A skill I need to develop

by Christina on March 4, 2011

One of my current projects is to cook. I desperately want to cultivate this skill before residency so I don’t have to always depend on cafeteria food and take-out.

Anyone can learn how to cook, right?! I like to think about cooking the way I think about yoga: 1% theory and 99% practice. I just need to practice practice practice… and now is my time!

To help me commit to this, I’m going to start posting about my food experiments. If you happen to have the slightest interest in food, please please please help me with ideas and suggestions! I need all the help I can get.

First, here are some of my goals for food:

  1. Easy to make (I don’t have fancy kitchen equipment!)
  2. Simple and accessible ingredients (things I can pick up at a normal grocery store)
  3. Nourishing and tasty
  4. Commuter-friendly (food I can throw in my backpack and leave there for hours)

Ok, here we go! This was from Tuesday night:

Beet-Orange Quinoa Salad

  1. Roast beets (throw in oven, ~30 minutes at 400 degrees)
  2. Cook quinoa and mix in some kale (or any greens)
  3. Chop beets and add to quinoa/kale. Put in fridge to cool.
  4. Make dressing: 1/3 olive oil: 2/3 balsamic vinagrette, 1 garlic clove.
  5. Cut up an orange and throw in salad.
  6. Add dressing and mix all together. Done!

This was a perfect lunch the next day (make sure you have a superbly-sealed container so beet juice doesn’t leak all over your clothes… that could be embarrassing).

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John March 6, 2011 at 2:06 am

That looks delicious Christina! I also try and rotate foods as its easy to repeat the same dishes when in “marathon mode”, although organizing around simple and easy makes a lot of sense too … Like quinoa for diner and second day lunch, but then buckwheat for a day then spelt, similar rotations for veggies, et. al. This seems to not just minimize food allergic reactions (http://www.food-allergy.org/rotation.html) but also optimize digestion across many food digestive body types when we take on much stress in our lives … and this reminds me that many supplements are there too for relaxation and well-being; for endurance, stamina and recovery; adaptogens for stress; and for clarity, focus and mental alertness … great salad photo!!!


Christina March 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Hi John, I like this idea of rotating different foods – I definitely get stuck on eating the same thing over and over… also so interesting about the link with food allergies!


Ali Marcus March 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Tina, you need to be introduced to Mark Bittman, the a food writer for the NY Times. And his book “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.” (He has a meat-eater version too, of course.)
See this link for a systematic, simple explanation of how to make soup:


Christina March 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Hi Ali! I love Mark Bittman’s work and haven’t yet seen these soup instructions – how awesome!!! 🙂 Thank you!


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