You gotta eat something

Don’t fall into the trap of fast-food convenience

Photo By Tom Angel

A lot of you new students will be living on your own for the first time, away from Mom and her willingness to do your laundry, clean up after you and fix your meals. OK, you can survive with dirty clothes and a messy room, maybe, but you gotta eat, right?

How you tackle this chore is pretty darned important to your health, both physical and financial.

Have you seen the movie Supersize Me, in which the protagonist eats nothing but fast food for 30 days? It’s an eye-opener, and there’s a lesson somewhere amid all the added pounds, mood swings, pasty skin and damaged liver.

The message, of course, is no matter how young and healthy you may be, a steady diet of processed food cooked in buckets of lard is going to kill you and your wallet.

Do yourself a favor—get to know your local supermarket and where everything inside is located. Make going to there a habit before you get into the routine of heading for the McDonald’s drive-thru.

Better yet, get familiar with Chico Natural Foods (818 Main St.), the Saturday Farmers’ Market (Second and Wall streets) and S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods (1924 Mangrove Ave.).

And learn your way around the kitchen. It’ll make you a better person. Here are a few simple recipes offered by students who came before you.

Pita Pizza
Pita bread
Red sauce

Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dry tarragon

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and dress salad

Spinach Salad
Shredded purple cabbage
Chopped onions (purple)
Chopped broccoli
Chopped cucumbers (with or without peel)
Cherry tomatoes
Feta (optional)
Fresh ground pepper

Thai Noodle Cuisine
Chopped carrots
Green onions
Sliced zucchini
Peanut sauce (for variation)
Thai noodles (use instant “Thai Kitchen” brand noodle packs)

In a pan add 1 tbs. olive oil and cook sliced zucchini, mushrooms, onions and carrots on med heat for 3-5 minutes. Cook pasta. Cover with warm sauce. Place veggies on top. Garnish with Parmesan cheese (optional).

Taco Salad
Ground beef
Lettuce (use whatever kind you like)
2 cups grated cheese
2 diced tomatoes
1 sliced avocado
1/2 onion (purple)

Cook ground beef on medium heat until it’s completely cooked (season with taco seasoning or seasoning salt to add flavor). Set aside. In a bowl add lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and onion and mix together. Add the meat and mix all ingredients together (optional—salsa or sour cream).

Quick and Easy Chicken Fingers
4 chicken breasts, sliced
2 eggs
1 cup of flour
Olive oil
2 Tbs. seasoning salt
1 Tbs. ground pepper

In a medium saucepan turn on medium heat and add olive oil to coat the pan. Slice chicken breast and set aside. In a small bowl beat eggs together. In another bowl add flour, seasoning salt and pepper together. Take each sliced piece of chicken and cover it with egg and then put it in the bowl of flour until it is completely covered. Set it in the pan with the olive oil and cook on each side until golden brown.

Breakfast Burrito
Green onion (optional)
Bell pepper (optional)
Flour tortilla

Scramble eggs and add salsa and veggies together. Cook tortillas on medium heat for 3 minutes on each side and add eggs and veggies.

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Rice
1 can Campbell’s cream of chicken and broccoli soup
1-1/2 cups of water
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup uncooked regular long grain rice
2 chicken breasts

On medium-high heat cook chicken breasts. Slice into medium pieces to be put over rice; set aside. In a 2-quart saucepan, combine soup, water and black pepper over medium-high heat. Heat to boil; stir in rice. Reduce heat to low; cover, cook 25 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, stirring often. Top rice with the chicken.