All Posts Tagged With: "Food"
What students are talking about today (March 27th)
1. Students at Trent University are boycotting Aramark, the corporate campus food provider. They say it’s all about “food justice.” Sustainable Trent and others have given out hundreds of free meals as part of their campaign. “With nutritious vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and even local grass-fed meat options, this food is a much-needed remedy for students who struggle daily to meet their needs with Aramark’s limited and often processed selection at its cafeteria,” according to The Arthur student newspaper. This apparently isn’t just about food, but about “the tar sands, the prison industrial complex, and weapons manufacturing.” Who knew?
2. Toronto Police have arrested a 19-year-old from Maple, Ont. following two alleged “indecent acts” at York University. Police report that the same thing happened twice: on March 13 and March 21 the male student, visiting from another school, was in a lab and staring at a female when things turned, umm, indecent. Police say there may have been other incidents. The Excalibur student newspaper reports that York administration had not sent out a security bulletin email to students, as of March 25. There wasn’t a bulletin posted on its security bulletins website either, as of noon today.
What students are talking about today (February 13th)
1. The Queen’s Journal at Queen’s University is the latest to report on a very cool competition that promises to reward two Canadians with a ticket on a commercial flight that will blast more than 100 km into space. The Canadian competitors with the most votes on the Axe Apollo Space Academy website will join winners from around the world on a Space Expedition Corporation expedition sometime after 2014. If the flight doesn’t happen by the2017, winners will get $85,000 instead. Queen’s student Steven Humphries, currently 21st, got support by way of a Tweet from Queen’s president Daniel Woolf.
2. It’s not often that more than 1,000 people show up at a student union meeting but that’s what happened at the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s gathering on Tuesday. They were there to settle the debate over online voting, which has been pushed by reformers. The motion was narrowly approved by a vote of 575 to 567, reports The Varsity. UTSU president Shaun Shepherd and his colleagues are opposed to web voting while several of the college and faculty leaders who backed the motion are frequent critics of the executive. “I’m just so fed up with this school,” Shepherd said. Still, after an emergency meeting of the Elections & Referenda Committee, Shepherd added that “irrespective of whether or not we agree with them, we have to honour them—that’s democracy.”
Buzz Bistro’s buffet was a waste of money
Maclean’s On Campus is continuing the conversation by having students review food on their campuses and showing what it costs to dine. If you’re a student, you can help. Send us a review of the food at your school. Keep your receipts. If we publish it, we’ll reimburse you.
Two stars out of five
Total Price: $13.28
The artichoke salad was the only thing I managed to finish from my recent dinner at the all-you-can-eat buffet at Concordia University’s Buzz Bistro in the SP building of the Loyola Campus. I chose the bistro as it was the only hot food option I could think of that had a wide selection of meals.
Obama’s odds, no-money-down tuition, Halo 4 & a drug bust
1. It’s election day in America and things are looking good for President Barack Obama. Statistician Nate Silver, one of the most trusted seers of election results in America, Tweeted Monday that the latest polling suggests a very close election, but that Obama has a 91 per cent chance of winning the electoral college, which would give him another four years in office.
2. If it were up to student newspaper editors, Obama would win. The Daily Campus at Southern Methodist University is the only high-profile student paper to give Romney its endorsement.
3. More details are out from Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Glen Murray on his no-money-down post-secondary plan. Here it is. In partnership with private lenders, university students would be allowed to borrow up to $7,000 per year, roughly the cost of tuition and fees. Repayment and interest would start after graduation based on income. Loans would be interest free in the first 12 months after grad. The Canadian Federation of Students is opposed, naturally, saying it would “saddle youth with a lifetime of debt.”
Vegan food from Chartwells is affordable but unsatisfying
Maclean’s On Campus is continuing the conversation by having students review food on their campuses and showing what it costs to dine. If you’re a student, you can help. Send us a review of the food on your campus. Keep your receipts. If we publish it, we’ll reimburse you.
Chartwells at the University of Ottawa
Two stars out of five
Total cost: $6.60
It’s the Thursday night of reading week and I’ve broken my cardinal break week rule: I’ve ventured onto campus. A student newspaper meeting meant I was stuck at the U of O after 8:00 p.m. A growling stomach led me to the cafeteria where I was confronted by the limited vegan options.
The Point Grill’s food is mostly worth it, but skip the starter
Maclean’s On Campus is continuing the conversation by having students review food on their campuses and showing what it costs to dine. If you’re a student, you can help. Send us a review of the food on your campus. Keep your receipts. If we publish it, we’ll reimburse you.
Here is the first entry in our Campus Eats series of reviews. It’s worth noting that The Point is UBC’s fine dining restaurant; there are many more affordable options nearby. From Zafira Rajan:
The Point Grill at the University of British Columbia
3.5 stars out five
Total Price: $51.20
There are more options than ever, but they come at a price
This story is from the 132-page Maclean’s University Rankings, on sale now.
Katie Cvitkovitch, a second-year nutrition student at Ryerson University in Toronto, knows how to spot a healthy meal. One evening in September, she assessed the options in the dining hall on the first floor of Pitman Hall residence. For $13.25, she could buy a grilled chicken-breast sandwich, a side garden salad with fat-free dressing and a bottle of diet iced tea. It cost the same as the deadlier deep-fried version, with fries and a Sprite. As a former vegan, Cvitkovitch was pleased to see vegan shepherd’s pie beside the meat- and-potatoes version. Even the Tim Hortons on campus carries a vegan wrap. Cvitkovitch gives Ryerson’s food a high rating.
Her classmate Deanna Chong, also in nutrition, gives Ryerson decent marks too. She had no trouble finding a balanced meal: a turkey wrap, milk and a melon cup for $14.28. (Those with meal cards pay five to 15 per cent less.)
Still, neither student eats much at the campus dining halls or fast-food outlets run by Ryerson Food Services, the main food provider on campus. “Lunch is like 10 bucks and dinner is like 15,” says Cvitkovitch, “so that’s $25 a day that I don’t have.” A student who managed to spend $5 less daily for one academic year would save roughly $1,000.
Universities once had a reputation for offering unhealthy food, and not enough choice. But as the heat lamps and deep fryers are replaced with vegan alternatives and halal meats, some students say they have a new problem: it’s too expensive to eat on campus. Whether food is provided in-house (via a combination of school-owned franchises and old-style dining halls) or contracted out to a single institutional provider, universities are finding it difficult to meet the multitude of demands while also keeping prices in check. Continue reading The new beef with campus food
Campaign to fight obesity
Student leaders in Ontario say it’s time their peers took a stand against the food they face in cafeterias and in the fast food restaurants that often ring schools.
Tired of poor quality food options, they are rolling out a campaign calling on students to boycott fast food for the month of November.
The effort, called “Stick it to fast food” is launching under a provocative banner. Its logo, already emblazoned on T-shirts kids can order, looks both like a fork with a single standing tine — and a hand with the middle finger raised.
“In our school boards all the time we hear that cafeterias aren’t good enough, students aren’t healthy enough. Obesity rates are high. All these statistics. (But) when it comes to doing something, even the adults don’t know what to do,” says Hirad Zafari, a Grade 12 student at Toronto’s Don Mills Collegiate and president of the Ontario Student Trustees Association.
“So we thought: Why not, as the students who are elected to look out for the best interests of the students, do something to make it better?”
Three reasons I’ll avoid eating on campus from now on
I never used to be picky about where I ate, but after my last dining experience, that changed.
After an extremely difficult spring exam, I found myself starving with only 20 minutes to spare before an appointment. The first thing I found that looked even slightly appetizing was a ham and egg breakfast sandwich from an express food store on campus. I bought it and sat down to eat.
After a few bites, I felt something odd. Then I pulled a bread clip and two pieces of what I suspect were burnt plastic out of my mouth. It made me think hard about eating on the run.
UBC official blames union
Vancouver has a burgeoning street food scene, but students from the University of British Columbia will still need to travel off campus to experience it, at least in the foreseeable future.
Andrew Parr, the University of British Columbia’s head of food services, told The Province newspaper that he’s skeptical about whether food trucks and carts will ever be allowed on campus. That’s because union that represents food workers, CUPE 116, is opposed.
After Vancouver’s famous Japadog carts showed up at UBC in November, the union filed a grievance and the carts are no longer allowed.
University of Guelph economists predict grocery store competition will slow price increase
Canadians can expect some relief in food prices in the next year, according to a report by two University of Guelph economists.
The study, released Monday, predicts that retail food prices will rise 2 per cent in 2012, a modest increase compared to the 4.3 per cent pace of current food inflation. The price of meat, fresh vegetables and baked goods could rise up to 3 per cent, but the increase is small compared to what Canadians have endured in the past. In 2011, meat rose 5 per cent, fruit rose 6 per cent and baked good rose 7 per cent. Fresh vegetables topped the list with a 10 per cent increase.
The study notes that the opening of new grocery stores—specifically Wal-Mart Canada’s planned crop of super-centres and Target’s Canadian debut in 2013—will keep competition between stores high and slow food prices from increasing. Canadians spend an average of 10 per cent of their household budget on food.
Sylvain Charlebois, associate dean of research and graduate studies at Guelph’s College of Management and Economics, co-wrote the study with Guelph economics professor Francis Tapon. Charlebois told The Globe and Mail the modest increase will give budget-conscious consumers a break.
“The Canadian consumer will benefit from what will likely happen in the next couple of years in the food distribution sector,” he said. “There will likely be a price war.”
Urban students are getting dirty on campus
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings, on newsstands now. Story by Jason McBride
This past September, New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University held an event unprecedented in its 172-year-long history: a you-pick potato harvest. For the first five Saturdays of the new school year, students and Sackville residents were able to pick Russet and Superior potatoes from a boggy, 9.7-hectare farm in the heart of the campus. The rest of the spud harvest—a yield of 30,000 pounds—was transformed, to the delight of many ravenous undergrads, into fresh, hand-cut french fries and mashed potatoes in the kitchen at Jennings Hall.
Even when shown that it’s unhealthy, students pick bad food
Sorry dietitians, but a new study says that showing students how unhealthy their food is won’t change what they eat.
“Although it is important to inform consumers about the nutritional characteristics of the food offered, providing nutrition information in less healthy food environments is unlikely to alter consumers’ food choices,” researchers Christine Hoefkens and Wim Verbeke told Reuters.
Their study at Ghent University asked 224 students who regularly ate at the university’s cafeterias to log their diets for several days. Then, without participants’ knowledge, the researchers started putting up posters that showed how health meals were, using a three-star rating system (one star for the worst meals and three for the best) and warnings about high salt, calories and saturated fat content.
Six months later, the participants, once again logged what they ate. The posters didn’t change a thing. Students ate the same amount of bad food and no more good food than before.
New study shows a father’s diet can have a genetic impact on his offspring
A father’s diet can actually have an impact on certain genes in his offspring, according to researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin.
The study, which was published in the journal Cell, involved feeding one group of male mice a low protein diet, while another group was fed a normal diet. Hundreds of genetic alterations were observed in the offspring of the low-protein mice, including genes involved in fat and cholesterol production.
This finding suggests that transgenerational inheritance of environmental information is possible in mammals. In other words, it’s not just a matter of ‘nature versus nurture’ anymore- your parents “nurture” can affect your ‘nature.’
So if there are any nasty surprises on your transcript this semester, your study habits might not be the problem- you can blame your father.
-Photo courtesy of † Jimmy MacDonald †
If you’re living on a scurvy diet of raisin bread and Stove Top Stuffing, Maclean’s is here to help
Four 21 year-old University of Toronto undergraduate students are gathered around the table in their Woodsworth College residence’s communal kitchen on a recent Friday night inspecting a bounty of fresh vegetables. “Leeks!” shouts Tingting Zhang, a psychology and neuroscience major who could point out the difference between a ganglia and an axon in her sleep, but takes childlike delight in recognizing the ubiquitous vegetable before her roommates do. Karen Sohn, an economics and psychology major, holds a bunch of thin grass-like spears. “Chives?” It’s more of a question than an answer. Aaron Shapland, who studies Middle Eastern civilization and geographical information systems, takes the easy road and correctly identifies the lone red onion. Meanwhile, the bag of baby arugula stumps Dorin Manase, who studies biology and computer science. In fact, they’re all baffled. “Is that leaves?” asks Tingting. “It tastes like nuts.” In an age when all things gastronomic are featured front and centre in television, movies and blogs, you might think this bunch would be more food-savvy. But as Karen pops a yellow-coloured cherry tomato into her mouth, she confesses, “you couldn’t find four people who make more disgusting food.”
Maclean’s is here to help. We’re armed with three simple recipes, for a soup, pasta and mussels. All require just one pot, minimal ingredients and extremely basic kitchen know-how. Our mission is to get these four students eating better fare than Stove Top Stuffing, pasta topped with ketchup, and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup poured on top of a microwaved chicken breast, “Chicken à la King”: staple student meals from the 1990s. Surely times have changed.
Nobu Adilman, actor, writer, and one of the hosts of the Food Network’s Food Jammers, who graduated from Halifax’s Dalhousie in 1995, says, “It’s a matter of having only so many minutes in a day. You’ve got so much s–t flying at you and you don’t want to spend all that time on cooking. So you just eat to soak up the booze.”
Most students juggle full course loads, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities, which doesn’t leave a lot of free time to visit farmers’ markets, let alone plan a week’s worth of meals. Luckily, in downtown Toronto there are other options: “I don’t know if you saw the hotdog vendor across the street, but she’s going to be my best friend next week during exams,” says Aaron as he chops an onion. Dorin, who just finished an exam, ate cereal for his last three meals, while Tingting polished off an entire loaf of raisin bread yesterday: “Breakfast, lunch and dinner, just in my room,” she says. “I didn’t even use a plate because I was cramming: I had two assignments due.”
Bestselling cookbook author Bonnie Stern, who also runs a Toronto cooking school, has a brighter outlook on students’ eating habits. “They’re much more savvy than they used to be because of the Food Network. They love that feeling of making something—the excitement of it. It’s very cool now.” She ought to know: for the last 15 years her school has offered a university survival class for students leaving home for the first time. “They do have a short attention span so we try to just do one class and then pack it full.” One of the most popular recipes is an Asian-inspired salad dressing, named after her daughter Anna, “who went through all of university without eating a salad.”
Not all university students are clueless come dinnertime. Amanda Garbutt, 22, has been preparing meals since her first year at McGill University in 2006. “I would whip up something in the floor’s kitchen and no one else could even fry an egg.” Soon she was teaching her roommate basic kitchen fundamentals. “We’d buy identical ingredients and split the stove in half and she’d take the left side and I would take the right and we’d make identical meals.” Friends started coming over to watch. “They’d bring wine and it became a social event. And then I came up with BYOI, bring your own ingredients, and I would pick a recipe—a risotto, stew or soup—and assign everyone an ingredient to bring and it would end up being very cost-effective, and we’d all take turns stirring and chopping. It was fun.”
April Engelberg, also 22, met Amanda on their first day at McGill and came up with the idea of filming these sessions. The result was The Hot Plate, a show launched through TV McGill, the University’s student-run television station, in the fall of 2008. Engelberg and Garbutt, who graduated this May, are now developing The Hot Plate’s website, which features about a dozen instructional videos for simple dinners, and their cookbook, which comes out this month.
Like Stern, Engelberg has “noticed a massive trend toward students caring more about cooking. It’s cool to say last night I made risotto, and people are always taking pictures of their food and posting them.” Still, Garbutt says, “Some students go for the McGill pizza down the street. ‘Two bucks? I can do that for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I get scurvy.’ I actually know someone who got scurvy from a pure mac and cheese diet.”
Back in the Maclean’s kitchen, so far scurvy-free, we’ve hit a few snags. Tingting discloses that they don’t have a cheese grater. “I usually use a potato peeler,” she says. There’s also no measuring cup—no measuring device of any sort. More surprising is the absence of a colander from the kitchen of this pasta-loving group. “We use our hands,” says Tingting. “It’s not what you’re supposed to do?” When her three roommates cast steely glares in her direction, she adds, “We wash our hands first.” “Welcome to college,” says Aaron.
After they devour the leek and potato soup, which Tingting says “tastes like it’s from a restaurant,” the pasta is successfully drained, sans colander, and tossed simply with extra virgin olive oil, ricotta salata, cherry tomatoes and basil. “Mmm,” they hum. We do a second version with a handful of the arugula mixed in—a clever way to sneak a salad into a main dish. “I like it,” says Dorin, who’d earlier confessed to usually eating just meat. “I was skeptical. But it’s really good.”
The last recipe for curried coconut mussels, courtesy of Chatelaine, requires the most effort out of our three dishes—that is if you consider ripping out a few beards from the shells laborious. Not only are these bovines cheap (Chatelaine’s food editor, Claire Tansey, says they usually cost about two dollars for 250 grams) but they’re also high in zinc, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Pair them with a buttered baguette and call it dinner.
The four students gather round two kilos of steaming mussels piled high in a stainless steel bowl; not an ideal serving vessel for hot food, but it worked in a pinch. They all like mussels, but this was their first time making them. It’s also the first meal these roommates have shared since moving in together this September, although you’d be hard-pressed to tell: as they dunk their bread into the sauce and devour dinner, they talk and laugh as though this were a typical evening. “We should definitely do this again next Friday night,” says Aaron. Mission accomplished.
How to be a student locavore
Top tips from Canadian local food movement leaders Sarah Elton, author of Locavore, and Nick Saul, executive director of The Stop, a Toronto-based organization that strives to make healthy food available to everyone through community building, cooking, gardening, and food banks.
Get organized: “Students are great at pushing policy forward and getting their administrations to change,” says Elton, food writer and columnist for CBC Radio’s Here and Now in Toronto. She suggests students push to get “the university to have food procurement protocol that guarantees a certain percentage of food comes from local and sustainable farms.” Which is exactly what Local Food Plus, a non-profit organization committed to creating local sustainable food systems, did when they first teamed up with Aramark food services in 2005: a partnership that resulted in 10 per cent of the food served at U of T’s Aramark venues being certified local and sustainable, a figure they hope to increase to 25 per cent this year.
Buy in bulk: “It’s an affordable way of buying local,” says Elton. “Or buy directly from farmers. If a group of people share a purchase, it can ease the financial burden of a one time pay-out.”
Start or join a co-op: That’s what Elton did in university. “Choose one that focuses on buying local and sustainable food. I was able to buy great food at a price I could afford.”
Ask questions: Nick Saul of The Stop says, “Do a bit of a food audit on campus; that could extend to asking, ‘Why do we have these crappy pop machines?’ Or, ‘Why is the cantina serviced by these big bad companies?’ Doing a bit of muckraking in that sector is really important and can make a big change fast.”
Start a cooking collective or garden: “The food movement is pretty robust,” says Saul, “and I can’t imagine it not finding its way onto campuses, whether that’s more individually expressed through a house on campus where everyone is interested in local, organic, sustainable food and they figure out a cooking collective, or they take over a green space and have collective gardens or individual plots—that could easily make a pretty big mark.”
The crock pot is not just for you grandma
When I got a slow cooker for Christmas last year, I was ecstatic, and so were my roommates. While you may think a slow cooker, crock pot as it is sometimes referred to, is something only your grandma would use, it’s actually a great investment for a busy student.
After coming home after a long day of working or studying, the last thing most of us want to do is cook. The beauty of the slow cooker is you can toss in any kind of meat, frozen or not, some vegetables, seasoning and a bit of water before you head to class. When you get home, you’ll have meal that is ready to eat, involving very little cooking whatsoever, and is probably much better for you than another late night trip to McDonalds. Most slow cookers cost about $50, but you can also find smaller models for $30 or less, so they’re good for your budget too.
- 1 beef roast
- 1 pack of dry onion soup
- 1 pack of gravy mix
- 1 cup of water
- carrots and potatoes
Instructions: Put all the ingredients in the slow cookers, set on low, and cook for approximately eight hours.
- 1 whole chicken, or however many boneless chicken breasts you like
- ½ tsp of crushed black pepper
- ½ of basil
- ¼ cup of chopped red onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 cup of chicken stock, or water
Instructions: Put the chicken, stock or water, celery stalks, and onion in the slow cooker. Spread the spices over the chicken and vegetables. Set the slow cooker to Low and cook for approximately eight hours. You can make this with carrots and string beans as well.
No, I did not miss anything. These recipes are actually that easy, and delicious!
I’m not quite sure what happened, but I appear to be growing up. No, no, it’s not one of those tearful milestone moments – I don’t have a graduation cap in hand, I haven’t received any prestigious awards, and I still don’t have a job. In fact, the growing up I’ve been doing appears to [...]
I’m not quite sure what happened, but I appear to be growing up.
No, no, it’s not one of those tearful milestone moments – I don’t have a graduation cap in hand, I haven’t received any prestigious awards, and I still don’t have a job.
In fact, the growing up I’ve been doing appears to be rather mundane. It’s the day to day things, the little efforts that are changing. I’ve finally been applying some of the lessons I picked up from reading that O magazine that’s always on the coffee table at home. Eat well! Look great! Feel happy! In fact, according to Oprah, all I need now is a jewel-toned twin set to achieve whatever is at the end of her aspirational rainbow.
Big change number one: I now own a hairbrush (not just one, but two brushes – these things come in spurts, apparently), so I’m looking slightly tidier.
I also bought a bike, so I suddenly get regular and vigorous exercise riding along Ottawa’s beautiful canal, which allows me to lower my cholesterol levels and get in touch with nature. And although I ride at a very leisurely pace (I have no other), I still spend the rest of the day trying to air myself out underneath the hand dryer, which allows others to notice how much exercise I’m getting, too.
Since my little adventure with cooking began, I’ve begun returning home from the grocery store overwhelmed with yuppie staples like fresh mozzarella, yellow zucchini, and Tuscan sausage, whipping up semi-elaborate meals with a total lack of modesty.
I didn’t even see that movie Julie & Julia, but it seems to have unleashed some sort of long-buried desire to revel in the sensory pleasures of anything with an expiration date.
I even clean things now. Last year I did not clean things – ever. My roommate will attest to this. But I swept the floor three days ago. And I put my shoes on the shoe rack last week (I am still working out the details of what else needs to be cleaned.)
The best part of “getting my act together” (as certain individuals have put it), is the ability to shock and amaze with skills that others would consider standard. It has been a long time since I have impressed anyone with my more prodigious skills – reading very bad novels very quickly, for example, or making up lewd limericks for people on their birthdays.
Still, lest I become the inspiration for another Margaret Wente column on spoiled, incompetent young people, let me attest that lots of third year students have long mastered basic domestic tasks, and are busy living smooth and successful daily lives.
My friend Rebecca, who is a music student at York, makes her own pasta sauce from scratch. I’m pretty sure she even had an herb garden at one point. Ivy, a forestry student at UBC, eats a lot of strange vegan-type grains, and does the stairs to Wreck Beach as a morning workout (for anyone who has not trudged up them before, these stairs appear to number around one billion.) Last year, Jess, the roommate, cooked a whole ham. A ham. It wasn’t Easter, and I don’t even think it was Sunday. She just felt like cooking up an enormous pig flank, I suppose.
Continual disarray is certainly not the rule for university students, although the road to fresh vegetables and well laundered sheets can be long and arduous, the road to adulthood even more so. However, the struggle is beautiful (or at least appreciated my roommates and Mums), and possibly inevitable.
After all, I resisted for years, and it seems to finally be catching up with me.
If you can put it in a sandwich, you can put it on these pizzas – and impress your friends, too
I am on a bit of a culinary kick at the moment.
This would surprise almost anyone who knows me well, as I am not known for my enthusiasm in the kitchen. If anything, I invite friends over for dinner and then learn how to cook the chicken. Gives it a sense of urgency, I find.
Because of this, I’ve received an endless number of cook books for Christmases and birthdays – “Easy Chicken”, “Rookie Cooking”, “Cooking for Useless and Impatient Slobs”, etc. None of these have enticed me. I open them, I look at the pictures, but something stops me from re-creating the meal.
Namely, there are too many ingredients involved. Really – when am I going to need oregano again? Let alone capers.
So I am providing here a series of impromptu recipes. I say recipes loosely, because to qualify for my approval, they have to be too simple to appear in any genuine cook book. So simple they would shame any genuine cookbook. So simple they can be made in about ten minutes, while reading the paper, washing the dishes, and talking on the phone.
The first recipe is my Mum’s, and it has been my saving grace at endless dinner parties. It is called the “gourmet pizza.”
The “gourmet pizza” is only gourmet because it looks more attractive than the average pizza.
Use a pita of any size or disposition, layer on what you want, put in the oven on broil, and take out when it looks crispy. The only key is good, colourful ingredients (this we have learned from the Italians.) Here are my favourite combinations:
The Italian Pizza: Pesto sauce with fresh mozzarella, a combination of green and red peppers, onions and zucchini, plus shrimp or prosciutto.
The Cowboy Pizza: Barbeque or chipotle sauce, Monterey jack or cheddar, with caramelized onions, red peppers, and roast chicken (you can always use a full, cooked chicken from the grocery store for this one.)
The Asian Pizza: Peanut sauce, plus mozzarella, red peppers, cilantro and shredded carrots, roast chicken or shrimp.
I’ve also tried sausages, bacon, feta cheese, cucumber, goat cheese, asparagus, and a particular favourite – slices of avocado. I rarely use actual tomato sauce. A good rule of thumb is: if you have it in your fridge, you can put it in a sandwich, and if you can put it in a sandwich, you can put it on a pizza and serve it to friends.
If you’re entertaining for many, supply the pitas and the spreads, and get everyone to bring a different topping. Everyone picks what they want, and the combinations get a little more exciting than your average pepperoni.
For other lazy, sloppy and generally unwilling student cooks, I’ll be including a series of super short and easy “recipes” from time to time, suggested by competent and creative friends across the country (and one in Australia.)
Soon to come are tips for making Mexican salsa burgers (with sweet potato fries and fresh guacamole), and the world’s easiest salad wraps.
Students tell us what it’s like to fast from sunrise to sunset for one month
In a Muslim country, celebrating Ramadan is relatively simple: Most people are fasting from sunrise to sunset.
But in the U.S., most people are eating, and enticing food commercials, an overabundance of restaurants and watching others eat can make celebrating the holiday more challenging.
How do Muslims deal with the cravings, the puzzling looks and the “Are you on a diet?” questions?
The Associated Press interviewed several university students about Ramadan, which begins around Aug. 21, according to Muslim scholars, and runs for 30 days. (Ramadan is set by sightings of the moon.)
Here are their stories, edited from their own words:
NAME: Saba Shahid, 17, of Naugatuck, Conn., an incoming freshman at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn.
HER STORY: I can remember when I was younger, both me and my brother would pretend that we were fasting. We would go up to our parents and say, “We’re not going to eat. We’re fasting too.”
Our parents never had to force us to do it. We were brought up with Muslim customs and traditions from a very young age.
I’m pretty sure the first time I did it the correct way I was in fourth or fifth grade.
I went to a Catholic high school and everyone was supportive. I had non-Muslim friends fast with me. Sometimes I would go to the cafeteria, and other days I would go to the library at lunchtime.
There’s been days in the morning where I have been so busy I just had a glass of water. But I’m not going to lie. There are some days I can’t wait until sunset so I can eat.
At the end we have Eid (Eid al-Fitr). Everyone gets all done up and stuff. We go have community prayer and then break fast together. We’ll come back home and we’ll get presents and go to neighbours’ houses. It’s kind of like our Christmas.
NAME: Abdullah Shamari, 19, of Pomona, Calif., a rising sophomore at University of California, San Diego
HIS STORY: A lot of kids are really excited to fast. I can remember when I was six or seven, I would fast at school and then break my fast when I came home.
Now you see six-or seven-year-olds fasting all day. Their parents tell them they don’t have to, but the kids want to.
I was about 11 when I started fasting the entire day. As you grow up, you realize the significance.
There’s more to it than fasting or abstaining from food. It’s more of a moral fast. You’re bettering yourself in all aspects.
The first day and you haven’t fasted for a whole year, you’re going to get hungry. You’re going to have a headache. But generally no, you don’t get hungry.