Kelley Gaston

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virgina Woolf

Author: Lehigh Lunchbox (Page 1 of 3)

NEW INSTAGRAM

I’ve finally become one of “them.” You know, those people who take pictures of every meal they order/make/look at/buy…etc. Yes, I am guilty of this, so-called “habit” why don’t you, but instead of storing all of these scrumptious photos on my iPhone (I wouldn’t have a problem with doing so, but my damn phone keeps bugging me saying I have zero storage left) I have decided to move these photos to Instagram, the wonderful social media platform that makes food look even more delicious through unrealistic filters. Anyways, I recently moved to NYC, so I’ve basically taken every meal I’ve ever eaten since I moved and uploaded it on Instagram. CHECK IT OUT: Ny.Lunchbox …. Goodbye Lehigh Lunchbox hello New York Lunchbox!

Fresh Summertime Flatbread

I know it has been a while since my last post, but hey, it’s summer right? Although I apologize for my lack of posts recently, there is a food creation I just had to share. A personal vegetable flatbread creation actually. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a meal, but it is the perfect snack, appetizer, side dinner dish or it could even be a light lunch. So, here it is.

What you need: any type of grilled flatbread (your choice!), ricotta cheese (to spread on bottom of flatbread), lightly cooked cherry tomatoes and grilled asparagus.

Flatbread

What next: Take the flatbread, spread as much ricotta cheese you want (I usually put a bit more than I should), layer a few cherry tomatoes and some asparagus and there you have it! The perfect-somewhat healthy-dish!

Flatbread

Apollo Grill

A common conversation between two students at Lehigh is:

Student 1: “Hey, my parents are coming this weekend, where should I take them to dinner?”

Student 2: “Oh, that’s easy, I always take my parents to Apollo.”

So, there’s the answer. Apollo Grill across the bridge (as in the North Side of Bethlehem). Their menu includes a variety of cuisine from Italian and Spanish, to American. Not only is it a sophisticated place, but the restaurant offers outdoor seating so you can enjoy people watching, because come on, we all enjoy people watching at times. Apollo is a great time and definitely worth the wait (yes the line to be seated is often long). But, if you’re smart you should make a reservation beforehand.

So, my experience with Apollo was great. What did I order? Well, besides a nice glass of red wine, me and my mother ordered an appetizer of crab stuffed tacos, and for dinner some nice short ribs. If you don’t believe me when I say they were probably the best ones I’ve had in my life, and the grits underneath the ribs really topped it off. Just look at the picture I’ve posted. Doesn’t need much explaining, right?

short ribs

A Simple and Balanced Lunch

My recent posts included links on how to eat well for summer. What many people think is that eating healthy includes dieting when in reality the biggest part of eating well includes a balanced meal and portion control, which means having more vegetables and fruits on your plate than carbs or starches. For example, here is one of the lunches I had this week provided by my sorority’s chef:

lunchThis is a perfect example of a well-balanced meal. I’m sure you already know that the more color on your plate, the better. I would say that the picture above displays a great amount of color and variety. And the best part about this meal is that it took 5 minutes to make. On the left is a simple turkey and cheddar sandwich toasted and melted on whole wheat bread. You can save over 50 calories just by replacing white bread with wheat. The turkey and cheese provide protein and dairy which is essential. For my vegetable, a simple salad did the trick. Some tomatoes, cranberries, sunflower seeds, cucumbers and a little balsamic vinaigrette is all you need. Ok, so what about that cup in the back? What’s in there? I’ll admit, the cup of soup in the back probably isn’t the healthiest choice, but sometimes you need a little treat, a little pick-me up, and to be honest the soup really isn’t that unhealthy….except for the salt and bacon it contains. Although the soup isn’t needed for this balanced meal, the fact that it’s in a small cup instead of a large bowl helps. Once again, portion control is key. You don’t have to eliminate sweets and carbs from your diet to be healthy, just keep them to a minimum. Instead of an entire plate or bowl of pasta, for example, buy smaller plates and cups!

 

Summer Health-Kick

Summer is almost here, and if you’re like me and the rest of my friends you’re probably trying to find a way to eat healthy for the next couple of weeks so you can fit into that bikini hanging in your closet. Lucky for you, I found a couple of websites which include plans to start that health-kick you desire. Although we all know being healthy includes exercising and what-not, a health-kick really begins with what you put inside of your body and what you eat. No, I’m not saying you need to be on a special diet to be healthy, but eating right goes a long way.

1. Eating Well 

A pretty self-explanatory website, Eating Well includes a number of healthy summer recipes. From low-cholestral meals to recipes for a flat stomach, Eating Well has it all. Their website even has videos that you can watch to make your life a lot simpler when it comes to cooking.

2. Self

Self Magazine rewards their readers with a 1,600 calorie bikini body meal plan. The plan includes three daily meals, a snack and a treat. Yep, you get to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner get to indulge in a snack and you even get dessert. Sounds pretty good if you ask me.

3. Women’s Health 

Women’s Health wrote an article called “The 30-Day Bikini Body Meal Plan.” Although it is quite similar to the Self diet, this meal plan is only 1,500 calories. Although that seems like very little, the article guarantees that you will feel satisfied and quite full after each daily meal. They even say that if you’re feeling hungry throughout the day you can chomp on any fruit or vegetable. They give you day-by-day meals to create and most of them aren’t too complicated. From chicken-wraps to Skinny Cow ice-cream sandwiches, the meals are quick and affordable. Which is what every college kid wants to hear.

Spring Tailgates

Now that it’s officially spring, I thought people may enjoy browsing some websites I came across that talk about how to prepare food for a top-notch tailgate. Why a tailgate? Well, spring is when outdoor sport teams finally come out of hibernation from the winter. With the 70 degree weather we’ve experienced here at Lehigh, attending outdoor games has been quite popular among the student body. But what do most college students love more than supporting their fellow Mountain Hawks? Tailgates. So, here they are. A couple great websites which explain how to make some great food for a tailgate.

1. Food Network

I’ve talked about Food Network before in my blog because I think they have a great selection of recipes for every occasion. Of course they have a number of recipes for tailgate food. In fact, they don’t provide their readers with just one or two recipes, but 50. From chili to calzones, food network explains how to make each dish.

2. Bleacher Report 

Bleacher report claims they have 10 of the best tailgating foods ever. The post has over 23,000 reads, so people must agree. Right? Through pictures and clever titles like “Breakfast of Champions,” I must say I’m pretty convinced that these dishes are worth making. Since the site, in general, is made for sport viewers, I’m sure the creators of the article know exactly what they’re talking about.

3. Southern Living

Southern Living is definitely trustable when it comes to tailgate food. The South is pretty much known for having large universities and good sport teams. So what are people who attend the games doing hours before the game? Tailgating of course. Southern Living explains this and offers ready-to-serve tailgating recipes. Most of the food is easy to make and is as simple as burger sliders. All you need is a grill and a cooler and you’re set. I highly recommend checking the article out.

SteakNEggs

Tulum

For those of you who attend or have attended Lehigh, than you probably know of the mexican restaurant right off campus, Tulum.  I think one of the reasons this restaurant is so popular among Lehigh’s student body is because it’s quick in terms of service and easy to get to. It’s right near campus square, so one doesn’t need to venture too far. With this in mind I think it’s also clear that people frequently stop by Tulum because of their food. The food is authentic and while there’s classic items on the menu, like a cheese-quesadilla, they also have more creative dining options like a burrito filled with chicken and wing sauce. Which brings me to my next topic, the “wingaritto.”

If you aren’t familiar with the term wingaritto, it’s basically what it sounds like- a burrito with chicken wings and hot sauce. This is one of Tulum’s most popular and requested item, so what I’ve been told from my student sources. So, what else does this burrito include? Well, what does every classic burrito have inside? Rice, beans, lettuce, tomato, etc. When you add fresh and shredded chicken to this burrito and smother it with hot wing sauce, then you’ve got yourself a wingaritto. Although I probably don’t recommend trying it if you’re not a fan of spicy food, for the rest of you who enjoy a little heat, this is the item for you.

So, in the end, if you’re visiting the area or go to Lehigh and have never been to Tulum, get up and go… and try that wingaritto.

Tulum wingaritto

Tulum wingaritto

Fun Food

For this post, I thought I would share some fun food sites I came across. These are sites that I came across which I often check up on each day. If you follow me on twitter (k_gaston) then you probably notice I often tweet these websites because they have such interesting and usually funny food news. So, here they are! Enjoy!

Food Beast 

Food beast is probably one of my favorite food websites. Most of the news and information they post on the website is written as a satire, but is true at the same time. Besides posting entertaining pictures, the things they write about always make me laugh. If you’re looking for a light-hearted and airy food website than I recommend food beast.

Huffington Post 

Huffington Post-Taste is a little more serious, but can also be quite entertaining at times. If you’re looking for a more serious and toned down website about food than Huffington Post is the site for you. They have articles about certain businesses to individuals (regarding food of course), so I definitely think you should check it out if you want to tweet about food.

Stir-Fry

Last week I made one of the best stir-fry a college student could make. All by hand and with no measuring cups or recipes. So, how did I know what to put in this stir-fry and how much soy sauce, pepper or oil to add? Well, to be honest it was just luck. I’ve learned that you can’t really go wrong with stir-fry. As long as you include a vegetable, a sauce, some salt and pepper and you’re golden. And if you mess up your stir-fry it’s not the end of the world, you can always get a new pan and some new ingredients and start over. Luckily with my expertise I didn’t have to start over.

What I included in my stir-fry was buckets (and I mean buckets) of noodles, a little bit of oil (to get it sizzling), soy sauce, pepper, salt, spices and loads of vegetables. So, what kind of vegetables make a great stir-fry? From my experience you can’t go wrong with any vegetable. For this stir-fry I included onions, bell peppers, broccoli and celery. If I could re-do this stir-fry recipe, however, I would not have put the celery in. I’m not a huge fan of the vegetable to begin with, so including it in the stir-fry was a simple mistake. Otherwise, the dish tasted delicious. And the amount  I made could probably feed a small country. Oops! The best thing about this meal is that it only takes 15 minutes to make, including chopping vegetables and prep-time! noodles

Spring Snacks

Spring has finally arrived and summer will be creeping up before we know it! For that reason I thought it would be nice to list two websites I’ve found which include a number of spring meals and snacks. From healthy to not so healthy, these links provide recipes and ingredients on how to make fresh, spring meals to get in the seasonal spirit! Although each website has a list of meals, here are two entrées that caught my eye!

1. Sarah Yates Blog 

This blog, created by Sarah Yates, provides a slideshow of “7 So-Healthy Recipes for Summer.” One of the meals she lists is a kale and blood orange salad. I’m a huge fan of both ingredients, so I was thrilled when I found out it could be whipped up in 7 minutes. Here’s what else Yates lists about the salad.

Ingredients
1 small bunch dino kale
4 small oranges
1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
High quality extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt or other large flake finishing salt

Directions
Remove stems from kale (it’s preferable to have a small bunch of dino kale, the leaves will be less bitter)
Wash greens, dry in a salad spinner or with paper towels and tears into manageable pieces. Massage kale to soften it (more about massaging kale here).
Cut peel from 3 of the blood oranges and slice into rounds.
Combine greens, shallot slices and oranges on a plate.
Drizzle with olive oil, squeeze the juice from the remaining blood orange over the salad and generously sprinkle finishing salt over the top. Serve immediately! (Directly from her blog).

2.Martha Stewart

One of my favorite cooks and home-stylist is Martha Stewart. She offers a variety of spring ideas on her website, and one of these being bacon covered potatoes. Sure this may not be the healthiest of snacks, but they sound delicious. All you need is 8 bacon slices and 16 small potatoes. And the directions are even simpler: “preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each bacon piece around a potato and secure with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish and bake until bacon is crisp and potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes.” Two ingredients and two steps later and you get these!

bacon potato wraps

bacon potato wraps

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