Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

Email Dr. Alice

    follow me on Twitter
    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
    Saturday, September 13, 2008
    My New Worknight Meal or: Play With Your Salad

    Despite my best intentions I often don't cook ahead of time for busy weeknights. This means that if I don't have something ready to eat with minimal preparation I often wind up eating fast food for dinner. After years of watching my grand plans for healthy (and cheap) dining fail I have finally realized the secret to healthy eating: know your limitations and work within them. In other words, if you know you get raging hungry at 6 pm every day, plan for it. Pack something you know you will eat, or keep it handy in your fridge.

    I would love to say that I eat salad on a daily basis, but that simply is not the case. Salad will not hold me for more than a few hours and it isn't interesting enough... Unless. Unless that salad has lovely ingredients in it like goat cheese, walnuts and other interesting things. Things that have protein. Things that are tasty.

    I highly recommend perusing takeout menus for ideas for salads: California Pizza Kitchen, for instance, has a menu full of fabulous-sounding salad ideas. Or go to your nearest high-end grocery store or place that sells prefab, packaged salads for more ideas (i.e., Trader Joe's or similar). Read the ingredients list and steal their ideas.

    All this leads to my latest discovery: Salad with Baby Beets, Goat Cheese and Toasted Walnuts. Do you think this sounds complicated? NO. Wrong. I timed myself today and made the salad in about ten minutes. The longest part was toasting the walnuts, and you can do this in advance - but I think they taste better freshly made. Here is how you do it, and the best part is that the ingredients can be purchased ahead of time and will stay fresh for over a week.
    • Get a bag of shredded romaine (aka cos lettuce) at the store. Or you can wash and chop your own ahead of time and keep it in a sealed bag, which is cheaper.
    • Get a little sealed bag of precooked and peeled baby beets (if your store carries them).
    • Get a little log of goat cheese.
    • Get a bottle each of balsalmic vinegar and olive oil, as good quality as you can manage.
    • Get a bag of shelled walnuts (or chopped, probably cheaper) and keep them in the fridge.

    Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan - keep an eye on them, this doesn't take long. Best stir frequently. When done, pour into a saucer and set aside.

    Throw the lettuce in a bowl, chop the beets into chunks - size depending on your preference - and crumble up some cheese. Dribble over some olive oil and balsalmic (proportions: slightly more oil than vinegar) and grind some pepper over. Toss salad.

    Throw walnuts on top. Eat. It's delicious and it will hold you till the next morning. If not, consider adding more cheese/walnuts.

    If you don't like beets, consider adding the following to your romaine instead: green seedless grapes and feta; add chunks of chicken or shrimp (put Thousand Island dressing on top and you have Shrimp Louie!); stuff your salad, with cucumber and radish/tomato/scallion, in a pita bread and put hummus on top; make a Southwestern salad with black beans, corn and salsa. Whatever floats your boat.


    Tuesday, September 02, 2008
    New Frontier

    Well, this is a first. I am actually dictating a blog entry. Last week, after months of waiting, I was finally set up with something called Dragon voice recognition software. I wasn't sure I would be needing it, but a few trials have convinced me that it's definitely the way to go. I'm getting through my notes much faster with it, although I am a reasonably good typist. I have had to go back and correct a few things, but overall I have definitely been impressed with the accuracy of this software. So naturally, I thought: Why not try it for blog entries? Hence this post.

    It's a bit of a hassle saying "comma" and "period" all the time but overall it is well worth the effort. I am somehow being reminded of something P.G. Wodehouse once wrote on the one occasion when he tried dictating his stories to a secretary: He visualized the secretary saying to herself "Well comma this beats me period. How comma with homes for the feeble-minded touting for custom on every side comma has this Wodehouse managed to remain at large as of even date mark of interrogation." I wouldn't be surprised if this software feels the same way about me.

    I hope everyone's Labor Day was good. I spent my weekend running errands and cooking; I now have quite a few lunches packed in the freezer awaiting their destiny. It was amazing how many things I managed to cross off my list, though I'm sure they will be replaced by new emergencies soon enough.

    Since I'm running out of ideas, I shall sign off. I hope this doesn't mean all my future posts are going to consist of dictated drivel.