Chop Stir Hack - Issue 1

Page 1


Issue 1 - December 2019

Thanks to:

Cover art by Alex Boccon-Gibod & Danielle Herman

Letter from the Editors Food is a central part of the MIT experience. It can define where you live, who you interact with, not to mention how you feel on any given day. Cooking, specifically, greatly contributes to your daily wellbeing. I’m blessed to have been a part of two cooking communities at MIT: French House and tEp. These communities have fostered my love of cooking and my deep belief in its power to bring people together. Simply said, it’s fun. It’s this joy, this passion for cuisine that I hope to share with you. After a year of working on Chop Stir Hack - the MIT Cookbook, I’m eager to present our newest incarnation as a food magazine. Here’s to many more meals and many more issues. - Alex Boccon-Gibod I’ve never been much of a chef but food has been a core of my life, bringing me closer to friends and family. So when I first heard of Chop Stir Hack I knew I wanted to be a part and bring MIT’s food culture to light. Since then I’ve loved getting to know the communities across campus and their love for the food, culture, and consequently, for each other. I’m incredibly excited to bring to you more recipes and even food articles as Chop Stir Hack enters into new territory as MIT’s food magazine. Please enjoy and try some of the recipes, restaurants and techniques that your peers have graciously shared. - Jessica Yen

Chop Stir Hack Fall 2019

The Team

Left to right: Jessica, Anru, Alex, Julie, Danielle, & Erica


Alex Boccon-Gibod ‘21 & Jessica Yen ‘21 Design Director

Danielle Herman ‘21 Content Coordinators

Anru Tian ‘23 & Julie Tung ‘22 Financial Director

Erica Flear ‘20

Chop Stir Hack Fall 2019

The Perfect Breakfast Sandwich......................................................................................5-6 Recipe by Ike Urquhart Photography by Anru Tian Zucchini Bread.......................................................................................................................7-8 Recipe by Anupama Phatak Photography by Alex Boccon-Gibod HoW tO cOoK vEgEtAbLeS tHaT dOn’T tAsTe LiKe CrAp........................................9-10 Article by Erica Flear Photography by Danielle Herman Keto & Convenience: Balancing Healthy Eating With a Busy Lifestyle............11-12 Article & photography by Daniel Undavalli Dimer Jhuri Jhol....................................................................................................................13-14 Recipe by Haimoshri Das Photography by Anru Tian Biang Biang Noodles...........................................................................................................15-16 Recipe by Eileen Pan Photography by Julie Tung Boston Area Restaurant Recommendations...............................................................17-22 Article by Rahul Ramakrishnan Map by Alex Boccon-Gibod


The Perfect Breakfast Sandwich Ike Urquhart ‘20

Ingredients For Version 1: · 2-3 eggs · Spinach · 1 slice bread · 1 slice ham · 1 slice cheese For Version 2: · 1 egg · 1 black bean burger · Spinach · 1 bagel · 1 slice cheese · Hot sauce (optional)

It is always a struggle to find enough time to cook, but these breakfast sandwiches completely changed the way I eat while on campus. They take only 10 to 15 minutes to cook and can be done anytime of day. Even though it is a simple recipe, the food doesn’t get boring. I rotate the types of bagel, cheese, and seasoning used and add onion and peppers if I have a little extra time. I hope you enjoy these sandwiches, and reach out if you come up with a version 3! 6


Instructions Version 1:

Version 2:

1. Mix together eggs and chopped spinach.

1. Microwave burger patty for 45 seconds, heat on stove. 2. Fry egg.

2. Scramble egg, season.

3. Toast bagel. 4. Assemble.

3. Toast bread. 4. Assemble.



Zucchini Bread Anupama Phatak ‘21


Zucchini bread is one of my favorite recipes - its super quick and stays good in the freezer for weeks! As a vegetarian who doesn’t like most vegetables, it is also a great way for me to get those essential vitamins and minerals without tasting the veggies. One of the best things about this recipe is the versatility: you can add whatever you want, from chocolate chips and nuts to whatever you like. Like today, I wasn’t planning on adding carrots, but had some on hand, and decided to go for it—they added a nice touch of sweetness. Zucchini bread is healthy, easy to make, and great for sharing with friends Enjoy!


· 2 medium zucchinis · 2 medium carrots · 4 c whole wheat flour · 2 c white flour · ½ c vegetable oil · 6 eggs · 1 tsp vanilla extract · 2 Tbsp honey · 2 c chopped walnuts · 1 tsp baking soda · 1 tsp baking powder · Cardamom · Cinnamon · Nutmeg · Cloves · Turmeric · 1 tsp kosher salt or ½ tsp iodized salt · 2 Tbsp maple syrup


Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 350ËšF. 2. Grate zucchini, carrots into one bowl. 3. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, salt in separate bowl.

4. Beat eggs, mix in honey, vanilla extract, oil. 5. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, mix with spatula. 6. Fold in zucchini, carrots, nuts. 7. Fill parchment-lined loaf pans with dough halfway, drizzle maple syrup, fill to top with dough, drizzle maple syrup on top. 8. Put in oven for 40 minutes. 9. Enjoy!


Healthy Eating

HoW tO cOoK vEgEtAbLeS tHaT dOn’T tAsTe LiKe CrAp By Erica Flear ‘20 We’ve all been there. Sitting down to a nice hot meal, steam rising from the table, your stomach grumbling from anticipation. And then you take a big mouthful of something moist and mushy that you’re pretty sure has already passed through someone’s digestive system. It’s good for you, you’re told. And so you eat it. When it comes time to cook your own food, “To hell with the vegetable!” you think. You cook foods you like, no soggy greens in sight, then you wake up one morning with bleeding gums and the realization that in the year 2019, you have scurvy. Want to avoid this future? Knowing a little bit about your nutritional requirements, and that you’re not legally required to boil vegetables, you too can avoid diseases of the 18th century. According to the back of most food items in this country, the average human being requires 2000 calories a day. After that comes a list of categories and percentages, and you learn that a box of Corn Flakes has 35% of your recommended daily iron intake. Apart from being boring, this is also only helpful if you plan on eating Corn Flakes for every


meal. Learning more about your basic nutritional requirements can help you plan and make healthy meals you enjoy eating. To survive, we need to consume protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. We also need a few other things, but we’ll start here. As you may remember from 7.01X, proteins are the molecules in the body that carry out tasks. They perform chemical reactions as enzymes and are the basis of the physical structure of our bodies as collagen. They are created in cells by ribosomes from the 20 naturally occurring amino acids. As humans we can make most, but not all of these acids. Those we can’t make, we get from outside sources, like meat, legumes (beans, soy,

Healthy Eating and peanuts), nuts, eggs, and other dairy products. Generally, dairy, eggs, and red meats have higher levels of saturated fats and cholesterol than poultry and vegetarian sources. They are also more expensive, and have larger carbon footprints. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. They can exist as simple sugars like glucose and sucrose, or as complex carbohydrates like starches. Glucose is the starting material for cellular respiration, the metabolic cycle responsible for producing most of the energy used in the body. It is recommended that you eat more starch than simple sugars, as these take more energy to break down and aren’t funneled into alternate metabolic pathways. Simple sugars are found in fruits and baked goods, while starch sources include pasta, rice, potatoes, and other grains. In addition to these macromolecules, you must also consume vitamins and minerals. These compounds aid metabolic reactions in the body. Vitamin C, for example, is responsible for the reaction that prevents collagen (found in bones, muscle, skin, and tendons) from degrading at your body temperature. Without it, the collagen fibers begin to come apart resulting in bleeding gums and the reopening of old scar tissue. This is scurvy. There are a wide variety of known vitamins and minerals re-

quired for human health, and these can all be found in fresh fruits and vegetab l e s — e xc e p t iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value, so you’re going to have to pick a different vegetable. Some possibilities include spinach, kale, bok choy, chard, carrots, tomatoes, squash, kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, peas, and dozens more. Most vegetables do not inherently taste bad, but often they get a bad reputation due to preparation methods (i.e. boiling) that lack seasoning and/or produce undesirable textures. Two easy ways to prepare tastier veggies are to roast them or sauté them. For roasting, preheat your oven to 500˚F. Peel and chop your vegetables as necessary, then season them. This is really key. You don’t have to go crazy, but even a little salt, pepper, and olive oil can go a long way to make your food taste good. Next, put the veggies on a baking sheet and bake up to 30 minutes, or until they are crispy enough for your taste. For sautéing, the process is similar. Chop and peel you vegetables, place your pan on the stove, and turn the heat on. Add some oil, then the vegetables. Season. Cook until vegetables are tender, but before they disintegrate or burn. Eat. The most important thing to remember is that besides being healthy, these vegetables can taste good as well. Just don’t boil them to mush.


Healthy Eating

Keto & Convenience:

Balancing Healthy Eating With a Busy Lifestyle By Daniel Undavalli ‘20 Eating a ketogenic diet helps me manage my demanding lifestyle at MIT and stay healthy despite having little free time. I initially started the keto diet for weight loss and health reasons, but I have also found that the diet came with other benefits, too. I enjoy significantly increased energy, an uplifted mood, an improved ability to focus, much less anxiety, and diminished stress. The key to the ketogenic diet is getting your body into a state of ketosis, during which your body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose. Some argue that fat is a better fuel source for the brain than glucose because many people eating a ketogenic diet experience a mood boost, increased energy and mental clarity, improved focus, as well as many other benefits. The ketogenic diet involves consuming very low amounts of carbohydrates and adequate amounts of protein. This lack of carbohydrates forces your body to switch to burning fat for fuel. Fat intake can vary depending on your goals: low to moderate amounts of fats can be consumed for the goal of weight loss, while high fat intake is suggested for the goal of improved brain function. My keto meals usually consist of low-carb vegetables (like green beans or cauliflower), meat (usually chicken or ground beef), and a large amount of fat. As the keto diet has been increasing in popularity, lots of good information about it is becoming available online. However, there is also a lot of misinformation floating


around. A key to enhancing keto’s effectiveness is not over-consuming protein, but there is a lot of inaccurate keto advice online that recommends too much protein. Eating an excess of protein will induce a process called gluconeogenesis, which is when the body converts excess protein into glucose. An increase in glucose will decrease the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet. On the other hand, it is really important to get enough protein to supply your body’s demands. While it is better to err on the side of too much protein than too little, keep in mind that it is very possible to overdo it. While healthy eating, following the keto diet or not, sounds great in the abstract, it can often be difficult to find time to cook for yourself in the context of an MIT schedule. I personally rely on an air fryer and a pressure cooker to cook healthy, delicious meals for myself efficiently. The essence of these appliances is a “set it and forget it” strategy. You can just toss the food in, press a couple of buttons, and forget about it until the food is done cooking. This strategy is ideal for

Healthy Eating

the MIT lifestyle bean interface like that of a cause it saves time. You microwave. Most are quite don’t need to constanteasy to use: add in some ly monitor what you’re water and then add the food cooking, so you can do you want to cook, specify other activities while how long you want to cook your food cooks. the food, and press “Start.” An air fryer is Pressure cookers heat wathe offspring of a miter to create a high pressure crowave and an oven. steam environment. After It’s essentially a mincooking, you release the iature oven that has steam and your food is ready Air fryer an interface like a mito eat. Pressure cookers are crowave. Despite the name, an air fryer similar to air fryers in the sense you don’t can do more than just fry food. I use my need to constantly supervise them. You air fryer all the time to cook meat, roast can cook pretty much anything in them: veggies, and roast nuts. There’s also little meats, veggies, and even more complex to no preheating necessary, making it a food like dal. Pressure-cooked meats quicker option than a traditional oven. I come out juicy and moist, which is wonlike my air fryer because I don’t have to derful if you want to cook meat that will hover over it to make last you the whole week. sure my food doesn’t You can store the cooked burn or that I don’t meat in the fridge without start a fire. One of my it drying out. One advango-to recipes is steak tage of pressure cookers and roasted vegetaover air fryers is that you bles. I put the steak in can create more complex the air fryer, set the dishes, like beef strogatemperature to 400°F noff, dal, and tomato soup. and timer to six min While healthy utes, press “Go,” and eating may sound like an walk away to start prepping my veggies. impossible feat to the average college After those six minutes, I flip the steak student, this doesn’t have to be the case. over and cook it for another six min- Healthy food should be a priority for evutes. To prepare roasted vegetables, I grab eryone and there is no need for comproabout a pound of vegetables and add in mise to accommodate a busy lifestyle. about two tablespoons of oil (preferably Experimenting with different diets such one with a high smoke point). I then add as keto and using convenient food prepasalt and spices, mix everything together, ration methods such as pressure cooking and throw the veggies in the air fryer to and air frying can make it easy to fit cook, making sure to shake the vegeta- cooking into any schedule and can help bles halfway through cooking. make healthy eating an achievable goal. Pressure cookers, on the other hand, are all about steam. They are about the size of a large pot, and they also have



Dimer Jhuri Jhol

Haimoshri Das ‘22

Ingredients · 6 eggs · 1 potato · 2 onions · Red chili powder · Turmeric · Oil · Garlic · Salt · Sugar

I love making this dish because it is simple and has a feel-good factor to its taste! My maternal grandmother used to make it, and it was my childhood favorite too. I make this dish for my family whenever I go home, and it is one of their favorites.




1. Chop onions, garlic, and potatoes. 2. Break 4 eggs into a bowl. Add some of the chopped onions and garlic to it. Mix a bit of salt, turmeric, and red chili powder. Mix the egg thoroughly. 3. Put oil in a pan and fry the eggs. Scramble them while frying. 4. Set aside the scrambled eggs. 5. Heat oil in a pan. Add remaining chopped onions and garlic. Add a little turmeric and red chili powder. Add salt and sugar to taste. Fry until onions turn golden brown. 6. Add potatoes (already mixed with salt and turmeric) to the pan and fry everything together. Add a little bit of water in regular intervals to boil the onions and potatoes until potatoes turn soft. 7. Add scrambled eggs, some more water and let everything boil for some time. Add more water if necessary. 8. Enjoy the delicious aroma and taste! Can be served with rice.



Biang Biang Noodles

Eileen Pan ‘22

Ingredients · ⅓ cup of semolina flour · ⅔ cup of allpurpose flour · ⅓ cup water · Lamb meat · Paprika · Coriander · Red pepper · Low sodium soy sauce · Salt While I lived with my family, I never bothered learning how to cook Chinese food because it was so readily accessible. It was only after I came to MIT that I began feeling wistful. I’ve since begun finding my own take on Chinese basics to recreate the tastes of home here. I like this particular recipe because there are endless variations, and it can be fine tuned to the whimsy of any day. It’s perfect for winter and there’s nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of noodles at the end of a long day.




1. Add ⅓ cup of semolina flour and ⅔ cups of all-purpose flour to ensure texture (semolina makes the noodles chewier) to a bowl. Then add ⅓ cup of water for every cup of flour, may add more as needed. 2. Stir the mixture with a utensil, then start kneading the mixture by hand. 3. Knead the mixture until somewhat smooth. 4. Rest the dough by placing it into a plastic bag. After resting, stretch the dough into a rectangular shape and then partition the dough to the desired portion. 5. Cut the dough to the desired width and then stretch them out, then wait for them to rest again.

6. Start boiling water to cook the noodles 7. Start marinating the meat in the pot by adding paprika, coriander, red pepper, soy sauce, salt, then add the sliced lamb meat into the pot 8. Do any final adjustments to noodles as desired. Start cooking the noodles in the boiling water. Let cook about 1-2 minutes (until floating), then take out. 9. At the same time, start cooking the lamb on the stove. After the lamb is mostly cooked, add the cooked noodle and mix around until all of the sliced lamb is fully cooked. 10. Garnish as desired



Boston Area Restau



rant Recommendations



Boston As a proud Massachusetts native and an even prouder self-proclaimed foodie, I have had a lot of experience with the food scene around campus. Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that a lot of my peers are often unable to find nearby affordable food options, and become frustrated with the perceived “lack of options”. As someone who has been here for over 22 years, I believe I have the authority to say that it is very possible to eat well and affordably in the Boston area, which is not immediately obvious upon arrival. Below, I have highlighted restaurants on the basis of affordability and convenience with a student lifestyle in mind, with the only budget exceptions being the listed restaurants in the South End (for when you’d like to splurge). The neat thing about Cambridge is that great restaurants are seldom further than 20 minutes away by car or public transport, which is not the case in many other cities. This means that MIT students (like you!) can explore a large set of budget-friendly restaurants without extensive travel. I am hopeful that everyone will find at least a few easily accessible restaurants on this list that catch their eye to pinpoint their next off-campus culinary adventure.

Restau Recom

Harvard Square Red Line or

#1 Bus to Harvard:

1. Bonchon ($-$$, Korean): the place to go for Korean-style BBQ and fried chicken. You can get large orders of many types of chicken that are easily split between many people, and large booths ensure you have space to stretch out after filling up on their hearty portions.


By Rahul Ramakrishnan ‘20 2. Border Cafe ($-$$, Mexican): the perfect Mexican restaurant for a fun night out! Chips and salsa are free, and while they may not appear cheap, the dishes are hefty enough to satisfy any level of hunger or to serve as tomorrow’s leftovers 3. Felipe’s Taqueria ($, Mexican): when Anna’s Taqueria opened up shop in Davis and the Stud, Harvard punched back with Felipe’s! Think Anna’s, but much larger, with multiple levels, more variety, an internal bar, and ever so slightly cheaper. This is a great place to go for a casual dinner with friends. 4. Le’s ($, Vietnamese): warm comfortable Vietnamese food, known for their pho soup. They almost always bring the hot soup bowls out within five minutes of ordering. Incredible! 5. Pinocchio’s ($-$$, pizza, V): it is a guarantee that every Harvard student knows of Pinocchio’s famous square pizza. It was even mentioned on Suits! Their larger pizzas are affordable and sizable to share with friends, and are always made in under 10-15 minutes. 6. Tanjore ($, Indian, V): great Indian food at a hard-to-beat price point. Look


Area rant mendations for the $13 student meal deal including rice, naan, samosa, and any chicken or vegetarian entree. 7. Zinneken’s ($, brunch, V): the perfect weekend morning or afternoon picker-upper! The Belgian waffles are deluxe and delicious at. Come during off-peak hours for a more relaxed atmosphere, as it can get crowded!

Allston/Brighton MIT Boston Daytime Shuttle or Saferide Boston West to Kenmore Square, then #57 Bus to Brighton Ave @ Linden St or Green Line (B) to Packard’s Corner: 8. Coreano’s ($-$$, Asian fusion, V): this is a must-try for those who have not tasted the wonder that is Korean-Mexican fusion. You can go light with their Korean-style tacos or get a full meal with their signature bowls. They are incredibly quick with takeout, but try to come off-peak if you can, as the seating area is very small. 9. Dolphin Bay ($-$$, Chinese, V): a particularly great spot for famous Asian-inspired appetizers and snacks

—including popcorn chicken and oyster pancakes—Dolphin Bay serves a wide variety of iconic delicacies at a low price point, with most larger dishes coming in at under $9 and sizable appetizers at around $5. Walk to Franklin St @ Sidney St then #70 Bus to Western Ave @ Everett St: 10. Spring Shabu-Shabu ($-$$, hotpot, V): this is perhaps the best bang for your buck (even by hotpot standards), only rivaled by buffet options. With cheap meat bases and unlimited broth, vegetables, and fish additions, it is hard to beat Spring Shabu Shabu. Add in complementary soft serve ice cream, and you have yourself a lunch or dinner that will last you for the day and night.

Central Square Walkable from campus: 11. Brookline Lunch ($, brunch, V): probably the best brunch deal in Boston! Tucked away on a side street in Central, you can get most traditional brunch dishes for under $9. These dishes are available into the mid-afternoon alongside similarly affordable lunch options.

V = vegetarian friendly 21

Restaurants 12. Five Spices House ($-$$, Chinese, V): Most dishes, especially the ones listed as entrees, are shareable among two people with $1 added for a bowl of rice, making this one of the more affordable Chinese food options in the area. 13. Life Alive ($-$$, American, V): the perfect vegetarian-friendly option for those who don’t want to go to Veggie Galaxy yet another time. Life Alive’s assortment of salad and grain bowls along with artfully crafted smoothies make it an ideal location for a weekday dinner or a weekend meal with friends. The prices are generally lower than both Veggie Galaxy and Sweetgreen! 14. Mainely Burgers ($, American): this is one of those places for if you’re craving something that is certainly not the healthiest option. The burgers are better than anything you’ll find in the area and are typically larger as well. 15. Pepper Sky’s ($-$$, Thai, V): the lunch specials and dinner options are one of the most affordable you’ll find near campus, with most hearty dishes clocking it at under $8. Best of all, the service and food quality is consistent and efficient, making it a great choice for a quick lunch or dinner.

Walk to Magazine St @ Green St #83 Bus to Beacon St @

Washington St: 16. Kebab Factory ($, Indian, V): one of the most plentiful Indian buffets around. Somewhat of a misnomer, kebabs are not a signature dish of the restaurant. My friends and I have a tradition of going


Red Line to Davis Square or #1 Bus to Harvard then #96 Bus to Davis Square: 17. Flatbread Company ($-$$, pizza, V): a welcoming pizza restaurant with options for any kind of diet (including gluten-free). The large flatbreads can easily satisfy the hunger of 2-3 people. There is also candlepin bowling available with dinner! 18. Pokéworks ($, Hawaiian): this is your casual poke cafe with plentiful options for fans of seafood and salads. Located right in Davis, going here is a good way to get off campus for some affordable food while feeling healthy and getting a change from the options in Cambridge. 19. Mr. Crêpe ($, brunch, V): if you have ever wanted more variety in a crepe for a great price, Mr. Crêpe is the place to be. With so many filling options for an average of $6/crepe, you definitely will not leave Mr. Crêpe feeling dissatisfied. South End #1 Bus to Mass Ave @ Tremont St:



here after the last day of finals each semester, and it is incredibly filling!

20. Mela ($$, Indian, V): this is the place to go for Indian food in Boston proper. Featuring both traditional and modern Indian dishes, the high quality and location of Mela makes it worth the more standard restaurant prices. Be sure to make a reservation!

Restaurants 21. The Beehive ($$$, American, V): a wonderful place to drink, eat, and listen to live music, The Beehive is one of Boston’s well known venues. Known for both brunch and dinner, you can go to The Beehive at any time of day and they are sure to please. #1 Bus to Washington St @ Mass Ave then Silver Line to Washington St @ Union Pk: 22. Gaslight ($$$, French): one of the best known staples of Boston’s South End, Gaslight is the place to go for an upscale dinner that won’t break the bank nearly as much as the North End or other “fancy” restaurants. The perfect place for parent’s weekend, Gaslight offers a wide variety of French dishes and beverages, and sometimes features a live band! #1 Bus to Washington St @ Mass Ave then Silver Line to Washington St @ E Berkeley St: 23. Myers+Chang ($$, Asian fusion, V): offering a modern take on traditional food, this Asian-fusion restaurant has a variety of dishes that you probably would not find elsewhere in Boston. All dishes are easily shareable with incredible variety!

great weekend lunch or earlier weekday dinner (they are closed on Sundays and open until 6:30pm on weekdays). Red Line to Broadway: 25. Mul’s Diner ($, American): the perfect place for cheap breakfast or lunch in an unassuming setting. Mul’s has been a staple of Southie and is reminiscent of diners from Good Will Hunting. Don’t be put off by this traditional look of Mul’s— their famed crème brulée French toast is a signature dish and you won’t regret it! Red Line to Park St then Green Line to Haymarket: 26. Regina Pizzeria ($, Italian, V): ask anybody from Boston to name the most iconic pizza in the city, and chances are they’ll answer Regina’s! The pizzas are deluxe in the sense that they are loaded with toppings, and a large can easily feed 2-3 people. 27. Theo’s Cozy Corner ($, Brunch/Italian): the perfect place for a cheap yet delicious weekend brunch or lunch in Boston’s scenic North End. This neighborhood joint is cozy and friendly, and is a great option for those looking to get off campus for affordable food in a scenic area.

Downtown/Chinatown/North End Red Line to Downtown Crossing or Green Line to Boylston St: 24. Gene’s Flatbread Cafe ($, Chinese, V): located in the heart of Downtown Boston, Gene’s provides some of the best hearty noodle dishes at around $6 each. The bowls are very filling and make for a