For many college students “healthy eating” is something of an oxymoron. “I need something fast and cheap, but quick meals aren’t good for you,” says Bernie Dalberice, a CCNY Junior. “Healthy choices tend to be more expensive …or fruit, but that’s not filling.”
Most students think like Dalberice-fast and cheap is more important than healthy and nutritious. And it’s taking a toll: The American College Health Association maintains that 30 percent of college students are considered overweight or obese. And according to USA.gov “get fit” and “lose weight” rate 4 and 5 as the most common New Year’s resolutions.
Want an easy way to boost the health quotient of your meals? Many dietary experts, suggest adding color to what you eat. In other words, having reds, blues, yellow and especially green on your plate will automatically help raise a meal’s nutrition value. Start by including more fruits and vegetables. In fact, the USDA suggests that half of your plate should be made up of fruits and vegetables.
At CCNY, this easy idea may be a challenge. “Only time I get vegetables is when my mother prepares them,” says Jessica Vargus, a CCNY computer science major. Based on a very small and highly unscientific survey done with students on the CCNY campus, beige seems to be the favorite food color, as in brown or white rice, bread, pasta, cookies, cheese, French fries and eggs.
Spring is a great time to push yourself into the brighter side of the rainbow by adding much more green to your diet. Dark, leafy greens are relatively easy to prepare and considered a nutritional powerhouse. Think kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, parsley and arugula. The only enthusiast among all students interviewed was English major, Gage Hernandez. “I love greens! Collards greens, kale, cabbage, I eat a tons of cabbage its great! But then again I’m part German.”
Though leafy greens can have the reputation of being “bitter,” “mushy” or “rabbit food,” in recent years cooks and foodies have worked hard to reform its reputation. Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers, authors of the book “Greens Glorious Greens,” suggest, roasting, sautéing and briefly, boiling greens to avoid making them taste bitter. Adding flavored oils (sesame, olive) and combining with dried fruit (raisins, currants) along with a squeeze of lemon can also be helpful in enhancing flavors.
Try the recipe below to kick up your more colorful eating plan:
Ingredients: Kale (washed), Olive oil, Salt
Optional: Garlic, shredded coconut
Pre heat oven 400 degrees
Kale cooks pretty fast so keep an eye on it when it’s cooking.
1. Cut out and discard the thick center stem and place leafs in a bowl.
2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the greens and toss until all the leaves lightly coated with olive oil.
3. Place kale in single layer on a couple of cookie sheets and place in oven for approximately, 5 minutes.
4. Turn kale over and return to oven for another 5minutes.
5. When it has become crispy, but not burned, take out of oven and sprinkle with salt; serve.