By Tamara Murga ‘16
Making healthy dining choices is not always easy, especially if you’re in college, but one Mount student found a way to ease the challenge by creating a college-friendly cookbook with “simple recipes for limited kitchens and developing cooks.”.
“I noticed that a lot of my resident and independent commuter friends struggled with figuring out how to make healthy recipes due to the cooking equipment limitations on campus, their budget, and of course, the lack of time,” said Anita Gholami ‘21, biology major.
The cookbook consists of 50 easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks, with ideas stemming from online recipe sites such as The Lemon Bowl, Two Healthy Kitchens and One Little Project. Students can find healthy options such as black bean quinoa salad, vegan chicken salad and apple slice cookies.
For those with limited access to a full kitchen or who are short on time, Gholami included recipes that don’t need a stove: “Microwave Savory Oat Risotto” and “Microwave Pumpkin Pie Cake,” among others. Each recipe lists the equipment, ingredients and instructions needed to make each dish.
The idea to create the cookbook came to Gholami after she joined the Peer Wellness Advocates team, a group of students trained and certified to promote wellness and guide the Mount community in achieving health goals through workshops, weekly activities and one-on-one coaching.
Thanks to a grant from the Unihealth Foundation, which covered the cost of printing, the cookbooks were distributed to incoming resident and commuter students last year.
“I think the cookbook is a useful tool that all students can rely on for a healthier alternative meal,” said Gholami. “Giving the cookbook out to residents when they move in is a great initiative and motive for them to eat healthier.”
The cookbook continues to reach more students through Snack of the Week, a weekly workshop the Peer Wellness Advocates implemented last fall. With help from registered dietitian Alison Halpern, the Mount’s wellness manager, recipes are used to make dishes shared with the student body.
“Many students are making their own food choices for the very first time when they get to college, and it can be overwhelming,” said Halpern. “The hope is that our cookbook, created by a student, will inspire other students to value their personal nutrition with the knowledge that eating and cooking healthfully can be fun, delicious, simple and not boring, bland or repetitive.”
Students who have not had the chance to view the cookbook can access an online version on MyMSMU under the Wellness Kitchen tab of the Sports and Wellness page.