Monday, February 2, 2009

A Week in the Food Diary of... a Radiology Intern

Welcome to "A Week in the Food Diary of..."! I was inspired by my friend J's mental food diary entries and also just generally thought it would interesting to take a glimpse into the food lives of others and to see how much my food habits do or do not relate to theirs. So thus "A Week in the Food Diary of..." was born! Every week (or close to every week), I'll feature a different "guest star" who I've asked to keep track of their food intakes and musings for a week. I've compiled their food diaries here for your curious eyes -- some of them require a bit more tweaking than others and then again, some of them are perfect as is! Each guest star is identified with something about their lives that may be affecting their eating habits. I'm excited to see how this all turns out...

See what this Foodie Radiology Intern in Dallas eats to satiate her love for sustainable food and her need to sustain her sanity!

DAY 1:

Breakfast #1: Kashi Heart to Heart and almond milk – Because of my Crohn’s, I can’t drink soy milk. Almond milk is an excellent alternative. When I have tons of extra time (which is never!), I make my own my soaking almonds in water, adding sugar, and pureeing!

Breakfast #2: Since I need to gain weight, my body is constantly ravenous. I head up to the Parkland Cafeteria for breakfast food, my favorite! Like any good Southern girl, I love sausage and biscuits, so I get one of those along with a side of bacon. I like to dip my bacon in maple syrup, so I grab one of those, too

Lunch: No groceries at home = lunch at work. The salads from the cafeteria are actually pretty good, so I get spinach salad with tomatoes, feta, and a balsamic vinegrette. I love condiments and could eat this vinegrette all by itself!

Snack #1: Radiology keeps me constantly busy so I need brain food to keep me going. I love to knosh on salted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Indian mothers say that almonds are good for the memory. All three are rich in protein, pumpkin seeds help with hair and nail growth, and sunflower seeds have folate.

Snack #2: I finally manage to get groceries, but since I am at Whole Foods, I also manage a snack from all the samples! I love to nibble on the variety of cheeses and try any new soups they have for future reference.

Dinner: Today my friend Houston and I are going to a South Indian restaurant in one of the suburbs of Dallas. South Indian food is one of my favorite. The staple is dosa, which is similar to a crepe or pancake, and is made from rice flour. We get the masala rava dose, a rice and lentil “pancake” stuffed with spicy potatoes. You eat it with sambar, a spicy vegetable soup, and coconut chutney. We also ate iddli, a steamed rice cake, and vadda, a fried lentil fritter, which is one of my favorite snacks. To wash it all down we had mango lassi, an Indian version of the milkshake made from fresh mango and curds. Dairy is the secret to combating the spice of Indian food.

DAY 2:

Breakfast: In a bit of a hurry so I grab a strawberry fruit yogurt and pack blueberries and raspberries to eat in morning conference. I also have a cup of tea made from tea leaves from friends Mollie and Rob gave me. The leaves are from Sri Lanka and are an excellent start to my morning. I always like something salty with my tea, so I have cheese nut thins, which are crackers made from almonds, not wheat! They are so thin, crispy, and low in calories!

Lunch: Packed my lunch today. I had to have a PB&J, because everyone loves a classic. I like mine with crunchy peanut butter, and instead of jam I use honey I bought from the Dallas Farmers’ Market. I also made a salad from mixed greens, tomatoes, mushrooms and Greek vinaigrette I bought from the cafeteria.

Snack #1: Cheddar cheese and saltines. I could eat cheese for every meal of the day!

Snack #2: My mother made carrot hulva for me, which is an Indian sweet that is similar to carrot cake. It has cooked carrots, dried milk powder, lots of butter and sugar, and almonds. I wash it down with a glass of almond milk. Because I am trying to gain my weight back, I am still hungry after my snack, so I have a few stalks of celery and peanut butter.

Dinner: I seared tilapia with ginger, garlic, onions, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar and made a salad of mixed greens and tomato with rice wine vinegar and lime. I had a glass of merlot and had a champion crème for dessert. (A triple crème cheese with mushrooms – yum)

DAY 3:

Breakfast: Nothing crazy here, just raspberries and blueberries, carrot hulva (see above!), almond milk, and a steaming cup of earl grey tea. Did you know that the tea is named after Earl Gray, who presided over Ireland? He had the tea blend made specifically for him. It is a mixture of black tea leaves, either Darjeeling or Ceylon, with bergamot, which adds the floral hint that makes Earl Grey so yummy!

Lunch: The first Wednesday of the month means lunch with the Chairman in the Faculty Lounge! This is music to any resident’s ears. It’s a buffet style and I always have a plan of attack. Salad bar first, with Waldorf salad; Gouda, havarti, and cheddar cheese with crackers; a strawberry and orange salad with shaved coconut; and cold wasabi noodle and vegetable salad. Next was the pasta bar, where penne was prepared with Alfredo sauce, diced chicken, sun dried tomatoes, and topped off with Parmesean cheese. The entrée bar provided me with mahi mahi, a bit of gumbo (nothing compared to my New Orleans kind!), and cream of cauliflower soup. Finally, I rounded out the meal with 2 cream puffs with strawberries and chocolate, cheesecake, and a cup of coffee. Sadly, naptime did not follow.

Snack: It may not seem possible, but I needed a snack to keep me going, so I turned to my champion crème and stone wheat thins.

Dinner: Tilapia with blood orange juice, ginger, and caramelized onions and a glass of merlot was the perfect end to my day.

DAY 4:

Breakfast: More of the Sri Lankan tea and garlic bagel chips for my salt fix. Then came a little more balanced breakfast with carrot hulva, almond milk, and a strawberry fruit yogurt.

Snack: Celery and peanut butter. I would eat peanut butter with everything if it were possible. Sometimes I eat it straight out of the jar. (With a spoon…)

Lunch: BBQ chicken – the sauce is homemade from tomatoes, chipotles, blood orange juice, and a smattering of other ingredients which make it the perfect tanginess (in my eyes, at least!). I come from TN, near Memphis, which is known for its BBQ, and now I live in TX, which is also known for BBQ, so I do take the task of making BBQ sauce quite seriously. I also had a small salad, much needed chocolate, and a coffee with both hazelnut and French vanilla creamers.

Snack: A friend is throwing a dinner party tonight, so I make a quick run to Whole Foods to buy supplies. There I munch on four kinds of chocolate “bark,” including peppermint, raspberry, pomegranate, and yogurt. Not exactly my thing, but you have to try the samples, right?

Dinner: My friends had a fabulous dinner party. We started off with glasses of Cabernet and the hors d’oeuvres I made: red grapes rolled in blue cheese and walnuts. I love them! They had also bought a variety of cheeses from a wonderful artisan cheese shop called The Mozzarella Company that is in the Deep Elum section of Dallas. I have yet to go there, but these cheeses made me want to! Then came actual dinner, which was absolutely fantastic. We had pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese, spinach, pecans and mushrooms with a side of cheese cauliflower and crispy zucchini latkes with a tangy remoulade. The Cabernet was also flowing, of course. I am happy to say I cleaned my plate and had seconds! The pork dish reminded me of my favorite dish from my favorite restaurant in New Orleans, called Dick and Jenny's. I actually cried about that dish when I had to move away from New Orleans! The grand finale was crème brulee with fresh raspberries and Cafe Du Monde coffee, which has chickory in it, with crème de cacao creamer. Then I passed out from food coma.

DAY 5:

Breakfast: On occasion, I take a break from black tea and sip on the antioxidant rich green tea. I munched on garlic bagel chips with whipped cream cheese. Once at work, I finished up breakfast with a strawberry fruit yogurt and red grapes.

Lunch: Given the heavy dinner last night, I kept it simple at lunch with a homemade stir-fry of rice, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, ginger and soy sauce. I also stole some chocolate from the administrative offices…

Snack: Because I love salt, I turn to garlic chips with whipped cream cheese to hold my over until dinner.

Dinner: Despite a fabulous dinner party the night before, my friends and I need a night out. In Dallas, this generally means Tex-Mex. To change things up, I suggest Monica's Aca Y Alla, which is still Tex-Mex but with a twist and also has great salsa music and $3 drink specials on Friday.. We start with the standard chips and salsa, a round of margaritas, and I quickly order their queso, which is some of the best I have ever had. Though it was no longer needed, I had a shrimp and halibut ceviche and pumpkin ravioli. The ceviche was pretty good but the ravioli sounded better than it tasted; it was under seasoned at best.

After Dinner: We went to a local pub afterwards called The Stoneleigh P, which used to be an apothecary years ago. (Thus the name – P = pharmacy!) I had a Red Stripe and then called it a night.

DAY 6:

Breakfast: After a glorious morning of sleeping in, I started my day with Kashi Heart to Heart cereal and almond milk. For a change of pace, I made coffee instead of my regular tea.

Late Lunch: During a marathon day of shopping, my girlfriends and I were famished and turned to La Madeline for help. I had the Duet of potato leek soup with cheddar and bacon, a side Caesar salad, and a half sandwich of Roma tomatoes and pesto and a toasted baguette. Godiva was giving free truffles and I happily obliged with a hazelnut one.

Snack: I was so tired from shopping and the late lunch, so rather than a proper dinner I snacked on garlic bagel chips and whipped cream cheese. There is something very satisfying about dipping/dunking food.

Party time: Before hitting the dance floor, my friend and I go to Vino 100, a great wine bar in Uptown Dallas, where we split a bottle (oops) of Seven Sinners, a syrah from Napa Valley. My friend likes to pick her wine based on the label, so she had to have one with such a devious name. Did it live up to its name? I didn’t feel sinful, but I certainly did enjoy it.

DAY 7:

Breakfast: Sundays were meant for a big breakfast, so I make myself eggs over hard (because I do not like runny yolks!), smother them in chipotle Tabasco (even better than the original!) and cook a jalapeño garlic chicken sausage from Whole Foods. You might have guessed that I washed it all down with a piping hot cup of Sri Lankan black tea.

Lunch/Snack: Weekends mean fun time, but they also mean study time. As a new radiology intern, there is so much left to learn! A long day of studying means plenty of snacks, so I put out grapes, blueberries, blackberries, Nut thins, cream cheese, almonds, and pumpkin seeds to satisfy my need for munching. At some point, a salad of mixed greens and grapes with a light vinaigrette is thrown together.

Snack #2: After a long day of studying, we headed to The Magnolia Theatre to check out Slumdog Millionaire, which I had been excited about for quite awhile. We snuck in every kind of drug store candy and were incredibly giddy after the movie, both because it was excellent and because of a major sugar rush.

Dinner: Near the theatre is one of my favorite pizza places in Dallas, Campania Pizza, which is a tiny place in Uptown with a wonderful habit of aggressive use of basil. Beyond that, it is BYO, which I always love in a restaurant. We walk to Cork, a wine shop nearby, where I choose a Chianti Classico and Nero d’Avalo to accompany our Italian fare. We split one of the delectable salads on the menu, with Italian tuna, arugula, and basil, and two of their thin crust pizzas, one with pepperoni and basil for the boys and the other with basil, cheese, and eggplant to make the girls happy. Despite all the chocolate earlier, we are all eager to try a new frozen yogurt place in town. Yogilicious persuades the image conscious Dallas crowds to head through their doors with claims that their yogurt has only 27 calories per ounce, half that of ice cream! Whatever the calorie cost, the self serve yogurt service, endless flavors, and toppings bar are enough to convince me. I choose the taro flavored with pomegranate seeds, raspberries, and mochi, sweet glutinous Japanese treats that compliment the taro beautifully. I would say this is the perfect end to a very long week of work and eating.

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