Kitchen Essentials: Olive Oil

Every well-stocked kitchen needs some sort of fat to cook with and olive oil is one of your healthiest, most versatile options. The antioxidants found in olive oil can help lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, and ward off cancer. It’s a much healthier alternative to regular vegetable oil and even canola oil.

There is also a different olive oil for each price point, but all offer a great taste and a quick heating ability. For sautéing, try virgin olive oil and for high heat cooking, use light olive oil.

Olive oil can also be used in lieu of salad dressings and because it is a good fat which lowers your bad cholesterol and raises your good cholesterol, which makes it a healthy alternative to the dressings you can find in the grocery store. For salad dressings, try extra virgin olive oil, which is not as good for cooking since it has a low smoke point.

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Budget Meal: Baked Chicken Parmesan

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Servings: 4
Cost per meal: $9.47
Cost per serving: $2.37
Prep time: 15 minutes
Estimated calories: 300

I absolutely love Italian food, but often find at Italian restaurants the portions are too big and the food is prepared in the least healthy way possible. That’s why for this week’s budget meal, I decided to adapt Skinnytaste’s Baked Chicken Parmesan because I wanted to lighten up one of my favorite Italian dishes – and do it on a budget. The result is a great week night meal you and your roommates can easily make – or you can freeze the leftovers for when you’re on the go and have a great alternative to those sodium-loaded frozen dinners.

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How To Eat Well During Your College Years: An Interview With a UVA Nutritionist

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Melanie Brede                                                        Amy Chestnutt

This week we interviewed nutritionist Melanie Brede from the Elson Student Health Center here at the University of Virginia. Here is her helpful advice! Our final question was collaboration from Melanie and one of her colleagues Amy Chestnutt with the Eating Disorders Education Initiative at the UVA Women’s Center

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Budget Meal: Zucchini and Sweet Potato Frittata

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Servings: 4
Cost per serving: $1.69
Cost per meal: $6.75
Prep time: 45 minutes
Estimated calories per serving: 225

For this week’s budget meal I decided to go vegetarian and low carb with a zucchini and sweet potato frittata. (Bonus: It’s also Paleo-friendly!)  A frittata is kind of like an omelet, only it’s fluffier and filled with more vegetables and such. It’s cooked in a unique way—you start it on the stove, and then you finish it in the oven. Sure, maybe it sounds like a breakfast food, but if you’re like me, then you probably don’t get around to making this type of thing for breakfast often. So why not try it for dinner? Continue reading

How To: Sauté Vegetables

Sautéed vegetables can be a great addition to rice, pasta, wraps, salads, meat dishes or even by themselves! They can also be very healthy and flavorful if you use olive oil as opposed to butter or vegetable oil. This is a simple recipe that only takes a few steps, but be sure to use appropriate kitchen tools! A shallow frying pan works best so there is more surface area for the vegetables to brown, and a wooden spoon or spatula is all you need to turn your sautéed ingredients.

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