By: Sammy Harris
And just like that, it is almost Thanksgiving break AND I am writing my third Foodie Feature for GreenHawks Media- wow!!! Last month, I wrote about my Chicago foodie adventures during Fall Break, and NOW— definitely a little closer to home for most of you– I am going to take you guys through a guide on how I have learned to optimize Miami dining halls across campus. YES, this is possible if you are open-minded, creative and mindful!
Here we have probably my favorite, consistent meal to eat at the dining halls: Grain Bowls. As soon as I enter dining halls that have the ingredients available, (Western and Maple I know do for sure), I immediately go to the allergen station because the items there are the freshest and cooked the most simply. I begin these bowls with the kale/apple/cranberry salad and then top it with the day’s available vegetables– sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots– and finish with quinoa and grilled chicken!
The key to making dining hall grilled chicken flavorful is to spread a little hummus on it, and la la!
Below are two versions of my dining hall take on “Chipotle” bowls! This is a meal that you can make at almost all dining halls on campus using different ingredients each time to make today’s bowl unique from the last! For instance, below is my Bell Tower vegetarian burrito bowl: brown rice under lettuce, grilled peppers, pico, chopped onions, corn & balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top! Next to it on the right is my classic Maple Street salad bowl: a bed of kale salad in lemon vinaigrette beneath sweet potato, grilled chicken, brown rice, pico and guac! If you can’t tell already, I am a HUGE fan of Maple’s kale salad — I cannot recommend trying it enough!!
My obsession with the stir fry station began at Garden Dining Hall my freshman year. I even think the chefs knew my go-to order by heart at the end of the year (oops!). I love the stir fry because everything is cooked right before you eat it versus sitting out for several hours. The keys to my stir fry success are: no grains, double “immunity” blend vegetables, double broccoli, shrimp or chicken, & light ginger as my sauce/seasoning!
While the chefs are cooking my stir fry, I go to the salad station and fill it plate with spinach to go underneath my stir fry! This way, I am getting A TON of vegetables and I don’t feel gross ever after I eat it! To add more flavor, I even put some pico on top!
Sometimes, though, I just want a salad with a bunch of big ole yummy ingredients not cooked in oils. Through lots of trial and error, I have found my favorite salad bar creation: tons of spinach beneath cucumbers, edamame, carrots, broccoli, grilled chicken (from the hot bar) & topped w/ hummus & the chickpea quinoa salad to add more flavor!
My favorite time to eat these giant salads is after a long run. I was just talking to a friend the other day about how we both feel more inclined to fuel our bodies with real, nutritious food that makes us feel good after we exercise. This is the definition of a win-win!!
Again, please feel free to reach out to me (Via my Instagram) and/or GreenHawks Media with any suggestions, requests, questions, etc.. I cannot wait to keep sharing my love for whole, organic, mostly plant-based foods that make us feel good while helping out the environment A LOT!
All photos courtesy of Sammy Harris