UCookbook: 3 ways to spruce up your popcorn

Reading Time: 2 minutes How to make popcorn three delicious ways.

Break out from takeout with this easy pad Thai

Reading Time: 3 minutes Learn how to how to cook a classic takeout style meal at home.

UCookbook: Beans and greens burger

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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Did you know frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh? We’ll show you how to use your frozen peas for more than icing down sore knees—like making a simple veggie burger that’s big on flavor and short on time.

Before we begin, let’s clear the air: Frozen vegetables are real vegetables. Besides being just as nutrient-rich as fresh vegetables, according to recent research, they’re also way more affordable, require less prep, and can hang out in the back of the freezer without turning all sorts of moldy. Now that’s something we can get behind. 

Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, drained and squeezed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup frozen corn
  • ¼ cup diced onion, frozen or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional

  • 2 teaspoons your favorite herbs or seasonings (suggestion: thyme, parsley, or sage)
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs, plus extra if needed to bind the burger together
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole-wheat hamburger buns

Directions

  1. Defrost spinach, strain out excess moisture, and squeeze dry with paper towels.
  2. Mash drained and rinsed beans with a fork to make a thick paste.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients and form mixture into 4–6 patties.
  4. Lightly coat a skillet with oil. Cook patties on medium heat for 3–4 minutes each side, until browned.
  5. Serve on whole-wheat hamburger buns. Garnish with your favorite toppings.

defrosted spinach

Those wonderful white beans are fiber filled and protein packed. The spinach contains high amounts of Vitamins K and A, and the onions add Vitamin C to your diet.

mashed chick peas

ingredients in bowl

patty in skillet

plated veggie burger

Recipe review

Scott V.Scott V.
Third-year student at St. Louis University School of Law, Missouri 

Finding a low-sodium, high-nutrient meal that still makes me excited for dinner is not easy, but this recipe meets the criteria. I especially appreciate the level of flavor because of how healthy it is.

Cost?
star rating: 1 out of 5
The total cost was about $20, which is fairly expensive, but you might have many of the ingredients on hand already if you cook regularly.

Taste?
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I added some different seasonings (sage and parsley) to play with the flavor profile. Next time, I want to try a more Southwest style, with red pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne pepper, etc.

Prepared and photographed by Joanna Carmona

Adapted from:
https://naturallyella.com/chickpea-and-spinach-veggie-burgers/
https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012989-white-bean-burgers

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UCookbook: Decadent DIY granola

Reading Time: 4 minutes This DIY granola recipe is perfect for an easy breakfast or healthy snack.

UCookbook: Crispy zucchini latkes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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The latke: A pancake marries a potato, and you get to eat it for dinner. What’s not to latke? Even if you’ve never heard of or seen one in your life, the latke will pleasantly surprise you with how impressive it makes you look in the kitchen and also how easy it is to make. We’re putting a new spin on the latke by using zucchini, but what makes this recipe fun is that you can sub in any other vegetables like carrots, cauliflower, or parsnips. Happy shredding, friends.

Latkes

2-3 medium-sized zucchini
2 cups frozen shredded potatoes (can use frozen home fries)
1 small onion
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Topping

½ cup sugar-free apple sauce
½ cup plain Greek yogurt

  1. Wash the zucchini, cut off both ends, and shred with a grater into a large strainer. Drain the excess liquid with paper towels.
  2. Finely dice the onion and put it in a large bowl. Next, add the zucchini, breadcrumbs, shredded potatoes, eggs, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and mix together until all of the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of the mixture to the pan, flatten with a spatula, and fry until the edges turn brown. Flip the latkes until both sides are golden brown (roughly 1–2 minutes on each side). Repeat until there’s no more mixture left.
  4. Drain the latkes on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. Once dry, serve the latkes with Greek yogurt or apple sauce on top.

grated zucchini

Zucchini is one of those sneaky veggies with lots of Vitamin C, potatoes pump up your potassium, and the protein in that Greek yogurt will help keep you full.

latke ingredients in bowllatke patties in panfinished latkes cooling on paper towels

Recipe review

Elliece R.

Elliece R., fourth-year undergraduate, University of Regina, Saskatchewan

“What’s better than a recipe that works for one meal? A recipe that can work for all three meals and is healthy to boot! This tasty zucchini latke recipe can be made quickly with minimal muss and fuss, ideal for students who have a jam-packed schedule as well as a desire to do a little good for their bodies.”

Cost
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Most of the ingredients (flour, salt, pepper, oil, eggs) are basics that you probably already have on hand—or are cheap enough to purchase if you don’t. I only needed to buy the breadcrumbs and zucchini, which cost me a whopping $3 (crazy, I know). It made enough to feed at least one person for four meals (or four people for one meal?)—so I’d call that a win.

Convenience
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This easy recipe is one that even an inexperienced cook could successfully make. If you wanted, you could even put it together the night before to make for a quick meal the next day. These latkes reheat well: just toss them in a frying pan for a few minutes and they’ll have that freshly-made crunch again. One caveat: As a lifelong member of the Slow Cooks Club, this recipe took me about an hour to complete, but I’m confident that most people could whip up a batch of these in about 30­­–45 minutes. As far as equipment, you’ll need a grater, strainer, large bowl, frying pan or griddle, and a spatula—plus a paper towel.

Taste
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

These zucchini latkes were quite tasty, especially considering there wasn’t much seasoning. But it’s versatile; to make these even more flavorful, you could add seasoning salt, cayenne, or another spice of choice. Plus you can control how much oil or salt you’d like to add. You can truly be your own personal chef to create this yummy, veggie-filled meal.

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UCookbook: Cranked-up apple pie crepes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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It’s October, and if you’re anything like we are, you’ve been knee-deep in pumpkin for weeks. But there are other stars of the season, and they too come in the form of fruit. (Yup, you heard it here—pumpkins are fruit. Mind blown much? Same.) Of course, we’re talking about apples, which inevitably means we’re talking about pie. Our variation gets a high-class twist from replacing the crust with a crepe, so you get more fruit, less sugar, and a new cooking skill from the deal. These are apple pie crepes, and you’re about to be amazed. Let’s get started.

Filling

  • 3 large apples (tart varieties—e.g., Cortland, McIntosh, and Granny Smith work best here, but you do you)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon 

Crepes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1⁄3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups milk (nondairy works, if you’d rather)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

  1. Peel the apples and chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Combine apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. Let the flavors blend and turn into apple-syrupy goodness while you prepare the crepes.

Crepes

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Grease a small skillet and put it over medium heat. Thinly coat the pan with crepe batter until the bottom of the pan is covered.
  3. Flip the crepe over with a spatula, tongs, or a fork once the crepe batter starts to bubble (roughly 1 ½ minutes).
  4. Remove from heat roughly 1 minute after flipping and stack the crepes up on a plate as you go. Repeat until the mixture runs out, your arm gets tired, or you’re too hungry to carry on. (Hopefully, these happen at the same time.)
  5. Microwave the filling for 30–45 seconds.
  6. Create a crepe: Grab one, fill it with the apple mixture, roll up, breathe in the sweet scent of pie, and enjoy the domestic bliss you just created.

Chopped apples mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar

This healthier, more convenient twist on pie puts the focus on the fruit, so you’re eating more apples and less sugar. Apples are healthy for all sorts of reasons—they’re filled with fiber and Vitamin C. The crepe itself has egg and whole-wheat flour for a bit of protein and a lot of enjoyment. You fancy.

Crepe ingredients whisked in large bowl

Crepe with visible bubbles being flipped in pan

Open crepe lined with apple filling

Prepared and photographed by Joanna Carmona

Recipe adapted from
https://juliasalbum.com/2013/06/apple-cinnamon-crepes-recipe/

Recipe review

Shane Curry photoShane C., third-year undergraduate, University of Victoria, British Columbia

“Dessert doesn’t always mean lapsing into a sugar coma; sometimes apples and cinnamon are just what your sweet tooth needs. Apple crepes are a nice change from heavier, sweeter desserts like vanilla ice cream or chocolate pudding. These just have a few ingredients, with nothing too heavy. Plus the smell of apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon is a heavenly combo—it’ll legit make your neighbors jealous!”

Cost
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This simple dessert can be made for under $10 if you have some basic ingredients on hand (like the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder). It makes a lot of servings, so you and your friends could easily have a satisfying treat without a lot of prep or cleanup—or just freeze the leftovers.

Convenience
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
It might sound complicated, but crepes are actually super simple and practical to make. From start to finish, you might need 15 minutes at the most. And if you have a good nonstick omelet pan, it’s even easier. Plus, I love that it’s so versatile—once you learn the basic crepe recipe, the possibilities are endless for fillings.

Taste
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
You can never go wrong with apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, especially in the fall. The crepe was light but satisfying; the apples were sweet and just crunchy enough. The apples were a great break from the popular pumpkin flavor.

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Five 5-ingredient mug meals—in 5 minutes or less

Reading Time: 6 minutes When hanger hits mid study session, ramen isn’t the only answer. Enter microwavable mug meals.