A useful guide for beginner cooks

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 A photo of the URSU Cares Cookbook promotional poster found on the second floor of the Ridell Centre by the URSU front desk. There is a QR code on the bottom right of the poster that links to the online version of the cookbook.
This is a poster, not a cookbook… lee lim

 Make use of this resource and make student life that much easier

With so much going on during university, including coursework, part-time or even full-time jobs, assignments, quizzes, exams, and extracurricular activities, and some students are also single parents, provide childcare, and run businesses of their own at the same time, it can be difficult to find the time to maintain a balanced diet and stay fit.  

This is why the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU) recently launched their cookbook, which is a resource guide for all food-related things. It includes recipes, recommendations on reducing food expenses, and some daily tips and tricks to navigate cooking. Managing expenses as a student can be difficult and this cookbook provides a great guide for students to navigate food and money and staying healthy.  

The cookbook was launched on Feb 8, 2024, followed by an iPad giveaway to drive student engagement, incentivize students to learn more about the cookbook, and spread the word across campus. 

The cookbook was put together with contributions from people from all walks of life, but the one to put it all together was Sarah Hameluck, a Registered Dietitian and the Food Security Coordinator at URSU. Hameluck has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan.  

The book kicks off by providing an array of food resources for students. These include the basics of a healthy diet, budget-friendly grocery shopping tips, how to plan meals and snacks, and so much more. It also provides navigation to food and nutrition-related services students can access through the University of Regina.  

It is important to note that students have a lot of resources and facilities on campus that can be looked into and made the best use of. This cookbook by URSU is one such resource that is going to bear fruit as a result of their efforts to cater to the students, as they should.  

“Food Safety 101 (adapted from Health Canada)” is the first chapter and one of the key highlights of the book. Page 16 of the cookbook informs the reader that food safety “isn’t just for restaurants and food service organizations. It is important to follow food safety guidelines at home so you and anyone you share food with can avoid the unpleasant effects of food poisoning or foodborne illness.”  

This section of the book talks about grocery shopping, storing leftovers, preparing food, and cleaning food to maintain food safety as a personal responsibility of all individuals in order to prevent the spread of diseases.  

One never knows what germs and bacteria might be on your food, and learning safety guidelines can help your food stay fresh a while longer. Plus, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

The cookbook also provides a sample one-week meal plan detailing the different types of meals that can be cooked during the day and night to stay healthy. Some budget-friendly grocery shopping tips included the point of comparing prices between stores.  

Canadian stores can have different prices for the same item, so being aware of what stores will fit your budget is crucial to avoid overspending. One such tip on page 23 says, “Students can save 15 [per cent] on their purchases at Bulk Barn every Wednesday! Bring your student ID to show the cashier.”  

Deals like this can be really beneficial for students to stay within their budget while buying healthy ingredients in bulk.  

The URSU cookbook talks about the various resources available on campus. These include the URSU Cares Pantry, URSU Cares Community Fridges, Reach Good Food Box, and the RPIRG Green patch.  

The URSU Cares Pantry is a free service that URSU runs every two weeks where current students can register to receive fresh fruits, vegetables, pantry staples, personal hygiene items, and an array of free clothing. It is important to register before attending the pantry.  

The URSU Cares Community Fridges program is where URSU has set up two community fridges on campus. One is located on the second floor of the Riddell Centre beside the URSU front desk, and one is located on the main floor of the First Nations University of Canada.  

These fridges are accessible 24-7 and available to anyone to donate what they can and take what they need. The availability of food within these fridges depends on the donations.  

The Reach Good Food Box is a program that URSU participates in as a site to place and pick up orders. They are affordably priced produce and pantry boxes that get delivered to URSU every two weeks. More information can be found on the URSU website under the “Food Security Tab” in the “Good Food Box” section. 

The cookbook then goes into different recipes that are a collection of contributions by students on campus. It has a variety of breakfast, desserts, main meals, and more.  

The cookbook boasts a variety of sweet and savory dishes that might even appeal to picky eaters. Breakfast recipes in the cookbook include cinnamon rolls, egg half fry, caramelized banana spiced oatmeal, three-ingredient pancakes, and breakfast scrambles.  

The main meals include cuisines from Asia, Africa, North America, and more, as the list seems endless. Some meals are common favourites of many South Asians, like spiced potato sandwiches, mixed vegetable soup, and undhiyu. The cookbook also includes other types of dishes like chickpea peanut stew, fried rice, pasta, and more.  

It also has side dishes, sweet treats, and snacks. Some easy-to-make recipes from these categories include fry bread; no-cook chickpea salad; banana bread; banana boats; spicy, healthy salsa; and carrot and tuna salad.  

Towards the end of the cookbook, there is an index which provides recipes as per different ingredients. It is interesting to note how one item can be used in different meals, giving a variety of tastes.  

The cookbook has a lot to offer and has perfectly captured the essence of a student-friendly resource guide that will help all students better navigate nutrition. 

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