Officially a Dietitian + Goodbye!

(Barcelona)
Two splendid pieces of news!
First, last weekend I passed the licensing test to become a Registered Dietitian.  After 6 years, I'm officially a RD!  It was one of those moments in life where the backdrop falls away, life zooms out, and I realized how many people I have to thank.  Professors, classmates, colleagues, family, and friends....I'm grateful for each of you!

Second, Coconut Crumbs has moved to a new site!  An update is long due, so please find me at http://rachelyperez.com.  Goodbye Blogger!
Celebration with my friend Anna!


Thank you, and I hope you will continue reading on my new site.
Cheers,
Rachel

New England Dessert Showcase!

This month was the 2011 New England Dessert Showcase in Boston, a exhibition featuring designer chocolates, ice cream, and sugary concoctions.  I obtained a press pass to attend, but couldn't go at the last minute.  Fortunately my friend Grace gladly stepped in to make good on this sweet opportunity.  Enjoy the pics!

 My friend loved the display from Kueh, South East Asian producer of dessert, snacks and pastries!  

Thank you to the Anthem Group for the press pass!
Cheers,
Rachel

Ostende-The Belgian Coast

The finicky rain and cloudy skies did not deter us from a quick trip to Belgium's North Sea coastline.  Our destination was Ostende, which according to trusty Frommer's tour book, used to be "the Queen of the Coast and prestigious 19th-century royal vacation spot."  We found the town a little sleepy, but seeping with charm nonetheless!
Belgian chocolate?  Yes please.
 First pasta in Europe.  Lovely.
(Below) Chocolate from Estonia.  Snack for the train ride.
The internship at the European Food Information Council continues to go well.  I'm still working on content for the Food4U campaign, a healthy food video competition for adolescents funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture.  However the highlight of the week was a visit to the European Parliament for a brief lecture on food security in the European Union!
Cheers,
Rachel

Canal Tour of Brugge

 Brugge, a small town tucked in the northwest corner of Belgium, stands unravaged by time.  Cobblestones line the streets of this Medieval Gothic city, and horse-drawn carriages clatter beside the automobiles. However the most charming view of Brugge is captured aboard a small boat, drifting along the canals, pondering bygone days of chivalry.
My first week of work at the European Food Information Council has gone well.  Briefly, I've been working on a project called Food 4U, a competition where adolescents can express their view on food and nutrition through short videos of their own creation.  Funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry Policies, the competition is open to all teenagers from all 26 nations of the European Union, plus the Netherlands.  I think using multimedia (especially videos) is a relevant way to engage adolescents in the food-health conversation.

Au revoir!
Rachel

Les Frites

I am thankful to report a safe arrival in Brussels, Belgium!  After settling into the small room that I now call home, I spent the rest of the weekend greeting the city and getting lost on the subway.  While traipsing through the downtown marketplace, I indulged in the touristy street-side vendor selling frites.  Unfortunately I neglected to get the mayonnaise sauce, for which frites are simply incomplete.  I'll have to go again!
(Above) Place Royale
(Below) Dinner at home-I have no kitchen! 
I was anxious to try the white asparagus which is in season here.
Today was my first day at the European Union Food Information Council (EUFIC), where I will be interning this summer.  EUFIC is a non-profit organization which provides science-based information on food safety and nutrition to media, health professionals, and educators.  I will be a Science Communications intern, and I anticipate lots of research interpretation and writing.


Cheers to les frites!
Rachel  

Graduation and Beyond!

May 22nd marked the Tufts graduation ceremony.  I salute my colleagues at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (holla for my Nut Comm class!), and I have a special tribute to the Tufts dietetic interns.   
Tufts Dietetic Interns, Class of 2011
Ladies, working with you these past two years has been an honor.  
Registered Dietitian and MS...We did it! 
DI Orientation, August 2009
Alanna.  All elegance and poise.  Your fortitude and strength has inspired me.  I appreciate your dedication to do all things well.
Adrienne.  My sunshine friend!  Always ready to greet with a smile, and help me put things into perspective.  You think beyond dietetics, and I like this.  Let's meet in Austin!  
Nathalia.  Natural leader, fantastic MSDA president, and ever ready to provide comic relief.  "We R Who We R"-Whenever I hear this, I'll bust a move for our song.  Go Nat Attack!
Lauren.  My very first Boston acquaintance; thank you for subletting your Brookline room, and welcoming me to the city!  Good luck in St. Louis!
Inpatient rotations, August 2010
Renee.  Hey DJ, your enthusiasm is contagious!  You converted me to PBB sandwiches, and when I'm feeling down I'll remember to recite, "One day at a time, one patient at a time, for the win."  Thank you!  Sauce on.
Vicky.  My fabulous rotation partner, and "twin"!  Ah, such memories together: Korean bbq at Koreana, red bean buns from Chinatown, instant coffee in dialysis clinic, Whole Foods lunches at MGH.  Thankful for you.  Rooting for you in California!
Erin.  Succinct, sassy, and never too flustered.  Love it.  Long live your grape salad and chocolate chip cookies!
Nikita.  This classy gal is truly the Queen of Spice (please open an Indian restaurant someday!).  Roomie, you are a kindred spirit.  I miss you already.
What's Next?  Belgium!
Yup, I'll be heading to Brussels from June through August for a summer internship at the European Union Food Information Council (EUFIC).  EUFIC is a non-profit organization that provides nutrition and food safety information to media, industry, educators, and health professionals.  This is my first taste of Europe!  I'm eager to continue this unique opportunity, which was trail-blazed last summer by fellow Tufts colleague Kelly Dumke.

In September I'll return to Boston for one last semester of grad school.  Turns out I'm not officially graduated yet. *wink*  But wanted to walk with my class nonetheless!

Stay tuned this summer for updates and pictures.
Cheers!
Rachel

Spicy Soba Noodles with Edamame and Shiitake

I heard about this dish from a friend, and realized that it was the perfect opportunity to use up my soba and dried shiitake.  Pretty tasty!  However after comparing my pictures with the original SmittenKitchen recipe, I chuckle.  Apparently I've lost all ability to follow directions, as somehow I managed to substitute red cabbage instead of Napa, and regular onions instead of green onions.
Spicy Soba Noodles with Shiitake and Edamame
recipe from SmittenKitchen
Ingredients
For Sauce:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2-3 Tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot-pepper paste)
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
For noodles
3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons finely chopped peeled ginger
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used dried v)
1.25 pound Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (I used red cabbage)
6 green onions, thinly sliced (I accidentally used regular shallots)
9 ounces soba/buckwheat noodles
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
Preparations
  1. Stir together all sauce ingredients until brown sugar is dissolved.  Set aside.
  2. Toast sesame seeds over stove, in skillet over medium heat.  
  3. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add ginger and garlic.  Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shiitake mushrooms and saute until tender and starting to brown, about 6 minutes.  Reduce heat and add cabbage and scallions.  Cook until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 6 minutes.  Add sauce, and simmer for 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile cook soba in boiling water until noodles are just tender (don't overcook!), about 6 minutes.  You can add edamame to the boiling water.  Drain soba in colander and rinse under cool water.
  5. Transfer soba to large bowl and toss with sesame seeds and vegetable mixture.  
  6. Enjoy!  Serves four.
It's three more weeks until the end of the dietetic internship, and the to-do list grows at an alarming rate.  But instead of writing, studying, and being a productive little engine, I find myself wandering in grocery stores and daydreaming recipes; by the end of the day I habitually default to the kitchen.  There over steamy pots, the stress simply dissolves.   Mental resolve has floated away too, or maybe it is just bobbing above my head like a balloon on a string, still attached but distant.  Come back!

Well, goodnight to you.  
I hope you are well, wherever you are.
Rachel
Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.
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