Tag Archives: food

How To: Cauliflower au Gratin

-Rache’ll Brown

I may have a slight obsession with random, healthy food. I mean, an oil and sugar-free Cake in a Cup? Spaghetti made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles? Who does this kind of stuff? Obviously me. And obviously the next logical step in my obsession is to create a healthier version of one of my favorite dishes: potatoes au gratin. So I did just that, but knowing potatoes are carb-heavy, I thought it might be best to find a substitute. And then it hit me: cauliflower au gratin. So, I scavenged Pinterest for the perfect recipe. Unfortunately, I didn’t find one. However, I did find this Martha Stewart recipe that I was able to modify quite a bit to fit my needs. You are more than welcome to stick with Martha’s original dish. I’m sure it is just as delicious . . . maybe.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of flour
2 cups of unsweetened original almond milk
I medium cauliflower
Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

First, over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a thick paste—this is called roux. It is important to continually whisk your flour until it is cooked through, which takes about one minute according to Martha. Without continual whisking, the roux can be clumpy or burn, so be prepared for an arm workout.

Next, add the two cups of almond milk, seasonings of choice, and coarsely chopped cauliflower (it doesn’t need to be tiny, but you don’t want huge chunks).

Finally, place the cauliflower mixture into a baking dish and put it into a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for twenty minutes. I served it with a side of romaine lettuce and thought it was delicious. Initially, I wasn’t sure if the almond milk would thicken in the same way dairy milk would, but everything turned out perfectly: creamy and delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again, possibly with broccoli as well. Who says healthy can’t be yummy?

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How To: Healthy Spaghetti

-Rache’ll Brown

I love food. More importantly, I love carbs. However, my body doesn’t. When planning a meal, I try to find things that are good for me, but still taste like they aren’t. This is where spaghetti, made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles, comes into play – it’s a healthy substitute for a classic favorite.

Spaghetti squash is the perfect substitute for noodles because the stringy texture mimics the pasta just right. In the winter, like most, I enjoy comfort food – things that are filling and warm me up. Typically I eat a lot of squash (I’m obsessed with any type), and when I was younger my mom used to make spaghetti squash all the time. So I decided to give “healthy” spaghetti a try!

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash
Spaghetti sauce (I used Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce from Trader Joe’s)
Meatballs or some type of ground meat (I used Meatless Meatballs, also from Trader Joe’s)

First, you need to bake your squash. This website told me to pierce holes in it and microwave for ten to twelve minutes. I stabbed that squash nearly twenty times with a knife, then with a large fork (purely because I read that it can explode and the thought of that terrified me), then microwaved it for eleven minutes. It turned out perfect, although the sizzling noises made me a little paranoid while it was cooking.

Next, take your squash out of the microwave and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then take a fork and shred the soft flesh. This might sound hard, but it really isn’t. Just make sure to hold it with an oven mitt or kitchen towel because it’s really hot and you don’t want to burn yourself. Next, microwave your meatballs and sauce according to the directions, and pour them on top of your “noodles.” Voila! It’s ready to be devoured.

Overall, I thought this meal was delicious. The taste of the spaghetti squash is pretty neutral, so it paired great with the traditional spaghetti toppings (although I wouldn’t use the same marinara again – I like garlic, but it was a bit much). A medium-sized squash made about 3 cups of “noodles,” so it could serve multiple people, or offer leftovers. I am definitely going to make this again!

Hot Meals for Cold Months

-Marissa Tomko

There are lots of reasons for not cooking every night in college. Perhaps you’re one of those overachievers who just doesn’t have any time to eat anything but canned soup. Or maybe you are lucky enough to have roommates who like to cook and always give you their leftovers. And of course, there’s always the off chance that you’re like me, and the chef gene missed you entirely. Whatever your case may be, there is a solution to your kitchen woes. With it getting colder out there, it is so nice to have hearty meals to warm you from the inside out. I present you with my three favorite meals to do just that. All three have been adapted from Allrecipes.com. The best part about them is that you can freeze them once you’ve prepared them and bake them just about any time that you wish!

Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

12 oz package of macaroni
1 egg
2 cup smilk
2 tablespoon melted butter
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper as needed

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease 2 quart baking pan.

Directions:

1. Cook macaroni for half the time stated on the box.

2. Whisk egg and milk, then stir in butter and cheese until thoroughly mixed.

3. Evenly distribute noodles in baking pan.

4. Pour egg/milk/cheese mixture over macaroni. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir well.

5. After pressing the covered noodles evenly into the pan, cover and freeze, or bake uncovered for about 35 minutes.

 

Enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
4 cups shredded chicken
1 onion
1 can green chilies
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 package corn tortillas

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Directions:

1. Chop and caramelize the onion

2. Mix together cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chilies, 1 cup cheese, and onion in large mixing bowl.

3. Place 1 tortilla on flat surface and spoon the mixture into the middle.

4. Add chicken, and roll up.

5. Place into 13×9 baking pan, and repeat with remaining tortillas.

6. Pour leftover mixture evenly over enchiladas, and sprinkle the left over cheese on top.

7. Cover and freeze, or bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

 

Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup crated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 16 oz package lasagna noodles
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Directions:

1. Cook ground beef until brown.

2. Add in onions, stirring until sautéed.

3. Stir in pasta sauce.

4. In mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs.

5. Spread thin layer of meat mixture on the bottom of 13X9 pan. Layer uncooked lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, and mozzarella. Repeat until ingredients are used.

6. Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze, or bake for 45 minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Oven-Roasted Brussel Sprouts

-Emily Fraysse

If you’re looking for a good snack that is healthier than the looming box of Cheez-Its in your pantry, look no more. I hadn’t tried brussel sprouts until a year ago when my friend made this super easy recipe for me as a snack (although it could also make an excellent side dish). These sprouts contain good amounts of vitamins A and C, folic acid, and fiber. It’s easy, delicious, and nutritious.

Oven-roasted brussel sprouts with lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil:

Estimated Time: less than 20 minutes

Ingredients:

½ to 1 pound of brussel sprouts
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, halved, and slivered, or you can buy pre-chopped garlic at Trader Joe’s
Juice from 1 lemon
Sea salt
Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the bottom part and half each of the brussel sprouts. Trim away any outside layers of each brussel sprout.
Place the cut, washed brussel sprouts in a pan.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over all the brussel sprouts. Then mix in garlic so that it covers each of the sprouts. Toss on some salt and pepper.
Put it in the oven for about 7 minutes or watch it carefully until they start to brown a bit on the sides.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream

-Marissa Tomko

Eating pumpkin during autumn and winter is just a thing that everyone does. I have fought my love for pumpkin-flavored treats for almost twenty years until I finally realized it was a losing battle. Nothing else tastes quite as festive! Plus, with all of the rain we get here in the Northwest, it’s nice to be able to hold a little bit of warmth right there in your own hand! Admittedly, I am not much of a baker. However, I have been inspired to try my hand at this whole baking thing. I stumbled upon KG Cookin’ Cupcakes, a blog run by a UO student who is all about baking cupcakes. Enter my new favorite fall-time indulgence: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Chai Buttercream, a recipe by KG.

PUMPKIN CAKE:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
A few shakes of cinnamon
2 eggs
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
A splash of vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and blend until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and pumpkin. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, alternating with additions of milk. Blend until fully incorporated. Divide among lined muffin tins and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before icing.

CHAI BUTTERCREAM:

1 1/2 sticks butter (room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
Splash of vanilla
A couple shakes of cinnamon
About 1/4 cup chai concentrate (KG used Oregon Chai. This depends on taste and consistency: the more chai, the more runny the buttercream will be)

Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until incorporated. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and the chai and blend until light and fluffy. If the frosting gets too runny, add some powdered sugar. Spoon or pipe the mixture onto completely cooled cupcakes.

Happy baking!

Image from http://kgcookincupcakes.blogspot.com/

A Solitary Snack: Cake For One


-Rache’ll Brown

I have a massive sweet tooth. Honestly, it’s a problem. I am constantly craving sugar, and sometimes exercising self-control can be hard, but I’ve discovered the perfect solution: Cake in a Cup! While browsing Pinterest, I discovered Chocolate-Covered Katie and her Single Lady Cupcakes, which inspired me to create a healthier, single-serving dessert for myself.

Cake in a Cup
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 packet of sugar-free hot chocolate (or normal hot chocolate!)
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
Splash of vanilla (I never measure!)
1 tablespoon of sugar-free applesauce (or vegetable oil, if you aren’t trying to be fat-free)
Water (Just add enough to make the batter wet – the constancy shouldn’t be super thick and pasty, but it shouldn’t be really runny and thin!)

Mix all of the ingredients together directly in your mug, and then microwave for one minute. Sometimes I add colorful sprinkles on top, but usually the plain old cake is good enough for me! Of course you can substitute different ingredients to tailor the dessert to match your taste – you could omit the hot chocolate mix for a more plain cake, or add chocolate chips, sugar or nuts for more flavor. You could also use pumpkin or banana instead of applesauce for a more autumnal feel.

The best thing about this recipe is how easy it is to alter it to create a dessert that fits whatever you are craving, and since it is only one serving, you don’t have to worry about the leftovers haunting you from the kitchen! So, the next time you are craving a little something sweet, reach for a mug and create a cake in a cup. It’s simple and delicious, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand anyway.

Celebrate the Season with a Pumpkin Treat

-Rache’ll Brown

Anytime someone mentions fall, my brain automatically goes to turning leaves and pumpkin treats. So, on a Saturday morning while scrolling through Pinterest, a certain recipe caught my eye: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.

Growing up, anytime I had the opportunity to make cookies, I usually chose snickerdoodles. Something about taking little dough balls and rolling them in cinnamon sugar is just so fun, and when I saw the combination of one of my favorite cookies and favorite fall flavors (Seriously, September through December I am fueled off pumpkin), I knew I had to make them.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles:

3 3/4 cups flour (For a traditional taste, use all-purpose, but I subbed with whole wheat which created a different flavor)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The process is easy enough. First, mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, and then cream together the wet ingredients in a second bowl with a hand blender. Combine them thoroughly, adding the flour in a little bit at a time, and then let the dough chill covered in the fridge for about an hour. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and mix together ½ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. You’ll also need a flat cup with a slightly moistened bottom to flatten the cookie balls on the sheet. Once the dough is chilled, scoop about 2 tablespoons out at a time and create small balls.

Roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mix, place on a cookie tray, and then flatten with the bottom of your cup.

After baking for 10 to 12 minutes, take out and place on a cooling rack. Or, like me, you can enjoy straight out of the oven with a cold glass of almond milk. This makes a huge batch! I made twenty-four cookies and still had to freeze half of the dough (which lasts four to six weeks, if you are wondering). These are the perfect treat for a cool autumn night, and are even better when shared with friends.

Flux Playlist: Songs About Food

-Flux Blog Staff

Everybody knows that Thanksgiving is about one thing and one thing only: the food. An entire day in which we can eat as much turkey and mashed potatoes as humanly possibly without a shred of guilt. And while the holiday may have already passed, it doesn’t mean that some of us aren’t still living off the leftovers from Turkey Day. So here’s a list of songs to listen to while you munch on your leftovers.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Mike:

  • Lost in the Supermarket -The Clash
  • Bangers & Mash -Radiohead
  • Red Wine, Success! -Cold War Kids

Tamara:

  • Candyman -Christina Aguilera
  • Pumpkin Soup -Kate Nash
  • Corona & Lime -Shwayze

Sam:

  • Crap Kraft Dinner -Hot Chip
  • Party in my Tummy -Yo Gabba Gabba
  • The Worst Pies in London -Stephen Sondheim

Lizzy:

  • Peanut Butter Jelly Time -Buckwheat Boyz
  • Be Our Guest -Beauty and the Beast
  • Hungry Eyes -Eric Carmen

Hannah:

  • Pork and Beans -Weezer
  • Ham and Eggs -A Tribe Called Quest

 

roure@uoregon.edu

The Wonderful Uses of Grapefruit

– Madeline Dickerson

One of the joys of nature that I’ve come to strongly appreciate lately is how in the winter when the markets are closed and the majority of fresh fruit is shipped pesticides and all from Mexico, citrus fruits, and particularly grapefruit, are actually in season. Grapefruit is probably my favorite in the citrus family because it’s tart, sweet and juicy all at the same time. So, if you have a case of the winterblahs, pick up some grapefruit and you’ll understand why its Latin name is Citrus Paradisi.

Unlike many of the foods I’ve covered in this blog so far, grapefruits are relatively new to the culinary world. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, grapefruits formed from a natural cross breading between the orange and Pummelo and were first discovered in the 18th century in Barbados. They are the only citrus strain not originating in SE Asia.

Originally called the forbidden fruit, it wasn’t until 1814 in Jamaica that the fruit got its modern name based on the way it grows in grape like clusters on the tree.  Probably the most well known type of grapefruit is the Ruby Red, but there are also pink and white varieties as well. The color refers more to the flesh color rather than the skin color.

The pink color of grapefruits comes from lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the occurrence of tumors and fight free radicals. While extremely good for you, care should be taken if you are on prescription medications as grapefruit juice can sometimes interfere with these drugs, making them more potent.

For those of you who vowed to go on a diet for your new year’s resolution, the infamous grapefruit diet probably isn’t the best choice. Started in the 1930’s, and originally known as the Hollywood diet, it is based on the idea that the fruit contains a certain compound that when eaten with proteins triggers fat burning which causes weight loss. Dieters are encouraged to eat half a grapefruit and primarily protein for all meals. Unfortunately, it seems that much of the weight loss is due to water loss and is regained soon after the 12-day diet ends. However, at the same time, grapefruits might be a good addition to a more reasonable diet plan since they have been shown to reduce insulin levels causing you to feel fuller and less likely to eat unneeded calories.

When choosing grapefruit at the store, don’t worry too much about skin discolorations or scratches but stay away from ones with rough, wrinkly skin as it could be a sign of more skin, less juicy flesh. Also, choose ones that are heavy for their size and are firm but slightly springy.

One of my favorite and easiest ways to eat grapefruit is to simply cut it in half horizontally, cut the fruit segments away from the rind and their casings, then sprinkle with sugar and enjoy. For an added treat, toss that grapefruit sprinkled with sugar under the broiler for a minute or two and you’ll get a kind of grapefruit Crème Brûlée minus the Crème. Or, if you’re looking for a little vodka in your diet, pour an ounce over a grapefruit half, sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar and broil.

If you need a little more inspiration on what to do with those perfect grapefruits you just bought, check out the citrus salsa and shrimp, grapefruit, spinach salad recipes I tried, below. I also made a grapefruit mimosa, which I strongly suggest drinking while making the recipes for added grapefruit inspiration and, of course, to get your daily dose of vitamin C.

Grapefruit Mimosa:

Mix equal parts champagne and grapefruit juice in champagne flute, top with a mint sprig and a grapefruit wedge for garnish.

Citrus Salsa: Adapted from a recipe by TexasSweet

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 grapefruit, peeled sectioned, chopped

1 large orange, peeled, sectioned, chopped (I used a blood orange because I had one lying around)

1 medium tomato

1 cup diced green, red, and yellow bell pepper (the more color the better)

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1)   Mix grapefruit, orange, peppers, onion, cilantro, salt and sugar.

2)   Seed and chop the tomato. Combine with other ingredients.

3)   Drain juice before serving.

Shrimp and Grapefruit Spinach Salad: From MarthaStewart.com

Serves 4

Ingredients:

3 pink grapefruit

3 tablespoons wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I used honey mustard)

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 ½ pounds spinach, stems trimmed and leaves washed

½ red onion thinly sliced

1)   Peel the grapefruit, removing all of the white pith and slice about a ¼ of an inch thick.

2)   In a large bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. Drizzle in ½ cup of vegetable oil and whisk to combine.

3)   Season shrimp with some salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add shrimp and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes per side, turning once, until pink.

4)   Add grapefruit, shrimp, spinach, and onion to the vinaigrette in the bowl. Toss well and serve.

Sushi PURE

– Anna Klassen

You finally did it. After months of eyeing the cute brunette in your chemistry class – swapping notes, grabbing coffee, late night cram sessions before a test – you finally took the plunge and asked her to dinner, the real deal. And now the question lingers, where do you go that says “I’m not cheap” and, “I’m not trying too hard” all wrapped in one? Let me help you out.

Normally, restaurants in the 5th Street Public Market have been known by Eugeneans for tasty food and dining in a pleasant atmosphere, but for students, the prices attached to these eateries are far from friendly. Yet this isn’t the case for every eatery, such as Sushi PURE.

“We want to stress that while we are in the 5th Street Market, we are not expensive. We have a range of prices to fit everyone,” said Preston Shin, who co-owns the new Japanese restaurant Sushi PURE with Sunny Moon.

Grabbing sushi is makes for a fun date. Grab a few rolls and some wine to share and things could turn out in your favor. Not only is it entertaining to eat, but also the quality of the fish at Sushi PURE is beyond compare, according to its owners.

Shin said Sushi PURE deals with the largest fish distributor in Oregon, and he is its biggest buyer.

“I get the best fish,” Shin said. “There is a good and bad part to every fish, I buy in quantity to ensure that we have the best quality fish in Oregon.”

Shin and his staff have high standards for the fish they buy and prepare for customers.

“We don’t market or advertise, so we spend all of our money on the quality of the fish,” said Sterling Shin, cousin of the owner and chef at the restaurant. “People love the rolls, the Poseidon, Victoria’s Secret, and house rolls are very popular.”

Other rolls on the menu include Smooth Operator, a salmon, green onion, baked tobiko with a creamy sauce, and the Colosseum roll, containing lobster tail tempura with a house sauce.

The restaurant’s name was created by Preston Shin, with the realization that many Eugeneans would not be able to pronounce a traditional Japanese name.

“I came up with something simple, that gives a good image and reflects our concept,” says Shin. “We have a good chef with a good heart and we try to educate and converse with the customers, that makes it personal.”