Kelley Gaston

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

Category: LU Food (Page 1 of 2)

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

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!

 

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

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

A Late Night Pizza Pie

I don’t know why, but my chef expertise and skills always happen after 11 p.m. Whether it’s coming back from a late night library sesh or heading to the kitchen after a night with friends, I always make the best meals at this hour of the night. So, don’t be surprised when I tell you a couple nights ago (at 11 p.m.) I made probably one of the greatest looking and tasting pizzas a 21-year-old could make. What makes this pizza so much better than others that college kids whip up? Well, it could be the 8 pounds of cheese I sprinkled on top, or it could be the extra layer of mozzarella I placed on the surface of the dough before covering the rest with homemade tomato sauce. I’m honestly not sure where the success comes from, but all I know is that I had to literally hide it from scavenging, hungry sorority girls.

So, what exactly did the pizza consist of for those of you who would like to try and make it (even though I promise it won’t look as good as mine!) Start off with large, frozen pizza dough. Mine was already prepared, I didn’t have to roll out the dough or anything, which makes the cooking process so much easier. As you probably know, the key to a good pizza is cheese. So, I like to put a layer of cheese right on top of the dough and on the crust area. Next, sauce. Lots of tomato sauce. Make sure to spread it evenly. Then, another layer of cheese. Mozzarella will be your best bet, but I also put a layer of parmesan too. After a sprinkle of garlic powder and basil, pop that sucker into the oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it’s lightly golden and crispy (depending on how cooked you like your pizza). That’s it. Simple, quick and delicious!

pizza pizza 1

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

One of my favorite breakfast dishes is eggs benedict, and when I say this I mean any variety of eggs benedict. I’ve met a number of people who get sick of the classic eggs benedict, which includes a poached egg, Canadian bacon and hollandaise sauce over an english muffin. I am one of these people who has had the classic eggs benedict so many times that I thought I’d spice up the breakfast a bit.

Since crab cakes are my ultimate favorite seafood meal, I thought why not replace the eggs benedict’s Canadian bacon with a fresh crab cake. I didn’t think this would ruin the taste of the poached eggs or hollandaise sauce, but actually enhance both. So, I toasted my english muffin, baked myself a nice crab cake, poached an egg and made hollandaise sauce. Although there’s really not many varieties when it comes to english muffins and eggs, there are different hollandaise sauces that depend on the person’s preference. The hollandaise sauce I prefer comes from the Food Network. What the sauce includes is:

4 egg yolks

1 tablespoon of freshly quizzed lemon juice

1/2 cup of unsalted butter (melted)

pinch cayenne

pinch salt

Now, I always use a little more lemon juice than I probably should because I enjoy the sourness when it is combined with the eggs, english muffin and crab cake. I think it works really well together. But other than that I keep the hollandaise sauce pretty traditional. If you’re feeling a little “iffy” about your eggs benefit capabilities, check out these directions. 

crab cake eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce

crab cake eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce

A Bagel Basket Breakfast

If you’ve ever interacted with the Lehigh student body, I highly doubt that anyone, I mean anyone on this campus including greeks, non-greeks, athletes, student senate members, band members, etc. has never heard of Bagel Basket. And for those of you who swear that you have never heard of the popular breakfast spot, then I’m truly sorry because you’re missing out on one of the greatest breakfast spots in the Lehigh Valley. Although I’ve heard their breakfast sandwiches can cure the morning after a long night out, I believe these sandwiches are suitable for anytime of the day. Bagel Basket is located just over the hill, past the Lehigh athletic facilities. If you’re on main campus than it’s about a 8 minute drive, but it’s totally worth it.

 

Bagel Basket bacon egg and cheese

Bagel Basket bacon egg and cheese

Bagel basket bacon egg and cheese

Bagel Basket bacon egg and cheese

Although I recently wrote a blog post on the Paula Deen’s bacon, egg and avocado breakfast sandwich, in terms of tastefulness, I think Bagel Basket is comparable. With over 10 different types of bagels, the options are endless. They even have chocolate chip bagels if you’re feeling a little risky. I personally wouldn’t get a bacon egg and cheese on a chocolate chip bagel but then again you don’t know how something tastes unless you try it. For me, I enjoy a classic toasted multigrain bagel with crispy bacon, over easy eggs and American cheese. Although some may argue this is too simple, sometimes I order the sandwich with a hash brown inside. Probably not the best choice in terms of calories, but whose counting. So step away from your regular Johnny’s and Dunkin’ Donuts visits and get to Bagel Basket. As a Lehigh student, I guarantee you won’t have a bad breakfast sandwich. There’s a reason so many students talk about the business- “satisfaction guaranteed.”

Late Night Snack

Ok, so I’ll admit it, I love a late snack. Although these late night feedings often consist of a bag of chips, some pretzels or a spoonful of peanut butter, last night I was feeling a little hungrier. No, it wasn’t because I missed a meal that day. To be honest, I just wasn’t in the mood for a bowl of cereal or some rice cakes. I wanted a “fourth meal” as Taco Bell says.

Luckily, it wasn’t just me who had this late night craving. One of my sorority sisters also agreed that she would be willing to eat another meal. However, we didn’t want to just make a grilled cheese and some soup, like we sometimes do at 12 a.m., but we wanted to show off our domestic skills (if any). We knew three things that night. We wanted eggs. We wanted avocado. We wanted bacon. We thought for a second. A recipe, that’s what we needed. Who in the world would know how to make the perfect egg and avocado sandwich? Then it hit us, well me actually.

Paula Deen. I’ve seen her on the cooking channel, heck I had even met her last Christmas in Savannah, Georgia. Her love for butter is fascinating. I knew somewhere on the internet there would be a Paula Deen bacon, avocado, egg sandwich that we craved for…with butter of course! Sure enough, it didn’t take long for us to find one. The “Paula Deen Fried Egg and Avocado Sandwhich.”  So we didn’t have green onions or parsley for the cream cheese, but overall it tasted pretty darn good. Although Paula claims this is an “easy” level recipe. I think we exceeded our expectations. FYI the creation tasted much better than the pictures make it look!

egg, bacon, avacado, cream cheese, tomato on whole wheat toast

egg, bacon, avacado, cream cheese, tomato on whole wheat toast

egg, bacon, avacado, cream cheese, tomato on whole wheat toast

egg, bacon, avacado, cream cheese, tomato on whole wheat toast

Lehigh Quesadilla

Another reason the UC at Lehigh rocks. Salsa Rico. This Mexican cuisine never gets old whether you order a burrito, taco, quesadilla…etc. The reason students love it: so many options, and it’s  simply just good. This “Baja-style Mexican grill” is a definite must for those of you at Lehigh.

Cheesy quesadilla from Salsa Rico at Lehigh's UC

Cheesy quesadilla from Salsa Rico at Lehigh’s UC

Chicken Finger Friday

It’s Friday everyone! You know what that means… it’s “chicken finger friday” here at Lehigh University! Whether you’re dining at Lower Court, Rathbone or your own sorority and or fraternity, make sure you get yourself some golden, crispy chicken tenders! Although sides vary, I recommend a nice bowl of mac and cheese. Nothing like comfort food on a cold Friday afternoon! Luckily for the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi, they get to look forward to tenders and creamy mac and cheese every Friday thanks to their chef, Kelly!

creamy mac and cheese made by alpha omicron pi's chef

creamy mac and cheese made by alpha omicron pi’s chef

Crispy chicken tenders found at alpha omicron pi

Crispy chicken tenders found at alpha omicron pi

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