Author: MI

I'm a first year med student! This means that I study a lot. I also cook. And sleep. I'm probably more interesting in person than I am on this blog...or at least I hope so.

Clean-Eating Chocolate Mousse

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Most of the time, some ripe, juicy berries or grapes make a delicious sweet finish to a meal. But sometimes, you need chocolate. Today was one of those days. I don’t know what it was, but my husband and I both felt it – Tuesday was a day for chocolate.

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I started scrolling through Pinterest (SO much inspiration!) and found this recipe for dairy-free chocolate mousse. It looked simple enough, and we had (almost) all of the ingredients! I was a little wary of using the green secret ingredient, so I didn’t tell my husband what was in it til he had tasted it. 😉

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It was delicious! Rich, creamy, and lusciously chocolatey. Yes, it’s high-calorie, but all the calories come from good, healthy fats! For more info on why fats don’t make you fat, check out this infographic. I love how simple and quick this is to make. Try it today! You won’t be disappointed!

Clean-Eating Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1 can coconut milk, chilled
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, cocoa powder, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the thick, white coconut cream into a mixing bowl. Discard the water at the bottom.
  3. Whip the coconut cream at high speed with a stand or hand mixer until fluffy. It won’t increase in volume as much as whipping cream, but it will appear more aerated and will form soft peaks when you lift the beaters out.
  4. Fold avocado mixture into whipped coconut cream until well-combined.
  5. Spoon into dessert dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve. This can be made several hours in advance. Enjoy!

Chia Yogurt Power Bowls

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September has been a busy month for us! I’m on a Med-Peds clinic rotation (and loving it!!) and finishing up my residency applications to go out next week. This weekend we have some of our very best friends staying with us and we have a full day planned – book fairs, disc golf, and indie movie matinees! We needed something filling and delicious for breakfast that wouldn’t weigh us down or take too long to prepare. Voila, these chia yogurt power bowls. This breakfast is chock full of protein, fiber, and vitamins as well as being beautiful and super tasty. 🙂DSC_4027

My husband and I have made these pretty frequently since we started our health kick. They are quick and easy breakfast to have before heading to work, especially since I can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge all week. We like to use plain yogurt and sweeten to taste with honey or chopped dates (after sitting overnight, the dates kind of melt into the yogurt!) We also make our own granola (recipe to come!) and keep it in a big jar on the counter for adding to breakfast bowls or frozen yogurt. Use whatever toppings you like! Other berries, a stir of almond butter, or a dash of cinnamon would be delicious!

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Chia Yogurt Power Bowls

  • 32 oz plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (optional)
  • Honey, to taste
  • Chopped fresh fruit (we used strawberries, mango, peach, and grapes)
  • Granola
  1. Stir together yogurt, milk, and chia seeds (and dates, if using). Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight.
  2. Scoop desired amount of chia yogurt into bowls and top with honey, fruit, and granola.
  3. Enjoy!

Fish Tacos with Cauliflower Tortillas

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A great way to make healthy eating sustainable is to find ways to make-over old favorites into new, nutrient rich dishes. Fish tacos were one of our go-to recipes even before our “health kick” because of their ease, simplicity, and deliciousness! While they are pretty healthy even without modification, it’s become a kind of hobby of mine to pack as much good stuff into our food as possible, so there was no way our classic tacos weren’t getting a makeover!

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We baked the fish with a wheat germ coating for added protein, fiber, and iron and made cauliflower tortillas to sneak in extra veggies. I was really happy with how the tortillas turned out – they’re flexible, sturdy, and delicious! If you don’t have time to make the cauliflower tortillas, substitute whole wheat tortillas. Also, if you’ve never used Tajin seasoning, you’re missing out! (All of our local groceries stores carry it, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find.) It’s a blend of salt, chili powder, and dried lime juice – it’s super good!

Fish Tacos with Cauliflower Tortillas

For the tortillas (inspired by this recipe):

  • 1 head of raw cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Tajin seasoning (or salt and pepper)

For the fish:

  • Two fillets of white fish (we use swai or tilapia)
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt or Tajin seasoning

For the tacos

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Minced cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream
  • Chili sauce or salsa
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Grate the cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl; it should resemble rice. I used a cheese grater, but if you have a food processor, feel free to use that! It would be faster!
  3. Cover cauliflower and microwave for 5 minutes.
  4. Empty cauliflower on cheesecloth or thin dish towel and gather up the sides of the towel. Twist ball of cauliflower in towel, wringing out liquid into sink. Twist until you can no longer squeeze any more liquid from the cauliflower.
  5. Place cauliflower back in bowl and combine with eggs and seasoning.
  6. On a well-greased baking sheet (or one covered in parchment paper would be even better), press balls of cauliflower mixture into ~5 inch circles. You should end up with six tortillas.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip tortillas over and back for 5-7 minutes more.
  8. Meanwhile, combine wheat germ and spices in a small bowl. Place fish fillets in a greased baking dish and coat with wheat germ seasoning blend, patting down to adhere. Place fish fillets in oven with tortillas. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
  9. When tortillas have finished baking, cook them in a skillet over medium-high heat to brown them a bit on both sides.
  10. Break the fish fillets into small pieces and make your tacos!

Oatmeal Protein Waffles with Hawaiian Crunch Topping

Happy weekend! Why don’t you start your day with some yoga and then let’s meet back here for breakfast? 🙂

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These waffles are divine! I’ve used this recipe to make pancakes before, but today I decided to try waffles and they worked great! These waffles are packed with protein (20g per waffle!) and fiber and have no sugar or flour! They come out crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with a delicious light nutty flavor. They’re also really easy to make!

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The topping of fresh pineapple, strawberries, and pecans was inspired by Bops, my favorite frozen custard place in Jackson, MS – they have a Hawaiian Crunch concrete that is awesome! The last time I had one was on my wedding day, so they’re also sentimental for me. 🙂

Oatmeal Protein Waffles

  • 2 2/3 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup ground flax
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbs coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping

  • Fresh pineapple chunks
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Pecan halves or pieces
  • Raw honey
  1. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the oats until they are powdered
  2. Stir together blended oats and other dry ingredients in a bowl
  3. In a blender, blend together wet ingredients, then add to dry
  4. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes while the waffle iron (or griddle, for pancakes) is heating
  5. Pour ~3/4 cup of batter onto waffle iron and cook til golden brown.
  6. Top with fruit and honey and serve!

Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 6 waffles
  • This batter can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for a few days for on-demand waffles! (I like to keep my batter in a little pitcher for easy storage and pour-age. 
  • If you don’t have ground flax or wheat germ, this recipe will work just as well without them, it just won’t have quite as much protein and fiber
  • If you’re making a large batch of these, keep them in a warm oven til you’re ready to serve to keep them crisp!

Summer Rolls

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It’s been so hot here lately that most days when I get home from work I just want to lay around under a ceiling fan with a glass of ice water. Cue these rolls; summery, cool, light, and only require heat for cooking a chicken breast and some grains (if you make veggie rolls, then you wouldn’t have to turn on your stove at all!) I am a huge believer in the idea that healthy eating has to be a practical, sustainable lifestyle. Therefore, make the rolls however you want! Get creative with the veggies, meat, and grains – this is a great way to use whatever you have laying around the fridge or pantry.  (Also, this isn’t so much a recipe as it is a starting point for healthy creativity; no specific measurements or ingredients here!) Have fun with it! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Summer Rolls

  • Rice paper sheets (I found some at our local Asian market; they’re super cheap!)
  • Shredded/julienned fresh vegetables (I used carrots, cucumber, and avocado)
  • Greens (I used green leaf lettuce; you could use cabbage, kale, or spinach)
  • Cooked grain (I used barley; you could try brown rice, farro, or quinoa)
  • Meat (I used chicken breast; you could use sliced pork chop or steak or ground beef)
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, and basil are all good options!)
  • Seasoning: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, chili-garlic sauce…
  1. Marinate meat in a 1-1-1 blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili-garlic sauce for about thirty minutes.
  2. Wash and chop/shred all of your veggies and lay them out where they’ll be easily accessible.
  3. Saute meat until cooked through and set aside.
  4. Now you’re ready to assemble! Fill a large bowl or baking pan with warm water; this will be where you’ll soften the rice paper sheets.
  5. Dip a rice paper sheet into the warm water for 3-5 seconds until it is pliable but still firm (it will continue to soften as it sits).
  6. Lay the rice paper sheet on a cutting board and stack your roll fillings on one side (see photos)
  7. Using your fingers to hold the filling in place, pick up one end of the paper and tuck around filling. Fold in adjacent edges and continue rolling (see photos)
  8. Eat your rolls right away or wrap in plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. These make a great lunch to take to work!

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Sauce

What’s a summer roll without a dipping sauce? I made a blend of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili-garlic sauce, and sliced green onions – it was delicious! Try this blend or maybe some sweet and sour sauce or hot mustard.

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Granola Bars

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I’ve been on the medicine wards for the last three weeks doing my “Acting Internship,” which is basically a month where I pretend to be an intern (first year resident) on a medicine team in the hospital. I’ve really been enjoying it but our schedule is often hectic and I may not have time to sit down and eat lunch (or if I do, it’s not til late in the afternoon). I often turn to granola/energy/protein bars stashed in my white coat pocket to quiet my grumbling stomach. Since we’ve been trying to eat better, I thought I would try making my own instead of relying on the high-sugar high-price store bought variety. Turns out, granola bars are super easy and quick to make and very customizable to whatever you like/what you have in the pantry! I’ve made two batches already and have plans for many more!

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Granola Bars

  • Dry stuff:
    • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
    • 1 cup puffed grain (rice, millet, kamut)
    • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts and/or seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, almonds, walnuts)
    • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
    • 1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries, dates, raisins, blueberries, etc)
    • 1/4 cup other add-ins (flax meal, wheat germ, bran, chia seeds, etc)
  • Sticky stuff
    • 1/3 cup honey/brown rice syrup/maple syrup
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil (can also use butter)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Foil and grease an 8×8 baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Toss together oats, grains, nuts, and coconut flakes and spread them out on a large dry baking sheet
  3. Toast them in the oven til fragrant and golden brown, stirring occasionally
  4. Meanwhile, heat sticky stuff in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Allow to cook approximately two minutes.
  5. Remove oat and grain mixture from oven and toss with dried fruit and add-ins in a large bowl.
  6. Pour sticky stuff over dry stuff and mix well (and quickly!)
  7. Empty bowl into prepared pan and press mixture down firmly with something flat (I used a loaf pan)
  8. Allow to cool at room temperature. Remove foil from pan and cut granola block into 12 bars.
  9. Wrap bars individually in parchment paper or plastic (we used zipper sandwich bags) to keep fresh.

Thai Fried Quinoa

One easy swap we made in our diet was replacing white rice with ancient grains. There is such a variety out there of all different textures, shapes, and flavors that are all packed with protein and fiber, which not only keeps you full longer, but lowers the glycemic index of the carbohydrates so that your blood sugar doesn’t bounce around. We’ve found that it’s easiest and cheapest to stock up on these grains from online wholesalers (we like Vitacost.)  We order a box once or twice a month and get free shipping!

This recipe is a take on Thai fried rice that’s packed with fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, and ancient grains. We used quinoa, but any other grain would work as well. Just keep in mind that some of the larger grains may take 45 minutes or more to cook. Not only is this recipe delicious and colorful, it also comes together in about 15 minutes! Not bad for a busy week night!

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Aren’t those colors just gorgeous?

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Thai Fried Quinoa

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or canned pineapple
  • 1 small bag fresh or frozen sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbs pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbs fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs chili-garlic sauce
  • Coconut oil, for sautéing
  • Salt, to taste
  • Garnishes: cilantro, basil, lime wedges, Sriracha
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions (usually boiled in 2 cups of water for 12-15 minutes) and set aside
  2. Mix together pineapple juice, fish sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, and chili-garlic sauce; set aside
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add edamame, carrots, and sugar snap peas. Cook for about five minutes, or until tender but still brightly colored
  4. Add pineapple and coconut flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes
  5. Add cooked quinoa and sauce. Stir to combine and heat through.
  6. Garnish with herbs and lime wedges and serve!

This recipe makes 2-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are. 😉 Divided four ways, each serving provides about 9 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein as well as being a great source of iron, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

The Healthy Hungry Med Student

My husband and I have, for the last two months, been on what we affectionately call our “health kick.” We started on a whim on a Tuesday night after my husband bemoaned the fact that the waistband of his shorts seemed a bit snug. I did some internet research on integrative medicine and clean eating (something I’d always been interested in but had never made the decision to pursue) and we decided to give it a shot for a week or two to see what would happen. We cut white flour, white sugar, white potatoes, white rice, and other calorie-dense but nutrient-poor foods from our diet. We doubled or tripled the amount of vegetables we ate everyday and cut down on meat. We started taking a multivitamin. We started drinking more water. We got more creative with our meals and excited about new ways to add nutrient-rich foods to our diet. We found ways to incorporate exercise in our daily routines. What started as a fun project for a week or two has become a new normal for us. We’re having a blast and don’t plan on going back to our old ways. (And in case you were wondering, we have lost weight too!)

My husband and I have been having so much fun cooking lately we decided to start blogging again to share with y’all what has worked for us. My second and third years of medical school were tough but crucial in helping us grow together as a couple and helping me figure out what I want to do with my life in the future. I’m a fourth year medical student now (!) and have decided to become a primary care physician in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.  I’m passionate about people, food, and health and can’t wait to empower my patients and their families to be the healthiest they can be!

Sourdough Bread and Sweet, Sweet, Summertime

DSC_3433I have a confession to make. I’ve never really liked summer all that much. Growing up in the Deep South, any joy I felt from being out of school was quickly overshadowed by oppressive heat, suffocating humidity, ferocious mosquitoes, and encroaching boredom.

DSC_3434 This summer has been different, though. It’s as if my Dear Father knew just how sincerely I desired respite and recuperation in anticipation of my second year of medical school. In addition to long, lazy days spent with my Mister, the weather even acquiesced to my most impossible hope – bearability. Maybe that’s not actually a word, but I like it.

DSC_3438 My Mister and I have read new books together, watched movies (complete with popcorn!), gone to the local Farmers Market (nothing like home-grown peaches, local honey, and fresh roasted coffee!), brewed countless pots of French press coffee and tea, stayed up late having boisterous conversations with new and dear friends, and cooked and baked and baked some more.

DSC_3436 We even got a pet – well, we call it our pet. It’s sourdough starter from my grandmother. She gave it to us on our way home from our honeymoon. It’s become a part of our family and we take great pride in feeding it and baking loaves of delicious, fragrant bread. We even named him Fitzgerald (we call him Fitz.)

DSC_3435 School starts again for me in just a few short days and I’ve been stocking our freezer and pantry like I’m preparing for a hurricane to make landfall. This year won’t be an easy one, for sure, but with my sweet Mister (and some fresh baked bread from Fitz,) it’ll be a good one.

Sourdough Bread

If you can get a jar of starter from a friend, by all means do, but if that’s not an option for you, you can make your own.

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup starter
  • 6 cups bread flour (you can use all-purpose if you’re out of bread flour)

Mix all ingredients and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. It will be a little sticky – that’s ok. Grease a large bowl with oil. Put dough in and turn over so oil is on top. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let set for 12 hours. Do not refrigerate dough. After dough has set, punch it down and knead a little. Divide into three parts and knead each part 8-10 times on a floured surface. Shape into loaves and place in greased pans. Grease the top of each loaf, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 12 hours. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Brush loaves with butter.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread: Make bread following directions above, but substitute two cups of bread flour with two cups of whole-wheat flour.

Brown Butter Peach Cobbler and a Brand New Chapter

DSC_3420There comes a time in every girl’s life where she has to just stop, catch her breath, take a retrospective glance into her recent past and stand in awe at the abundant blessings that have flowed so freely in the midst of trials. During this last semester of medical school, I came close to throwing in the towel many times. Handling the never-ending onslaught of lectures, labs, and tests, intermixed with some interpersonal issues on the home front, maintaining a healthy romance and friendship with a long-distance fiancé, planning a wedding, and preparing to move into a new home very nearly got the best of me.

DSC_3421Through it all, though, I was never left alone. My church here in town, new friends, and my wonderful Mister cared for me so excellently that I was, and am, rendered speechless.

DSC_3426Now, as of this post, I am a new Mrs. and so overwhelmingly content and elated with how God has orchestrated my life thus far. I would never want to go through last semester again, but at the same time, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

6465_10151552780699667_1122900346_nLast night, my Mister and I had some friends from church over for dessert and coffee. Our first guests in our home as a married couple!

DSC_3427Sitting on our couch, sipping a steaming mug of rich French press coffee, surrounded by the joyful laughter of good friends, and leaning on the arm of my dearest friend, I just had to stop, catch my breath, and stand in awe of the abundant blessings that have flowed so freely from my Dear Father.

DSC_3428I am whole.

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Brown Butter Peach Cobbler

(inspiration from here)

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • 4 large peaches
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut butter into two 1/4 cup pieces. Brown 1/4 cup of the butter by cooking it over medium heat, scraping the bottom evenly, until the particles turn brown and it smells nutty. Pour into a clean mixing bowl and let cool.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut in the remaining butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine the brown butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Set the dough in the refrigerator while you prepare the peaches.

For the filling:

Peel and slice peaches. Toss with brown sugar and place in a buttered 9-inch pie tin (or cast-iron skillet, as I did).

Bake the peaches for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Drop the topping dough over the peach slices (it will spread). Sprinkle sliced almonds over the dough, if desired, and bake the cobbler 45-55 minutes, until the top is browned and the filling bubbling.

Let cool and serve with ice cream!