Fueling the Fire(fighter)

By Myranda Vig

When thinking about my future as a dietetic intern, I thought my days would be consumed with rotations that offered me a variety of experience in developing my skills in areas of clinical, community and food service. Never did I realize all the experience I would gain in a program with a technology emphasis. Throughout the internship, there have been technology class days that focus on recipe development, food photography, nutrition informatics, social media content, personal branding, website development, visual media and photo editing. One of the first big projects in the internship was creating a recipe to be used in a recipe e-book for firefighters. We were to develop a recipe, price it out to meet a budget, and provide a grocery list. When first assigned this project I was very nervous about how I would come up with an appetizing recipe to meet the needs of firefighters. 

I first began by thinking of a staple dish we all love and how I could make it more nutritious to supply these essential workers with a fueling meal. I kept being brought back to my favorite meal as a child, a sloppy joe. On the nights I knew my family was making this dish for dinner I could not wait to come home from school to enjoy it. This is it, this is the dish I want to perfect. 

Lentil Sloppy Joe

Now that I have the dish decided, I next need to figure out how to add more nutrients to the meal. I decided to make the base from lentils and add bell peppers. Lentils are often thought of as being bland, but are packed full of fiber, protein, and vitamins. I thought of all my favorite ingredients in this meal and got to the kitchen to start working on my recipe. Once I perfected my recipe I moved on to photographing the meal using tips we’ve learned in class. I had some background drops I used to add focus to the dish. I photographed the meal while it was cold to ensure the lentil mixture would be easy to modify. Then, I topped off the mixture with shredded lettuce, pickles, and onions to add flavor and color to the dish. I paired the dish with sweet potato fries or an oppositional side salad. I took the photo straight on to capture the layers and texture of the meal. 

After capturing photos of the meal, I moved on to compiling all of the ingredients and calculating the cost. The recipe needs to be within budget and feed 6 – 14 people. I completed my grocery list and calculated the cost per individual; then it was time to calculate the nutrition facts and format the recipe to be included in the e-book. Each recipe needed a short description, grocery list, picture, time to cook, ingredient list, nutrition facts, directions, notes, and to give reasoning why an ingredient or the dish was chosen. I started my recipe with a description of the dish and lentils and their benefits, then moved down the checklist of all the requirements.

I had so much fun working on this assignment. From creating the recipe, capturing the dish, compiling all the ingredients, and formatting. Having the opportunity to learn more in-depth about recipe development, food photography, social media content and website development has deepened my technology and personal branding skills. I’m so excited to use these skills in my future as a dietitian. 

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