Many college students can understand the difficulties of eating healthy meals on a regular basis while trying to juggle classes, homework, jobs and a social life.
The University of Idaho’s Vandalizing the Kitchen cooking class is one way students can learn how to include a balanced diet into their busy schedule.
Vandalizing the Kitchen held its first class of the fall semester on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in the Student Recreation Center classroom. The theme was fast food at home.
UI Campus Dietitian Marissa Rudley said the main purpose of the cooking class is to give students the skills in cooking fun, fast, easy, and inexpensive meals on a budget.
Rudley said the theme was chosen to resonate with college students. She said she tried to make all the recipes flavorful and doable for students at home.
Although the theme was fast food, it wasn’t like typical food you get at fast food restaurants.
“It’s not necessarily typical fast food — it’s healthier and also inexpensive than some regular fast food that most of us are familiar with,” Rudley said.
The class was formatted as a cooking demonstration. While Rudley talked, she explained the background of the recipes. The three recipes were English muffin pizzas, zucchini fries and black bean burgers. Rudley said English muffin pizza is a dorm-friendly recipe, since students can substitute an oven with a microwave in the recipe.
“Students are able to customize whatever topping they want and (it is) quick and easy to make for a meal or for a snack,” Rudley said. “It’s a lot less expensive than ordering a pizza.” Rudley said instead of making regular French fries, she added a fun twist to it and made whole wheat panko breaded zucchini fries with mozzarella cheese. She said this recipe turned out great and many students liked it–it tasted like part French fries and part mozzarella sticks.
She said the black bean burgers recipe is easy because people can make it when traveling. Rudley also said it is much healthier and cheaper than regular burgers.
“All this recipe is, is a can of black bean and whatever seasoning you have on hand,” Rudley said. “It (is a) good inexpensive source of protein — great for students who maybe don’t have the time, money and energy to actually cook something like a burger at home.”
Rudley said with this cooking class she hoped students would have the confidence to cook at home, in their door rooms or in their apartments because cooking is fun and doesn’t have to be fancy gourmet meals.
Danielle Enebrad, one of the students who attended the class, said it was her first time attending the class.
She said she found it very helpful — she learned a few cooking tips that she can use at home.
“Not only is it quick and easy but also it’s healthier for you,” Enebrad said. “It’s a great way to save money and I’m probably planning to come again in the future.”
Vandalizing the Kitchen cooking classes are monthly classes free for UI students. Starting this semester, the class can also be counted towards the wellness program such as the personal fitness program. Rudley said the theme for the next cooking class is breakfast foods. It will be held at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Student Rec Center classroom.
Nurainy Darono can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org