I can tell you from personal experience that being a med/grad student is not an environment that promotes healthy eating. Your schedule is all over bejesus and back, you’re poor, and your often stressed. Rising food prices have made eating out at some place healthy a non-starter. Let’s just say the easy fast food fix is very tempting.
NPR had a great story this morning about a Harvard medical student — Michelle Hauser — who is also a former chef. She has been teaching her classmates easy meals to cook that are also relatively healthy. This is important stuff for more than just student health. Doctors are role-models for things like this. If you can show that you can be busy and eat right, you are much more likely to inspire your patients to as well.
The story also has a suggestion that I always try to follow: cook for more than one meal at a time.
Bunch says that when people cook dinner, they should make enough for four meals — not just what’s going on the table that night.
He demonstrates how leftover veggies and chicken from one dinner can be transformed into a hearty soup for the next night by adding vegetable stock. Then Bunch makes a salad, served cold, by adding yogurt. Another plate is a drumstick with the vegetable mix on the side.
“So now I’ve got four meals with a simple preparation of grains, (which) I cooked in one pan,” he says.
Cooking healthy meals doesn’t require a wealth of exotic, fresh ingredients. Hauser’s salmon burgers, for example, were made from canned fish and frozen spinach.
Anyway, I though it would be fun to solicit recipes for the grad/med student on-the-go. My criterion for these is that they are uncomplicated, cheap, quick, relatively healthy, and that they make enough food to put in the fridge for a couple days’ lunches. We are looking for good grad student chow here. Below is one of mine to get you started.
1 Box of Zatarain’s Jambalaya Mix (available in most supermarkets now)
1 Tablespoon of Butter
As per directions, place contents of box in sauce pan. Add appropriate amount of water (about 2 cups I think). Add butter and chopped up kielbasa. Boil for 25 minutes. Allow rice to fluff for about 5 minutes.
For me this usually lasts at least 3 meals. Get some broccoli (steamed or raw) on the side, and spice to suit with tabasco.
Feel free to add you own in the comments. Enjoy.