I wish I could pretend that I'm keeping up to date on my blogging and just haven't made many photogenic meals. This is, unfortunately, true on both counts =( This meal is dated in the picture, since you can see the two Chanukah candles burning...and Chanukah has been over for a while! But this was a delicious meal with two creations that I'm not going to lie, were awesome. All 4 dishes on this table were successful (as evidenced by the extreme lack of leftovers!!). The panko crusted cod was showcased in a previous post, and the dish at 1 oclock over there has some baked sweet potatoes in it that my mom actually showed me how to make. I will share this "recipe" with you folks because it's so good and easy, how could I not? Here it is: slice the sweet potato (peeled, unpeeled, go wild) and stick it into an oven (or a toaster oven) and bake at 450 degrees until it looks tender enough to eat. You could poke it with your finger to test. That's it. And so good. Yum!
But the real crowning glory, sweet potato-wise were by HEALTHY sweet potato LATKES! Yes, that's right, healthy. Tasty? Yes... Probably not as tasty as the real thing. I mean, hey, I know my limits. If I cheated and used butter, oil, etc....they'd be better. But that's not what this blog is about. Happy Chanukah people!

Healthy Sweet Potato Latkes!
1.5 really really huge sweet potatoes, grated (I don't know how much this is in weight, sorry...maybe next year)
1/2 onion, chopped really really finely
3 servings of egg white substitute
2 tbsp flour
Few pinches of salt and pepper
Directions: Mix all together. Let sit for a while to drain in a collander (it did NOT drain much!)
Heat oven to 450 degrees
Place big tbsp size blobs of this onto a WELL SPRAYED piece of foil. It will be wet, it wont be that sticky, don't worry. Spread them out into latke-shapes with the back of your spoon
Bake for about 10-15 minutes then.....try to flip them. If they flip, good for you! If they fall apart, that's ok, if you're not a food blog writer/photographer, everyone will forgive you. If they look like they're still watery, keep bakin'.
Bake on the other side for 10-15 minutes too.
Serve. Hide a few for leftovers! Consider using apple sauce.
Look at how pretty they are!!!

Next up: Kale and apple salad with honey mustard/yogurt dressing.

Wooowwweeee this is so good. I will actually share this with you on my next post. It was so good I made it again. The first time, I had no leftovers at all....sad face. The second time, my dining partner wasn't that into it (kale hater!) so I got to eat it again the next day....happy face!!

The problem is that there's no prettying this up. It's an ugly dish. But then again, I pay good money for pretty food in NYC all the time. That food is made with butter, sugar, oil etc. It is delicious. But...if I'm home, I'm making ugly, healthy, low-calorie food that tastes pretty darned good.

Also, a little update on my ankle issues. Seriously, WTF?? The new situation is that it hurts (kind of like that feeling when you've leaned on your arm too long and it goes numb?) for about 2 miles of running, and then it just magically stops and I can run forever. I suppose technically I shouldn't complain and someone should really play me the worlds smallest violin since I ran 9 (!!) miles today, but why is the ankle bugging out on those first two miles? Ok, I realize I'm a doctor so I can puzzle out what the physical problem is...essentially tightened, inflamed ligaments....but how to fix it? And more importantly, will it eventually become some sort of debilitating handicap? Unfortunately, orthopedics is a surgical specialty doing AMAZING things in the OR, but when it comes to pain that can't be fixed with a knife or a saw, the answer is always, stretch it, ice it, ibuprofen. Actually ibuprofen is magical as a drug in general, but in this case, it doesn't help. I'm very frustrated with this because it makes me a) dread working out and b) have to REALLY fight with myself not to give p a workout after only the first few miles. Does this happen to anyone else?

Lastly, I will leave you with some very food blog-inappropriate thoughts. Seriously, don't read this if you're squeamish. But if you have read up to here, leave a comment, I can't figure out if anyone is really reading!

My rotation this month is 4 weeks at the NYC Chief Medical Examiners Office. What's that? Not quite like CSI since we don't go to the crime scene, but it's forensic autopsies. That's right, we cut up people who died in unobserved settings. There's a lot of unglamorous deaths at home, some deaths at home with decomposition (yuck) but the coolest are the homocide autopsies. They take a loooong time and involve a LOOOOOT of cutting, but isn't that cool????? It's stinky, but I kind of love it! I tell everyone that nothing grosses me out, and that's about 90% true. I guess cutting up about 40 dead bodies in 4 years will do that to you! I'm on call this weekend for biopsy work (much less gross), which explains the long blog post. I have a few more in the works though, with another Chanukah meal, the explanation of the kale salad and a medium-hassle, completely great egg breakfast.


I brought out something from the vault today. Omelet muffins (of the sausage egg and cheese variety!). Of course I've posted these before, but I happened to have made them again and I just cannot say enough good things about these. They're so great for breakfast the first 2-3 days after baking (2 days room temperature, third day refrigerator!) and you can freeze the rest, especially if you're like me and need variety. I probably ate about 5, gave 1 away for review (positive!) and froze the remaining 6, split up into 3 little ziplock bags. Make these! They are perfect little bundles of healthy, on-the-go breakfast joy. I think I will reiterate the recipe even though it's hanging out on my Recipage as well (if you click here, you'll also see some variations, like Salmon-Cream Cheese). 
Ingredients (makes 10-11 muffins) at less than 100 calories/muffin
2 eggs (160 cals)
3 servings All Egg Whites (75 cals)

**You can use any combination to make 5 "eggs" total**
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, or any flour (260 cals)
2 small chicken/turkey sausages, chopped (180-200 cals)
3 servings turkey bacon, chopped (90 cals)
1/2 cup Fage 0% Plain Greek Yogurt (55 cals)
1/2 medium sized sweet onion, chopped
Handful (3 servings?) fire roasted red peppers, chopped
2tsp S+ 1tsp P 
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
2. Sautee onion in pan (non-stick spray, oil, whatever makes you happy) until carmelized
3. Mix all other ingredients into a bowl, raw (remember to make sure you chicken/turkey sausages are *fully* cooked, almost all are, but any other meat may need to be precooked)
4. Pour batter into muffin tin (I love my plastic muffin mold because it doesn't need cups, only spray). Fill almost to the top, they don't rise THAT much.
5. Bake until nice and cooked through (test this by running a toothpick into the muffins and seeing it come out clean)
This recipe is both something new *and* something borrowed. It is NOT, however, something I executed correctly. 

I adapted this recipe from The Fitnessista for Pumpkin Amaze-balls but put my own spin on it (which did not work out for me). Kath, of KERF also tried these, also with greater success! Buuuut, mine were still tasty, so I will go ahead and post! 

2 tablespoons old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons cocoa flavored protein powder (I got a single serving packet because I don't use it normally and wasn't sure if this would work)
2 tablespoons pumpkin from a can
2 tablespoons honey almond butter
A tiny splash of vanilla extract
A tiny pinch of salt
1 packet Sweet N Low (or whatever sweetener you wish)

Mix all ingredients together and they will form a VERY tough, dense paste. Not ideal. So I decided to add a little under 1 tbsp of water. Big mistake. =( I thought by letting it sit for a while the oats would eventually just absorb it? Nope. Anyway, I was still able to just barely roll this wet nonsense up into 6 teensy ballz and quickly wrapped them in saran wrap and stowed them away in my freezer.

As it turned out, these were actually not bad at all, and are able to be consumed directly from the freezer, which is super convenient. They kind of melt in your mouth and are kind of tasty. But importantly, they are also a ~50 calorie protein powerhouse. Did I ever manage to eat one at a time? No. So they must have been pretty decent. I think I will try to make these again, this time, perhaps adding extra pumpkin instead of water! I can't believe I didn't think of that the first time. Silly me!

Here are a few other things I should mention. Right before thanksgiving, my right ankle started to HURT when I ran (and even, eventually when I walked). And after allllllll of the whining I had done over the past many blog entries about how much I hate exercise and only do it because I have to, I REALLY missed running. I missed it EVERY DAY that I was in the gym, whirring away on the elliptical and that crazy cross trainer thing. Hot yoga helped break it up but it's cold and yoga is far away (inconveniently, the yoga studio near me decided to end it's "donation based" weekend classes, gah!). I had been doing 1-1.5 mile stretches over the course of 3 weeks but always had to stop after 1.5 miles maximum. You can imagine my surprise when just this past Thursday I got on the treadmill and raaannnnnn. One whole 6 mile run, complete, without too much pain! Imagine MY surprise when it felt SO good. I've since run another 11 miles over the course of 2 days and I just can't get over how good it feels to run compared to the other machines at the gym! I hope this ankle thing doesn't come back =( =(

In other news, the girl who normally hates Italian food (me!) went to Eataly (the Italian gourmet food mecca in NYC), ate at a restaurant and LIKED it. To be fair, what I had is cheese (what's not to love???), soft white bread dipped in olive oil and vinegar (I <3 balsamic) and a kale salad (not what you normally consider Italian, is it?). The salad had grapefruit and pomegranite seeds as well as some sort of nice tangy dressing. The beer you see there is a cask aged beer served at room temperature. It was ok, but not great. Mysterious alcohol content seemed to be very high however, since I definitely REALLY needed a nap when I got home, despite having 3!! slices of bread. 

Time to go, enjoy the week everyone! Hope your weather is better than our misty, rainy, ickyness!


P.S. quick addendum to last weeks post: while the Brussels sprouts tasted amazing when burnt just a bit, okra does not stand up well to burning. So that's the lesson. If you're going to cook a Brussels/okra mix, put in the sprouts first, then top with okra about 10-20 minutes in!
Better late than never?
The Chepovetsky-Zaretsky family thanksgiving spread! We are Russian (note the smoked salmon and the mushroom pastry!) but we are also fiercely patriotic. After all, we are living the American dream! My parents came here with nothing from a crumbling nation that no longer exists (USSR!) and now we have freedoms my family never imagined. My father, who has a PhD in physics started in the US as a cab driver and eventually became a computer programmer. My mother was an engineer in the old country and kept that job when she came here, but eventually also learned to be a computer programmer. Imagine changing fields completely in middle age, in a foreign country. Learning a computer language, as well as English? This is a big deal folks. I'm so proud of my parents and family. Every year, when we go around the table and give thanks (yes, we actually do this, no matter how large the gathering, everyone says something) I hope I never forget to mention this. Obviously, in relation to the blog, I have to thank my mom, whose creativity in the kitchen has indirectly inspired me countless times! And now....for dessert!
This thing, Kievsky Tort is a cake made in a factory in Kiev called the Karl Marx Confectionary factory. They've been making it since 1956 and apparently NO ONE can make what they do. It's a combination of megangue, some sort of hazelnut stuff and buttercream. It is rich and light, creamy yet airy....I have no idea how to describe it. But, the thing must actually be imported from Kiev into stores in the US. Crazy huh? I eat it so slowly, layer by layer.....yummmmmmm! I can't believe I'm sitting here now, in my jeans, actually fitting into them. Oy! What did you all do for thanksgiving? Is anyone reading this? Beuller....?

Ok, on to some other stuff. First of all, I am going to compose more than one post tonight and hope to put them out all during the week in an effort to actually post more regularl. So, this post will be kind of cooking light. It will focus on roasted vegetables. Because I've been able to go home a few times in this past month or so, I've stocked my fridge full of cheap-o vegetables. I'm sure they're not even actually cheap, just relatively cheap because everything in NYC is unbearably expensive.
Brussels sprouts again! You remember this, the worlds easiest salad? Take a bunch of Brussels sprouts and shred them (so irritating.....), in a pan toss in some finely chopped turkey bacon and a can of diced/crushed roasted tomatoes....sautee until soft. Then season with balsamic vingar, salt, garlic....voila! Instant nutritious lunchx3.

And hey, the one night I got super lazy and didn't want to bother shredding the sprouts, I put them in the oven at 400 degrees, spayed (MISTO!) with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and "vegetable seasoning" (or you can use garlic, italian seasoning, etc) and left them in there....too long. Or so I thought. Turns out when these babies get a little charred they taste SO good. And are super soft. Turns out this is not a secret, but it's news to me, so now it comes on the blog!

And my new love....okra. How simple. Spray with olive oil, season with anything you like (I use the same stuff I put on the roasted sprouts) and pop in the oven at 400 degrees. I use my toaster oven for super convenience. Call it 20-30 mins. It comes out semi crunchy on the outside and all gooey and slimy on the inside. What's in that bowl, you ask? It's the best veggie dip EVER. Greek yogurt with Thai Chilli Garlic sauce/paste. If you don't have this, mix in whatever liquidy/pasty spicy stuff you like. The yogurt cools it down and makes it absolutely yummy! Seriously. That's not a joke. Go home and try this.

Ok, that's all for now because it's Chanukah and I am making a really nice meal for a friend featuring baked sweet potato latkes. In case this invariably fails, I have sweet potato chips baking in the oven right now!



    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

    All recipes are on Petitchef


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