Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

The National Nutrition Month® theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives.

Carnegie Mellon University Dining Services is celebrating National Nutrition Month® with a series of events and by highlighting some of the healthy and delicious food options we offer across campus throughout the academic year.

Attend a National Nutrition Month® Event!

Make sure to stop by one or all of the following special events taking place on Wednesdays throughout the remainder of March.

March 23, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
Tazza D’Oro in the Gates Hillman Complex

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Tazza D’Oro will be handing out free samples of its new homemade, healthy grab-and-go items (see below). While you’re noshing on yummy free samples, you can also spin the nutrition trivia wheel with our PHAs for fun prizes!

Underground Orange 900r300March 23, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Underground in Morewood Gardens

More prize wheel nutrition trivia with PHAs will take place later in the day at The Underground, with free samples of the UG’s fruit and nut salad on Wednesday, March 16, and the filling of the bean and rice wrap on Wednesday, March 23.

Farmers Market
March 30, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Merson Courtyard outside of the Cohon Center

Celebrate spring and locally-sourced food at the first Farmers Market of the semester! Chef Vic will conduct a cooking demonstration and delicious items will be available for purchase including but not limited to fresh hand-pulled mozzarella, baguettes, focaccia and Italian bread baked fresh from Breadworks, hot house grown herbs, tomatoes, mushrooms, and Naturi yogurt.

Do Something Good for You: Eat Healthy!

We can all agree it’s not easy to eat healthy all the time … but it certainly is easier when your healthy food choices are also delicious. Below is a short list of good-for-you foods that are also tasty at dining concepts across campus:

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While the amazing sandwiches are what The Exchange is known and loved for, super healthy and yummy salads are also offered on the menu – bulgar wheat kale salad, cucumber feta olive salad, and a create-your-own option. Choose to top your salad with the homemade avocado cilantro vinaigrette and you get an extra dose of mono and poly unsaturated fats, both heart healthy fats.

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Featuring exclusively vegetarian, vegan, and superfood specialties, Evgefstos offers a diverse range of cuisines from around the globe, with plant-based ingredients seasoned and prepared to take on the flavors of Asia, India, and the Mediterranean. Lunch offers steamed veggies, made-to-order flatbreads and wraps, veggie burgers, homemade hummus, fresh falafel, and more. Dinner features a build-your-own theme each night of the week, plus hot and cold sides to add to a meal. A campus favorite for more than 10 years, Evgefstos is open Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 8:00 pm, in the Cohon Center.

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The owners and operators of The Exchange in Tepper offer a super healthy smoothie at Stephanie’s in the Mellon Institute and at the Red Oak Café in Oakland, called OTY. It’s made with oats, tea, and yogurt with antioxidant-ripe fruits and nutrient-rich whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Pictured here is the Blue Power OTY, packed with blueberries, lemon, vanilla, and hibiscus.

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Every Tuesday and Thursday at the Global Flavour station in Resnik, enjoy chef-prepared fresh, lean proteins and super food greens … grilled! Grill’n’Greens offers whole foods at their best – simply prepared and bursting with flavor and nutrition.

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Tazza D’Oro, located in the Gates Hillman Complex, serves drinks and food with ingredients that are organic and locally-sourced whenever possible. New items on Tazza’s menu include a wild mushroom panini for lunch and the following grab-and-go items: a beans and greens sandwich, hummus and veggies, kale/roasted butternut squash/goat cheese salad, Mediterranean salad, quinoa salad, chickpea salad, and bottled chocolate milk from Brunton Dairy. And check out the long list of local growers and suppliers Tazza partners with to source its ingredients:

  • Brunton Dairy
  • Kistaco Farm
  • Greenawalt Farm
  • JL Kennedy Farm
  • Garfield Farm
  • Goat Rodeo Farm
  • Stagnos Bakery
  • Enrico’s Bakery
  • Gluten Free Goat Bakery
  • Wild Purveyors
  • Greek Gourmet
  • Stover’s Company
  • B&K Farm


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The Pomegranate
, now located in Tartans Pavilion in Resnik, serves fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and is considering adding fresh-squeezed carrot juice to the menu as well.

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“Savor the flavor of eating right” at the Tartan Express food truck from March 28 through April 1 with the vegetarian special that week – kale earth ramen!

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Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast increases energy, improves concentration, enhances academic performance, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Now, you can get a breakfast burrito at El Gallo de Oro in the Cohon Center, Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 10:30 am. If you order the block breakfast, you also get a piece of fresh fruit. A protein, beans, veggies, and fruit … sounds like a good way to start the day!

Carnegie Mellon Dining Services is curious about how you will engage with the National Nutrition Month initiative. We invite you to share your healthy eating habits by posting on this blog.

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Food, Family and Borscht: These Are a Few of His Favorite Things

If you dine on Carnegie Mellon’s campus, you likely know Chef Vic. He is outgoing and friendly, goes out of his way to make his customers happy and satisfied, and is totally passionate about food.

A lifelong foodie, he’s been a Culinart chef for Carnegie Mellon Dining Services since 2009. In terms of his dining roles on campus, he does a bit of everything, including assisting Health Services with incoming students who have special dietary needs, pitching in with catering for busy times like graduation or orientation, overseeing Hunt Library’s food program, attending Dining Student Advisory Council (DSAC) meetings, helping with menu development for Culinart locations across campus, and taking part in union relations and staff training.

Tell us about how you got started in the food industry.

I had a very humble beginning in the food industry, starting out in a fast food chain restaurant at the age of 16. I became a dishwasher in a bar restaurant at 17 and a food prep worker in a country club at 18. By 21, I was the sous chef in a hotel conference center in Ossining, New York. One day the executive chef, who had trained and trusted me with his kitchen, walked out after an argument with the general manager. I inherited his position and from then on never stopped educating myself with food literature and through hands-on dining experiences.

After that, I became Chef de Cuisine at Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club, worked for a time with Sodexo and Aramark, and joined Culinart in 2007 as an executive chef at IONA College in New York.

What do you value most about Carnegie Mellon University?

What it represents as an institution – a multitude of ethnic backgrounds and cultures from around the globe. It’s as much a melting pot as my home, New York.

How do you develop your menu(s)?

I have a tremendously creative team. They bring a lot of ideas to the table, from dated classics to the latest trends. We talk the ideas through and come up with a plan. Then we communicate with our guests and the well-received items find their way back onto the menus in the future.

Why are you passionate about food?

I grew up with half of my backyard as a vegetable garden. When my father wasn’t picking my soccer ball out of it, he was picking tomatoes and cucumbers for his homemade pickles and sauce. Memorable experiences centered on food were a big part of my upbringing. One of my fondest childhood memories is “donut day” – the day my father would make a huge batch of sweet buttermilk donut dough. My sisters and I would create any shape that came to mind before dad would drop them in the deep fat fryer. We made dinosaurs, smiley faces, braided art … it was always good times.

So really, at the end of the day, I am passionate about family, and food is a big part of bringing family together.

Personally speaking, what’s your preference – cook in or dine out?

I love to cook in, but of the two I prefer to dine out. I am always looking for a new flavor profile that I haven’t experienced yet.

What is your favorite meal to prepare/cook/serve?

I enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. It is a family effort that can go in many different directions, but in the end it brings people you love together under one roof.

All-time favorite food or meal.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Manhattan has the best Moscow Borscht. It’s a hearty soup made primarily with cabbage and beets and was served with skirt steak and covered with a flaky pastry. It was amazing! I have duplicated it on several occasions and have even served it here at CMU on one of our Chef’s Table menus.

Outside of food and work, what are some of your hobbies/interests?

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Chef Vic’s precious grandchildren! Isaiah Armani, Gage Lee, Skyler Amy Lynn, Niko Lee, Iris Jade, and baby Scarlett Marie.

I like RPG video games, intelligent conversation, playing chess, On Demand cable show binging, dominoes, and, most of all, spending time with my beautiful wife, children, and grandchildren (pictured).

(And, for those who don’t know, RPG video games are digital versions of games like Dungeons and Dragons.)

Tell us at least one thing that is on your bucket list.

To beat Bobbie Flay in an iron chef competition.

Check out some of Chef Vic’s latest cuisine adventures at Global Flavour and Tartans Pavilion, both located in Resnik.

cmu-global flavour-horizontalGlobal Flavour features international cuisines, exploring a new country each week beginning on Sunday. Cuisine themes include Korean BBQ, northern Italian, Japanese, French, and much more. Global Flavour is open seven days a week from 5:00 to 9:00 pm.

TartansPizzaItsPersonalLogoSmallNew at Tartans Pizza in Tartans Pavilion are chef’s ciabatta melts, featuring four delicious options available all day and night long: the Meatless Monday Melt, the Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch, the Meatball and Sausage Parmesan, and the Jalapeno Pineapple BBQ Pork. Tartans Pizza is open Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

You Can Help Stop Hunger Now. Here’s How.

Every November without exception, I think about the fact that I don’t do enough. I think about the people in our city, state, country, and world who don’t have enough to eat or don’t even have access to nutritious food or clean water, luxuries that I enjoy on a daily basis and largely take for granted. I think about these things this time of year perhaps more than any other because it’s a time to be thankful, to pay attention to the things you might normally not notice or appreciate, and to look around you for ways to help, give back, and contribute.

Stop Hunger NowOn Saturday, November 7, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, in the Wiegand Gym in the Cohon Center, my husband and I are joining PACE (Partners Allied in Civic Engagement) and members of the Carnegie Mellon University community to help package 100,000 meals for those who need them most.

Below is information about the Stop Hunger Now organization and its incredible partnership with the Kraft Heinz Company Foundation. Once you learn more and if you are available on November 7 for two hours, register yourself, your friends, and family to help stop hunger, one meal at a time.

STOP HUNGER NOW

Stop Hunger Now gets food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people and works to end global hunger in our lifetime. Established in 1998, Stop Hunger Now has provided over 210 million meals in more than 71 countries through boots-on-the-ground partner organizations like orphanages and medical clinics.

Here’s some staggering statistics:

  • Over 800 million people face starvation every day.
  • More than 21,000 of these people perish from malnutrition … daily.
  • Most disturbingly, 15,000 of them are children.

“Hidden hunger,” or micronutrient deficiency, is a major public health problem that can lead to conditions like iron-deficiency anemia, impair physical and mental development, weaken the immune system, and significantly increase the risk of dying before the age of five.

A Stop Hunger Now meal is a dehydrated meal comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, and a life-saving micronutrient packet that was developed by and donated through the Kraft Heinz Micronutrient Campaign (HMC). The powders in the packet contain 23 essential vitamins and minerals that can be mixed into the meal after it is cooked. The inclusion of the micronutrients in the meal helps to combat hidden hunger.

Stop Hunger Now MealCarnegie Mellon is the first university partner to join the Kraft Heinz Stop Hunger Now Campus Tour. How cool is that? Let’s be the leaders to inspire and empower even more university students to join the movement in fighting hidden hunger.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, family members (including children ages four and up), and friends are encouraged to register: http://tinyurl.com/CMUStopsHunger. We need over 400 volunteers to package meals on November 7! Residence halls, floors, student organizations, etc. can come as a group and work alongside one another in the gym.

Questions? Contact Director of Student Activities Liz Vaughan.

This blog is written by Director of Marketing for Student Affairs Operations Mandi Semple