29 December 2017

Earnin' Cred and Makin’ Bread: Dietitians Riding the Career #strugglebus

This post was written by Elizabeth Briasco, whom I precepted fall 2015. She is now a dietitian pursuing a Master of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition in the United Kingdom.

Several words typically come to mind when we hear the word "intern": naive, coffee, and free labor might be some of them. Most internships pay nothing or, at the very most, minimum wage.

However, there are actually internships out there with a less than 50 percent acceptance rate that require interns to pay thousands of dollars just to participate. No stipend is offered for housing, food, materials, transportation, or any other miscellaneous internship costs. The internship consists of at least 1200 hours of practical experience across three to ten different sites and can last anywhere between eight months and two years. Hours range from forty to fifty hours a week, giving interns very little leeway for a part-time job, assuming their internship director even allows them to get one.

Welcome to the confusing, costly, and demanding world of dietetics.

10 May 2017

Hei-Do Tofu

When I was a child, my mom used to make a delightful stir-fry called Ma-Po Tofu. It was an especial treat because it had pork. My mom cooked mostly vegetarian throughout my childhood, so this was a notable departure from the norm (stir-fry with tofu was well within the norm).

Last month, I had a hankering for that same Sichuan dish, so I clicked through the first search result Google gave me: Ma-Po Tofu recipe from Epicurious. The result was satisfyingly similar to my memories, so I filed it away for a repeat.

And that repeat came last night. I contemplated the black beans thawing in the fridge and thought, "I can pretend that's pork." And thus Hei (black) - Do (bean) Tofu was born.

Hei-Do Tofu with a side of bok choy.

16 April 2017

Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf-Salad

This year for Easter, I offloaded my typical bread baking duties to my kitchen scientist husband and concentrated on a toothsome salad. I riffed on a pilaf recipe I'd made a couple times recently, because, you know, never try something new when you're cooking for 22 adults and assorted tots.

This recipe is adapted from Veganomicon, the only cookbook I cook out of consistently (even though I'm not vegan.) It's saucy and spicy. Buy it, I dare you. 

Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf-Salad


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp garlic and ginger, minced (2 cloves of garlic works, too)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, ground (if you are feeling ambitious, toast the whole seeds first and grind them yourself)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed (not ground, let's keep some texture folks - remember, this is a toothsome salad)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, some to lots
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (and maybe even soaked, why not)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 15-oz can of the same, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • Fresh cilantro, some to lots, chopped (stems too!)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  1. In a small pot over medium heat, saute the onions in olive oil for about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for 2 more minutes.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, pepper, salt, and tomato paste. Saute for another minute.
  3. Add the quinoa and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat until the mixture is simmering, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Stir whenever you are feeling impatient and want to check on the absorption progress.
  5. Remove from heat and cool, perhaps overnight. Before serving (whenever it's convenient, really), stir in the carrot and cilantro. Sprinkle the vinegar and stir again. Taste and adjust the seasonings.