The great thing about NDSU dining centers is they have many ingredients available for students who wish to cook their own meals. Chicken, eggs, veggies and spices are all great building blocks for a filling plate that can be cooked up on the grill.
What students may take for granted is they are learning valuable skills for the future when they will need to cook for themselves and buy groceries. Every time a student fries up an omelet or stir-fry, they are practicing for the years to come.
This learning experience can also be a great way to build good eating habits. Understanding how to cook with vegetables and spices rather than batter and boxed dinners can set students up for a healthy future.
For instance, the salad bar, though sometimes overlooked, holds potential for nutritious dinners that don’t carry as many calories as some of the other options. It also contains ingredients that can be used to replicate some of the diverse dinners that have been available at the dining centers last week.
The dining centers decided to break out of their shell as they featured foods from around the world. Thai, Mexican and Indonesian dishes were served for dinner on multiple nights at various NDSU eateries.
Students who enjoyed last week’s diversity could practice their skills on the grills to continue making some of their top picks while adding a hint of nutrition to their meals.
In the light of the multicultural themes that circled campus last week, a veggie quesadilla is a great option for students who want to spice things up for their dinner plans. The preparation of this quesadilla is nothing special, but that says little about the taste of the melted cheese and crispy tortilla that tie this dish together.
The key to making this meal a nutritious option is by sautéing mushrooms, chickpeas and spinach to fill it with. In moderation, provolone and mozzarella cheese are also perfect compliments to the earthy mushrooms that lie nice and flat between two crispy mini tortillas.
Learning to take advantage of the resources provided within the dining centers will help students discover creative cooking techniques. Just because certain foods have been deemed “unhealthy” doesn’t mean they can’t be altered with the substitution of better ingredients.
By using smaller tortillas and veggies instead of just meat and cheese, quesadillas can be enjoyed as a great meal at any time of the day, all for just under 500 calories.