Monday, August 27, 2012

MacGyver It: What's in the back of your fridge?

Butternut squash, chicken, tofu, and black beans with lime
Planning nutrition is an important part of my day. Needing to maintain enough energy for work at the lab, training, and also needing to account for the physical stresses of travel, results in some situations where I look at the food options in front of me and feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone version of Iron Chef. Given some of the ingredients available to work with at times, it’s more similar to how I imagine a food-version MacGyver challenge: develop something nutritious that leverages the available food in the fridge or at the hotel breakfast buffet, but that doesn’t make me hurl. 

The goal is to create something that allows me to hit my protein-carb-fat ratios and that also tastes somewhat decent. One of the creations was the result of a need for a snack before Nick and I went out one evening:

Avocado nectarine pita chip appetizer with Haleakala finishing salt

The other creation is from last week, where we only had ingredients for a) breakfast burritos, and b) leftover salmon. I needed more food than a breakfast burrito could offer, and also wanted something more than plain salmon, so I threw everything together and created the following (it tasted pretty good):

Random breakfast burrito for dinner
When on travel and staying with friends and family, usually I’m lucky enough to have them create something delicious for me. I was fortunate enough during graduate school to have an advisor who appreciates the chemistry of flavors just as much as  (and maybe more than…) geochemistry, and who is most excellent about ensuring that his graduate students are well-fed. He continues the culinary traditions beyond graduate school, and while I visited Ohio State this past spring, Yo created something amazing (that’s his cuisine art in the photo, something involving pulled pork and homemade polenta and greens).

Yo's creation
I’m also well-fed while staying with my grandparents, especially when other family members are visiting at the same time and want to feed me as if I’ve never eaten anything before. Apparently Ita finally learned how to cook right around when I was born, and Ito’s passion is gourmet everything.  Either way, there was plenty of delicious food when I visited Houston in July.

I ate most of it before taking the photo.

What are some of your successful food-version MacGyver moments? 

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