An average Jane on health and nutrition

Posts tagged ‘food’

Nutrition class, no

Turns out, “intro to nutrition” was just a bit too intro for where I am at this point in my nutritional understanding. I dropped the class today.

I was a little bummed about that, because I’d been looking forward to doing something more nutritionally-focused in an academic way, and then I had a better idea. Look into those open course MIT things.

Has anyone ever done them? Apparently, there are a bunch of classes that MIT posts lecture notes/videos, reading assignments, homework topics, etc. for, and if you want to do the work, go for it. It’s free, it’s not really being “taught” to you, but it puts the tools in place, along with a full, complete professor-delineated curriculum. Which, as someone who is interested in things, but can get lost in the sheer amount of information available, I very much appreciate.

There’s a *whole class* on cholesterol, and its role in our cells. Call me a dork all you want, that sounds fascinating.

What I’m likely to do is go through the writing about food class first. Set up a recurring time each week to read through the lecture notes, do the homework on a regular basis, complete the four required essays. Treat it like an in-person class. Just, not.. in person.

We’ll see how that goes. If nothing else, academic writing. Learning new things. Using my mind a little more than is currently sometimes required by my work-life circumstances. (Although I have to say, I have some truly incredible people in my life, and one in particular, who challenge me in the best intellectual ways constantly. Complex, interesting debates on a range of topics. Really gets those synapses firing.)

There are some other really interesting sounding classes.. history of the immune system, synthesizing protein. If anyone’s interested, I’d love a study-buddy. 🙂

Whatdya say, we’ll ‘take’ the class together!

– Julia

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Tonight’s Dinner is Tomorrow’s Breakfast: Cooking for One

I live alone, and sometimes cooking for one is a hassle. Some food items are clearly intended for multiple people, and I can either make it and eat it for days, or wait til friends come over. (I’m looking at you, tacos.)

But, cooking for two and thinking of it as “two meals” instead of “two people” works pretty well for me. So when I saw a beautiful piece of salmon on sale, I bought one, intending to bake up half for dinner, and save the other half for breakfast. The trick to cooking for one with the same ingredients is to think of things to do that make the meals different, so that it doesn’t seem boring and repetitive.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I find that I don’t buy a ton of meat because it’s effort to cook it for myself, and I often just don’t bother. One of the things I do like to buy on sale, though, is Al Fresco Sweet Italian chicken sausage. On sale it’s usually $5 for several links, and I’ve found numerous uses. My favorite it to cook up a couple links at the same time, and then separate them into different dishes. I may add one to a small bowl of pasta with olives, peas, and sauce for a quick pasta dish, or stir fry pieces with some onions and peppers to put in a roll for a sausage grinder. I’ll chop up pieces for an omelette, or use them in breakfast muffins. (Recipe eventually, I promise.)

So with the salmon, I thought, how can I make this into two distinct, separate meals? For starters, I thought baking for dinner.

I picked up some dill, in an unfortunately-large bunch that will see me searching for dill-related recipes for the rest of the week, and knew I had a lemon at home. Throwing it all in some foil:

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Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (making rice in the meantime) and voila. Dinner.

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And for tomorrow, I’ll fry up the rest of it, and mix it in with some scrambled eggs, spinach, and cheese over toast.

One food item, two separate and tasty uses. Cooking for one, with a little planning: delicious and healthy.

Do you regularly cook for just yourself? What are your favorite ways to make the most of your meals?

– Julia