Sargent Choice Test Kitchen in the News!

(photo credit: Daily Free Press)

Last week BU’s own Daily Free Press wrote a wonderful article about the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen. We are truly honored that Sargent OT Professor, Karen Jacobs invites us and BU students into her apartment weekly to cook up new (and a few old favorite) Sargent Choice recipes.

Registered Dietitian Jennifer Culbert, researches and plans the schedule for the Test Kitchen each semester. In order to be inclusive to most students the menu is always a mix of vegetarian main or side dishes with a few dessert recipes thrown in (pssst…the Fudgy Black Bean Brownies on Nov. 12th cannot be missed).

Karen Jacobs has been holding the SC Test Kitchen since the fall of 2009 which means this is its 6th year running, if you do that math that’s approx. 132 meetings completed by the end of the semester – amazing!

Thank you to the Daily Free Press for highlighting such a great program. To read the complete article click here.

Want to check out the Test Kitchen for yourself, upcoming meeting dates can be found here.

Looking for SCTK recipes?? – click here.



Sargent Choice Night Success!

Last night we celebrated another successful Sargent Choice Night here at BU.  Here are some of the highlights.


Our student ambassadors Kylie and Jesse with dietitian Lauren Ferraro enjoying  their night



Jim the Baker at West Campus showing off his Whole Grain Vanilla Cupcakes



Speaking of those cupcakes – delicious!



Mixed Berry Parfaits


And as promised here are two of the favorite recipes last night, both desserts….are we surprised? Not really!

Sargent Choice Chocolate Zucchini Square

Sargent Choice Apple Crisp


A special thanks to BU Dining Services and Exec Chef Patrick Miller for helping us to put on a fabulous event!


Test Kitchen: Morning Glory Muffins

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

Carrots, coconut, and raisins—OH MY! Glorify your breakfast routine with these easy Morning Glory Muffins. They’ll ignite your day and fuel you through lunchtime.  I was beyond excited to give this carrot cake-esque recipe a go and boy was it worth the hype.

A gentle disclaimer: don’t expect this recipe to be as decadent and over-the-top sweet as the classic Morning Glory Muffin recipe that includes nearly two cups of sugar and quadruple the oil. This recipe was adapted from EatingWell Magazine and includes several alterations that made it healthier, and, in my humble opinion quite a delightful breakfast.

Packed with whole-wheat flour and oats, these muffins are rich in whole grains and energy. But carrots jump to the lead in sheer volume with a whopping two cups—take that Bugs Bunny! All these carrots lend sweetness, because 1/3 cup of honey just can’t do it all by itself. Raisins and coconut pieces chime in as well (so thoughtful!) while the allspice and cinnamon supply notes of sweetness without adding calories. With all these elements I didn’t miss the sugar. I pinky swear.

Applesauce worked in this recipe to replace most of the oil. However, it may have done it’s job too well because the baked muffins were slightly mushy and actually stuck to the muffin liners. That’s why I would recommend either adding more flour or using less applesauce to lower the proportion of wet ingredients. Having more dry ingredients should provide greater structure and make the texture more pleasant.

These muffins have a stamp of approval from Sargent Choice and Terriers alike.  So give them a go! If raisins or coconuts aren’t your bag of kale chips, try using another dried fruit of your liking. Make your morning muffin work for you, not against you.

Sargent Choice
Morning Glory Muffins
Recipe adapted from Eating Well

Yields 12 muffins


1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats, + 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ cup melted coconut oil
2 cups grated carrots
½ cup unsweetened coconut, + 2 tablespoons
½ cup raisins


1.  Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

2.  Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with muffin liners.

3.  Stir together whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and allspice in medium bowl.

4.  Whisk the eggs, unsweetened applesauce, honey and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk in melted coconut oil.

5.  Gently stir in flour mixture until just moistened.

6.  Next fold in the grated carrots, unsweetened coconut and raisins.

7.  Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups equally.

8.  Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of oats and coconut.

9.  Bake the muffins at 350˚F until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached, about 30 to 35 minutes.

 Nutrition Facts:morningglorymuffins

1 muffin
Calories 200
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Protein 4 g
Carbohydrates 29 g
Fiber 3 g


Behind the Scenes: Planning for Sargent Choice Night



Each August our Sargent Choice Registered Dietitians sit down with the culinary dream team at BU Dining Services to start planning for Sargent Choice Night. If you don’t know about Sargent Choice Night, mark your calendar for this Thursday –  September 25th, it’s the one night each semester where everything served in the dining hall is Sargent Choice!

This year, Sargent Choice is celebrating its 10year anniversary so we’ve decided to feature some of our favorite recipes.

Here’s the menu – Sargent Choice Night – September 25th

Test Kitchen: Vegetable Fried Rice

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

HALT—don’t toss that old rice!
Did you know that fried rice actually originated as a solution to leftover rice and other odds and ends found in the refrigerator? Thus, there are countless versions of this tried and true dish that include both meats and/or vegetables. Fried foods get a bad rep—and often they deserve it. But, there’s always a way to turn these bad guys into nutritious and just as delicious alternatives.  Making the healthy choice doesn’t have to mean locking up your fried favorites. This fried rice recipe will only make you  feel like you’re breaking the law.

Vegetarians know the look of concern when questioned on their protein consumption—”How do you ever get enough?!” The key to vegetarian success is optimizing your protein intake. This recipe optimizes protein content with 12g per serving making it a perfect meal for herbivores of the world.  So there’s no need to question, “where’s the beef?”

Adapted from The Kitchn’s  “Cooking Lessons,” this recipe was modified to become Sargent Choice-eligible by substituting brown rice for white. Another sneaky health culprit is sodium. For most individuals sodium intake should be limited to ½-1 teaspoons per day, which is a lot less than the average American who consumes almost double this amount. Consequently, it’s important to cut back on this unwelcome pest wherever possible. We swapped in low-sodium soy sauce and use ginger, garlic, scallions and red pepper flakes to pack some serious gusto sans added sodium!

Instead of using cold cooked rice as the recipe called for, we used freshly made rice that was still warm.  This altered the texture, making it stickier and more moist than typical fried rice. Next time I would try it with day old rice to taste the difference. Regardless, this recipe really stuck with the students providing us with an awesome alternative to the classic.

Final Verdict: Take your leftovers to another level, and try this protein-packed dish. You will be surprised about how good you feel eating fried food.

Sargent Choice Vegetarian Fried Rice
Recipe adapted from Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Yield: 8 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels, defrosted
½ cup fresh or frozen peas, defrosted
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup shelled edamame, defrostedVegetarian Fried Rice
4 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 large egg, beaten
¼ cup toasted nuts or sesame seeds (optional)

14-inch flat-bottom wok or saute pan
Fish spatula or other thin, flexible spatula for stir frying


1.  Cut up the Ingredients: The most important key to making a good stir-fry is cutting each ingredient to a uniform size as specified above. You will need 4 small bowls. Mince the garlic and ginger and set aside in a bowl with red pepper flakes (aromatics). Dice the carrots and set them aside in 2nd bowl. Place corn, frozen peas and edamame in 3rd bowl. Place rice and scallions in 4th bowl.

2.  Prepare Your Wok Space:  Place the 4 bowls of vegetables, rice, aromatics as well as soy sauce near your stove. Also, have a very small bowl of water next to the stove.

3.  Heat the Wok: Turn on a stove burner, as high as it will go. Set a 14-inch wok over this high heat burner. To determine when the wok is hot enough, start flicking droplets of water from the small bowl into the pan after 30 seconds. As soon as a bead of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, the wok is heated and ready for stir-frying. Do not overheat the wok.

4.  Pull Wok off the Heat:  Pull the wok off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Pick up the pan and carefully swirl it to coat the bottom and sides. Place wok back on the heat, and add ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Stir fry for 10 seconds or until fragrant.

5. Add the Carrots and Stir-Fry:  Add the carrots and stir fry for 30 seconds, or until the carrots are bright orange.

6. Add the Corn and Peas and Stir-Fry:  Add the corn and peas and stir fry for 1 minute.

7. Add 1 More Tablespoon Oil:  Swirl the remaining tablespoon of oil into the wok.

8. Add the Rice and Scallions and Stir-Fry for 2 Minutes:  Add the rice and scallions stir-fry for 2 minutes, breaking up the rice with the spatula until it is heated through.

9. Season the Rice:  Season the rice with the salt and pepper.

10. Add the Sauce:  Pour the soy sauce around the edges of the wok and stir-fry.

11. Finish the Rice:  Stir in 1 beaten egg. Stir-fry until the egg is no longer wet. Add the nuts or sesame seeds if using.


  • If you don’t have a wok, you can use a 12-inch stainless skillet; halve the recipe to prevent rice from falling out of the pan.
  • You can substitute up whatever vegetables you have on hand or like best in place of the carrots, frozen corn, and frozen peas.
Nutrition per serving
Calories 240
Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Protein 12 g
Carbohydrate 33 g
Fiber 3 g

The Importance of Thoughtful Eating

By Kathleen Meehan, Sargent Choice Nutrition Center RD

How often do you practice thoughtful eating?
Although we wouldn’t be able to function without food, it lands on the bottom of our to do lists all too frequently.  Then, we are left to go hungry or choose whatever is available nearby – often settling for something that’s less than nutritious.

So many of the choices we make each day are well thought out.  Which route will result in the least traffic? What shoes will match my outfit?  Do I need an umbrella? Consider all the factors involved in shopping for a pair of jeans. Which store will you go to? You think about style, color, fit and price. How do the jeans make you feel? This is a complex decision making process. You’ve practiced it so much that you hardly notice all the criteria involved. When was the last time you thought about food this way?

Thoughtful eating involves the same types of choices. To enjoy the lifelong habit of eating well, rethink the autopilot mindset.  Pay attention to all the choices that are presented. Ask yourself these questions when choosing something to eat:

Do I really like it? You wouldn’t buy something just because your friend likes them. How often do you eat something you don’t really enjoy, just because it’s offered to you?

Do I really need it? Maybe you a need warm sweater more than new jeans right now. You have nutrition priorities, too. Certain foods are essential for you to feel good and do well in class, at work and at play. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love.

Is it in my budget? You can’t always afford all the material items you might want – and you might notice when others have more to spend. You have a unique food budget, too, based on your gender, age, height, weight and physical activity level.

Learning to be a thoughtful eater is important.

  • More people today are overweight, obese or struggling with unhealthy weight control practices than ever before.
  • Today’s food environment makes it easy to miss out on key nutrients that may improve your mood, your mind and your athletic performance.
  • The typical American diet has been linked to major chronic diseases from cardiovascular disease to certain cancers.

Our website and team of Registered Dietitians, will give you the knowledge and tools you need to make smart decisions about what, when and how much to eat.  Learn how to choose meals and snacks that keep you satisfied longer, take the guilt out of special treats you eat purely for pleasure and let thoughtful eating become second nature.

Need help? Register for an appointment with one of the RDs in our center.

Test Kitchen: Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread

By Caroline Patrick, Graduate Nutrition Student

This week students returned to the Charles River Campus, leaving behind lazy sunny days and the comforts of home. But, alas no need to worry—zucchini bread can sweeten the transition. This indulgence is Sargent Choice approved and will have you feeling better before you can say “Dean Elmore”!

Zucchini bread is classified as a “quick bread,” meaning it uses baking soda and baking powder, rather than yeast, as its leavening source. This yields ready-to-eat bread in a fraction of the time. This bread has been adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe, who is a Registered Dietitian with her own show on the Food Network. Krieger made several healthy swaps that decrease the sugar and saturated fat while adding nutrition without losing flavor or decadence.

For instance, applesauce replaces some of the eggs and oil typically called for in zucchini bread. (Yep—applesauce instead of eggs!) Applesauce contains large amounts of pectin, which lends to its ability to act as a binder in recipes. In other words, the pectin keeps all the wet ingredients together, providing structure while simultaneously adding rich moisture in the baked product.

Whole-wheat flour adds nutrients, fiber, and a nutty flavor ultimately making it more satisfying. Additionally, using vegetable oil in place of butter cuts down significantly on the saturated fat content. Throw in the oh-so-nutritious omega-3 packed walnuts, and you’ve got a showstopper!

Seriously, I would like to thank the genius who thought to put zucchini into a baked good. This veggie has entered the dessert ring and it’s beating out competitors (in my pantry) with the help of a few easy, healthful substitutions.


Ultimately this recipe will have everyone clamoring for seconds—I saw it with my own eyes!


Sargent Choice Zucchini Bread
Recipe modified from Ellie Krieger

Yield: 1 loaf/12 slices (3/4” thickslice)

1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, beaten
1 small zucchini (6 ounces), coarsely grated, about 1 ¼ cup
1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil 9”x5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and eggs.  Stir in zucchini.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mixing just enough to combine.  Stir in walnuts.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes in pan, then transfer bread to rack to cool completely before slicing (if you can wait!).


Nutrition Facts per serving (1 slice):

Calories 180
Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Protein 4 g
Carbohydrate 22 g
Fiber 2 g
Sodium 190 mg


Welcome Back!

Welcome Back!

With a new semester underway we thought a good place to start was with a reintroduction to the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center! There is an overwhelming amount of information out there but we’re here to make it easier by providing the BU and Boston community with expert insight on all things nutrition. We are a team of seven (yes…7!) registered dietitians with years of experience and a variety of different expertise.

Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting all of the programs, services and criteria that make Sargent Choice ‘Sargent Choice!’

Here’s a quick glimpse as to what makes Sargent Choice food the healthy choice….

  • Whole Grains instead of Refined Grains
    They’re the complete package: vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals.
  • Lean Meats, Fish, Beans, Low-fat Dairy, and Soy
    Packed with the nutrients and protein we need with less saturated fat.
  • More Fruits and Vegetables
    The essential nutrients that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors are strongly linked to better health.
  • Heart-Healthy Oils
    We all need fat in our diet. And this is the kind that’s good for your body.
  • Herbs and Spices
    Who needs to rely on salt when Mother Nature created these antioxidant-rich gems to flavor our foods?

Visit our Recipes page to see our favorite Sargent Choice options.

But the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center isn’t just all about the food, we offer nutrition education classes, seminars and counseling to help you best meet your nutrition goals. To find out more about our services, visit our website or to schedule a counseling session with one of our RDs, click here.


Navigating BU with a Food Allergy

Do you have a food allergy and plan on eating in the dining halls?
We are here to help!

Please join our food allergy expert, Sarah Butler, RD for a food allergy training session this Labor Day weekend.

Send us an email at with your name, BU ID#, type of allergy and session you would like to attend.

Saturday, August 30th
10am Marciano Commons
12pm Warren Towers
2pm West

Sunday, August 31st
10am Marciano Commons
12pm Warren Towers
2pm West

Monday, September 1st
10am Marciano Commons
12pm Warren Towers
2pm West

The Sargent Choice Nutrition Center works very closely with Student Health Services and BU Dining Services to ensure the safety of all students eating on campus.

Need help managing your allergy or concerned about your nutrition. Sign up for an individual counseling session here.

More information about food allergies on campus:

Sargent Choice Nutrition Center featured on “Foodie on Campus” Website

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During this past spring one of our dietitians at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center had the pleasure of meeting with a fellow dietitian, Faye Mitchel, and taking her on a tour of the Marciano Commons dining hall. Faye visited Boston University in order to feature the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center on her website, “Foodie on Campus”. The goal of the website is to help high school students learn more about the food at colleges they are looking to apply to. The website can also help prospective students decide on what college they will choose to attend by allowing them to look at the different eating options at certain campuses. The article, featured in the campus shout-outs section, highlights the start of Sargent Choice options in the dining hall and lists several of the most popular recipes. To read the full piece click on the link below.