Sci’s Guide to Lab Cuisine

Tonight, Sci is in the lab. It’s 11:40pm, and counting. I will probably cop out shortly before 1am because I’m a chicken that way. Been here since 8am, when I found out that the freezer that stores my carefully sampled fruit slices had become unplugged the previous evening. Water all over the floor, and all of my lovely apple and orange sections are thawed. So now, Sci is here, running her samples before they go bad. Welcome to grad school.
And of course, this means that Sci can’t go home and make herself nutritious eats. However, I do my best. I’m not a fan of ordering pizza to the lab. Grad students are VERY poor, and that money adds up quick. And I like to get some veggies and lean protein in my diet when I can.
So tonight, Sci is having Lab Cuisine ™ while she runs her now-thawed samples.

To make Lab Cuisine:
1 pkg Ramen (throw that icky flavor packet AWAY)
1/2 small pkg frozen Oriental veggies (about 1 cup)
Morning Star chicken breast thingy (1)
Sesame oil
Soy Sauce
Make Ramen as directed, discarding flavor packet. A hot plate in the lab is particularly good for this, but make sure you bring your own cooking container. Ramen in the microwave is crappy Ramen.
For veggies, stick them in microwave safe container, tightly covered, with 2 tsps water. Microwave on high 4 minutes. Result=steamed veggies.
Prep chicken according to packet instructions in microwave. On chicken, add 1 tsp of soy sauce before it goes in the microwave.

Mix ramen, veggies, and chicken together. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to taste.
Sounds icky, I know. But it’s cheap! And when you are stuck in the lab til way late and hungry, you take what you can get. And this is what we keep in the lab fridge. Don’t know why the sesame oil was there, or the soy sauce, for that matter. The ramen is something that all grad students (and post-docs) keep in their desks for emergencies. The frozen stuff Sci will admit running home to get.
But it was both cheap and nutritious (sort of, the Ramen is the kind with no trans fat and the flavor packet was discarded, saving you some high sodium issues).
Now all I need to do is find a way to store cake and cookies in the lab without my labmates noticing…

6 Responses

  1. Hah. Good luck on the cake and cookies.
    The other ramen meal that’s pretty decent involves using at least part of the flavor packet, then adding lots of soup veg plus some chicken or shrimp and herbs to taste (dill and garlic are usually my choice). It’s a nice, quick soup and truly excellent for those scratchy throat days.

  2. My favorite easy ramen meal includes an egg poached in the boiling water while the noodles are cooking, and a healthy handful of frozen veggies tossed in when the eggs are done (they usually just need thawing, not cooking). I season with part of the packet, a selection of seasonings I have on hand and hot sauce. That’s the meal that got me through writing my thesis.
    I’m not sure there’s any way to hide cookies from ravenous lab mates.

  3. Cake and cookies belong the sooper sekrit bottom drawer of your locking file cabinet (you know, next to the bottle of bourbon). It also helps to put some inferior cake/cookies in the lab stockpile to throw other people off the scent of your personal stash.

  4. If this was a series, I would totally subscribe.

  5. I keep a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, plus some dried fruit, candy, and salty snacks. Does a good job of keeping me up-and-running through 10-hour days.
    Yeah, the bottom drawer of my locking file cabinet is devoted to foodstuffs.

  6. Yum, that sounds pretty good. I have a craving for Mi Goren now, not really healthy at all (although I don’t add all the flavour packets, especially not the flavoured oil one).

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