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Aladdin Campus Dining offers cooking demos using pantry ingredients

Source: Aladdin Campus Dining offers cooking demos using pantry ingredients
Food Management, November 29, 2023

The Aladdin Campus Dining team at Middle Georgia State University in Macon provided an educational cooking demonstration, along with dietary counseling, to help students create easy to prepare meals in their apartments using nutrient-dense ingredients commonly stored in the campus pantry.

The initiative was created in response to a report from the National Center for Education Services (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education that found many students on college campuses are struggling to meet basic needs, including proper nutrition.

“The goal of our demonstration was to teach students how to prepare easy and inexpensive meals in a microwave utilizing nutrient-dense food items such as beans, pasta and rice from the school’s pantry,” explains Aladdin Campus Dining District Marketing Manager Erica Jackson. “We want to make sure that every student has access to high-quality food while providing the right foods for each student’s dietary needs.”

The demonstration was conducted by Chef Carlos Burke, who introduced the pantry ingredients on display and provided instruction on the versatility of a rotisserie chicken.

“There are so many recipe applications and multiple meals students can create from the rotisserie chicken, including chipotle bowls combined with rice, black beans, corn, diced tomato and guacamole, as well as chicken alfredo combined with broccoli, pasta, and alfredo sauce,” Burke says. He also showed the students how to pull the meat off the chicken and created the recipes step-by-step so students can easily replicate them at home.

Jackson and Burke also discussed how leftovers can be repurposed so no food waste is incurred, and also how the Aladdin kitchen teams create recipes with leftovers through its WasteNothing program. 

“This is common practice for Aladdin operations who, through their WasteNothing efforts, help to reduce the cost of meals without sacrificing health and taste,” Jackson offers.

She reports that the students were very excited about the demonstration, and enjoyed samples. They also left with recipe cards, and more importantly, the know-how and confidence to create a wholesome meal to energize their learning experience at school.