Maryland bill would restrict what foods may be labeled ‘meat,’ as artificial substitutes become more common

By: Hugh Garbrick, Capital News Service

Senator Jason Gallion, R-Harford and Cecil, read from testimony in the Senate Finance Committee. Photo Credit: Hugh Garbrick
Continue reading “Maryland bill would restrict what foods may be labeled ‘meat,’ as artificial substitutes become more common”

Meal Planning and Food Prep: The Lifehack to a Successful Fall Semester

By Shane Solomon-Gross

Have you ever spent way too much time dwelling over the question, “What’s for dinner?”  You’re not alone. Often when this problem arises, you’re already in the thick of a “hangry” episode, wherein you’re too hungry and angry to make a healthy choice for your next meal.  The choice that follows is one of convenience – a prepared option that may or may not be what you’re craving, probably isn’t the most healthy, and will likely cost much more than if you planned ahead and prepared the meal yourself.

As with your coursework, the famous Benjamin Franklin quote “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” also applies to your diet.  Meal planning and food preparation are fantastic life hacks designed to save you time and money, reduce your food waste, and put you in charge of your nutritional goals.

Time management is crucial to a successful college career.  At the University of Baltimore, a school that caters to the nontraditional student, students must build course schedules that are conducive to other various demands at home and work.  Managing all of these activities together is a juggling act. Classes one night per week, typically running from 5:30-8:00 PM, can put a serious strain on dinner time if you aren’t prepared.  For many, the solution is too often found in a drive-thru after class.

There’s a better way, and it’s not that difficult!

If you’re not confident about your cooking abilities, meal planning is a fun way to ease your pain in the kitchen.  Meal planning encourages you to reconsider your relationship with food and teaches you how to construct your shopping list with purpose.

So how is it done?  It’s easy! Just follow these five simple steps:

  1. Consider the inventory you already have on hand – If something has been sitting in your fridge or cupboard for a while and you just haven’t been able to find a purpose for it, take the opportunity to work it into your meal plan for the week.  Obscure items can be fun, and the challenge of incorporating unconventional ingredients keeps the process creative. If this step doesn’t interest you, consider donating your non-perishable goods to the UB Campus Food Pantry.
  2. Look at your schedule for the upcoming week – Effective meal planning requires you to think ahead.  When planning meals for those nights when you have a late night class, consider preparing enough for dinner the night before so you can pack leftovers!
  3. Choose your meals – There are limitless resources online where you can find recipes to suit your nutritional goals.  One of the best resources for meal planning is allrecipes.com, an online recipe aggregator that allows you to search for recipes based on meal type, dietary restrictions, and most importantly, ingredients (here’s your opportunity to use that obscure ingredient).  Search for recipes with common ingredients to shrink your shopping list. Many different cuisines incorporate the same ingredients as a base to develop vastly different flavors. When you employ variety in the same ingredients, you’re less likely to fall off the meal planning wagon.  Common dynamic ingredients include onions, rice, garbanzo beans, bell peppers, and eggs. The possibilities are endless! Excellent options for meal prep are recipes which require little to no preparations on the day of. If you have a slow cooker at home, look for recipes to put it to use. A favorite recipe of mine is overnight oats, a simple and healthy breakfast option.
  4. Shopping – Create a list of all the ingredients needed to create your meals for the week.  Cross off any items you already have on hand, and hit the store! Try to have a snack before you go to the store, warding off hunger that can lead to impulsive and excessive off-list purchases.  Avoid buying pre-cut or prepared food. These options tend to be much more expensive than their unprepared counterparts. Purchase in bulk whenever possible and always be mindful of specials. If you find a cheaper substitution to an item on your shopping list, don’t be afraid to change your it.  
  5. Food Preparation – Save time by preparing as much of your meals as possible beforehand.  If you can, chop your vegetables and fruit, and portion out your snacks for the week as soon as you return home from the store.  If you have items such as rice, chicken, or beans that typically take a while to cook, you can do so ahead of time to reduce your time in the kitchen later on.  

These guidelines are far from exhaustive, but will serve as a great starting point for those interested in meal planning.  

For additional resources, check out the UB Campus Food Pantry in Room 202A in the Student Center.  It’s a free resource available to all UB students, faculty, staff, and alum!

 

Overnight Oats Recipe

½ Cup rolled oats (may substitute grits if gluten-free)

½ Cup non-fat milk (may substitute almond or soy if vegetarian/vegan)

½ Cup non-fat plain yogurt (may substitute greek yogurt or peanut butter)

1 Cup fruit of your choice

 

Add oats to your container of choice and pour in milk before layering fruit.  Refrigerate overnight and enjoy in the morning!

A weekend of food, entertaining, and fun

Metro Cooking DC returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

The weekend of Nov. 8 brought about the ninth annual Metro Cooking DC, a cooking and entertaining show that takes place every year around the same time—just in time to help with the holidays for entertaining inspiration and the opportunity to pick up some unique gifts for family and friends. The show hosted an estimated 18,000 attendees over the weekend and with a cost of just $20 to attend the show, it’s no mystery why; it’s a steal of a deal! But like every show, there are ad-ons available.

General admission tickets include admission to the Tasting &
Entertaining Workshop Area, James Beard cooking demos, the exhibitor marketplace which featured more than 300 vendors selling specialty food and other related products.

Headliners Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay presented demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, adding on the opportunity to see them live ranges from $35-95 or attend a book signing with them (book included) for $35. Of course, if you wanted to make a weekend of it, $80 got you a ticket to both shows. But the show didn’t stop there; the Grand Tasting Pavillion, a crowd
favorite, was $59.50 for 35 tickets to use to sample food from over 40 different local chefs and restaurants. The best part? All of the above add- ons included the general admission ticket in them.

A show like this would not have been complete without some spirits though, so for an additional $24 attendees could have visted the beer, wine, and spirits pavilion, or for an additional $55-120, they could have attended private cooking classes learning knife skills, how to make holiday hors d’ oeuvres, or fondant cake decorating.
Lets break down the show

Celebrity Theater

Backstage, Guy Fieri signs a fellow chef’s jacket at a mix and mingle event available to the public with the purchase of a VIP ticket.
Backstage, Guy Fieri signs a fellow chef’s jacket at a mix and mingle event available to the public with the purchase of a VIP ticket. Photo courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

Saturday, Nov. 8 brought Guy Fieri to the celebrity stage entertaining guests with his normal Fieri flare. Sunday, Nov. 9, Bobby Flay came to the same stage, demonstrating to onlookers how to make a red wine sangria, a pan roasted chicken with chimichurri sauce, and a vegetable paella.
Marketplace

The Marketplace is where exhibitor’s set up in droves to expose the masses to their unique wares and services. Almost everyone had something to sell on the spot, whether that be chocolates from local Baltimore Parfections, or Flavor Bombs’ (www.flavorbombs. com) creator Gio from New Jersey. Vendors came from around the country with the hopes of making some extra holiday money and offer attendees special show specials; whether it be skincare products, hand-crafted aprons, or flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Grand Tasting Pavillion

While demonstrating his talents, Bobby Flay interacts with the audience
While demonstrating his talents, Bobby Flay interacts with the audience. Photo courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

For an upcharge, attendees could purchase 35 tickets to use in the tasting pavilion. It cost one ticket for each vendor’s item, with over 50 items to choose from over 40 different local DC chefs and restarants.

Vendors ranged from high-end chain locations like Dean & Deluca and Blackfinn to local favorite spots like Food Wine & Co. and Sweet Teensy bakery. Vendors were not providing bite or two-bite tastings, but rather hearty portions that not only filled attendees up, but also left many in a food coma state.

Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavillion

Slightly disconnected from the rest of the show was the beer, wine, and spirits pavilion, which offered roughly 50 varieties for those who purchased a ticket for that portion to enjoy. The wines ranged from stateside to international wines, but disappointingly, there weren’t any local wines. The alcohol was only there for tasting and could not be purchased, making for a serious disconnect with the rest of the show, which was either local or available for purchase. There were a variety of approximately 15 craft beers available as well. A. Smith Bowman Distillery was on hand to serve up their delicious bourbon and gin, and Anestasia Vodka was also serving their smooth vodka that’s made in Oregon, but available in Maryland and DC through a local distributor.

Also available in the pavilion was an education area to learn from wine and cocktail seminars. Hopefully, they will improve this next year by having local wineries come and do tastings, so that not only can attendees taste, but also buy. Exhibitor Standouts:
~Karen Mary Confectionery (www. karenmaryco.com) for their fresh hand-crafted marshmallows

~SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier (www. spagnvola.com) for their local hand- crafted truffles made with chocolate from the Dominican Republic. They offer free weekend tours of their factory located in Gaithersburg, MD.

~Kurykahveci Mehmet Efendi (www.mehmetefendi.com) for their Turkish coffee and the education they provided about it

~Laconiko Olive Oils (www. laconiko.com) for their wide selections of delicious flavored olive oils

~Bee Raw LLC (www.beeraw.com) for their delicious honey varieties

~Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi (www.threelittlepigsdc.com) for their out-of-this-world smoked meats and seafood, like their smokes salmon, slab bacon, duck prosciutto, Tasso, and Jerky

~Lilly’s Gourmet Maple Butter (www.fossgourmetfoods.com) for their Maple Sugar Butter that was out of this world

Tastings Standouts

~BlackFinn (www.blackfinndc.com) for their tuna tartare

~Smith & Wollensky (www. smithandwollensky.com) for their beef carpaccio

~The National Press Club Fourth Estate Restaurant (www.press.org/ restaurants/fourth-estate) for their calamari cakes

~Food Wine & Co. (www. foodwineandco.com) for their celery root vichyssoise

~The Chocolatier’s Palette (www. thechocolatierspalette.com) for their incredible melt-in-your-mouth chocolates in flavors such as Spiced Mango, Lavender Blueberry, and Tomato Basil. Yes, Tomato Basil (originally created for Giada de Laurentiis)

~Giffords Ice Cream (www. giffordsicecream.com) for their Maine inspired ice cream in flavors such as Mt. Katahdin Crunch

~ Silo (www.silodc.com) for their tasty shrimp and grits

~Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen and Bar (www.caesars.com/baltimore) at Horseshoe Casino for their B-more Fries

Gallery Photos courtesy of Jessica Greenstein

Feature Image courtesy of Brendan Kownacki

Lunch and learn at the library

By Laura Melamed

Bring your lunch to Langsdale Library’s upcoming discussion series

Bring your lunch to Langsdale Library’s upcoming discussion series. Photo by Laura Melamed for the UB Post
Bring your lunch to Langsdale Library’s upcoming discussion series. Photo by Laura Melamed for the UB Post

What comfort food do you eat while you cram for an exam? Students have favorites that may not make the grade when it comes to recommendation by nutrition experts. Still, students’ favorite snacks appear to provide at least some motivation—as these students can still be seen at the library studying.

Donuts with any kind of filling are Stephen Boyd’s favorite. Boyd, who works at the Langsdale Library, usually studies at home. The library’s policy allows small snacks, but Boyd likes to have at least six donuts handy.

“Only while studying for an exam,” he said. “Otherwise I eat ridiculously healthy.”

“I usually get whatever I can get my hands on,” Paris Johnson, another UB student who works at the library, said Johnson is referring to brownies of any variety. She likes to study in the library’s open area near the expansive windows with an extended view of the city.

A little more particular in his brownie choices, student Don Clark likes to eat vegan brownies from local restaurant Liquid Earth. His favorite study location in the Langsdale Library is a third floor table overlooking Penn Station and Station North.

Nachos were number one for Alex Tremble, UB alum who used to work at the Langsdale Library.

Cliff bars, chai lattes, apples, and chips were Abdu Eaton’s favorite study foods before he graduated from UB. Also a former Langsdale student employee, Eaton could often be seen studying in the library.

Librarian Tyson Fogel likes to snack on spirulina carob energy chunks while taking online classes.“Besides that,” he said, “the nice cheap-o peanuts.” He also likes apples, pears and anything else reasonably healthy that he doesn’t have to cook.

Pringles and granola bars are student Danielle Reaves’s favorite study snacks. Reaves, who just started working at Langsdale Library, likes to hang out in the library’s study rooms where she can munch and learn.

Lunch and learn at the library this semester in a series of informal talks given by faculty in room 319. This is a unique lunchtime opportunity for professors and students to discuss various topics, for faculty to network, or for any member of the UB com- munity who simply wants to learn. The library will provide lemonade and cookies.

Three discussions are currently scheduled:

Sept. 30, 2014, 1-2 p.m. with Sujan Shrestha from the School of Information Arts and Technology.

Oct. 22, 2014, 1-2 p.m. with Sharon Glazer from the Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences.

Nov. 20, 2014, 12:30-1:30 p.m. with Carol Molinari from the School of Health and Human Services.

For more information please contact Mike Kiel at skiel@ubalt.edu or 410.837.4236.

And enjoy your lunch.