(5/11/18) What I Eat in a Day as a Food Science Student: the SNAP Budget Challenge + Vegan Tatchos Tasting Party

Just as a quick little disclaimer, don’t use this full day of eating as medical advice or dietary advice for how you should eat on a daily basis. Please seek professional guidance if you are looking for more knowledge on optimal nutrition.

With that being said, happy Tuesday, everyone! Can you believe that it’s already the last week of May? Where did spring go? Unfathomably so, the year is already almost halfway completed. I noticed that I haven’t been posting as many recaps of my Food Science classes on my blog as I have on my Instagram, which is a shame, given that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to showcase more of my Food Science journey on this platform. To be fair, these types of posts are very time-consuming and take the most editing and drafting. I’m the person that wants to publish as much valuable content as I can, even if that means pushing some categories to the side. But, I obviously still desire to share what I’ve been learning at my college here as well, because I believe that my curriculum has a lot of valuable information otherwise.

As a side note, I thought I’d also share what foods I ate on this day! Not gonna lie, this is just because all the foods I’ve eaten the same day were absolutely incredible–in fact, some of the best meals I have ever made are included–and who doesn’t love finding new products and recipes? This date is actually from Friday, May 11th, so during the second week of this month. Yep, it’s a throwback. I plan on sharing more posts like this in the future–not necessarily of every single school day, but most likely a few where I’ve had cooking labs, and in a consecutive manner. Without further ado, let’s get onto the food!

 

BREAKFAST: around three and a half cups of Trader Joe’s crunchy maple ladders in unsweetened almond milk! This was the perfect pre-workout breakfast because of its balanced ratio of carbohydrates and protein, plus it tastes really delicious. The cereal remains pretty crunchy while soaked in the almond milk for quite a long time, and it’s not too overbearingly sweet. Given that this cereal is made with chickpea flour, it does have a bit of a nutty bean flavor. If you don’t really mind this quality, I highly recommend you try out this cereal out! It’s got a decent amount of fiber (3 grams per cup) and protein (five grams a cup) as well as a good amount of fortified calcium (8% DV per cup).

POST-WORKOUT SNACK: one scoop of True Nutrition cookies n’ creme vegan protein (blend of soy, pea, and brown rice protein) mixed with cacao powder, Stevia, and a mixture of almond milk and water. Tastes amazing, but honestly, the picture is so unexciting that I’m not bothering to post it.

LAB (and some munchies)

This day’s Food Science lab revolved around the SNAP challenge, otherwise the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which centers around providing eligible households additional resources such as food stamps to buy food at stores accepting EBT’s. The SNAP challenge aims to combat food insecurity, or limited access to adequate food from lack of money and/or resources, in the United States. Inadequate nutrient, let alone food, consumption has a vast array of health consequences pertaining to immunity, cognitive function, physical growth, child development, emotional well-being, social stability, and personal adequacy. Sadly, one in eight American households are food insecure, hence far too many individuals lack enough resources to provide for their families.

My professor restricted our ingredients budget to $21, which was supposed to amply provide for a family of four. My lab group’s goal was to create a meal plan that would suffice adequate nutrition, flavor profiles, quality ingredients, recipe appeals, and preparation reasonableness all while staying under or exactly on the $21 mark.

 

My main job consisted of cooking up the easy homemade applesauce, but I did help out a bit with the coconut chickpea curry (we substituted the coconut oil for vegetable oil and added sweet potato and spinach for extra vitamin A, iron, and B vitamins) and got assistance with peeling and chopping the raw apples, which were a PAIN due to my lack of patience.

 

 

Our kitchen started to smell super heavenly with the mix of spices!

 

 

 

For the designated beverage, my lab group and I went with a simple but tasty mango lassi (honey omitted since it did not fit into the budget). It’s a traditional mango yogurt dessert beverage from Indian cuisine.

 

 

 

Mashing the applesauce also served as a challenge because I was adamant about eliminating every single chunk of apple pieces. Fortunately, the apples cooked down quite a lot and I eventually yielded a smooth texture that was mostly consistent. I also decided to add around 1/4 of a teaspoon more of cinnamon for extra flavor because the cinnamon stick didn’t seem to yield enough to be noticeable.

One by one, the groups showcased their meal plans on the central kitchen counter by serving their whole recipes in designated bowls/plates, setting up a presentation plate, and verbally talking about their meals, ingredients, and cost of each meal.

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First group’s feast: Thai peanut chicken noodles served with lime wedges; banana bread loaf served with honey!

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Second group’s meal plan: zucchini fettuccine, strawberry yogurt sorbet, and green lentil daal–this meal plan was completely vegetarian, but nothing was vegan.

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Our group’s presentation: sweet potato coconut chickpea curry, brown rice, tomato and cucumber salad with a dill Greek yogurt dressing, homemade applesauce, and the mango lassi!

 

Had to help myself to some curry, brown rice, and applesauce (not pictured)! My first serving was garnished with a little bit of scorpion chili flakes from the spice counter (my latest obsession). Just a teensy pinch of these flakes, and you got a killer spice kick that you can’t help but love!

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Last group’s family feast: lentil soup (made with chicken broth), tomato spinach grilled cheese, citrus water, and cinnamon apple peaches (made with butter) with a side of whipped cream!

 

LUNCH: two roasted Japanese sweet potatoes covered in Noosh brands birthday cake almond butter, strawberry jam, and cinnamon alongside two homemade baguette sticks! No. Freaking. Words. Can describe how glorious this combination was. You have a savory version of glutinous and crispy toasted carbs and a sweet creamy cake-like carb source coated with luscious almond butter and tart jam. Also, take the time to appreciate how balanced this meal is. The breadsticks may not be the healthiest, whereas the Japanese sweet potatoes and almond butter (made with MCT oil) are practically superfoods. What could be any better than this?

 

DESSERT/PRE-GROCERY TRIP SNACK: peanut butter chocolate chip Larabar (one of my Top 3 favorite Larabar flavors!), which tasted like sweet fruity cookie dough! The best parts were the combination of crunchy peanuts and the sweet chocolate chips. I am always a fan of different textures!

VEGAN TATCHOS TASTING

Around 7:00 P.M., my boyfriend and I walked to a study lounge where one of my friends was hosting a vegan taste test party! This time, the star dish was tatchos, otherwise tater tots served nacho-style! One side of the tater tots was blanketed in Daiya cheddar cheese and another side was plain. Alongside the tater tots were corn tortillas, fajita vegetables, black beans, sweet potato, guacamole, salsa, tortilla chips, vegan arroz con leche, Almond Dream mint chocolate chip ice cream, and a homemade chocolate cake topped with a decadent peanut butter frosting and cacao nibs!

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DINNER: my first helping consisted of a mini “tostada” bowl with black beans, tater tots, sweet potato, fajitas, and guacamole!

 

Of course for my dessert plate, I had to go with a hearty square of the chocolate peanut butter cake with a teensy bit of the mint chocolate chip ice cream. Oh. My. Gee. This cake had me at a loss for words.

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Have you ever tasted a cake that was so perfectly gooey and fudgy that you felt like digging into the entire cake tin rather than serving yourself individual slices? Because to me, I wanted to do exactly that–dig into the entire cake tin like I was eating a giant slice of cake. The fluffy texture combined with the creamy and sugary-sticky peanut butter frosting married together like the moon and the night sky. Consider the cacao nibs like the stars–glittering all over the place!

 

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally stop at one dessert round. Thus, my next helping consisted of the cinnamon arroz con leche with chocolate cake crumbs, and, no surprise, another cake square!

Hope you had an amazing week! What do your Friday plans look like?


4 thoughts on “(5/11/18) What I Eat in a Day as a Food Science Student: the SNAP Budget Challenge + Vegan Tatchos Tasting Party

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