Isabelle M.’s perception-In the College Kitchen

Potato Latkes

1-Give a little introduction of yourself.

My name is Isabelle. I live in New York, but I was raised in Haiti. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but it wasn’t until I moved to college that I really started experimenting with food.

2-Do you live on or off campus?

I actually just graduated, but I used to live on campus.

3-Tell me about your diet

I don’t have a strict diet. It’s not particularly healthy, but it’s not particularly unhealthy either. I try to drink a lot of water, and I eat fruits and veggies here and there.

4-What value do you give food?

I know it’s important to watch what you eat, but I also don’t want to take all the fun out of food, so I don’t obsess over what I eat or set unrealistic goals. Still, I try not to go overboard with certain foods.

5-There are pros and cons to everything. What do you think about fast food besides being unhealthy? Do you think it’s a life saver sometimes?

I think it does what it’s supposed to do. It’s fast, cheap and definitely convenient. But, I try to stay away from it. Not even because it’s unhealthy, but because I’ve had so many bad experiences with fast food restaurants: bad service, cold burgers, soggy fries… the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve never turned down Checkers fries.

6-What’s your go to breakfast when you are in a rush?

To be honest, I don’t really like breakfast. I rarely have any appetite in the morning, so I don’t even bother spending much time making breakfast. Usually, I’ll have something like peanut butter on toast, mini butter croissants, a muffin, a banana in a hot dog bun (strangely tasty lol, and you can even get fancy with it and add honey or PB).

7-What’s your go to lunch when you’re in a rush?

Definitely a sandwich; it’s filling and easy to make. With baby carrots, celery sticks, or chips on the side for some crunch factor.

8-What do you usually eat for diner?

Chicken thighs, steak, beef stew, or pork chops. With rice, pasta, or sautéed potatoes on the side. As for my vegetables, I usually go for broccoli or Brussels sprouts (seasoned with a bit of salt and Mrs. Dash).

9-If you don’t cook, what’s your go to meal on campus? If you cook, what is your go to dish?

My go to meal to cook is chicken pasta with marinara sauce.

10-What does your grocery list consist of?

My basic grocery list looks like this:

  • milk
  • eggs
  • cold cuts
  • fresh meat
  • beef or turkey franks
  • pasta
  • bread
  • peas
  • beans
  • onions
  • green peppers
  • frozen vegetables
  • bananas
  • Ritz crackers
  • cheese
  • Oreos
  • cookie dough

11- Did you prefer cooking every day or eat meals on campus?

Buying campus food was easier and faster, but I wasn’t always guaranteed to find something that I liked. That’s why I preferred cooking my own meals.

12-Do you think it’s cheaper and healthier to eat on campus or cook your own meal?

It’s easier to eat healthy when you cook your own meals because you have more choices. And, it’s probably cheaper too, unless you have a meal plan.

13-What do you recommend students who dorm to always have in their mini fridge?

The average college student probably doesn’t cook that much, so I guess yogurt, pudding snacks, juice, milk, cold cuts, and eggs.

14-Which is more economic, cooking on campus or having a meal plan?

If you have a busy schedule, having a meal plan is probably more efficient. But there are ways to turn cooking into less of a hassle. For instance, you can alternate between cooking and eating leftovers. My suitemate and I had a pretty efficient system: I cooked on Mondays, we ate leftovers on Tuesdays, she cooked on Wednesdays, we ate leftovers again on Thursdays, and we cooked together on the weekends. We also saved a lot of money by doing our grocery shopping together.

15-What do you think about microwavable meals?

They’re not the tastiest, but they definitely come in handy, especially during finals week.

16-Do you have any tips to share about how you budget for what you eat?

Yes! Do your grocery shopping with a suitemate, and share the bill. Oh and a Brita filter is a must!

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