The Science of Chicken

The Science of Chicken

Posted by: on November 17, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

We have recently been asked about the color of cooked chicken on the grill, and why it sometimes might appear pink. We can assure you, it is not because the chicken is undercooked! Food safety is our highest priority, and there are systems in place to assure both quality and safety of the food we serve everywhere on campus. The goal of this blog post is to answer the specific question regarding how the chicken breast in Raymond Dining Hall is cooked.

The color of cooked poultry can vary greatly based on a number of factors. Everything from white, to tan, to pink, are safe to eat under the stipulation that the appropriate temperature, 165°F, has been reached. Here is some information about what influences the end color of a safely cooked piece of poultry…

In young birds, oven gases readily permeate the skin creating a chemical reaction involving hemoglobin while cooking, therefore altering the final color. Older birds have a thicker layer of fat in between the skin and the meat making it less likely to develop a pink color. Naturally occurring (emphasis on naturally!) nitrates and nitrites in feed and water can also determine the color of the meat both before and after cooking, as can a marinade that includes a nitrite or nitrate-rich ingredient. While it is not necessarily possible to identify one single reason why any piece of poultry might appear to have a pink color, we can certainly hypothesize. For example, garlic in a marinade may play a role as it finds itself on the low-end of the medium category for nitrate content of common vegetables. However, with all things science, it is not a hard and fast rule that garlic will have enough nitrates on its own to change the color of poultry 100% of the time. The range is vast, as no two cloves of garlic are the same, just as no two pieces of chicken breast will be exactly the same. See where I am going with this?

You could have a very young piece of chicken breast, and a clove of garlic with a nitrate content at the high end of its determined range, making for a pink colored piece of cooked chicken. Or, the complete opposite – older chicken, low nitrate content in the garlic, and a white piece of cooked chicken.

In Raymond, we marinate the chicken on the grill with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. It is then cooked in the oven and finished on the grill. The temperature is checked for every single batch we cook to ensure food safety, no exceptions. If you ever have a concern regarding food safety on campus, we are here to help! All dining managers and supervisors are ServSafe certified, the national standard for food safety management certification, and can address your questions. You can also send us an email at pcdining@providence.edu.

 

Sarah Ereio, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian | Providence College Dining Services
401.865.2663

We have recently been asked about the color of cooked chicken on the grill, and why it sometimes might appear pink. We can assure you, it is not because the chicken is undercooked! Food safety is our highest priority, and there are systems in place to assure both quality and safety of the food we […]MORE

Easy Nutrition Label Comparison

Posted by: on November 8, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

nutrition label

Do you ever find yourself in the grocery store staring at the back of two different products comparing labels?  I do, all the time. Most of the time everything just becomes a blur and I find myself walking away, which defeats the purpose of going to the store in the first place…for food.

To help you get through the store and out the door, let the daily values (or DV) be your guide.  If you’re trying to consume less of an item, such as sodium, look for a DV of 5% or less.  If you’re looking for more, say fiber, the DV should be 20% or more.  Its a quick and easy method to remember.

Now if I only had a tip for how to get the groceries to put themselves away.

Do you ever find yourself in the grocery store staring at the back of two different products comparing labels?  I do, all the time. Most of the time everything just becomes a blur and I find myself walking away, which defeats the purpose of going to the store in the first place…for food. To help […]MORE

Walking…it’s a Workout

Posted by: on April 26, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Working out….sigh. It can be a tough one to start because of time or physicality. It’s easy to join a gym but not so easy to go 5 times a week. So start small with something we all do on a daily basis, walking. Now is the perfect time to start a walking plan. especially since its spring and summer is right around the corner.
Walking is great because, well, you can do it just about anywhere. Walk your neighborhood, your local mall, or you could go to the gym and hop on the treadmill. See it’s as easy as that.
For optimal results, walk for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you find that you’re not getting enough out of just “normal” walking routine, shake it up a bit as suggested here.

The most important thing, enjoy your time. Get out of your head for a bit, crank up the tunes and if walking outside, take a moment to take in your surroundings.
Happy Walking!

Working out….sigh. It can be a tough one to start because of time or physicality. It’s easy to join a gym but not so easy to go 5 times a week. So start small with something we all do on a daily basis, walking. Now is the perfect time to start a walking plan. especially […]MORE

Five Ingredient Dinner Series: Pesto Chicken Pizza

Posted by: on February 14, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Pesto Chicken Pizza
Serves 4
1. ½ cup Pesto sauce
2. ½ cup Spinach
3. 1 chicken breast
4. ½ cup low fat mozzarella cheese
5. 1 premade whole wheat pizza crust
a. Preheat oven to 450°F.
b. In a blender combine the pesto sauce and spinach and blend until smooth. Set aside.
c. Cook the chicken breast in a sauté pan or in the oven until cooked through. Once cool, cut into bite sized pieces.
d. On a sheet pan, spread the spinach peso on the pizza crust. Evenly spread the chicken over the crust and top with cheese. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Pesto Chicken Pizza Serves 4 1. ½ cup Pesto sauce 2. ½ cup Spinach 3. 1 chicken breast 4. ½ cup low fat mozzarella cheese 5. 1 premade whole wheat pizza crust a. Preheat oven to 450°F. b. In a blender combine the pesto sauce and spinach and blend until smooth. Set aside. c. Cook […]MORE

Meatless Mondays

Posted by: on January 20, 2017   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to start healthy habits. An easy way to incorporate more vegetables into the diet is to start participating in Meatless Mondays. This small change can have a large impact on your health, wallet, and make you try foods you might not have before. Here’s a sample meal plan of what a Meatless Monday could look like!

Breakfast
Green Smoothie
http://tasty-yummies.com/the-perfect-green-smoothie-formula/
• Start your day full of energy with this simple smoothie that you can customize!
Lunch
Black Bean Burrito
http://healthiersteps.stfi.re/vegan-black-bean-burrito-gluten-free/?sf=zzwrlxp#ab
• Keep it simple for lunch, add more toppings or take away ingredients as you wish.
Snack
Veggies and hummus
• Hummus will ensure that you are full, but won’t weigh you down.
Dinner
Spinach & Chickpea Curry
http://www.emmaslittlekitchen.com/go-spinach-chickpea-curry/
• Try this curry that might be out of your normal dinner rotation.
Dessert (because you deserve it)
Chocolate PB Fudge
http://beamingbaker.com/4-ingredient-no-bake-chocolate-peanut-butter-bars-vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free/
• End your Monday (or any meatless day of the week) with a not only meatless dessert, but vegan and GF also!

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to start healthy habits. An easy way to incorporate more vegetables into the diet is to start participating in Meatless Mondays. This small change can have a large impact on your health, wallet, and make you try foods you might not have before. Here’s a […]MORE

Best Food Trucks in Providence

Posted by: on December 14, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Food trucks are a great way to try new food! Providence has no shortage of cuisines and unique food trucks to try. Here’s a list of some of the highest rated ones in Providence.

Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ

  • Try a new type of BBQ for the first time or look for their rotating lunch specials! Located around Ship St and Waterman St.

Rocket Street Food

  • From StarWars themed hot dogs to specialty burgers, there is something for every palate. Located in Burnside Park.

Sazon Bandit

  • Yuca fries, ceviche, tostadas, and more! What more could you ask for. This food truck can be found on the corner of Westminster St. and Bridgham St.

Championship Melt

  •  Specializing in Grilled Cheese, Mac and Cheese, and other comfort food

Lotus Pepper

  • Make sure you’re hungry when you go and grab a banh mi or a daily special. Find them on Waterman St. or Thayer St.

Food trucks are a great way to try new food! Providence has no shortage of cuisines and unique food trucks to try. Here’s a list of some of the highest rated ones in Providence. Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ Try a new type of BBQ for the first time or look for their rotating lunch specials! […]MORE

Food for Finals

Posted by: on December 8, 2016   |Comment (1)|Uncategorized

Exams can be a stressful time! Eating can easily fall down in priorities, but it shouldn’t. Here are 5 foods to eat the week of finals to help reduce stress and keep you focused!
1. Green leafy vegetablesstressed out kid with books
a. They contain folate which helps produce dopamine
2. Oatmeal
a. Keep blood sugars stable so you won’t crash and promotes serotonin production
3. Yogurt
a. Keeping the bacteria happy in your gut during times of stress can help to keep you focused
4. Blueberries
a. Antioxidants and phytonutrients in blueberries aides in improving your bodies response to stress
5. Dark Chocolate
a. Not only does it taste delicious, it can help stress causing hormones like cortisol!

Good Luck!!!

Exams can be a stressful time! Eating can easily fall down in priorities, but it shouldn’t. Here are 5 foods to eat the week of finals to help reduce stress and keep you focused! 1. Green leafy vegetables a. They contain folate which helps produce dopamine 2. Oatmeal a. Keep blood sugars stable so you […]MORE

Sunday Fun Day: No Sugar Added Cookie

Posted by: on December 4, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

In honor of national cookie day, here is a gluten free, no sugar added vegan cookie recipe for you to make and bake in less then 20 minutes.

Recipe (courtesy of FOOD Bites)

Ingredients:
1 Banana
1 Cup of Oats (gluten free)
1/2 of craisins or raisins

Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Place aluminum foil on cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.
Mush all the ingredients together by hand in a bowl. Form small balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten.

Cook at 350 for 15 to 2o minutes.

 

 

In honor of national cookie day, here is a gluten free, no sugar added vegan cookie recipe for you to make and bake in less then 20 minutes. Recipe (courtesy of FOOD Bites) Ingredients: 1 Banana 1 Cup of Oats (gluten free) 1/2 of craisins or raisins Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Place aluminum foil […]MORE

Strengthening Your Immune System through Food

Posted by: on November 30, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

No one looks forward to cold and flu season, but like most viruses, they can be prevented just by being proactive. As a matter of fact, what you eat can actually help boost your immune health.
We’ve all heard about the benefits of vitamin C but it’s not the only important vitamin to fill your diet with throughout cold and flu season. Instead fill meals with an array of healthy vitamins just by eating a high plant based diet. Foods such as carrots, squash and cabbage are rich in vitamin A which is high in antioxidants and C which helps protect against immune deficiencies. Garlic is also known to boost immune health especially when chopped or crushed, releasing an enzyme known as allicin. Due to a lack of sunlight in the winter months, supplement your vitamin D intake by introducing fatty fishes like salmon and tuna.

Another preventative measure– good gut health. By populating your gut with good bugs like those found in probiotics, you could prevent or lessen the symptoms of the cold or flu. You can find natural probiotics in yogurt, sauerkraut and raw cheeses that are made with goat’s and sheep’s milk.

By boosting your immune system with food and following the usual recommended flu and cold season advice—getting plenty of rest, washing your hands frequently and getting a flu shot annually, you should be well on your way to a cold and flu free season (fingers crossed).

No one looks forward to cold and flu season, but like most viruses, they can be prevented just by being proactive. As a matter of fact, what you eat can actually help boost your immune health. We’ve all heard about the benefits of vitamin C but it’s not the only important vitamin to fill your […]MORE

Sunday Fun Day: Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Posted by: on November 27, 2016   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

Start your day with a punch of protein with a scrambled egg.  Learn how to make your scrambled eggs perfect every time.

Start your day with a punch of protein with a scrambled egg.  Learn how to make your scrambled eggs perfect every time.MORE