ve decided to make healthier choices in my own life. I’d like to make the next decade of my life the healthiest one I’ve had thus far.

I’m a huge believer and advocate for the Farm-to-Table movement. I feel this movement can really help increase the healthier options on our plates. Eating whole, unprocessed food, and as locally as possible, is always going to be the best choice when trying to make a healthier choice. I believe this quote from Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food sums up my belief on healthy food, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Q: In what ways do you think students at Miami can “Put their best fork forward”?

I believe that if the younger generation helps to continue this Farm-to-Table movement by supporting local farmers markets and making seasonally, local choices, the demand for these product will increase, as will supply (hopefully). This will help make these whole, unprocessed foods more readily available, allowing more Americans to eat healthy at a lower cost.

The students here at Miami and at every university really do have the power to change something as long as they pay attention to the choices they make in their food. “Putting Their Best Fork Forward” is not only good for their health but the health of this planet.


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining

Healthy Meal Substitutions Worth Trying

A common misconception with food is that in order to make smarter, healthier choices, you have to give up all your favorite meals. That isn’t necessarily true. If you get creative, and a little adventurous, you will find there are plenty of ways to still enjoy your go-to meals by substituting ingredients with other, healthier alternatives.

We found a couple meals that fit the bill with simple substitutions that can be made to add a fresh, healthy twist. These meal substitutions are definitely worth trying in your home kitchen.

Breakfast

Everybody loves to start the day with pancakes from First Stop or Pulley Diner. While you’re home for spring break, try a new twist on this breakfast staple. You can replace regular pancake batter with two bananas and two eggs for a gluten-free meal! Try this basic recipe with suggestions for common add-ins! Added bonus: bananas are high in fiber and antioxidants.

Lunch

If you’re a fan of Boneless Wing Wednesdays, you can switch it up a bit by replacing the chicken with cauliflower! It’s super easy to make this vegetarian dish and definitely worth a try. Just bake some cauliflower, cover it in as much sauce as you want and bake again. Here’s a recipe straight from the source. Replacing chicken with cauliflower makes this dish more vitamin rich, lower in calories, and gluten-free.

Snack

A great snack for the warmer months ahead is one that will bring with it a twinge of nostalgia. Throwback to childhood summers of pouring juice into popsicle trays, but now imagine an updated, more health-conscious version. Try replacing sugar-rich juice, found in the popsicles of your youth, with greek yogurt. All it takes is your favorite sliced fresh fruit, plain greek yogurt, and a natural sweetener like agave nectar or honey. The creamy and delicious treat will melt in your mouth … literally.

Dinner

Even fans of The Q can get in on this whole substitution thing. Barbeque pulled pork gets a healthy twist by replacing the meat with … fruit! Jackfruit can be prepared so that it has the texture of the average pulled meat. Adding barbeque for flavor and then using it on a bun, taco shell, or plate of nachos turns the fruit into a great meat substitute. This cuts down on cholesterol and calories and adds in more nutrients. It is definitely worth giving a try in your home kitchen!


Stay connected and follow @MiamiUDining on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

twitter-min@MiamiUDining

facebook-min

/MiamiDining

instagram-min

@MiamiUDining