Sarah McAnaw

Sarah McAnaw

Sarah McAnaw is a junior at American University where she divides her time between studying International Relations and Biology.  Having started cooking in the safe confines of her kitchen at home, she has since learned to handle the heat in a dorm kitchen with broken appliances, over-active smoke detectors and boys who lose bets (badly).  As a hobby she’s into anything that has to do with environmental science, and is forever seeking to cook in a way that is healthy for both people and the Earth.

Favorite Healthful Food: Mangos

Late-Night Indulgence: Dark chocolate

Biggest Kitchen Disaster: Losing the bottom of my blender while making Spicy Crab Corn Chowder and watching it splatter everywhere

Tastiest Travel Experience: Paris, France. While Paris is known for its pastries, bread and cheese (all of which are amazing), the fresh produce was fantastic.  I bought a peach from an outdoor market that was the size of a softball and was literally the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Favorite Dining Hall Food: Nature Valley (or something super close) granola

5 Ingredient Feast: Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blackberries and Mint

Blackberry FroYo

Ice cream is one of those foods that is pretty much universally loved. I mean, who doesn’t love ice cream? Certainly not my family. We absolutely adore it. When, as a baby, it was found that I was lactose intolerant, my mother lamented the fact that I could never eat ice cream. Later, when I was a little older and had – thankfully – grown out of my lactose intolerance, my sister and I would spend a week or so each summer visiting our Nana. The last thing my dad always said before our parents dropped us off was, …

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Look Ma, No Oven! Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

For me, it’s not truly summer until I’ve planted a small herb garden in my backyard. Nothing beats fresh ingredients, and it’s always a little sad when the end of the season comes around and I have to start using dried herbs. Sigh. Better use the fresh ingredients while you can! I use herbs in everything – chicken, fish, pasta, sandwiches, you name it. But considering how hot and sticky it’s been lately here in New York, who wants to turn on the oven or the grill? So I made tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh is a very common Middle Eastern …

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Healthy Homemade: Cracked Wheat and Nectarine Salad

Cracked Wheat Nectarine salad 2

Spring and fall are my favorite seasons – I love the transitional weather and the colors that come with them. But in terms of food, summer is by far the best. After the typically heavy foods of winter, the lighter dishes filled with fresh produce associated with summer are such a relief. With such an abundance of summer fruits, vegetables and herbs, I try to incorporate as many fresh ingredients as possible into what I make. Bulgur wheat, most commonly used in tabbouleh, is a healthy and versatile grain that goes great with one of my absolute favorite fruits – nectarines. Combined, this bulgur wheat and nectarine salad filled with fresh herbs is an easy, healthy and seasonal dish I love to make all summer long. Great with grilled chicken, fish, or really just about anything, this salad is a yummy side dish or even eaten out of a bowl all by itself!

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SKC Abroad: Dolmeh

dolmeh 2

Dolmeh – stuffed grape leaves – have always been associated with Greek food for me. As it turns out, they’re a generally Middle Eastern dish, and there are multiple ways of making them depending on the country. With only a week left in Israel, my Israeli roommate Ruthy surprisingly showed up with supplies to make dolmeh, but in this case, Lebanese style.

Depending on how many you’re planning to make, dolmeh aren’t hard but they can be time consuming. As amateur dolmeh makers, it took us some time with our first round, but with some practice we were able to …

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Five Ingredient Feast: Mujaddara

Mujaddara 2

Given my complicated relationship with lentils, it’s amazing how many dishes containing lentils I have eaten during my time abroad in Israel.

Within a few weeks of being here, I walked into my apartment to find my Israeli roommate, Ruthy, cooking up a big pot of – you guessed it – lentils. She proudly announced that she was making mujaddara, a very traditional Middle Eastern meal of equal parts lentils and brown rice, and that she was making a massive amount of it because she was sure everyone would love it. I must have had quite the …

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SKC Abroad: Pargiyot

Pargiyot

As we get into the beginning of May and summer is just within reach, the season for barbequing in the US is quickly getting closer. In the US, big holidays such as Memorial and Independence Day involve big BBQs with family and friends, and I was a little surprised to find that even halfway around the world in a different culture, Israelis share this tradition.

Unlike the U.S., however, Israeli Memorial and Independence Day are one day apart. Memorial Day is an incredibly serious holiday, with the sounding of a siren at 11am during which the entire country stops what …

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-Free Food: “Live” Lasagna

Live lasagna 2

While studying abroad in Italy and Israel I’ve noticed that vegetarianism has become prevalent throughout the world. Being vegan hasn’t yet become so popular, but nevertheless my suitemate Rena here in Israel is vegan. You would think that this would be pretty difficult living in a country where dairy products are such a large part of the culture. She wasn’t too worried though, since it seems that the staples of hummus, pita, tahina, and fresh vegetables make it more than easy to survive as a vegan while still adhering to a traditionally Israeli diet.

I didn’t think it was …

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-Free Food: Chai Latte Cupcakes

Back Camera

Photo courtesy of Candice Allouch

I have never been a big meat eater and am a big proponent of sustainable food, so much of what I cook is vegetarian by default. This became even more true when I went to college, as my best friend-turned-roommate-and-cooking-partner-in-crime turned out to be a vegetarian, meaning that we only cook vegetarian dishes during the school year.

It wasn’t until last year, however, when a few of my friends decided to make the transition from vegetarian to vegan that I had any experience with this dietary restriction. My best friend and I are the …

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In Season: Bell Peppers

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Bell peppers are the sweeter, milder cousins of chilis and come in a variety of colors: green, yellow, orange, and red. The color of the pepper indicates the degree to which the pepper has ripened, green being the youngest and most bitter and red the ripest and sweetest. Bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C – 1 cup of chopped bell pepper contains more than twice the amount found in an orange! – and are also great sources of antioxidants such as vitamin E and manganese.

**All About Bell Peppers**

In Season: Bell Peppers

When to Buy: Bell peppers …

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SKC Abroad: Sephardic Date Charoset

Charoset bowl

Passover is by far my least favorite holiday. As an Ashkenazi Jew, there are so many restrictions on what you can and cannot eat during Passover that I ultimately end up living off of salad, matzoh, and boxed Manischewitz mixes for its duration. Now, for all those people who say they like Passover food – especially matzoh – I agree, it’s not so bad…but after eight, long days of matzoh being the staple food of your diet, trust me, it quickly loses any of the appeal it might have had (although getting creative and making something like this matzoh

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