Spinach, Tomato & Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

So I’m one step closer to becoming a doctor! Today, I’ve finished up my last rotation in medical school ever whoohoo!

Fourth year of medical school is funny. After you turn in your residency applications (eek), fly all over for interviews (double eek), and submit your “rank list” in late winter, there’s not much to do but wait. In general, fourth year spring is regarded as a giant break where people go on epic vacations. With my school’s flexible scheduling, I had done all my major requirements and just had a couple of electives left.
Dad: You mean I still have to pay full tuition even though you’re barely doing anything in your 4th year?!

Yeah, college and medical school don’t come cheap, but sorry Dad.

But don’t worry, Dad, I wasn’t totally bumming. This semester, I did an extra medicine ICU (MICU) rotation just to get some experience before intern year, and it was definitely some work shaking the dust off my brain…. Calculating the acid base compensation of hyperventilation? Reading those chest xrays – is that atelectisis (lung collapse) or a new pneumonia? Erm, let me do some reading.

I then practiced intubations and blood draws in my anesthesia elective – lots of technical skill and fiddling with machines required, but definitely not the specialty for me…I like my patients awake and talking to me!

We had our bootcamp for residency courses to further jog our brains, and then got Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) training the week afterwards. There isn’t anything more nerve wracking than remembering chest compressions and drug dosages (was epinephrine 0.1 mcg/kg/min or just 0.1 mcg/min? How many kg is the patient anyway?) while running a code.

Finally, I rounded out my medical school career with dermatology. They get a rap for just giving botox and treating acne while living the glam life, but dermatology has some gruesome skin conditions and so much skin cancer. Public service announcement, please wear sunblock! 
Dermatologists have to be supersmart because skin conditions are just confusing. The rotation is pretty educational for medical students since you get to see a lot of skin conditions. I promise, whether you’re just a medical student or a neurology resident or a cardiothoracic surgeon attending, everyone and their mom will always ask you to diagnose their rash. 
Me: I can run a code if your heart stops, but I don’t know how to fix your rash sorry D:

So that was a smorgasbord of rotations in my final spring semester of medical school! To match it, here’s a Spaghetti Squash recipe I adapted from BS In the Kitchen using a smorgasbord of random ingredients left in my fridge as I frantically try eat up all my food before moving/graduation.

Spinach, Tomato & Goat Cheese Spaghetti Squash

1 small spaghetti squash
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 cups of spinach
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
olive oil
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup basil
6 oz goat cheese
paprika, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut your squash in half, removing seeds, and place halves in a roasting dish. Add salt & pepper to taste on each half of squash.

Stuffed Version: Place spinach, tomatoes, red onion, and basil inside, and drizzle with olive oil. Top with goat cheese and paprika. Place squash in oven, roasting for about 20-30 minutes. Once the squash has finished roasting, remove from oven, sprinkle with chopped squash seeds, and serve!

Salad Version: Place squash in oven, roasting for about 20-30 minutes, until soft and squash peels off in long strands. Scoop out squash meat and serve on a plate. Toss spinach, tomatoes, red onion, and basil; drizzle with olive oil. Top with goat cheese and paprika. Enjoy!

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  1. Congrats Natalie- residency here you come!! Dermatology is definitely no joke, we definitely get some challenging cases in the ER. And speaking of no joke, this dish looks seriously delicious! YUM!

  2. Ohh congratulations! So close!!! I'm still trying to convince my kids about the wonders of spaghetti squash. I just wish they didn't call it "spaghetti" since the kids know what "real" spaghetti is and they think I'm trying to pull a fast one on them each time I cook the non-real-pasta-squash-version. Yet I keep trying!

  3. So excited that you're done with medical school! Yay! 🙂 This sounds so interesting and it just makes me more excited to start school soon. I agree about derm, it seems boring but I shadowed a dermatologist for a couple weeks and honestly it's so much grosser than people think! Ha! I think I have already seen enough cysts to last me a lifetime. BUT I will say I love spaghetti squash and this looks like an awesome healthy meal!