In contrast to the idealistic chatter of last weekend, my mind lately has been in a bacteria-laden fog that perks up only in reference to pathogens or vectors. These days it’s fungi and caffeine that make me happiest.
There has been a lot of caffeine, and around the house, each of us has just made our favorite lazy, unhealthy comfort food: Hamburger Helper, ramen and Annie’s mac and cheese. We could not have planned it better had we tried.
The coolest thing I’ve learned lately is that we are all covered in bacteria and viruses — treat a bacterial infection with antibiotics and you risk killing off some of your “normal flora” — which means less competition for the invasive bacteria you’re trying to fight! This is one reason why hospitalized patients often get secondary bacterial infections after antibiotic treatment — opportunists rush in to fill a vacuum, so to speak. (Word of the day: iatrogenic, or illness caused by medical examination or treatment.)
However, very little of this has changed the way I eat or cook (or has it?).
It’s time to put a stop to this store-bought comfort food with some homemade comfort food extraordinaire, my all-time favorite home dinner: spaghetti and meatballs.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
- ~1 lb ground turkey or chicken
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 egg
- 2 slices bread, soaked in milk and then crumbled into small pieces
- 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan or other cheese
- salt & pepper
- handful of chopped parsley, optional
- breadcrumbs for rolling
- canola oil
Wash your hands with soap and water and scrub down all cooking surfaces. Remove ingredients from the refrigerator. In a large, clean bowl, mix together the turkey, onion, egg, bread, cheese, parsley, and salt & pepper. Wearing latex gloves, roll mix into balls about 1″-1.5″ in diameter. Spread out breadcrumbs onto a separate plate: roll each meatball in breadcrumbs and place onto a clean plate. Wash your hands with soap and water.
Heat about 1/4 cup of oil in a frying pan, then fry the meatballs over medium heat about 10 minutes until cooked through. Use two forks or a pair of tongs to turn the meatballs every few minutes, cooking on all sides. Keep warm in the oven at 200 degrees. Serve over spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce.
The Med School Cookbook offers a weekly account of the challenges and wonders of med school as seen through the eyes of a student. Each post includes a healthy and easy recipe designed for busy people on a budget. Read the daily blog here.