Food for thought


Formerly published in The Other Press. Feb. 5 2013

Fast and smart snacks for study sessions
By Elliot ChanStaff Writer

When we eat we often consider our waistline, but forget that food also goes to our head. Therefore, we must feed it the nutrition it needs to function at its full potential. But preoccupied students have no time to show their culinary prowess. Deadlines, responsibilities, and commitments take up time so that cooking properly is often placed on the back burner. Here are some quick recipes for eating well, so students can go from pots and pans back to pen and paper.

Tuna Taco: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that increase brainpower assisting with comprehension, problem solving, and memory. Yet, fish can also assist in causing a big mess, so for now, let’s stick with manageable ingredients: one eight-ounce can of tuna, four corn tortillas, a quarter-cup of chopped cilantro (optional), half a chopped onion (optional), two tablespoons of mayonnaise, two tablespoons of sour cream, one tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of cream, and one teaspoon of oil.

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion if you’re using one. Mix in the tuna. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and cream together. Portion the tuna into the tortilla shells. Add sauce, garnish with cilantro if desired, and enjoy.

Fried Rice and Eggs: Eggs are a good source of essential fatty acids and yolks contain choline, which is a building block for brain cells. Whenever there is leftover rice, consider combining it with eggs in a frying pan to save food and make a quick dinner. The ingredients are: one cup of cooked rice, a half-teaspoon of salt, one teaspoon of vegetable oil, half a chopped onion, a half-cup of green beans, one beaten egg, and a quarter-teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Sauté the onions and green beans on an oiled skillet or wok and cook for two minutes. Pour egg, stir until cooked, then add the cooked rice and mix. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.

Curry: Turmeric, the essential spice for curry, contains curcumin, which helps remove plaque from the brain. Although it may seem like a hard dish to pull off, a quick meal of curry is in fact pretty simple. So don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list: one pound of chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces, two peeled and chopped potatoes, one peeled and chopped red onion, one peeled and chopped carrot, two tablespoons of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of curry paste or curry powder, one cup of chicken broth, one teaspoon of granulated sugar, a half-teaspoon each of salt and ground pepper.

Heat up the oil in a wok and then add the chopped onion. When the onion is soft and translucent, add the curry paste or powder and stir (add a bit of water if using powder). Insert the chicken into the mix and cook until brown. Add the carrots and potatoes. After a few minutes, add the chicken broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and mix well. Cover the wok and allow it to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Eat, clean up, and then get back to work.


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