Friday, October 4, 2013

Dorm Food Review is BACK! Kind of...

As I'm sure all loyal readers have been aware, this blog hasn't really been updated in a while. Why? Mostly because my schedule didn't exactly leave time for me to update, then I went to Europe for about six months (sorry about that) and there wasn't any too much dorm food to review. Then, when I got back to Wayne State, AVI had been replaced with Aramark -- a change I was so excited to see. The food options in the dining hall now are fresher and more varied than I every saw with AVI. This is great for all of the students (including myself) who eat on campus. This year, I also got an apartment, which means I can cook for myself (yayyy!).

Having my own kitchen, recipes from Mama W and the internet, and easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables through the Wayne State farmer's market (thanks also to SEEDWayne, which has a program that allows students to spend $5 and get $10 of fresh produce, which is so much more food than I thought!) as well as Eastern Market and other local grocery stores has allowed me to start cooking and experimenting a bit with what I make. Since everyone can Instagram their food, I'm going to start posting not only pictures, but a few easy recipes that are (usually) healthy that I've attempted. My goal this year is to try one new dish a week -- so here's hoping I can keep up!

First, here are a few of my past dishes:

Kroger had $5 lobster tails, so I used those, fresh green beans from the farmer's market, and my roommate J's wonderful roasted redskin potatoes for an amazing dinner that per person, cost about $8. In a restaurant? Probably at least $30.

Fried green tomatoes and tomato chutney following the Blue Willow Inn's recipe. The Blue Willow is a fancy buffet place down in Georgia, and it's where I had my first ever taste of fried green tomatoes (and fell in love with them!)

Last week's dinner: Butternut Squash(squared) -- or perhaps cubed? After AV and I cut the squash, we realized just how much there was, so we prepared it two ways: In a soup that's super easy but also super dangerous to make (I burnt my wrist pretty badly pureeing the squash, but it was definitely worth it), and roasted with rosemary, garlic, and Parmesan cheese -- delicious all around.

Raclette -- a typical European dish that's less effort and more preparation: Cheese, bread, potatoes, and tomatoes were all we used! AV and I also made another recipe that we had discovered for the first time in Europe: asparagus baked with cheese, olive oil, and garlic -- super easy and super good.

Okay, so now you've seen enough of my old recipes -- I'll start off tonight's return to dormfoodreview with a recipe that I never saw myself making: turnip greens.

Although I'm from Atlanta, I've never really been a fan of cooked greens. I always found them to be too bitter and mostly unappealing-looking. However, this past week at the WSU farmer's market, AV and I were searching for lettuce when we came across some other green leafy vegetable. The wonderful women who were there at D-Town Farms told us they were turnip greens and gave us instructions on how to make them. Tonight, I was brave enough to give it a shot -- and hey, it turned out just fine! I'd even say they turned out well enough that I'd make them again :)

The greens cooked down with onions!
The Recipe:

about 2 T of olive oil
3/4-1 onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, and lemon juice (to taste)
(most importantly!) one bunch of turnip greens

The Steps:

1. Heat up olive oil in a pan/skillet. Add the onion, chopped into slivers, and cook until it's somewhat translucent.
2. Add the turnip greens and cook them down. Add salt and pepper as you're stirring. I was surprised at how fast this was -- all you do is add them and push them around in the pan for a bit, and after about 5 minutes, it's all cooked down!
3. Add minced garlic to this mixture, take it off the heat and stir it all together.
4. Add lemon juice to taste (this was what I really liked about the dish -- the lemon juice gives it a much "brighter" flavor so it's not quite so heavy).
5. Eat!

That's all for my culinary adventures this week -- check back soon for another update!