Runners take on Instagram with one scrumptious meal at a time

When they aren’t going miles and miles at track and cross country practice, sophomore Ana McCabe and junior Callin Naddy run the kitchen. The savory bagel recipes, salmon and asparagus pasta pairings and any other new flavor mixes the foodies make go straight to their food instagram pages.

McCabe, an environmental studies and journalism double major with an American Sign Language minor, loves quirky food. Her mixture of chicken noodle soup and mashed yams made her high school friends squirm. Her unique concoctions continued at Augustana with granola on cream cheese bagels in the commons. The track and cross country runner’s creative taste in food became an ongoing joke with her and her teammates.

“We all started joking like ‘oh, you should make a food instagram,’” McCabe said.

Driving back from a track meet one night in late February 2020, McCabe had one of her “different and new combinations”: a homemade sweet potato muffin. Her teammates suggested she put it on her food instagram, and that night, McCabe decided to make their idea into a reality.

And so, @foodalicious_yum was born, an account sharing creative recipe combos both from the commons and from her home kitchen. She posts photos of her food with comical captions a few times a month and more daily selections on her insta story.

“I can make something and put my recipes out there in a fun way,” McCabe said.

Naddy, a journalism, communications and German triple major who is also on the teams with McCabe, found herself cooking more than ever during fall 2020. 

“I was making food for myself for kind of the first time ever,” Naddy said.

Her food instagram fills her desire to share her creations with her family and friends. 

“When I make something that looks good or tastes really good, I’ll post it,” Naddy said. “And then, I also have a sourdough starter.”

The page, @cals_kitchen_,  features lots of bread but pops of color in fruits and vegetables break up the brown tones of her specialty sourdough.

Each account has an underlying focus: sustainability for McCabe and sourdough for Naddy.

Naddy and her sourdough starter can make anything: bread, pretzels, cookie bars, bagels and much more. Naddy follows the blog Little Spoon Farm for its sourdough recipes and inspiration of ways to use her starter.

McCabe said because of her environmental studies major, she wants to share more about food waste and sustainability. Particularly for Augie students, she’s noticed there’s a lot of food waste in the commons.

“I think it’s important to educate people because how are they going to help the earth when they just don’t know?” McCabe said. “So with the food sustainability page, I’m hoping to just give little tips and information that people can use.”

The food instagrammers offered their recipe basics: build a base and stack in anything. 

McCabe recommends a sweet choice of leftover rice with fruit, honey and granola or salty option of leftover pasta with vegetables, eggs and cheese.

Her favorites — cheese, olives and pickles — go with anything, according to her.

Naddy’s ideal layering includes something from the carb food group with chicken, vegetables and sauce.

McCabe’s dining hall remix recipes also make it to her instagram on occasion. She said she remembers taking hamburger, zucchini, potatoes, rice, cheese and salad dressing from different stations to make a meal. Or for dessert, she would take fruit, milk, cereal, honey and ice cream.

“Don’t be afraid to take different things from different areas,” McCabe advises other students looking to switch things up in the commons.

One of Naddy’s recent recipes in her apartment was a sourdough bagel sandwich.

On Saturday, she mixed the dough and left it to rise overnight, thanks to her sourdough starter. The next morning she formed them into bagel shapes — and went on a run to give them time to rise.

The bagels were boiled then baked. Finally, she added in the sandwich ingredients: steamed red cabbage, scrambled eggs, provolone cheese and avocado.

“It was good, and it used up some of the things in my fridge that I needed to get rid of so that was also a plus,” Naddy said.

Campus’s up and coming foodies didn’t start learning to cook yesterday.

And so, this isn’t McCabe’s first time turning to media to express her recipes.

In early junior high, McCabe, along with her sister and brother, would make iMovie videos of them cooking with unusual ingredients. The petite chefs swiped random ingredients from the fridge: whipped cream, Coca Cola, Fruity Pebbles and grapes. The kids’ challenge was to create better concoctions than their siblings.

“I’ve always just really enjoyed food,” McCabe said. “It’s not just the taste but the connection that it gives with family members, you know, eating a big meal at holidays or enjoying […] smoothies.”

On sweltering summer days in her hometown of Waseca, Minnesota, her mom used to make thick smoothies for young McCabe and her siblings so they could cool off on the porch.

Naddy said her family enjoyed many home cooked meals in her hometown, Fort Collins, Colorado, and dessert was always on the menu.

“In high school, pretty much every week my family would make some kind of dessert for the week, and I would often be in charge of making it,” Naddy said.

As a runner, Naddy said she thinks a lot about how she’s nurturing her body for her sport but her “huge sweet tooth” means she also embraces about a dessert a day.

“There’s also a lot of runners just all across the nation who have food instagrams, and so, it’s kind of cool to see like ‘oh, here’s what they’re using to fuel their running,’” Naddy said. “[I] see if I can do something similar or get ideas from them for my own stuff.”

McCabe said she also follows food instagram accounts from other people who are also runners to see what other athletes are doing and how she can adjust.

“I’ve definitely seen myself over the years kind of conform to what the other runners are eating,” McCabe said. 

When she sees recipes on her favorite accounts, like @onecrazefoodie, McCabe finds herself trying them and adopting their ingredients, such as peanut butter.

“As a runner, I try to eat healthy and have a lot of vegetables and fruits, and so I do incorporate that in my food instagram page,” McCabe said.

McCabe and Naddy use their pages for an ultimately fun outlet for their food creativity, bringing their followers tasty recipes, plenty of humor and enticing photos of their creations.

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