Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer Program Food Hacks!

By Kat Supina

You got into a summer program that you’re super psyched about! You’re going to dive into an incredible new experience and work on your craft.

Aside from the fun and challenging music making, there is also the shared housing, and of course, the food. You’ll most likely be eating at a dining hall and we all know how exciting the food options can be… If you’re lucky, you will have some well-balanced, tasty meals, but chances are your summer program dining experience might be a bit on the bland side (to say the least). Here are some handy tips to help you get by:

1. Communicate and Stock Up! Make sure to communicate your dietary restrictions to the program’s housing director. These days, programs are very accommodating to those of us who may be vegan/vegetarian, or gluten- or dairy-free.  Even of you don’t have any dietary restrictions it is important to find the nearest grocery store and stock up on some essential snacks. Get a case of your favorite sparkling water or juice and look for bulk packages of granola bars (Kashi and KIND bars are my favorites), nuts, and other healthy snacks to keep in your room.

2. Salad Toppers. If you have access to a fridge at your program, make sure to grab some fresh produce. An avocado or some berries can really dress up a bland cafeteria salad. You can even pick up some salad dressing or oil and vinegar. Toss in a handful of pecans or walnuts, and you’ve got a truly tasty salad. One of my favorite salad toppers is cheese. Sorry to those of you who do not indulge for various reasons, but cheese is the best. Grab some chevre to crumble over a salad or string cheese for a snack. The protein will keep you satisfied and will help you cut down on carbs between meals.

3. Spice Things Up! Trader Joe’s has great spice grinders that combine salt with different seasonings. Grind some over a piece of grilled chicken to add a little extra flavor. Make sure to bring some hot sauce as well. A dash of Cholula or Tabasco can save a boring meal.

4. Bring Your Own French Press and/or Tea. Cafeteria coffee sucks, plain and simple, and you can only drink so many cups of Lipton tea. Having your favorite morning beverage can really start your day off right, especially when you’ve been up late rehearsing or bonding with your roommates!

You don’t have to break the bank or leave campus to have a satisfying meal. Keep a few of these tasty add-ons with you and you can dress up that boring cafeteria food. For great on- the –go snacks check out Sexi Soprano’s Sexi Snacks and Sexi Sweets! Eating a balanced and satisfying meal will give you the energy you need to bring it at your summer program. Bon appétit!

Photo credit: Raspberries at the West End Farmers Market in Vancouver, BC via photopin (license)