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Students create college-friendly cookbook

Students+create+college-friendly+cookbook
Courtesy of Bailey Sieren

For many college students, finding quick and easy recipes to make during their first experience away from home can present a major challenge. Bailey Sieren and her peers set out to help ease this transition with a user-friendly and college-oriented cookbook.

Sieren, a senior in agricultural studies, is a part of the learning and leadership sciences minor at Iowa State. The program provides an opportunity for students to engage in productive thinking, enabling them to lead in their professions and contribute to society and their communities, as stated on the Iowa State Course and Programs website.

Leif Olsen, a program specialist, serves as an instructor in the learning and leadership sciences minor at Iowa State.

“We’re a six-course sequence that is really focused on helping students become better, more impactful and more effective learners and leaders at Iowa State and beyond that into their careers and lives,” Olsen said. “Beyond these four walls, we really focus on what we call enduring understanding. …We have a set of core principles that we focus on and develop through our different courses.”

Within the program, students have the opportunity to develop a plan for a service learning project and bring it to life with a group of peers.

“We really use it as sort of a lab space for students to showcase all of the things they have learned in the minor throughout their time and coursework,” Olsen said.

After reflecting on various obstacles faced by college students, Sieren and her group developed their idea for a college-friendly cookbook.

“It’s a challenge we found to be true for all of us, especially when we first moved into our off-campus apartments and didn’t have that food readily available to us anymore,” said Zachary Riedemann, project member and a senior in agricultural studies.

A main focus of the group’s cookbook, titled “Culinary Cy-Guide: More than a Cookbook,” was selecting recipes that were quick, easy and nutritious. In addition to recipes, the book also provides a variety of resources such as shopping tips and guides for meal planning.

The group also collaborated with Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP), Iowa State’s campus food pantry, and spent time volunteering through the organization. 

“The whole experience was great… creating the book and just working together,” Riedemann said. “We had a lot of fun trying to figure out what we were going to do and had a lot of different opinions that we had to work around. I think our relationships and knowing how one another works has really helped us build something as complicated as this cookbook and put it all together into one document.”

The cookbook holds 36 recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Some of the guide’s recipes include tilapia fish tacos, cheesy chicken and rice casserole and crispy garlic potatoes.

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