Category Archives: Protein

Coconut Fish Curry

Patients, I love them, but they can drive me crazy some times. It’s okay, it’s my job to deal with it, and I’m sure I’m not always easy, but I’d like to take a minute to share a couple of pet peeves/misunderstandings. Try to avoid them, and you’ll make your doctor ever so much happier.

1. Please don’t talk when my stethoscope is on your chest. This isn’t some paternalistic, old-school medicine tradition that’s disenfranchising patients – it’s simple courtesy. A stethoscope is an amplifier, which is what allows me to hear your heart sounds. However, when you talk, that gets amplified too, and, not only can I not hear your heart, it also feels like you’re screaming in my ear. Not fun.

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Chilaquiles

Folks, ummm, it’s been nuts in the ED. Nuts.

One-Flew-Over-the-Cuckoos-001

As a bit of background, our ED is exceptionally well-ordered. We have a great director and are generously staffed with plenty of ancillary staff. Us residents do a few rotations at the other, traditionally lower-income ED in town (in truth, the town is painfully poor and both EDs have an unusually high number of uninsured patients, but our hospital provides more specialist services and is thus better funded), and the difference is night and day. Expected wait times at our ED, previous to this surge, were about 30 minutes, and as someone who has worked in more than a handful of hospitals at this time, that is miraculous.

Recently though, for unknown reasons, whoa! Everyone needs and wants care. It must be a statewide thing, because transfers have doubled. Those of you who have worked in food services doubtless know the term, “in the weeds,” and that is where we are consistently at. When I come on shift, we have 20-40 patients in the waiting room, which we patiently clear, but more keep coming. It feels like this when I walk through the waiting room:

The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC - DSC_9915crgn_R_Ph Gene Page
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LEMONGRASS TOFU

It’s been a long time since I posted and I wish I had a great excuse for that (super-spy mission, saving the world, kidnapped by Basque separatists), but mainly I’ve been busy with work and my vacation spot turned out to be without internet.

Yes, I did go on vacation. I had over a week off for the first time in a year and it was glorious! Pictures and a recipe will be forthcoming. I know everyone’s excited; there’s nothing better than other people’s vacation pictures :).

For today, however, I’ll pre-bore you with two snaps from a recent work day-trip to one of the great lakes!

mackinac island seashore LEMONGRASS TOFU

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Me and some work buddies biked around an island, an unexpected adventure that I was not entirely prepared for (I wore a dress) so I would estimate that about 50% of the island’s population has now seen my underpants. C’est la vie.

mackinac island arch rock LEMONGRASS TOFU

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In addition we won a scavenger hunt, and I added to my stockpile of prize gift cards.

Here’s the part where, because I made you look at trip photos, I have to give you an especially good recipe. This one was actually requested by my sister, a month ago, and I have been promising to post it ever since. Better late than never?

I am a huge fan of sandwiches, but had somehow never had a bahn mi until I visited my (now) husband in his hometown of Oakland. It was awesome. Unfortunately, good Vietnamese food is not always available outside the big cities, especially tofu instead of meat-based dishes. Thus, I have been forced to take matters into my own hands. This is my recipe for lemongrass tofu, barely adapted from a kick-ass site called Battle of the Bahn Mi. It starts with a blended sauce of lemongrass and other Asian-inspired flavors.

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The tofu is pressed using one of the endless supply of blue towels (or, you know, whatever those of you who don’t have suture towels spilling out of your drawers until your husband begs you to stop bringing them home use in your kitchen).

tofu LEMONGRASS TOFU

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The tofu and sauce get to know each other for at least a day, but ideally longer, making this a very handy recipe because you can start the process on the weekend and then just fry it on whatever weeknight you choose for a fast and easy meal.

marinated tofu LEMONGRASS TOFU

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The tofu doesn’t even need oil to fry, since there’s some in the marinade. Below is some of what I like to put in my bahn mi – avocado takes the place of mayo. Also, pickles instead of cucumbers, because, well, pickles are superior. Not pictured are soy sauce, carrots, cilantro, sriracha, and whatever else is lurking in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

bahn mi ingredients LEMONGRASS TOFU

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Lemongrass Tofu
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Ingredients
  1. 1 package extra firm tofu, 4-6 stalks lemongrass, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon hot sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Press and drain tofu. Cut into slices.
  2. Blend all other remaining ingredients and place in ziploc bag with the tofu slices. Let marinate for at least 1 day and up to 4 days.
  3. Fry over medium-high heat until golden brown, approximately 4-5 minutes per side.
VEGGIESAURUS!!!! http://www.theveggiesaurus.com/

Coconut Quinoa

I meant for this post to come about 2 weeks ago, but (work) life intervened.
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Guess what guys, I’m a second year now! It’s a decidedly weird feeling, mostly good, but little terrifying. I don’t quite know how to explain what one year of residency training means, because it passes in a flash and so much of it isn’t quite comprehensible until later, when I see something in the department and realize that all of those off-service rotations and moments spent studying have paid off because I’ve got this. Continue reading

Coconut Quinoa

CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

iris CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

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My neighbors have some damned impressive flowers!

poppy CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

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From the tried and true,

purple flowe CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

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To some weirdos I’d never seen before,

maple CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

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Okay, that’s a tree, but still pretty, no?

Carrot edamame salad is one of those dishes that feel quintessentially summer-y to me. It’s light, can be served cold, doesn’t take a lot of work to produce, and has nice, bright, citrus flavors. It’s also good for a few days.

salad ingredients CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

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CARROT EDAMAME SALAD

ASPARAGUS QUICHE

bananas ASPARAGUS QUICHE

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I had a sad, sad recipe failure this week. My attempt to turn the hideous bananas above into delicious banana bread produced an edible, but overly wet and dense loaf. C’est la vie, I suppose.

grass ASPARAGUS QUICHE

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In unrelated news, I really need to mow my lawn. For real, it’s out of control. If I wait long enough though, BS may do it. Sloth FTW!

seed pods ASPARAGUS QUICHE

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At least we have beautiful tree sperms all over!

When life seems overwhelming and the to-do list stretches endlessly long, I tend to turn to the tried-and-true, recipes that produce multiple days of food, and that I know will be tasty enough to steer me away from the cafeteria and its sloth-making, tummy-ache producing food. I’ve been making quiche for so many years that I know I can always pull it off, regardless of what ingredients are at hand (including that one time I started making it, realized I had no cream, and substituted sour cream; texture a little weird, but it worked). Given the cream in the filling and the butter in the crust, it definitely isn’t a permanent food solution, but it beats grilled cheese and french fries – we go to war with the army we have, not the one we want…

This particular quiche features cheddar and asparagus, which is one of my favorite combinations, and is especially well-suited to my current situation since I’m in asparagus land, baby! Locally produced stuff is popping up for under $2 a pound.

ingredients ASPARAGUS QUICHE

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ASPARAGUS QUICHE

QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

Shark-dog has been much walk-neglected recently, a fact which he does not hesitate to get across with reproachful, mournful looks. He is the king of the guilt trip.

dog QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

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I wouldn’t mind a walk; the ones I have managed to go on recently have been decidedly lovely.

green walkway QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

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However, when I get home from work I’m ravenous and in a rush to make dinner. By the time I’m done cooking and eating it’s dark outside. I can’t wait to be back on ED in a week, where my more variable schedule allows for some daytime freedom, as well as to continue heading for the longer days of summer! Up this far north, by midsummer the sun doesn’t even seem to start setting until at least 9pm.

My dinner focus recently has been on foods that are fast, productive of good leftovers, and not too unhealthy. In addition, with an eye towards the hotter summer months (in my non-air-conditioned house) I’m moving away from recipes that require the oven, and leaning more heavily on the stove.

Towards that end, this recipe is definitely a winner! The only grain content is whole, it has two forms of protein, it’s chock-a-block full of flavor, it comes together quickly, and it lasts so it’s easy to make enough to cover lunch or breakfast for the next two days. It is barely adapted from i am a food blog. If you have never visited this site I strongly recommend it; besides having good recipes the photos are gorgeous.  Continue reading

QUINOA BRUNCH BOWL

MUESELI

grey sky MUESELI

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Grey skies can be distinctly beautiful, especially if, you know, you have a happy tree to brighten your day.

happy tree MUESELI

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Mueseli has become one of my and BS’s favorite breakfasts over the years. It’s healthy, gets assembled the day before and improves overnight, and you can make several servings at once. All of this basically makes it sound like a painfully grown-up breakfast, a reminder that even though you can eat ALL the chocolate now, you’re going to be good and have brussels sprouts instead. However, it’s far from that! Continue reading

MUESELI