DRA Dining

Since arriving to Scotland, I have found myself eating a lot of fried, heavy food, and drinking a lot of delicious gin… BUT I am hoping my diet takes a more healthy route since I have finally arrived at St Andrews.  Today was the first day I tested out my meal plan, since I have a catered residence.  I get two meals a day.  Breakfast consists of a variety of hot and cold options.  I went with the traditional Scottish “parritch” or porridge, and some fruit and coffee.  The oatmeal was pretty good and the ability to get eggs reassures me I will not have an issue finding something I like.IMG_5431.JPG

Lunch had a lot of hot meals, like mac and cheese, a type of meat, roasted veggies and potatoes, and a salad bar.  I opted for the tomato basil soup and vegetables, and the soup was VERY good.  Before arriving I had heard the soup and stew would be good in Scotland, and that claim is true.  Probably because it gets so cold here people need something to warm them up!


Today I also wandered down to the East Sands Beach (there is also a West Sands Beach) with a few friends.  It was BEAUTIFUL!!! It really reminded me of the beautiful beaches in Maine I go to back at home.  And the stretch of it is very vast.  It looks like the beach recedes into the distance!


Only a couple days in and I really am beginning to fall in love with Scotland itself.  I’ll have moments throughout the day where the beauty of the landscape really hits me, and it causes me to pause and soak it all in.  We will see if that happens when the rain and cold start to kick in 🙂


“Shrimp My Ride” Salad

One of these days I hope SweetGreen discovers my food blog and names a salad after one of my inspirations… that day has yet to come!  This salad is unique because the shrimp is marinated in an herb and salt mixture, Aglio Olio, that my cousin mailed to me from California.

Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio

She knows I am a big foodie and she usually mixes the seasoning with olive oil as a dip for bread.  I took the liberty of repurposing it and was met with success.

"Shrimp My Ride" Salad

“Shrimp My Ride” Salad

“Shrimp My Ride” Salad (for one)

6 shrimp washed and deveined

olive oil

Aglio Olio seasoning

half an avocado (or full if you’d rather just go for it)

half a yellow bell pepper (chopped)

carrot (chopped)

1/4 cup feta

handful sunflower seeds

6 Greek olives (pitted and chopped)

2 cups romaine lettuce

2 cups spinach

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Place the shrimp in a bowl.  Pour olive oil on top to cover it.  Sprinkle on the Agli Olio salt and herb mixture to season the shrimp.

Grill the shrimp until each side is pink and cooked through.

Place spinach and lettuce at the bottom of a large bowl.  Cut the tails off of the shrimp.  Place everything on top of the greens.  Drizzle on balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dress the salad.  Dig in!



Minestrone Pasta

Seeing as a couple of people in my family have become sick this past week, I thought soup would be a good choice for a comforting meal.  My aunt had told me about a minestrone recipe she had from a friend’s grandmother and I decided to try it.  I added in beans, bacon grease, and pasta, and forgot the peas!  The pasta proceeded to absorb the broth, which was delicious, but made it so that I could no longer call the dish soup!  I served this alongside pesto bread, which is just a crusty baguette slathered with pesto and finished off in the broiler.  I also topped the pasta with fresh romano cheese.  The vegetables all melded down beautifully together and it was really filling even though there is no meat.  Next time I think I will add a little bit of wine for added flavor. photo 2

Minestrone Pasta

olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

1 clove of garlic, minced

3 carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup zucchini, chopped

1 cup of cauliflower, chopped

2 cartoons of chicken broth

1 cup of water

1 can of tomatoes or 1 cup of fresh tomatoes

1 cup of asparagus, chopped

1 can cannelloni beans

1 pound small shaped pasta

a couple tablespoons of bacon grease


Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add the bacon grease.  The temperature should be on high. Add the chopped onions, garlic, celery, garlic, carrots, and cook for a few minutes.  Add the broth.

Add 2 bay leaves, parsley, water, chopped zucchini, cauliflower and one can of diced tomatoes.

Let the soup boil for about an hour and a half, then add asparagus and pasta.

Allow to cook until the pasta is finished.  I proceeded to cover it up and let the flavors meld for around 6 hours.  I think this dish just gets better the longer you wait.  Enjoy!

Veggie Turkey Sandwich

On days where you want a light refreshing lunch, this sandwich is easy to whip together and satisfies those very cravings.  Crisp vegetables go alongside creamy avocado to make your turkey sandwich a little more memorable.




slivers of carrot (I used a peeler to get thin slices but you can use a mandolin if you have one)

sliced cucumber


I made mine an open faced sandwich so top the bread with guacamole.  Then add the vegetables and turkey.


Salad Bowl


Salad bowls are a super easy and fun way to eat your veggies. There’s no recipe to follow – just toss whatever veggies, salad, nuts, or seeds you want into a bowl, and you’ve got yourself a nice salad. You may also wish to sprinkle the salad with dressing of your choice. You can also add eggs, guacamole, or hummus, to make it a more filling salad.

For this particular salad, I used the following ingredients:




Red cabbage



chia seeds

flax seeds

pumpkin seeds