Dietetic Internship · Food Service · Life · Running · Tofu · Weekly Recap · Wine

Week 23 Recap

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Yup, that’s me with a microphone on.  Freaked out.  Glad I wore black so no one could see me sweating.

I ended my rotation in food service this week and my last big project I had to complete was a presentation on sugar.  I’ve tried a few times to write a post summarizing what my presentation covered but every time I’ve gotten overwhelmed.  In fact, my entire 5 week journey with the topic of sugar was overwhelming.  There is literally so much information available and I had so many options of routes that I could take with sugar that it took me a substantial amount of time to make any progress.

Overall, I think the presentation went well.  The audience wasn’t as big as I had hoped it would be but those who did show up were very receptive and obviously had an interest in the topic because they were ready with questions at the end.  After I wrapped everything up and took off my mic, I still had people coming up and sharing their stories and experiences with me, which was absolutely wonderful!  My goal was to increase their awareness of sugar and show them how the food at the retirement community is better than some of the other foods they may be eating if they were relying on a lot of processed foods.

I think my preceptor also appreciated me ending on a “the food here is great!” note since my presentation as a whole had the potential to really cause her some problems.

It was a great learning experience through and through.  From my previous job as a peer advisor I was already pretty comfortable talking into a mic (since we used to do lots of presentations to prospective students in a big auditorium) but I’ve never worn an ear mic before.  I actually had to tape it behind me ear because my hair kept pulling at it.  I also had some of my facts questioned which makes me think twice about the resources I used to gather information.  It’s all a learning experience.

On Wednesday I headed up to Forest Grove to spend the day at a different retirement community and shadow the RD there.  I really enjoyed it and I love being able to visit different facilities and see how different things are done.

Thursday I did my orientation at the city hospital in the morning so I’m all set to start on Monday! I’ve got my badge and all my clearances taken care of which is a relief.  Since I was able to turn in my massive binder right when I got to the retirement community on Thursday I was able to spend the rest of they day doing the first section of my hospital study guide.  Then I met up with a friend who I know from college/church/sorority and had a glass of wine with her while we got to catch up.  It was a great way to end the craziest 5 weeks of my internship so far!

Friday was a class day, same old there.  I scurried out the door once we were done because I was dying to just have some relaxing me time for a change!  I went to the gym and had a great workout, picked up some take out for dinner, caught up on some reading and Survivor, and went to bed early.

I woke up at 7 am this morning feeling so refreshed!

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The sunshine was trying so hard to break through the clouds!

I have the Shamrock Run tomorrow in Portland.  It’s  a 15k (9.3 miles) so I went on a short run this morning (~2 miles) and had a big, carb loaded lunch.  I also tried to really bump up my carbs yesterday too.  I’m making teriyaki bowls for dinner (mostly because I’ve been craving tofu and broccoli) so I am pretty confident I will be okay for my race tomorrow.  About 4 of the 9 miles are a gradual incline, but once you get to mile 5.5 it’s all downhill.  I just need to get to that point!

I’m headed up to Portland this evening since my race is at 7:40 am.  I’ll have a recap post about it soon because it’s supposed to be a great run!

 

Sauce · Tofu · Vegetarian

Homemade Yumm! Sauce

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This is the yummy recipe I promised you!

If you have never lived in Oregon or visited Oregon, you may not be familiar with the chain of restaurants called Cafe Yumm!  They have a wide variety of menu items, including Yumm! Bowls, my favorite, and a lot of them are topped with their signature Yumm! Sauce.  This stuff is really unique, I wasn’t totally sold my first time (but I think that was also because I was really turned off by their red salsa and now I order my bowls without that).

Anyways, the summer that I lived back in California I craved these ALL THE TIME and they were no where in sight.  I wish I would have found this recipe sooner because it would have alleviated all of my cravings!

This sauce took approximately 5 minutes to make and left me wondering WHY I have waited so long to try this recipe!  I have seen some Yumm! Sauce copy cat recipes floating around for a while now but I have yet to take the time to actually try one.  My bad.

This one is actually from the cook book More Peas, Thank You, that I have made a handful of recipes out of.

Best thing about this recipe, I can make the Yumm! Bowls at home and not spend around $7 on a meal. Woohoo!

Homemade Yumm! Sauce

Recipe adapted from this one

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. cashews
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/4 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3/4 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano

Directions:

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, combine oil, almonds, water and chickpeas. Blend until relatively smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until serving.

This recipe has the disclaimer to use within 7-10 days, so I think that would be a good idea.  I don’t know what happens after that amount of time, but I have a feeling I might find out since I likely won’t use all of mine up before then.

I’ll let you know if anything funky happens.

To make the bowls, layer rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, and cilantro and top with Yumm! Sauce.  You could also add some chicken or tofu.

When I first made this sauce it was super runny (see picture above) but it has thickened with its time in the refrigerator.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Asian Inspirations · Life · Tofu · Vegetarian

Teriyaki Rice “Bowls”

It has finally started to hit me that my time in Portland is drawing to a close. My roommate has moved out, I officially have only 1 month left at work, a few days after that I’m running my second half marathon, and then I move to Corvallis. I will have approximately 17 days of free time, no job, no internship, nothing to do.  As someone who thrives in a fast paced, busy environment the thought of having nothing to do actually gives me a large amount of anxiety! I am basically in denial that my life is about to be turned upside down again.

Tomorrow morning I am doing my long run for the week, 10 miles this time, so I thought it would be nice if I made myself a balanced dinner to fuel me up for my run.  Carbs, protein, and loooots of yummy veggies. I have been craving Asian food like none other lately.  Ever since we had teriyaki chicken at work last week I have been wanting it all. the. time.

As much as I would love to be a full time vegetarian, it’s just not working for me at this point.  I have fallen into the habit of not buying meat and cooking only vegetarian meals at home.  That is one reason I love cooking for myself, I can control absolutely everything I put into my body.  It’s so easy to just not buy meat and not have it as an option to eat.  BTW, I do the same thing with foods that I can’t stop eating once I start. Like ice cream and M&M’s. Mmmmm…..

The problem with this vegetarian thing is simple: I work in foodservice. There is always meat! Always! And if there is bacon and I am hungry, yeah, I’m gonna eat a piece of bacon.  If there is teriyaki chicken and a salad seems like the most unsatisfying lunch possible that day, yeah, I’m gonna eat the chicken.

That’s just the way it is right now and I am okay with it.  I’ll still eat my tofu when I’m at home 🙂

Teriyaki Rice “Bowls”

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • teriyaki sauce of your choosing

Directions:

  1. In a medium to large sauce pan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add rice and reduce heat to low.  Simmer rice for 30-45 minutes until all water is absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Toss tofu in enough teriyaki sauce to coat.
  4. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread tofu evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  5. Either steam or saute broccoli.
  6. Once everything is done cooking, assemble “bowls” by layering rice, broccoli, and tofu on a plate.  Alternatively, you could also put them in an actual bowl.
  7. Top with additional teriyaki sauce and enjoy!

Makes 2 servings.

009I am proud to report that this is an ORIGINAL recipe! Yup, that’s right, I have enough cooking skill and knowledge now to say “I want this” and then figure out how to make it. Well, to an extent…

Also, if you caught the fact that I didn’t use brown rice in the picture, I used some leftover rice from take out Thai curry I had recently.  They give you about 3 times as much rice as you could possibly consume with the curry, so I put it to use tonight.

I am also getting better at food photography! Yeah!

Happy Monday 🙂

Asian Inspirations · Life · Tofu · Vegetarian

Kung Pao Tofu

So before Meghan freaks out because I’m eating tofu, let me explain…

I have decided to be vegetarian for a month…dun dun dunnnn!!!

Yup, my “meatless month” as I’m calling it began yesterday which means I won’t be eating meat until May 16th at the earliest.  I’m taking the pesco-ovo-vegetarian route, meaning I still eat fish, eggs, and dairy products but not meats such as chicken, pork, or beef.  Honestly, I never buy pork or beef to start with and never eat it unless it’s at work.  I think that’s mostly because I’m convinced the best way to cook those kinds of meats is on a BBQ and I don’t own one…so that kind of eliminates those from my shopping list.

So where did this meatless month idea come from? Well, a few places honestly.

1) My best friend, Kylee, is vegetarian.  She has her BS degree in environmental studies, so her reason is definitely more environmental, but after hearing her explain it I fully support her reasoning.  It’s interesting because sometimes I feel like I live in a nutrition bubble and I could probably list every “nutrition” reason to be vegetarian.  In general, I feel like Kylee keeps me educated on environmental issues and this is no exception.  Also, I asked her about a month ago if she was still vegetarian and she told me she had been for over a year now. I admire that.  It also makes a month seem like a really short time.

2) I want to expand my food horizons.  I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut when it comes to cooking lately.  I just want to try something new! I always see all these meatless recipes and think I should try them but then I fall back to my safe choice of chicken.  Time to be brave and try new things!

3) I want a challenge and a new goal to work towards.  After getting a dietetic internship and completing my first half marathon I feel like I’m in a rut.  Of course this is no where near the same caliber as those two goals, but it will do for now.  I need to mellow down my life a bit anyways haha…

There are more smaller reasons, but I could blab on forever and that would be boring.  I came across this recipe from PreventionRD and was immediately drawn to it, especially since her comment on it was that it was a great first recipe to try out tofu.  I bought some tofu the last time I was at the store and had no idea how I was going to use it and since I’ve been on a bit of an Asian, stir fry kick lately (and I like anything spicy) I decided to give it a whirl!

Bottom line, it was really simple and easy to make.  After the tofu came out of the oven it all came together really fast and literally within minutes I had a meal.  I would suggest prepping all your ingredients while the tofu is baking  and if you’re going to serve it over rice, quinoa, or noodles, cook them at that time too.

The original recipe called for coconut oil and peanuts…I don’t have coconut oil (yet!) so I used vegetable oil.  Right after I put it in the pan I remembered learning about different oils in Science of Foods and how they have different smoke points and blah blah blah.  I honestly can’t tell you the difference between oils, only that there is one, and that vegetable oil worked okay.  Use coconut if you can, the flavor would probably be good in this recipe.  And as for peanuts, I’m an idiot and spaced while I was at the store.  I had sunflower seeds in my cabinet and used those.  Again, they were fine, but use the peanuts if you can…

Kung Pao Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/3 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced and divided
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange tofu on the baking sheet and lightly mist with oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the cubes after 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sunflower seeds and red pepper flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tofu and stir.
  3. Add bell pepper and mushrooms and cook another 1 -2 minutes.
  4. Add half of the green onions, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve over cooked brown rice,quinoa, or noodles, if desired, and top with remaining green onions.

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Mine turned out fairly, okay really, spicy, so cut back on the pepper flakes if you don’t want so much heat.  I served mine over brown rice and it was delicious!

Servings: 3

  • Calories: 290
  • Total Fat: 19.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 418 mg
  • Total Carbs: 13.6 g
  • Protein: 19.8 g