The Perfect End to a Meal

March 23rd, 2014

 

There are many ways to end a meal, but nothing quite does it for me as well as tea. I love ending my meals with a tea. It leaves a clean, fresh taste in your mouth. I like coffee, but the after taste is never very satisfying. It always lingers a little longer than anticipated, and is often too bitter and pungent. Tea, on the other hand, often feels light and cleansing. Also, I can choose the flavor depending on the meal I had. For instance, if my meal was heavy and very flavorful, I tend to choose a citrus tea such as the classic lemon or the orange and spice flavor. If I had a “comfort food” meal, such as pasta or a meat and potatoes dish then I will usually opt for the cinnamon and apple tea or some kind of a variation on that. It completes the meal like a dessert. Mint teas are also great options to end a meal and will always do the trick to settle the stomach and end your lunch or dinner. But out of all of the tea options, my absolute favorite is green tea, especially after lunch. It has a very clean, fresh taste which is very soothing, but also enough flavor to clear the palate. I also like that it has a bit of caffeine to give me some energy for the rest of the day and not crave a cup of coffee. Adding a bit of vanilla almond milk is a great addition to green tea. It lightly sweetens it and adds a bit of complexity to the flavor, without overpowering the taste of the green tea. So whether you are looking for a way to tie up your meal, trying to kick a coffee addiction, or just look for something new to try, think of making yourself a cup of tea. Try a range of flavors and experiment with different additions such as almond milk, lemon, honey, fresh cinnamon or anything else that might give your tea a little edge and bring your meal to a pleasant end.

A Little Crunch

November 23rd, 2013

I am always looking for new ways to enhance my dishes. Whatever might work is worth a shot. Whether it’s by mixing in spices, adding a new sauce or finding different combinations, as long as it alters the meal in some way, I’m happy. It may seem that the dining halls limit the chance to do so. But in fact, both Moulton and Thorne offer many condiments to makes your choice of food more exciting. One of my favorite addition to a meal is the roasted unsalted soybeans and sunflower seeds. They both do not have the most exciting flavors, but always add a fun texture. I love adding them to salads, but also find them to go quite nicely with a stir-fry or rice and vegetable dish. Next time you find yourself looking for something new, give those roasted nuts and beans a chance! They won’t disappoint.

Just Add Spice

October 29th, 2013

I love Bowdoin’s dinning, but there are times when I just need to spice up my dish a bit. There are different options to enhance your meal, but my favorite is the spice rack. It’s easily overlooked, and may seem like overkill or difficult to incorporate into an already prepared meal. Which is why when I decide to add a few spices, it is usually when my dish has some basic food groups without an exciting sauce. The combination I always like to add spices too is when I have rice, some vegetable and tofu or beans from the salad bar. By adding some spices, olive oil and soy sauce and then microwaving it, you can really make that dish more interesting. This is especially helpful if one night you are not in the mood for the dinning halls options. My favorite combination, if you are looking for a bit of inspiration, is paprika, ginger and flax seed. When you add those spices to your rice and vegetables and heat them up with a bit of olive oil and soy sauce it will give your food a flavorful but not too overwhelming taste. Play with different combinations until you find something that suits your taste buds. The beauty of the spice rack is that you can have fun with it and keep experimenting with different combinations until you find one that is right for you.

A little love for the eggplant

October 22nd, 2013

I’m usually not much of an eggplant fan. As a vegetarian, I wish I could appreciate it more as a meat-substitute, but I often find it a little lackluster in its various forms of preparation.

No so today at Moulton lunch. “Ivy’s Garlic Eggplant & Bell Pepper Stir Fry” subverted my eggplant prejudices. I’m not sure who Ivy is, but her eggplant makeover involved a flavorful combination of parmesan cheese and garlic (LOTS of garlic!! I’ll be honest, that’s probably what sold me). There was little too much oil for my taste, but the garlic to eggplant ratio was spot on, so I’m not complaining. I could imagine it working well in a tortilla with some sour cream next time… I may have to try this at home. Thanks, Ivy, for the eggplant love!

Saturday morning, sugar on top

October 19th, 2013

Apple cinnamon chip pancakes, fresh strawberries and bananas, vanilla yogurt on the side

Ah, lunch at Bowdoin! It comes right when I need it and with a seemingly endless array of vegetable combinations. I often just skip the hot food line to head straight for the deli/salad bar selections. Between the specialty salads, deli sandwiches, and bounty of fresh vegetables, I find myself pretty darn satisfied.

From Thorne this past week: a grilled vegetable caesar wrap, sided with a personally-crafted salad.

Gotta love the panini maker and specialty salads at Moulton. I paired my own spinach-pesto-tomato panini with a specialty grilled veggie-couscous-herb pesto salad: sprinkled with some olives and feta, a deliciously harmonious arrangement.

Let us pause for a moment in reverence of a new arrival at Thorne brunch. Its name is the Cream Cheese-Filled Peach Muffin. Welcome. Please do stay for awhile.

Minus the Lobster

September 5th, 2013

While most Bowdoin students celebrated the start of classes with a beautiful Maine lobstah, the vegetarians out on Farley Field yesterday evening satisfied ourselves with eggplant– grilled and topped with a red pepper salsa. I’m not often satisfied with eggplant and would have enjoyed a little more flavor in the main dish, but there was so much else to savor in the meal: summery sides of corn-the-cob, fresh salad, and roasted potatoes.

Between all the hugs and hellos on the field, I grabbed some blueberry cake for dessert: a light, sweet finish to the evening. It sits here in its glory, bathed in the soft hues of the late summer twilight. Here’s to one more year of Bowdoin desserts.

An omnivorous friend generously offered up his lobster for a photo.

 

Locavore Love

April 3rd, 2013

To all you Bowdoin foodies who have been lamenting the lack of posts on this blog: hi. I hope you will feast upon this arrangement of beautiful, fresh, locally grown vegetables from the Locavore Dinner at Thorne this evening. The spicy black bean cake (hiding under the red pepper and topped with a ginger ketchup) was rich and satisfying, and the fresh greens were a treat, especially at this time of the year. In case you’re wondering, those purple and yellow bits atop my salad are shredded carrots. Who knew there were such cool vegetables growing in Maine these days?

February 10th, 2013

Tonight’s dinner at Thorne honored the Lunar New Year. On the menu for us veggies: vegetable spring rolls, Cantonese-style vegetables, marinated Chinese cabbage salad, hot and sour soup, and fried tofu (which I doused with the sweet and sour chili sauce, a recent discovery at the oil and vinegar station).

I enjoyed the festive change of pace, though I have to say didn’t find anything hugely appealing. My friend had good things to say about the baked hoison chicken. Apparently it’s sweeter than the chicken Thorne usually serves. Look: I even included a photo for those of you feeling starved of meat as you read these posts.

Dessert was a curious adventure, with an “8 Treasure Rice Pudding” and Almond Cream with Kiwi Garnish. I usually love rice pudding, but tonight’s was lacking in creamy substance and sweetness. It was a little too much like your everyday rice for my liking, though I enjoyed the cranberry and apricot “treasures” (still not sure how the number eight entered into the mix…).

The almond cream was a delightfully sweet compensation for the pudding. I couldn’t help but feel sad for the lonely little kiwi sitting on top.

 

Tofu with Peanut Sauce

February 1st, 2013

Tender tofu chunks

Doused in savory-sweet sauce

Meat lovers: beware

 

Back from Break: Carrot Cake!

January 31st, 2013

Let’s start off the new year at the BG with an all-star Bowdoin dessert: carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Its moistness is rivaled only by the frosted banana bar, but the frosting is what makes this dessert truly exceptional. The blend of sweet-sour creaminess and spiced cake flavors was immensely satisfying with my customary vanilla yogurt on the side.  -Lucy

Just when some of us were unsure we’d make it through the heat of finals, Bowdoin dining came to the rescue with its annual holiday dinner. This plate of sienna-toned comforts was a warm reprieve from the cold and stress. Beside my bowl of pumpkin bisque, observe the roasted Maine root vegetables, cool waldorf salad, and slice of moist pumpkin bread (a little dessert with the main meal to whet my sweet tooth). The carrot & sweet potato tzimmes were my favorite of the veggies—so sweet, and cooked to tender perfection.

What a spirited hunk of cheese. Moulton really dished out the holiday cheer.

I was only temporarily torn between the various dessert options before I opted for the blueberry cobbler, my favorite of the fruit cobblers here at Bowdoin. Tonight, the buttery crumble atop the blueberry had just the right amount of mush to its crunch.

I shouldn’t sign-off without a brief tribute to the other dessert of the evening: the notorious Bowdoin Log.

Is it irreverant to admit that I’ve never been much of a fan of the Bowdoin Log? I enjoy the spirit of them, but chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream doesn’t do it for me like a bowl of blueberry cobbler and vanilla yogurt. I borrowed my friend’s serving for the photo op, though, so I can’t speak to the eating experience the other night. It sure looks beautiful, doesn’t it?  –Lucy

Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce

December 5th, 2012

Oh, the comfort of fried chickpeas and creamy cucumber-dill sauce amidst the frenzy of the final week of classes. Perhaps this falafel wasn’t as authentic as some might like, but it was delicious nonetheless. The side of doughy, pita-like bread enhanced the general squishiness and comfort factor while encouraging a more creative eating experience. -Lucy

Guest Post: Quiche

December 4th, 2012

 Quiche. Just the word itself is foreign to me, let alone eating it. This semester, I have made a quick transfer from Moulton to Thorne breakfasts. However, the composition of my meal stayed the same- eggs, toast, and a cup of coffee. This remained true till I encountered the quiche at Thorne. Ever since, the quiche has become a permanent fixture to my breakfast routine.

Here it is, sitting beside the long time friends- eggs and toast. Today I have even elected some home fries to be part of the breakfast crew, they are the first to go so that I can get to the main players. Since the cheese quiche is never too overwhelming, I always choose to attack it the last.

After I smear the ketchup over the eggs, they go fast, as usual, I owe the smooth texture of yolk and white to Patty at Thorne’s. Now the leftover toast is there to soak up the brilliant yellow and red that’s left.

And then there was one-piece of quiche. As mentioned before, my history with quiche is short. I have only tried Bowdoin’s version. Here I speak of the Cheese Quiche.

So I begin. Chipping off the tip to take my first bite, I notice the three textures blending in my mouth. First, the light middle hits the tongue, then the top caramelized cheesy layer and flexible crust introduce itself. These layers have been constructed to remain distinct yet they hold together. Not only does the texture contribute to the eating experience, but also the blend of cheese, egg, and scallion brought out by the lightly flavored crust. As I make my way down the quiche wedge, the best part approaches- the crust. As I bite into the end of the quiche piece, the soft of the center transitions smoothly into the lightly salted moderately crispy crust. The combination is surprisingly easy for the palate. There is a melt in the mouth texture to the crust that still retains a light crunch. On its own, the crust is a natural palate cleanser. It does not exude hints of neither cheese nor scallion and can stand-alone.

On the whole, the quiche is one of Thorne dining hall’s prized menu items. It was proudly served as one of the main selections at the regalia pick up brunch during convocation this year. Its tripartite textural composition, tapered flavors of cheese, scallion, and off along with a crust that soothes my appetite justifies its induction to my breakfast team.
My only advice to Bowdoin quiche eaters is: a cold quiche is no quiche. – PhuiYi Kong ’15

Bowdoin’s Magical Dessert

November 28th, 2012

The Bowdoin dining halls are host to many a bar: maple bars, chocolate chip bars, pumpkin chocolate chip bars, princess bars, frosted banana bars… the list goes on. Now that the frosted banana bar has had its moment in the spotlight here at the BG, the time has come to celebrate my other favorite Bowdoin bar.

Behold the beautiful Lemon Bar (less popularly known as the “Lemon Square,” though I’ve yet to see one of these guys that looks more square than rectangular). The power of its sweet, lemon flavor emanates in its vibrant yellow hue. The lemon bar achieves a squishiness and density unprecedented by any of the other bars: its texture is almost pudding-like, yet it holds its beautiful rectangular shape with ease. Beneath the layer of sweet-tart lemon, you’ll encounter a light, sweet pastry. The subtle buttery, sugary taste is just detectable below the high-pitch of the lemon.

Beyond its taste, the lemon bar possesses a special (dare I say magical?) quality that I haven’t experienced with other desserts here. Basically, whenever I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed by life, I see lemon bars at the dessert station. They have a way of appearing when I need them most. They’re not just there amidst the day-to-day stresses, but at those precise moments when the busyness reaches its climax. I can’t explain it. At those times, all I need is that magical lemony taste–with a side of yogurt–to momentarily sweep me away. And the lemon bar never disappoints.

-Lucy

A Classic

November 18th, 2012

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my lunches tend to get repetitive. I would like to think if them as a classic lunch choice. If you are willing, and happy to return to a similar meal every day, then there must be something good about it, right? Otherwise, where would the draw be? Of course, it’s easy and logic to think what you chose is good. But how do you know if others would feel the same way about your culinary preferences? Once I considered blogging about it, I had to take into account whether it would be an interesting choice for others. Over my time at Bowdoin, I have had several comments about my salad, hearing everything from “how can you keep eating the same meal over and over again? to “I could never have a salad everyday, I would get too hungry” to “wow, that looks awesome!” and “what to you add to your salad? It looks good”. The beauty of a salad is that you can add anything that fits your mood and it doesn’t really matter if the salad bar is missing something. There are always enough vegetables and condiments to make it interesting. So here is my standard repertoire of elements: carrots, spinach/dark greens, peppers, cucumbers (keeps the salad from tasting too dry), celery (enhances the texture), garbanzo beans and red kidney beans (the beans cut the acidity of the peppers and salad), balsamic Dijon dressing, my own balsamic (it’s sweeter than the standard one and works really well with their Dijon dressing), olive oil (melds the two balsamics together), feta or parmesan (the cheese adds a lot of flavor) and finally roasted soy beans and sunflower seeds (adds a bit of crunch and feels like the missing touch to any salad). So that is why and what I add to my salad. If you are feeling adventurous go for something new. It took me a while to figure out what it takes to make my salad feel complete. But in the end I figured out what worked for me, every single lunch.

-Sarah

 

 

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast

November 15th, 2012

Tonight I am thankful for: roasted vegetable pot pie with a homemade vegan biscuit, mashed potatoes, dressing, Maine butternut squash, steamed peas, Bowdoin Organic Garden pumpkin bread, and candied sweet potatoes. I was especially grateful for the sweet potatoes: comfortingly mushy and sweet, subtly seasoned with cinnamon. I could have eaten another helping for dessert. The vegetable pot pie was delicious, too–so warm and rich and flavorful. Thank you, Thorne.

But I mustn’t forget the wonderful showing at the salad bar. Below, admire the Baby Spinach & Pear Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. Oddly, I tasted more lemon than raspberry in the dressing. It wasn’t overpowering, but blended quite pleasingly with the spinach, pears and feta. My only wish was that the pears were slightly riper, but it was a beautiful salad nonetheless.

Now, I know you’ve been patiently waiting for the main event of the evening: Apple Pie a la Yaourt. Not sure about that translation, but you get it.
I always enjoy Bowdoin’s apple pie, and tonight was no exception. Perhaps the apples could’ve have been a little more tender, but I can’t complain. The crust was soft, not crunchy or overcooked. A delicious-looking pumpkin pie (made with Bowdoin Organic Garden pumpkins) was also present at the dessert table, but after my earlier share of pumpkin bread, I was more in the mood for apples.  -Lucy

Gooey Goodies

November 15th, 2012

In honor of Diwali, Moulton featured a selection of Indian foods at dinner on Tuesday night. My sweet tooth instinctively drew me to the coconut laddoo: sticky-sweet balls of toasted coconut with a hint of intriguing flavor that I couldn’t identify. I loved their gooeyness, though they left my fingers quite sticky. -Lucy

Bibimbap

November 8th, 2012

Tuesday was a fantastic day at Moulton – bibimbap and chicken nuggets, plus Hungarian mushroom soup. Rice, beef, shredded vegetables, and eggs all cooked right in front of you – what could be better? I love the variety of color and texture, with cucumber and carrots, pickled vegetables, hot meat, perfectly cooked eggs, and meat all in one bite. Moulton displays are fun too, because you can talk to the people cooking for awhile. Plus, I love ginger so I was happy about that as well. The chicken nuggets were also great – I’m still not sure whether I prefer plain nuggets with an assortment of sauces or an assortment of pre-sauced nuggets, like there were last night, but the buffalo nuggets were delicious regardless. One last note: Monday night at Thorne there were the most delicious paninis with avocado and sprouts – there should always be sprouts. They are delicious.