Why I love Jay’s staff and some things coming out of my kitchen

Why I love Jay’s staff and some things coming out of my kitchen

Hi there in my polar bear halloween costume, early last Monday morning ready to go to school. Apparently I was one of the THREE students with any Halloween spirit. Let me cut my class some slack though, over the weekend there was a Halloween party, (which I decided to skip, it was snowing!) I guess that’s where all the crazy costumes were seen. So maybe I was the late one, dressed as a polar bear during our Adult Health I exam. Oh well, at least the amazing staff at Jay’s Cafe (1st floor of the main nursing building) were dressed up with me. These lovely ladies are always brightening the days of the nursing students. Besides their fun personalities, they also supply the coffee – how can you not love them? Today is also Nora’s birthday, the little one in the picture. So don’t forget to wish her a happy birthday!


For Halloween they were Jay’s Angels! They went all out and dyed their hair pink (although you can’t see it in this pic because they have to tie their hair back), and got those custom t-shirts.

It’s a week later and there’s still Halloween candy everywhere. Also, today’s Adult Health lecture is on Diabetes – was this on purpose? Good one, Meg.

With the fall chill in the air, the things that have been coming out of my kitchen have changed completely. No more salads, guacamole, and smoothies, bring on the curries, soups, and baked oats! I’m a huge big breakfast fan but I know most people aren’t – many of the students I see simply grab a bar and go or buy one of the fresh baked bagels at Jay’s. But I’m sure we can all agree on some dinner food. Here are some recent beauties that have graced my kitchen stovetop recently:

Rotini with lentils: 2 parts pasta to 1 part lentils, add caramelized onions, kale, and carrots. The caramelized onions are key to give the dish some sweetness. I don’t think this really needs a recipe since It’s an add-as-you-go dish. Really like kale? Put a ton. Hate carrots? Sub them out. Easy.
Baked eggplant stacks. This one requires the eggplant slices to be pre baked, once I get the times right I’ll post a recipe for this. But its essentially baked eggplant, layer of breadcrumbs, cheese (if desired), another slice of eggplant, breadcrumbs, then top it all with some tomato sauce. Bake until the cheese is melted and the eggplant can be easily cut.

And now, the finale. My new taste-like-I-paid-$20-for-this:

Coconut-Ginger Thai style Tilapia

Delicious, warming, and I found a great way to adapt the recipe for one!

I adapted this recipe from : http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/broiled-tilapia-with-thai-coconut-curry-sauce-10000000348346/

Ingredients: (I know it looks long but it’s mostly spices!)

  • 1 serving tilapia, this can be found in single serving packs in the freezer section of most supermarkets. Any white fish would work.
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup of frozen green beans or other green veggie
  • 1 tsp of red curry paste (I used Jalfrezi, so I think anything with a little kick of tomato in it would work)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup “lite” coconut milk (that’s what it says on the can, although unsweetened coconut milk in the carton or full fat would be fine)
  • 1/4 cup diced onion or scallions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • pinch of cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge (pilfered from the cafeteria at clinical works best)
  • Cayenne pepper or Sriracha (my favorite but optional)
  • Brown rice, optional

Defrost your fish. you can run the fish under a warm stream of water from the sink or in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes. Slice 3 long skinny pieces of the ginger and set those aside. Mince the rest of it. In a pot over medium heat, add some cooking oil or PAM spray and cook the onions, curry paste and powder for 3 minutes. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and ginger. Adjust the heat to medium low and cook for another minute. Then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, cumin, Sriracha (if using), salt and pepper. You can ignore this pot now.

Prepare your method of steaming. I’ve seen some people steam fish in a rice cooker, I’m not sure how that works but hey go for it. I use a pot with a steamer basket. Fill up the pot with about 1 1/2″ of water and set the range to medium high. Place your steamer basket in the pot. Cut three long slices in the fish along one side. Stick a piece of ginger in each slice. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place in the steamer basket with the lid on. About 4 minutes will get you a slightly raw fish in the middle, 8 minutes will be fully cooked. you can test your fish by poking at it with a fork in the middle to see if it’s to your desired consistency.

Going back to the sauce pot. While the fish is cooking, add the green beans to the sauce and warm it up until all the beans have defrosted. Then transfer the beans to a plate, put your cooked fish on top and then pour the rest of the sauce on top of the fish. Serve with or without some rice and squeeze some lemon juice on top.

Eat. Smile. Stop thinking about your next test 🙂

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