Ode to Kathleen and Drinks Before Noon

I can honestly say, that even as a college student, I have never once drank before noon.

This week started off with excitement: the LAST two days of clinical of nursing school!

Mondays features were coffee and cafe… I saw OIKOS Cafe Latte Greek Yogurt, and I was curious. But I really liked it! It was smooth ans creamy with a mild coffee flavor, not espresso like I was expecting.

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Monday was miserable! It was pouring and gloomy. The best way to combat one of these days is with some soup: Lentil soup with some grilled ham and cheese! I still can’t find affordable raspberries, so I improvised for dessert to get my kick: Breakstone’s Raspberry Cottage Cheese Double, sprinkled with cocoa powder.

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Now, onto Tuesday!

This is it! Its so surreal! I finished all my paperwork and projects, and this is the day. The LAST day of clinical as a nursing student! I was very attached to two of my patients and both they and I were said that I was leaving. I feel like I will visit them, though. I was actually contemplating applying for a job at this facility. I work with kids, but maybe my calling is to be with fragile patients. I’m not quite sure if a nursing home is the right start for a career for me, though.

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After we were finished on the unit, I hugged my patients, and met up with friends at Border Cafe, as we had done a few weeks earlier. I learned, today, that I really am a light weight. One rum and coke and I was toast! And it wasn’t even noon yet! Oh boy!

After I sobered up I headed home to prep tonight’s dinner.

Kathleen is a nurse that I work with. She also happens to be a Kappan alumnus (referring to Phi Theta Kappa). Anyway, Kathleen and I have a lot in common. She has been very supportive of me throughout my entire illness and recovery, as well as a cheerleader for my continued education. One thing Kathleen and I have consistently found in common is our love of food, especially ethnic foods!  Although Kathleen and I usually talk about sushi and Indian food, I’m dedicating today’s recipe to her, as Kathleen is a vegetarian, and newcomer to the blog, and today’s recipe uses tofu.

I’ve made this recipe before and loved it! Now, for a little tweeking.

Tofu and Eggplant Stir-fryWP_002264

serves 4

Sauce: (you will be making this recipe three times)

1 tsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp. reduced-sodium/lite soy sauce
2 tsp. sweet Asian chili sauce
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Meat:

1 large peeled eggplant cut into 1″ cubes
1 (14oz) package lite firm tofu

2 tsp. minced garlic

Vegetables:

1 md. onion, cut into thirds and then quartered

2 bell pepper

4 cups frozen broccoli

3 oz baby carrots

6 button mushrooms, quartered

Combine all ingredients for the sauce except the cornstarch and set aside. Drain the water from the tofu and slice into 8 slices. Lay the slices between a towel, and weigh the tofu and towel down with a pan (I used a nursing text book). Allow the tofu to sit for 30 minutes and for the towel to absorb the excess moisture.

Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and “dry-fry” the tofu (AKA brown the tofu), pressing with a spatula occasionally to remove excess liquid. Once one side is toasty brown, flip and press the tofu again. When browned, remove from heat and let cool. When cool, cut each slice into 6 pieces. Place cubed tofu in a resealable baggie and pour in the sauce. Allow to marinate at room temperature, turning the tofu occasionally. (The longer the tofu has to marinade, the more flavor it will pick up. I marinated mine for about 4 hours).

Meanwhile, roughly chop vegetables into large pieces and cube the eggplant. After marinating the tofu for a while, its time to cook.

Spray a wok or large skillet with non stick spray, and on medium high heat, add the cubed the eggplant. Toss every so often to brown the sides and until the eggplant becomes fragrant. Add the minced garlic and empty the contents of the sealed marinating bag (tofu and marinade) into the skillet. Meanwhile, steam the vegetables as you would prefer to do so. (I used the stove).

Make two batches of the sauce. Combine the water and cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Add the remaining sauce ingredients. (Remember to make two batches). Toss the eggplant and tofu and pour one completed batch pf sauce over the “meat” and toss. Lower the heat to medium/ medium-low. Add the last batch of sauce, toss, and allow to thicken.

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy!

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cube up the eggplant

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press and dry-fry the tofu

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cool and cut the tofu

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marinate

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rice boiling, vegetables steaming, and “meat” cooking

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Reading this recipe back, it sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. I promise!

I love the sweet and spicy notes of this meal! Plus, I got dad to eat tofu! (Another added bonus: each serving is around 200 calories). I served dads meal over brown rice and mine over the remaining bag of Miracle Rice. I also made a samosa salad with a thinly sliced cucumber, some onion, and a tablespoon of seasoned rice vinegar.

100 and Counting! Sweet and Sour Pork Stir-fry

I am so excited! This is Be Well Bundo’s 100th post!

This blog has helped me so much with managing my crazy, hectic life, growing as a person, reflecting on my life, holding me accountable for my actions, and most importantly, helping to enjoy life again. I am truly thankful to the readers for helping be through my eating disorder.

As hard as I tried, I could not get warm today. Everyone of my patients said to me, “Your hands are so cold! Were you living in an ice box?” Temperatures have really dropped in Wilmington. Where are you sunshine and warmth? I miss you! I took my break early today, just to warm up with some coffee. I also enjoyed a Chobani Pear greek yogurt, that my friend Barbara got me hooked on. To even us out, I brought her Yoplait 100 greek Tropical yogurt. She loved it!

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As of today, I have two more clinical days left. I must say that I never thought of loving a nursing home, but I have really fallen in love with my patients. With the clock running down, I starting to feel the pressure of getting all of these assignments completes, lectures watched, and exams aced! Staying focused on school is the key, not on food and exercise.

To celebrate, the 100th post, lets enjoy:

Sweet and Sour Pork Stir-fry

(adapted from Food Network)

serves 4WP_002188

1 lbs pork tenderloin, fat removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp corn starch

3 Tbsp ketchup

3 Tbsp Splenda, granulated

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

2 large carrots (or about 6 oz), sliced

1 bag frozen stir fry vegetable blend

1 1/2 to 2 cups frozen broccoli florets

Toss the pork with 1/2 Tbsp vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix the remaining 2 Tbsp vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, ketchup, Splenda, and water and remaining salt in another bowl.

Spray a large skillet with some non stick cooking spray, over medium high heat. Add the pork and slowly stir until pork is mostly opaque. Remove the pork using a slotted spoon. Wipe out the skillet and re spray with non stick spray.

Add the garlic, carrots, broccoli, and stir fry blend over medium heat, and cover. Add a bit of water if garlic is starting to stick to the pan. Once the vegetables start defrosting, add the pork, and pour the sauce over the mixture. Stir and cover. Frequently shake the covered skillet to move the ingredients around. Occasionally stir the mix, until sauce thickens. (Its important not to over cook the pork.)

(Confession: I forgot the cornstarch! Which is probably why the sauce didn’t thicken, but it was still delicious!)

WP_002189Nutrition

1/4 recipe, without rice:

Calories: 277

Total fat: 4.1g

sat. Fat: 1.2g

Cholesterol: 81mg

Sodium: 385.9mg

Carbs: 24.8g

Fiber: 4.8g

Sugar: 12.1g

Protein: 31g

Frank wanted rice with dinner, so I made him and dad brown rice, while I got the opportunity to try out my new shirataki rice by Miracle Noodle that came in from netrition.com a few weeks back.

First of all, I was surprised how much I liked this rice! I was pretty darn skeptical. It looks like a weird caviar, doesn’t it? In fact, I’m going to order more!

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Now, onto what you really want to know: Yes, this recipe was great! It was filling, a little sweet, a little sour, full of veggies, and pork, and a winning way to celebrate the 100th post!

Enjoy, everyone! I know I did!