Cooking with CSUMB: Meal prepping and multitasking

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative program paired up once again to produce their monthly Cooking with CSUMB virtual event on April 8.

Hosted by Care Manager Joanna Snawder-Manzo and Basic Needs Coordinator Sabrina Lee, Cooking with CSUMB is a live Zoom series, featuring healthy and efficient recipes targeted towards college students, demonstrated by faculty and staff.

This month’s Cooking With CSUMB demonstration was led by Basic Needs intern, Misha Arnold. She is a collaborative health and human services major working on her capstone that emphasizes the importance of nutrition.

Arnold coached students on the benefits and ease of meal prepping and multitasking with both her lunch and dinner recipes.

Students learned how to make a one-pot vegetable pasta for dinner and a “Rainbow Wrap” for lunch.

Arnold began her demonstration by boiling whole grain pasta in a large pot for the dinner. She advised students to pick a whole grain over a white pasta because it provides for fiber and to cook whole grain pasta for longer than it says on the box.

While the pasta was boiling, Arnold instructed the audience to begin working on their rainbow wrap.

The ingredients for the wrap goes as follows:

Whole wheat tortilla
Hummus
Spinach
Bell pepper (Red, orange, yellow, green)
Red onion
Broccoli Slaw (Shredded broccoli and carrots)
Sprouts (Alfalfa, clover, etc.)
Basil (Tip: tear the leaves to release more flavor)

This is where the meal prepping comes into play, Arnold chopped up all her veggies and stored them in her fridge to speed up the process of making the wraps.

The rainbow wrap got its title from the colorful vegetables that make up its filling. Arnold told students that every color corresponds with a different nutrient.

Lay out the tortilla on a piece of tin foil (for students who wish to store it for later) and spread the hummus over the tortilla. Then add all of the veggies and roll it up in the tortilla and the foil. Enjoy immediately or feel free to throw in the fridge for later, or even take it on the go!

Arnold recommends making more than one at a time to have throughout the week.

After making your wrap, check back on the pasta.

After straining the water from the pasta, return the pot to the stove to begin cooking. Arnold advises students not to rinse the pasta, the starch left on it from the water will help the sauce stick.

The ingredients for the dinner goes as follows:

Whole grain rotini pasta
2 cans (no salt added) diced tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato paste
Garlic (pre-peeled garlic recommended)
Granulated garlic
Granulated onion
Italian seasoning
Black pepper
Spinach
Frozen peas (optional)
Nutritional yeast

Arnold set the temperature to medium high and first added one can of diced tomatoes to the pot, stirring until they were incorporated. Once everything is mixed, add in two tablespoons of tomato paste and the sliced or minced garlic.

Arnold advises those who are replicating the recipe to season to taste before adding in the veggies, followed by another tablespoon of tomato paste and stir. She also recommended students put a lid over vegetables while they cook to preserve their nutritional value.

Once the spinach has wilted and the peas have defrosted, turn the heat down to medium and stir until fully cooked.

Arnold separated the dish into multiple tupperware containers, allowing them to cool before storing them in the fridge to have as meals throughout the week.

Meal prepping these healthy dishes can be a great way to stress less about meals and to save precious time.

More detailed recipe descriptions, as well as information about upcoming Basic Needs Initiative events can be found at https://csumb.edu/basicneeds/

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