Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Back to School Special: Recipes for Artists and Students

Cold oats with fruit. Perfect for the studio. Photo courtesy of
Cold oats with fruit. Perfect for the studio. Photo courtesy of

The fall semester is underway, and incoming students can usually use some extra orienting material on how to function, well beyond where the academic advisor’s office is located and what hours the library is open.

Art school, if you work at it, can be way more taxing than maybe most people assume. You end up in the studio with all that youthful stamina, staying out till, like, 4 AM, covered in paint and probably coughing on the charcoal dust wafting in from the freshman drawing classes. Meals can be spotty, but they’re essential to surviving a last-minute productive blitz and the next day’s high-tension crit session.

So here’s a few sustaining snacks to get you through. They’re all low-responsibility, so you can make them easily and quickly without a lot of tools (like a stove or a blender or whatever). That way you can put them together even if you’re stuck in the studio building or live in a dorm or you’re just super busy with, you know, adding to culture. And almost all of these should fit any diet, since they’re meat-, milk- and flour-free, no added fat, low sugar, with few allergens to avoid — all that stuff. Plus they taste good.

The After School Snack
1 large pink apple (Fuji, Macintosh, Pink Lady, etc.)
About 3 Tbsp Nut butter of choice (peanut butter is great, but if you want to get really gourmet about it you can use almond or cashew butter)
1 Tbsp Honey or agave nectar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Apples with peanut butter. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Weiss.
Apples with peanut butter. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Weiss.

Prepare ahead of time or clear a space in the studio so you aren’t making food right next to a wet painting or your laptop. Using (preferably) a Victorinox Swiss army knife, cut the apple into slices, discarding the seeds and core stuff. Toss in lemon juice and cinnamon until evenly coated. Lump the peanut butter on top and then drizzle with honey. Alternatively, you can put the peanut butter in the middle of a bowl or plate and then fan the apple slices around the edge, dipping then into the honey like a chip dip.

Iced Coffee
3/4 cups coarse-ground coffee
4 cups cool water

In a jar cover coffee with cool water. Close and leave in the fridge overnight, at least 12 hours. Strain with a colander. Dilute as desired and pour over ice and add whatever you like with your coffee. It’s going to be rocket-fuel strong, but unlike chilling hot coffee it won’t get bitter and it won’t get so watered down with the ice. And it’s way cheaper than buying it at the local coffee place or cafeteria or whatever, so you’ll have more cash to blow on whatever art students buy… Cocktails I guess.

Chocolate Chia Pudding
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
2-5 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Cold-brewed coffee. Photo courtesy of Marc Wortman.
Cold-brewed coffee. Photo courtesy of Marc Wortman.

Add all ingredients except sweetener to a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup. Let rest covered in the fridge overnight or at least 3-5 hours (or until it’s achieved a pudding-like consistency). Serve chilled with desired toppings, such as fruit, granola or coconut whipped cream.

Put some goji berries on it, or bananas, or pecans, or, like, raspberry jam or something. Go totally nuts.

1 medium avocado
1 lime
Torn-up cilantro (optional)
Salt to taste

Juice the lime and mash it up with the avocado, with the cilantro if you use it. This should come out a rich cadmium green, with the fluffy texture if cheap oil paint (think Richeson brand). Eat it with chips, obviously, or by the spoonful of you really, really like avocados.

Cold Oats
1/3 cup regular oats
1 cup almond milk, and more if needed
1-2 Tbsp chia seeds
1 ripe banana, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate chia pudding. Photo courtesy of Dreena Burton.
Chocolate chia pudding. Photo courtesy of Dreena Burton.

Mix ingredients in a bowl and place in fridge overnight. Like the chia pudding you can add all sorts of stuff, like dried mangoes, or blueberries with pecans and maple syrup, or whatever kind of color/flavor combinations your palate digs.

Green Tea Mousse
400gm silken tofu
3 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp matcha green tea powder
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder, optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whip together until smooth. Makes four servings. Put some strawberries or raspberries or roasted nuts on it if you like them. Pine nuts are great.

Fresh Vegetables
Cucumber with salt and pepper
Celery with peanut butter and raisins
Tomatoes with Spike™ seasoning
Haricot vert, with the tips removed
Carrots, bell peppers, olives and/or kale with hummus

And plus just a lot of nuts and fruit and stuff are always good to keep on hand.

These are freshman-level recipes. More advanced sophomore and junior-level culinary aesthetes can experiment with some actual cooking, baking and even fermentation.

Matcha mousse. Photo courtesy of
Matcha mousse. Photo courtesy of