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Friday Foodie Feature: QuaranTIME for Homemade Cooking Again

By: Sammy Harris

Wow -- I don’t know about you guys, but I still cannot believe that we are not going back to campus for the rest of the semester. I remember writing about how time was flying by in one of my Foodie Features first semester, and now it literally has gone. While the current uncertainty and chaos makes it difficult to remain consistently positive, this quarantine actually has the potential to be the perfect time for optimizing our individual growth and learning. It is a time where we are almost forced to focus on ourselves, which many of us forget to do amidst the business of our everyday lives. For me and many others, finally having time to breathe again and being able to focus on myself means YUMMY & HEALTHY HOME COOKED MEALS AGAIN. With that being said, I am so excited to share with you guys what I have thrown together in the kitchen during quarantine thus far!This is not a surprise at all to you if you follow or have seen my foodie account; I am incredibly passionate about tacos!! You can make every taco so unique from the last: chicken, veggie, shrimp, breakfast, etc.. On this night, we had limited options in the fridge, so below are two multi-grain @tumaroswraps filled with avocado (of course!!), grilled/seasoned chicken, mozzarella, bell pepper, cucumber, & tomato!! I always love overfilling the tortillas with veggies because after you finish the tacos you practically have a taco bowl with everything that fell out: now that is the best of both worlds!   [gallery ids="4780,4778" type="rectangular"]   Although the following ingredients did not take part during this taco night, some of my other taco suggestions include-- but are not limited to-- Siete Foods almond flour tortillas, Trader Joe's Veggie Burger, pico de gallo, AND ANY OTHER VEGGIE. I apologize if I am overbearing about tacos, but I have found them to be one of the meals that allows for the most variety in options, especially meatless options!Considering the number of photos below, you can clearly tell that I have eaten this meal, a healthy breakfast sandwich, an embarrassing number of times during quarantine already. It is so quick, filling, and delicious that when I come home from a run outside-- which I have been trying to do every day-- exhausted and hungry, my mind comes here first pretty often. The first time I made this sandwich, I used a fried egg, spinach, avocado, melted mozzarella cheese, and turkey between a toasted @traderjoes gluten-free everything bagel w/ a side of raspberries/banana/strawberries to make the perfect breakfast for dinner.   [gallery ids="4797,4785" type="rectangular"]   Since then, I have adjusted it slightly by adding more veggies -- cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, more spinach -- and chili/paprika spices to give it a kick. I also made it once with Sabra hummus, which was BOMB too; if you have never had a sandwich with avocado and hummus, you must give it a try!! In fact, Oxford’s own Bagel and Deli got me on that wave. Also, I had never eaten these bagels before from Trader Joes & I highly recommend: gluten-free options can be so flaky and bland, but this bagel is none of the above when toasted.    [gallery ids="4781,4777" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"]   Another meal that I have enjoyed on a couple evenings at home thus far has been healthy pasta! This has been especially yummy when I am sitting down and recovering after a long day of moving. Getting up and being active has been a saving grace for me during quarantine: I often try to get movement in every couple of hours, as I naturally would in Oxford between classes. Because it’s no longer effortless and natural to get steps in from walking around campus, it feels more exhausting to me. That’s why a soft carb overload is perfect to conclude some days, especially heavy cardio days!   image6   I say it is soft on the carbs because I use alternative pasta noodles; the meal that is being held entails @eatbanza vodka pasta w/ cherry tomatoes & parmesan cheese, while the other two photos below are of beet pasta w/ cucumber/bell peppers/tomatoes, avocado oil, and mozzarella. I never thought I would say this, but I literally went back for an even bigger second bowl of the beet pasta, and it didn’t leave me feeling bloated at all!!     [gallery ids="4795,4788" type="rectangular"]   I don’t know about you guys, but one of my least favorite parts about Miami’s dining halls is how sick I get of the salad bar; on the flipside, one of my most favorite parts about being home is the fresh, homemade, delicious salads that I can make, and that I can make unique each time (like tacos)! Pictured here are two salads that I have made this past week: a summer citrus salad & a green goddess salad! The summer citrus salad below consists of lots and lots of spinach, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, avocado, cucumber, & grilled chicken all mixed in homemade avo dressing (oil/ garlic/paprika/pepper dressing).   [gallery ids="4790,4793" type="rectangular"]   image19The green goddess salad to the right is more spinach beneath broccoli, green onion, avocado, pear, candied almonds, & Mariano’s grilled salmon w/ mushrooms glazed in balsamic vinaigrette! A couple key points here; first, salmon/candied almonds/pear is the most perfect triplet on any salad! I learned this from one of my favorite restaurants in my hometown.         image10Second, avocado adds so much to a salad that you only need very minimal, if any, dressing in addition to it! It’s been a while since I have written a Foodie Feature, so again, please feel free to reach out to me (via my Instagram) and/or GreenHawks Media with any suggestions, requests, questions, etc. I cannot wait to keep sharing my love for whole, organic, mostly plant-based foods that make us feel good while helping out the environment A LOT!    

All photos courtesy of Sammy Harris