Although residence hall dorm rooms come equipped with a MicroFridge microwave and a freezer and refrigerator combination unit, University of Idaho residents may feel restricted in their ability to cook fun and healthful meals. Instead of turning to instant oatmeal and ramen noodle packages, Campus Dietician Marissa Rudley invites students to learn simple and wholesome recipes at her monthly Vandalizing the Kitchen classes.
“I like to showcase how fun and affordable cooking can be,” Rudley said.
The first class of the semester will be held from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 in Student Recreation Center classroom 103.
“The first class is featuring easy to make soups and a side,” Rudley said.
The menu will include a dairy-free and gluten-free turkey chili, a vegan and gluten-free African peanut soup and a couscous side dish.
“Soup is the ultimate comfort food,” Rudley said. “It’s a great way to clean out a veggie drawer, and makes amazing leftovers too.”
For students who may not have regular access to a kitchen or cooking equipment, Rudley said one pot of soup can have a huge payoff by providing multiple meals with minimal and inexpensive meal preparation.
The couscous can be made entirely in the microwave, making it what Rudley refers to as a “residence hall no-cook recipe.”
The recipes are chosen to appeal to students no matter where they fall in a spectrum of dietary needs, culinary experience levels, food budgets and access to kitchen space.
Vandalizing the Kitchen classes also feature affordable local produce, courtesy of partnerships with the UI Sustainability Center and the Moscow Food Co-op. Sustainability Center representatives will attend the classes to hold trivia contests centered around each recipe.
Rudley will lead five Vandalizing the Kitchen courses during the spring 2018 semester. The class themes include Just Desserts, Pizza Night, Vegetarian Cuisine and Meals Fast.
With a diverse class lineup, Rudley looks to provide students with a good mix of recipes for their culinary repertoires, and empower Vandals to cook, even with limited cooking equipment.
“I think that cooking gives you a lot of freedom and independence in making choices for your health,” Rudley said.
Even for students on a meal plan, Rudley said she hopes the classes will enable students to make healthful choices in the dining hall.
Meridian Haas, a freshman living in a residence hall community, attended one of Rudley’s Vandalizing the Kitchen classes last semester to learn how to make healthy breakfasts.
“I enjoy cooking,” Haas said. “I thought (the class) was a good time.”
Haas said the classes helped her feel more adventurous in her cooking endeavors.
“It shows you how to do more things in your dorm,” Haas said. “And, at the end you get to taste test everything you made.”
In addition to cooking classes, Rudley will lead two grocery store tours this semester. The first of these will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Winco and sign-ups are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at uidaho.edu/grocery-tours.
“Keep your eyes open for the March one,” Rudley said.
The second grocery store tour of the semester will occur in the newly remodeled Moscow Food Co-op in the spring.
Students seeking to improve their dietary habits or who want to meet with a dietitian for any reason can email Rudley to set up a nutrition counseling appointment at email@example.com.
Beth Hoots can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
More info: Vandalizing the Kitchen Spring 2018
Thurs. Jan 25 – Souper Bowls
Wed. Feb 7 – Just Desserts
Thurs. March 1 – Pizza Night
Thurs. April 5 – Vegetarian Cuisine
Wed. May 2 – Meals Fast
All classes take place from 4-5 p.m. in Student Recreation Center Classroom 103