It’s that time of week again! Running a little late this week because of my crazy days. Anyway, let’s get cooking!
Recipe #1: Whole wheat pasta with tomatoes, basil and shrimp
My own creation!
Unfortunately I misplaced the paper that I wrote the exact amount of the various ingredients on. Thus, this will be a bit of an approximation.
I first toasted a heaping tablespoon of pine nuts in the oven under the broiler.
I cooked the shrimp (10 ounces) and garlic (4 smashed cloves) in 2 tsp of olive oil
Next, I added a 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes.
Next I added 10ish ounces of whole wheat pasta and stirred well. I added about 1/2 of cup of fresh basil stirring until the basil was wilted. Finally I added the pine nuts and 3ish ounces of mild shredded cheddar cheese. I let this combo heat through for another minute or so.
Finished product. It was tasty, but would have been much better with mozzarella cheese instead of cheddar.
Recipe #2: Balsamic chicken with couscous and steamed asparagus
Adapted from a Cooking Light Recipe.
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup lower sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 pounds chicken
Combine everything except chicken and 1 tbsp olive oil.
Add chicken to mixture. Cover and marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400. Remove chicken from mixture and heat for 4 minutes in 1 tbsp olive oil. Use a large oven proof skillet.
Meanwhile, boil sauce for about 2-3 minutes
Flip chicken and pour half of sauce over top of chicken. Cook chicken for 6 minutes in oven. Once chicken is out of oven, pour the rest of the sauce on top.
The chicken was pretty easy and super delicious. I served it with steamed asparagus and some cous cous.
The recipe was fantastic as written, but I will definitely decrease the amount of olive oil I used. I very easily could have gotten away with not using that second tablespoon.
Onto the non cooking aspects of my week!
Last Wednesday Anna, Nyssa, Andrea and I had a chance to use our groupon at Create art studio. We went to the open painting session and ended up being the only ones there. It was a fantastic surprise because we had the place to our self and lots of access to the owner, a former art teacher.
So many colors to choose from.
Each one of us got to use a cute Create apron/smock.
The blank canvases before the session.
Another excellent part of the evening. Anna brought snacks!
These cheese filled jalapano pretzels were yummy!
Andrea also brought along some fizzy European soda. Also yummy!
My artwork in progress.
Nyssa getting started.
Anna deep in thought.
Anna putting the finishing touches on her painting.
Each of us by our completed masterpieces!
This week, I treated myself to a mini shopping spree at Vera Bradley. Franco didn’t really care for my purchases but very much enjoyed the box.
I got a new tote for school, a kindle case, a contact case and a passport holder! Nothing better than getting a package in the mail.
Why did I deserve a shopping spree? Because I was on neurology inpatient service and would soon be transitioning to the neurosurgery service. Don’t worry. You’ll hear all about that in next week’s post…
Finally, to finish off an excellent week, I had an excellent weekend. On Saturday I traveled down to Binghampton to have dinner and drinks with a few of my friends who are doing their third year clerkships in the Bing. We had dinner at the Lost Dog Cafe.
Jenny, Justin and Tony
Justin, Bethan and Mike
Erica, Me and Tara
I had a tasty veggie burger with mac and cheese for dinner
Later that night, we got spotted at Dilinger’s by Bing Spot. Oh what a night…
After 6 wonderful and relaxing weeks on psych, it was time to go back to the real world. I started my neurology clerkship this past week. Thus, my free time to cook and work out has been drastically reduced. I started out on inpatient which means I’m out of the house by 6:30 am and hopefully getting home around 6:30 pm. I’m usually too exhausted to go to the gym or it’s too late to make a zumba class. Luckily i have a few Jillian Michael’s DVD that can kick my butt.
Last friday to celebrate the end of my first week on neuro, I had a few people over for some wine and cheese. It was lots of fun, but unfortunately, I didn’t get all that many pictures.
In addition to bread and cheese, I also bought some baba ghanoush and whole wheat mini pitas. Turns out, wegman’s brand baba ghanoush is pretty darn good!
Love my double bottle wine chiller!
On to the new recipe…
Super quick whole wheat penne with spinach and chicken sausage
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces precooked chicken sausage
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup reduced sodium fat free chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons reduced fat parmesan cheese
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- Dash of Cayenne pepper (optional)
Sausage, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 cloves of chopped garlic.
After the sausage started to brown, I added the broth and the spinach. I cooked until the spinach was wilted.
Finally, I mixed pasta with the sausage-spinach mixture, added some salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and served with a tablespoon of grated parmesan. Super easy and pretty tasty.
Restaurant Week: Part 2
Andrea, Anna, and I decided to go to L’Adour, a french restaurant in Syracuse, for the second week of dining week.
My lovely dining companions!
MMMmmm…the menu looked wonderful!
I started off with the butternut squash soup.
Next, I had grilled chicken breast “basque” style with sweet bell peppers and Espelette chili served with basmati rice!
Finally, for my last (and best) course, I had a warm pear tart with rosemary. This was absolutely to die for!
Kitty Highlight of the Week:
Last week Michele brought a few things from Trader Joes when she visited. Franco discovered the paper bag and has been obsessed with it!
Super cute picture (if you ignore the eye goop)
That’s it for this week. Get excited for next week’s post about my adventures at my first art class
I’m a little late with my weekly update, but I have a few good reasons. This past week was jam packed with both fun (and one not so fun events). Also, I only tried one new recipe this week which breaks my Recipe Resolution Rules. I did make the recipe twice so maybe that counts as 1.5? I’ll just have to do a little extra cooking this week…
Let’s start off with the fun things! Monday February 13th was my roommate Andrea’s birthday!!! Although I still had some commitments for my psych clerkship, I was able to grab lunch at Strong Heart’s Cafe with the birthday girl. I had a tasty sweet potato asparagus soup.
I also treated Andrea to a vegan cupcake!
Later that night, we went out to Pastabilities, one of Syracuse’s best restaurants, for a B-day celebration.
Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t cooperating and none of my food pictures are blog-post-able. I did find a pic of one of the best parts of any meal at Pastabilities, the bread!
All of the girls from the birthday party!
Although my Valentine’s day started out a little on the rocky side, I received these beautiful flowers from my friend Emily.
Franco also loved the flowers, but after some googling, I learned azaleas are not cat friendly. The plant is now safely out of reach
On Friday I took my psych shelf (AKA the big end of the clerkship exam). The roomie surprised me with a heart shaped Dunkin Donut to celebrate the end of another clerkship. 30 weeks of 3rd year done, 18 to go!
Another fantastic part of Friday was the arrival of Michele!!!! She drove in from Boston to spend the weekend with me AND brought me these beautiful roses!
One of the other presents from Boston, Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds.
As if chocolate and roses wasn’t enough of a treat, Michele also brought some of my favorite cupcakes!
Mojito, Raspberry, Chocolate chip cookie dough and Champagne flavored cupcakes.
My favorite was definitely the champagne flavored one. Not only did it have a strawberry in the middle, but the little sprinkles on top created a fizzy feeling in your mouth. So creative!
After Michele arrived, we went out to dinner with Andrea, Anna, Michael, Christopher, Bethan, Justin, Candace and Crystal for Dining week. We tried Anthony’s Pasta Bar where we were able to choose an item from each of three courses.
I started out with the Caprese- sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella & basil finished in a balsamic reduction.
Next was the Shrimp Caprino- sauteed shrimp, grape tomatoes and baby spinach tossed with goat cheese in a garlic olive oil sauce with penne.
I finished off the night with a delicious chocolate mud pie.
The next day, Michele and I had a lovely lazy Saturday that involved a trip to Wegman’s, a lifetime movie, and some yummy sushi for lunch.
Around dinner time, Sarah came over to make dinner.
RR: Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a Berry Asparagus Salad.
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 2/3 cup reduced calorie maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
Preheat oven 400. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Add chicken to pan; sauté 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Add broth, syrup, thyme, and garlic to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vinegar and mustard; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pan, and spoon mustard mixture over chicken. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Place pan over medium heat; cook mustard mixture 2 minutes or until liquid is syrupy, stirring frequently. Serve with chicken.
Michele seasoning the chicken.
Sarah and Michele in the kitchen.
The chicken just fit into the skillet.
The glaze cooking. It smelled soooo sooo good!
With dinner, Andrea, Michele, Sarah and I tried the Entwine Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chicken and mashed sweet potatoes.
Sarah was in charge of the salad and she did an amazing job. She combined greens with strawberries, asparagus, apples, blue cheese and walnuts. It was all tossed with her own dressing. Delicious! AND it went really well with the main dish!
The night ended at my friend Jess’ house with a few more friends and a little more wine. It was a great night
Overall, I had such a wonderful time with Michele this past weekend, and I wish we lived closer to each other. Luckily, in a few months I’ll hopefully be moving in with Michele and John for a month when I do my away elective in Boston In honor of my the upcoming holiday and my friendship, here’s a picture of us from back almost 3 year ago celebrating in Boston
As I get closer to my exam (next friday), the time I have to cook has been reduced dramatically. Because of this time crunch, I decided to make recipes that I’ve cooked before, (just with a little twist).
Recipe #1: Tofu Piccata with escarole
Adapted from a Weight Watchers Receipe.
A few weeks ago, I cooked this recipe using pork tenderloin. Since I had some tofu in the fridge, I thought I would make it again. Just vegetarian it up this time.
I also added some chia seeds to flour, salt, pepper mixture that I coated the tofu with.
Another change: instead of spinach, this time I used escarole.
Although this was tasty, I definitely prefer the original recipe. The pork balanced out the tanginess of the lemon sauce a little better than the tofu.
In addition to cooking, I spent a lot of time with my psych review book.
The tofu left overs (with some steamed broccoli) was a quick mid study day meal.
Mid study day snack: chocolate covered strawberry from Nyssa.
Recipe #2: Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole, and Beans
Adapted from www.skinnytaste.com
I know I JUST made this recipe last week, but turns out it’s THAT good. This time, instead of crumbling the sausage, I cut the links into four pieces and chopped . This actually saved quite a bit of time.
I also used a yellow onion instead of a sweet onion.
Another simple change: I kicked up the spicy factor by doubling the amount of cayenne pepper.
I finished cooking just in time to watch an episode of HIMYM. Two of my favorite people made it into this picture
I need to keep this entry short, (I need to continue studying). Hopefully next week I’ll be able to get a little more blogging time in. Michele is coming up on friday (yaaaaay!!!!!), and I’m sure I’ll have lots to write about
Let’s get cooking! I mentioned the first recipe I tried this week (egg muffins) in my previous post.
Recipe #2: Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole, and Beans
Adapted from www.skinnytaste.com
I pretty much followed the recipe exactly as written. The only difference was cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes. It gave it a little extra kick
I first cooked the onions, garlic, salt, better and crumbled chicken sausage.
It smelled so good!
I set the sausage mixture aside, and added chicken broth and beans.
Next, I added a whole head of escarole and waited for it to cook down.
Finally I added the pasta and sausage mixture.
Finished just in time to watch the Super Bowl. Yup, that’s Kelly Clarkson in the background.
I topped it all with some grated parmesan cheese.
I also served it over some steamed veggies. That’s why you see the random rogue broccoli
Overall, this is one of my favorite recipes I have tried this year. It was surprisingly super easy and has a ton of flavor! I highly recommend trying this one out
Life update for the week for the rest of the week…
Went grocery shopping for the week. Loaded up on the usual stuff and a few of my favorite things. Has anyone else tried the blood orange chobani?? So so so good. My new favorite flavor. I’m also currently obsessed with the 3 pt skinny cow chocolates and 2 pt (yes, you heard right) Wegmans sandwich things.
Took Franco to the vet. He wasn’t very happy with me. Here he is giving me the stink eye while we were waiting to see the vet.
Aaaaannd now we are in a fight. He wouldn’t even look at me.
My child psych rotation is still as exciting as ever. I had my favorite patient chief complaint of all time. “I am Darth Vader.” There’s a whole lot more to that story that makes it alot less awesome, so I’ll just leave you with that little tid bit.
One of my many lectures this week not only involved a group sing-a-long, but us holding stuffed animals and pretending to feed them. Seeing my male classmates cradle a squirrel and a cat was pretty entertaining.
On Wednesday I sat in the lounge for an hour while my attending saw a patient who didn’t want a med student all up in their business. I have no problem with that but unfortunately I left my bag with my review book in his office and couldn’t interrupt the session. While trying to keep myself occupied I stumbled upon some leftover breakfast take-out from Panera. Win!
Didn’t really trust the food, but the coffee was still warm.
Some of my reading options: Arthritis Today and 55 Plus. Fail.
Opted for “First for Women.” I learned 97 ways to “get the paty started.” Also apparently we all should be eating African Mango seed extract to lose half of our body weight. Sure Doctor Oz…let me just take this pill and I’ll look like Heidi Klum in no time
Needless to say, it was a wasted hour. Ahhh the glamorous life of a third year med student. 75% of the time you’re working you’re ass off and the other 25% you’re completely wasting your time (but becoming remarkably good at Tiny Tour).
Finally, I tried some kick boxing classes at my zumba studio with Cynthia and Anna. Where are the pictures of us doing this you ask? Not on the internet. I was a hot mess afterwards. Those classes are HARD and they kicked my butt. I haven’t worked out like that since being on my high school track team. So many high knees, butt kicks, push ups and planks. I’m feeling muscles in my back that I didn’t know I had. Overall I got 4.5 hours of working out this week (possibly a record for third year.) It may be a little silly sometimes, but I’m totally loving this rotation.
On Saturday night I went out for sushi with Mike and Christopher. I’ve been dying to try Sakana-ya since first year, but just got around to it.
Started the night out with some wine. Guess what I was drinking?
At this restaurant, the sushi comes around on a conveyor belt. The different plates represent different prices.
First plate: steamed veggie dumplings
Second plate: veggie roll
Although these look identical, these were actually two different rolls. My stomach was feeling a little funny so I decided to just stick to the vegetarian dishes.
Finally, dessert! Green tea and strawberry mochi.
Mike, Christopher, and I finished off the night by meeting up with some friends at Blue Tusk for drinks! It’s always awesome to catch up with good friends who you haven’t seen in a while
Today I’m going to try something a little different. This will be the first in hopefully a series of blog posts devoted to how I survived medical school. I’ve been meaning to get to this pretty much since I started the blog, but its only now, just 2.5 years into med school, that I feel I have any true advice to give. When I first was prepping to take the plunge into the crazy pool that is medical school, I scoured the internet for blogs and websites with advice for students. At that time, I didn’t really find all that much. Why you ask? Because people in med school don’t have all that much free time to do anything other than study, sleep, maybe eat and repeat. If I did find something, it was probably a website created by that person in every med school class that everyone else is thoroughly annoyed by. If you want the gunners guide to getting honors in every class, stop reading. That’s not what this is about. This will be about surviving probably the most challenging and exhausting experience of your life and still having a little bit of your sanity left intact.
The first topic I’m going to cover is clearly an important one because breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In first and second year eating breakfast really wasn’t that much of a challenge. Your schedule is a little more flexible, and I always managed to get something in my system before I headed up the hill for class. It wasn’t until I started my medicine clerkship where I had to make some changes and come up with a routine. Back in July, my alarm clock started going off at 5:30 am. That would give me just enough time to get ready and make it to the floor by 6:30. If I was lucky, I would have some time to throw something into my mouth. Unfortunately, I often didn’t have a chance to eat anything else until 12 pm when we had noon conference. That is a LONG time. I was often exhausted, and you could pretty much hear my stomach grumbling across the room.
The first part of my routine, was drinking a huge cup of iced coffee. To save time, I would brew a pot at night and stick it in the fridge once it cooled. It would stay fresh for a few days, so I made it in bulk. Another pro to drinking iced coffee is that it goes down faster. Those few minutes that you save there could potentially be super useful later on in the day. For example, when you forget your stethoscope and have to turn around once you mad it to the hospital, you’ll be thankful you didn’t spend 10 minutes sipping piping hot coffee. Not that happened to me or anything…twice
Second part of my routine was making sure I got some protein to hold me over until noon every day. The first solution I found were lean pockets. These little suckers are surprisingly filling, not all that bad for you and pretty affordable. They go for about $1.99 and take 2 minutes to heat up in the microwave.
If I ran out of lean pockets, another quick breakfast treat I would make is a microwave egg sandwich. I know what your thinking. Eggs in the microwave = gross. These really are quite tasty, fast and cheap. I would first crack one egg in a coffee mug. Next I would add a little skim milk and any spices or herbs that I had on hand. In this recent batch I added salt, pepper, dried onions and fresh thyme.
After two minutes in the microwave, I would place the egg on a sandwich thin with some laughing cow spreadable cheese. If I wanted to get real fancy, I would add a turkey sausage link (frozen after about 30 seconds in the microwave).
Final product with my favorite condiment: ketchup!
A newer breakfast was inspired by my friend Katie.
I sautéed about half of a red onion and 4 cloves of chopped garlic.
I combined all of that with 5 eggs, 1 cup of reduced fat cheddar, 2 tbsp miracle whip, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 tsp salt/pepper, and some fresh thyme.
I lined 8 muffin tin cups with reduced fat crescent rolls.
Next, I put about 1/4 cup of the mixture in each cup and top with a turkey sausage link in each cup.
After 35 minutes in the oven at 350, here’s the finish product. If anyone is like “hey, these sound delicious, I’m going to try them,” just a quick word of warning. With the recipe above there was a TON of spillage in the oven. I wasn’t thinking about the expansion factor, and I filled those suckers right to the top. I would either A) reduce the amount of onion which takes up a ton of space or B) by more crescent rolls so that you can make a full tin. Doing the math on mine, it comes out to about 5-6 ww points per muffin (depending on how much is currently sitting on my oven floor). These can easily be reheated for a quick breakfast treat!
Another new way to get a little extra healthy fat and protein in the morning is my newest food obsession, the chia seed. I know what you’re thinking and yes, these are the things that grow in your cha-cha-cha-chia.
They’re also little nutrition powerhouses. In 1 tbsp you get 4 grams of fiber, 20 grams of protein and a whole lotta omega 3. They’re tasteless so they just add a little crunch to whatever you’re eating them on. And for my WWers, it’s only 1 point/tbsp.
One serving size is 1 tbsp which is a lot. I tend to eat several smaller servings over the course of the day.
Here they are on a sandwich thin with some almond butter and a banana.
Even though these breakfast ideas are all pretty filling, sometimes I would still be starving by 10-11am. Unfortunately, you can’t just leave rounds to go grab coffee and a snack. Luckily, med students get to wear those handy white coats with lots of pockets. And what better thing to fill them with (besides all your tools and reference materials) than snacks.
One of my favorite snacks, the Luna bar. I eat so many Luna bars, I should really buy stock in the company. My favorite flavors: Smores and Chocolate Coconut
My other favorite snack for when I really didn’t have a ton of time, shot bloks. Yes, these are the things marathoners use to complete a 3-5 hour race. They’re also a handy way to get a quick 100 calories of pure carbs. These saved me the day we rounded for 8 (you read that right) hours.
Preview to next Med School Post: A few of my favorite things
Oh Syracuse. Why must you look like this?
Instead, let’s think back to a warmer time of year. A time when I just had taken the Step I exam. A time when my hair was a different shade, and I had yet to step foot on the wards. After arguably the two most stressful months of my life, I was ready to NOT study for a little while. I was in need of a major party. And what better way to celebrate than a wine tour and a week in Boston?!?!
I found a groupon with a tour company called Experience! The Finger Lakes. The specific tour I decided on was called Vinifera Varieties: Wines of the Seneca Lake Banana Belt. Two of my favorite people in the world (my mom and Michele) joined me for a day in wine country. We started off in Ithaca where we met our tour guide and boarded our tour van.
On the van, we each received a reusable Experience! The Finger Lakes water bottle. It’s always good to hydrate!
First stop: Standing Stone Vineyards. Look at that view of the lake.
We started out by taking a tour of the winery.
We even got to do a barrel tasting.
Let’s just say as cool as it was to drink from the barrel, I like my wine from the bottle.
After the tour it was time to start the tasting. We sat down at a few tables they had set up for with LOTS of bread. First lesson of the day: I LOVE gewurztraminer.
Michele taking some photos for her blog.
Some of my favorites.
Next stop: Penguin Bay Winery
Bring on the bubbly!
At this winery we not only tried a bunch of champagnes, but we also learned how to properly open a bottle. My favorite wine and cheese pairing of the day was the combination of the Swedish Hill Spumante Blush and Yancey’s Fancy Strawberry chardonnay cheese.
On to the next stop! Red Newt Cellars
Another excellent pairing but it wasn’t of the wine and cheese variety. At this winery they combined a goat cheese with herbs and honey. Holy cow this was so good I wanted to take it to Vegas and marry it!
Last stop: Damiani Wine Cellars. It was time for dessert! At this winery we paired various chocolates with wines. Yum!
The chocolates came from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates of Rochester.
After a day of fantastic wine and food, I enjoyed one last view of the lake.
All of the purchases throughout the day.
All of my purchases from the day.
After the wine tour, Michele and I headed to Boston for a week of fun times including a 4th of July celebration and lots of quality couch time. One of my favorite things we did over the course of the week was visit a little store called Kickass Cupcakes.
This place was AWESOME. The different flavors were so creative and everything looked delicious.
Michele and I couldn’t pick just one so we decided to buy a bunch and have a cupcake feast.
With our wine purchases, we also made some of Emily’s Dangerous Sangria.
And spent some quality time with Renate watching John’s 3D TV.
What better way to celebrate the boards being over than food, wine, and some of my best friends?