Roasted Vegetable Soup

(Adapted from Ina Garten’s Roasted Vegetable Soup Recipe)


  • 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled
  • 2 large parsnips (about 2 pounds), peeled
  • 2 small white flesh sweet potatoes
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8-12 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Prepare 2 large sheet pans with foil and parchment paper to prevent vegetables from sticking.
  • Cut carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash into 1-1 ½ inch cubes or rounds.
  • Place all cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 sheet pans (vegetables do not need to be sorted).
  • Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender, turning them once if they begin to brown. Let cool.
  • In several batches, puree the roasted vegetables and chicken stock in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  • Pour the puree into a large pot after each batch. Thin with more chicken stock as necessary to reach desired soup consistency.
  • Add curry powder, ground white pepper, nutmeg, and ground ginger to soup. Mix well and reheat. Adjust seasonings to taste.


  • Use organic vegetables when available.
  • Recipe may be halved, using 1 small butternut squash, 1 large white flesh sweet potato, and 1 pound each of carrots and parsnips.
  • This recipe is very versatile. Balance of vegetable quantity and type may be easily adjusted to taste.

Inoculation of Yogurt

After my friends and I finished class at Meyer Hall, we decided to get lunch at one of the food trucks by the Silo. After purchasing our food, we entered the Silo and sat down and started eating. We got into a conversation about breakfast and we were all sharing about what foods we eat for breakfast. One of my friends shared that she eats yogurt with fruits everyday. She added that she makes her own yogurt. My other friend and I were shocked. When we asked how she makes her own, she said it was very simple, and it was indeed very simple. She told me that she just adds live active yogurt to milk and lets it settle. After a while, a new batch of yogurt is created. I couldn’t believe this. Being able to make yogurt from yogurt was news to me. In this article, I’ll be sharing a recipe that I found online that explains how you can make your own yogurt from yogurt. All you need are two ingredients: Milk and live active yogurt which you can buy from the grocery store!

Homemade Yogurt 


  • ½ gallon of milk (8 cups of milk) – 2% or whole milk produces thick, creamy yogurt, but skim milk could be used too
  • ½ cup of yogurt that contains live, active cultures (this could be purchased in normal grocery stores!)


  • 3 quart or larger dutch oven or heavy saucepan with a lid
  • Thermometer that can be inserted into food
  • Small bowl or a measuring cup 


  1. Pour all of the milk into the large saucepan and turn the heat to medium-high heat. Warm the milk to 200F, right before boiling. Don’t let the milk scorch. Mix the milk gently. 
  2. Let the milk cool down to 112F-115F which is about warm to the touch. To prevent a layer of skin from forming on the surface, stir the milk occasionally. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with a cup of warm milk. Mix the yogurt and milk in order to thin out the yogurt. Stir until the yogurt dissolves in the milk.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the saucepan of milk. Gently stir the mixture. This is the inoculation step!
  5. Move the saucepan into a turned-off oven. Cover the saucepan with its lid. Turn on the oven light or use towels to wrap the pot. This ensures that the milk is kept warm. The ideal temperature of the milk is 110F. You can also use a yogurt maker or a dehydrator that is set to 110F.
  6. Keep the yogurt in the oven for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. The time will depend on your yogurt preferences, the type of culture you used, and the temperature of the yogurt. The yogurt will taste more tart the longer you let the yogurt sit. Check after 4 hours if this is your first time making yogurt. It’s okay if the temperature of the milk drops below 110F. It may take a bit longer for the yogurt to set and the yogurt product may be a bit loose. You don’t need to worry about the milk spoiling because the bacteria in the yogurt will prevent spoilage. Until the yogurt is fully set, avoid stirring the yogurt.
  7. Once the yogurt is at a texture and tastes to your liking, take it out of the oven. You can either whisk the water that formed at the top or remove the water. Whisk the yogurt so that it has a creamer texture. Transfer the yogurt to containers and refrigerate them. Homemade yogurt lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge. 


30 Minute Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 + 1⁄2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (about 1 medium onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1⁄2-inch to 1-inch pieces (about 1 small butternut squash)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (400 ml) can coconut milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • pecans, chopped (for topping)
  • fresh herbs (for toppings)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and for about 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the squash, salt and pepper to the pot and cook for 6-7 minutes while stirring.
  3. Next, add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Stir this and then after it starts to boil cover the pot and let it simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup using an immersion blender or blender. If the soup is too watery, put it back on medium low heat and stir occasionally to thicken. If the soup is too thick, add in some water to thin it out.
  5. Add salt, pepper, chopped pecans and thyme to garnish.


Ensalada de Nopales (cactus pad salad) 

By Veronica Gomez, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

I wrote an article last month about not abandoning culture in the pursuit of healthy-eating 

In that blog I mentioned Nopales— a staple ingredient in Mexico. I am happy to share an authentic but student-friendly recipe that utilizes this nutrient-packed food. This is Ensalada de Nopales, a salad that is refreshing and the perfect side to any meal:

List of Ingredients:

  • 1 jar of pre-cooked nopales (can be found in the Hispanic aisle in major grocery stores like Safeway )
  • 2 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp of the juice found in canned jalapeños 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Drain and rinse the nopales. Nopales release a moisture that can be thick and unappetizing to some. To mitigate this, simply drain and rinse with water until thinned down.
  • Place rinsed nopales in a mixing bowl (optional: dice the nopales)
  • Dice your tomatoes, onion, & jalapeno and add to mixing bowl
  • Open the canned jalapeños and collect some juice from the can. Add this to the mixture in order to get a unique citrus flavor (optional: dice up a pickled jalapeño & add to mixture for extra spice)
  • Add the juice of 1 lemon
  • Combine all the ingredients and add chopped cilantro and salt to taste
  • Enjoy with tortilla chips or as a topping on your favorite meals!
  • Store in an airtight container and place in fridge for up to two weeks


Cold weather workouts!

By Monzerrath Ramos Gonzalez, UC Davis Health Aggies Intern

With the temperatures dropping as the colder months approach, it is important to know how to keep yourself safe if you plan to exercise outside. If you are considering working out in the cold but have a history of asthma or heart problems, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor first to check if you need to take any extra precautions. This is because cold air can make breathing more difficult and can also increase your risk for a heart attack. Additionally, everyone should also always check the weather before deciding to exercise outside. If the temperature is below 0℉ or if there is extreme wind chill, you may want to consider an alternative form of exercise that day. If it is safe for you to exercise outside, the following are tips to help make sure you stay safe during your outing.

  1. Hydrate!

While it may be more difficult to notice during cold weather, you can still become dehydrated in the cold. You will still lose water as you are sweating, breathing or performing any other bodily functions so water is just as important during cold weather as during warm weather. If you notice your lips are chapped, you likely need more water!

  1. Dress in layers

You want to make sure you are warm if you are working out in the cold. Dressing in layers is especially helpful because you can add or remove layers as needed. The general recommendation is to have a lightweight synthetic material as your first layer so sweat can stay away from your body. The next layer should be something made out of wool or fleece to insulate your body heat. The last layer should be something light that is wind resistant and water repellent.

  1. Protect your extremities

In the cold, your blood flow will mostly be concentrated around your body core which unfortunately means your extremities (ie: hands, feet, head, nose, ears etc.) are more susceptible to frostbite. Make sure to wear gloves, thick socks and a headband for your ears to protect those areas. If necessary, you may want to also consider a scarf or ski mask to protect more of your face

  1. Be aware of the signs of frostbite and hypothermia

While ideally you want to avoid frostbite and hypothermia, it is still important to be aware of the signs of each in case you experience it. When someone is experiencing frostbite, they will often feel numbness, loss of feeling and a stinging sensation in a specific area of their body. As for hypothermia, you may notice intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue. If you think you are experiencing any of these, try to move somewhere warm and call for help if needed.

What is your favorite cold weather exercise?

Thanksgiving Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and a popular dish to serve is mac and cheese. Why not take a healthy spin on it this year? Try this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, with easy prep time and easy results you will have you and your family not only eating well, but feeling good as well. Recipe by Meseidy Rivera!

Serving Size:

YIELDS: 8 serving(s)

PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOK TIME: 4 hrs

TOTAL TIME: 4 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 lb. Diced Butternut Squash, Peeled, And Seeded
  • 5 leaves Fresh Sage, Minced
  • 2 tsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/2 c. Vegetable Stock
  • 1 lb. Dry Elbow Macaroni, Cooked According To Package Directions
  • 1 tbsp. Salt
  • 8 oz. weight Shredded Cheddar
  • 4 oz. weight Cream Cheese


  • Place butternut squash, sage, thyme, onion, garlic, and vegetable stock in the slow cooker—cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Use an immersion blender or regular blender and puree the vegetables.

    Make sure the slow cooker is set to warm. Add puree, pasta, salt, and cheese to the slow cooker. Stir until well combined and the cheeses have melted. Season with salt to taste and serve.


Kimchi Avocado Quesadilla Recipe

Who loves kimchi and avocados? This recipe combines both kimchi and avocados in a tortilla. A kimchi-avocado quesadilla! This easy recipe could be made in just 15 minutes! The ingredients are simple. Here’s the recipe!


2 tbsp of butter

1 cup of cabbage kimchi (drained and chopped)

2 flour tortillas

1.5 cups of grated Monterey jack and/or cheddar cheese

Half of an avocado (peeled, pitted, and sliced)

A dash of lime juice

1 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley and/or cilantro 


  1. Melt 1.5 tbsp of the butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the kimchi to the pan and saute the kimchi. Spread the kimchi into a thin layer and cook it for 5-6 minutes, then remove it from the pan.
  2. Add the rest of the butter to the pan. Swirl it around, letting it coat the pan. Add one of the flour tortillas and flip it to have both sides be coated with butter. Heat the tortillas until you see slight air bubbles inside the tortilla.
  3. Add half of the cheese and half of the kimchi to the center of the tortilla.
  4. Flip the tortilla in half, like how you would fold an omelet. Press down on the tortilla using a spatula. Flip it to the other side 30 seconds later. The tortilla should have a nice, toasty brown color. Let the cheese melt all the way! Remove it from the pan and repeat the same steps with the other tortilla.  
  5. Open the tortilla and add the sliced avocado inside. Top it with lime juice and parsley and/or cilantro. Fold the tortilla over again. Cut the tortilla into wedges to serve. Enjoy!


Make room for the shrooms!!

By Lisa Aparicio, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor

Myth: Only hippies eat mushrooms.

✔️ Truth: Mushrooms have many health benefits for everyone!

Have you ever tried mushrooms? Yes, the brown/white earthy button looking fungi. 

I understand if you might feel a little uncertain about them or look at them in disgust. I was once there too! 

Surprisingly, it turns out mushrooms are unique fungi that have various health benefits. We know mushrooms come in both poisonous and nonpoisonous forms but of course this blog will focus on the non-toxic, edible shroomies that will positively impact your life!

What makes mushrooms so great!? 

Mushrooms contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which provides us with a wide range of benefits such as support for our immune system, contributes to brain health, and even aids in stress reduction. 

Mushrooms are low in fat, sodium, and are a good source of fiber. They are an excellent source of zinc, potassium, selenium, copper, B vitamins, and even vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Mushrooms are packed with antioxidants which help keep our cells healthy. 

General Benefits of Mushrooms: 

  • Supports memory & focus
  • Improves immune system response 
  • Boost energy
  • May reduce anxiety & stress
  • Anti-inflammatory power 
  • Protects against age-related cognitive decline  

Enough with the general information. Let’s talk about which mushrooms would be most beneficial for a college student:

  • Lion’s mane: A large white mushroom that resembles a lion’s mane. Helps increase Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) levels, which protects us against degenerative brain diseases. Lion’s mane is well known for improving memory and focus. It may also reduce irritability and anxiety. It also has immune-boosting benefits. 
  • Chaga: A rusty orange with a black charcoal covering. Boosts immunity by stimulating white blood cells. Chaga is rich in zinc which helps our immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. 
  • Reishi: a deep red, sometimes orange color. Supports a state of calmness. Contains active compounds shown to help reduce stress, improve sleep, boost mood, and mental focus. Also, enhances the immune system.  
  • Shiitake: Tastes great! A great source of B vitamins and have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Help boost immune function, improve cell function, gut immunity, and reduce inflammation. May help to lower cholesterol. 

The most commonly used mushrooms that you may already know of and have tried before are cremini or portobello mushrooms. These types of mushrooms contain selenium which help our body make antioxidant enzymes to prevent cell damage. 

I encourage you to try any natural mushroom that can be bought at your local grocery store. Mushrooms have a delicate flavor and a meaty texture. They work great as an added ingredient or even as the main component of a dish. Try them in a new recipe or add them to your favorite dish. 

Popular ways to add more mushrooms to your diet:

  • Pizza topping 
  • Salad toppings 
  • Use in pasta sauce 
  • Stir-fry with other vegetables and/or source of protein
  • In an omelet or egg scramble 

How could you include a mushroom into your favorite dish? 

My favorite is mushroom tacos with shiitake and portobellos! 

PSA: Remember to always do your research before trying any new supplements. 

5 Halloween Workouts

By Daniela Rodriguez, UC Davis Healthy Aggies Intern

With Halloween right around the corner, why not listen to some spooky music while having some active fun? Here is a Spotify playlist for your spookiness.

We have also rounded up some easy Halloween themed workouts on Youtube to do in the comfort of your own home or gym. Please remember to take everything at your own pace and drink plenty of water. Have fun and get pumped up.

1- Warmup

HALLOWEEN WARM UP Zumba. Sulu and DJBaddmixx’s simple 7-minute Zumba warmup will get us ready for our upcoming Halloween workouts.

2- For Our Pumpkin Lover 

25 Minute Pumpkin Workout Utilize the extra pumpkin you have by working out for 25 minutes with Kelsey Ellis, a BCRPA-certified trainer! With one to two minutes of recovery in between sets, you’ll perform three sets of 12 repetitions of each exercise, which includes compound maneuvers like the single-leg deadlift with a row and sumo squat with a bicep curl. (Take a pair of dumbbells instead of a pumpkin if you don’t have one!)

3-Hocus Pocus Lover  25 Min Hocus Pocus Cardio Dance Workout – This exercise is going to cast a “spell on you” if you enjoy the original Hocus Pocus. The peppy choreography, which is performed to the song “I Put a Spell on You,” is directed by dance and fitness teacher Joseph Corella and includes easy bodyweight techniques.

4- CATWOMAN Workout

Low-Impact, Catwoman-Inspired Total Body Workout – This bodyweight exercise program was developed by Pilates teacher and Pop Pilates creator Cassey Ho to target your arms, abs, and butt for a chic, low-impact practice that is inspired by Catwoman. 

5- Zombie Workout

30 Minute Aerobic Zombie Workout – Exercise The Demons! – This Halloween-themed 30-minute dancing exercise is ideal for getting you in the mood, from the makeup to the lighting to the costume! Group exercise teacher HyperBody®, a multimedia artist, guides you through basic yet powerful choreography to get your entire body moving.

Which is your favorite??

Balsamic roasted with new potatoes with asparagus


  • 1 lb of potatoes
  • 4.5 oz of asparagus tips
  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (or olive oil and a few crushed garlic cloves)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • A pinch of ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 390F
  2. Mix all the ingredients and roast for 20 minutes
  3. After 20 minutes, add extra olive oil if needed, and toss the veggies before baking them for an additional 15 minutes
  4. Add more balsamic vinegar, salt or pepper if desired, and serve!