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Yes, I realize it's about time I should blog something yummy.
Third week of dietetic internship went by fast. Earlier this week I traveled to out-the-middle-of-nowhere to Wheeling, West Virginia (north of West Virginia, almost near Pittsburgh), where I attended an in-service with the nutrition outreach educators of West Virginia University Extension - Family Nutrition Program. The interns and I stayed at a resort on top of a hill with gorgeous mountain views and lots of wild animal sight-seeing. I managed to squeeze in a morning trail run midweek.
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While I was at a beautiful location and felt like I was on vacation, I had to attend endless talks/conferences on nutrition education. On the third day of the in-service, I gave a presentation (or more like 5 presentations in a row for 5 different groups) on food packaging and marketing. It was the by far, most nerve racking experience of the internship. I was not sure how the other nutrition educators would response to my presentation, or what kind of crazy questions I would get. Luckily, by the 5th presentation I was a pro on food packaging and marketing. It felt good when some of the audience were making notes as I was speaking.
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On to my favorite subject, food.
Many people have a secret obsession with P. F. Chang's lettuce wrap. I have only had those lettuce wrap once, and it was delicious but I don't see the obsession. People often ask me where I go to get good Chinese food around town, and I always say there aren't any good ones. I stay away from Chinese take-outs and buffets, as I am kind of embarrassed that those are the only Chinese foods available. I envy those who live in large cities like New York City and San Francisco, where almost-authentic Chinese food is just around the corner.
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About 40% of my cooking is Chinese-borderline-American food. While I don't have rice everyday like my parents do, it's still a staple in my house. I have been following Asian-inspired recipes from cooking magazines that sometimes I forget how to make real Chinese food.
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Everything I learn about cooking was self-taught during college. But I know real Chinese food when I taste one. Hmm...dim sum, anyone?
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Tofu Mushroom Lettuce Wrap
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 cup water (or more for thinner sauce)
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
6 oz button mushrooms, chopped finely
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
6 thinly sliced green onions (about 2/3 cup), divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
1 cup matchstick-cut cucumbers
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
8 Bibb lettuce leaves
- To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallot, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper), and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Add more water as needed.
- To prepare filling, place crumbled tofu in strainer and press down gently to release excess water. Let tofu drain for 20 minutes.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add 1/3 cup green onions; sauté 1 minute. Add tofu; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and Sriracha; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cucumbers, carrots, and remaining green onions.
- Spoon 1/4 cup rice into each lettuce leaf. Top with about 1/2 cup tofu mixture; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with sauce.