Monthly Archives: April 2014

New Favorite Salmon Recipe

I may or may not have set off the smoke alarm making it, but Derek and I agree that the salmon I made tonight is a new favorite.

Before I get to that recipe, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast:

  • slice whole wheat toast
  • peanut butter
  • banana

Lunch:

  • raw veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • Bolthouse Farms Classic Ranch for dipping (Love this stuff! It’s made with yogurt.)
  • Trader Joe’s Chicken Gyoza Potstickers
  • low-sodium soy sauce mixed with Sriracha for dipping

Trader Joes chicken gyoza

Snacks:

  • pear
  • tortilla chips
  • fresh salsa

Dinner:

  • maple-glazed salmon
  • couscous
  • oven roasted asparagus (tossed in olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic, and parmesan cheese)

 

 

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Dinner was quick and easy tonight. I will definitely make this combination when I have a busy week. The entire meal took me about 25 minutes. I cooked the asparagus for 8 minutes on 425 degrees to start. While it was cooking, I put the spice rub on the salmon and started boiling water for the couscous. Then I finished the couscous while the salmon cooked. Aside from the spices, there are few ingredients and everything cooked very fast. It’s a good option when you don’t have a ton of time.


Now for the maple-glazed salmon recipe. I substituted a few things, but I followed this recipe from Cooking Light. Next time, I will probably grill the salmon instead of broiling it. The food was delicious, but I set off the smoke alarm. Fail. It was my first time broiling anything at our new place, and it apparently has a sensitive alarm. Whoops.

Maple-Glazed Salmon from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • Spice mix (all teaspoons- 1 paprika, 1/2 chili powder, 1/4 cayenne pepper*, 1/4 cumin, 1/4  sugar*, 1 salt)
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup

*I used cayenne pepper for added spiciness. The recipe calls for brown sugar, but I didn’t have any on-hand so I used a little bit of regular sugar instead.

Instructions: 

1. Pre-heat broiler. (If you’re like me and don’t have a broiler pan, a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet works just as well.)

2. Rub spice mix over the salmon fillet.

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3. Broil fish for ~5 to 6 minutes

4. Brush maple syrup on salmon filets.

5. Broil fish for ~1 more minute.

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Enjoy!

Do What You Can

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for an inspirational quote. This quote reminds me not to be overwhelmed by seemingly insurmountable problems in which I have little control. It helps me focus on what I can do rather than what I cannot change.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.  -Theodore Roosevelt

These Are My Confessions . . .

Don’t worry. I’m not going to break out in song. I’ll leave that to Usher. I will, however, confess to some not-so-healthy habits I developed over the past few months.

I’m going to cut myself some slack because my life has been crazy. Some things were bound to slip through the cracks, but now it’s time to make health a priority again.
These are my confessions . . .

 

I haven’t been eating enough whole foods

When I get really busy and stressed I tend to eat out more and buy super quick, easy dinners like frozen pizza. I believe that everything is fine in moderation, but frequently eating that way leaves me feeling “blah.” I feel my best when I eat nutritious foods.

 

I have only been exercising once or twice per week, if that.

For me, exercising is just as important to my mental health as it is to my physical health. A good workout can completely change my mood for the better, and it leaves me feeling stronger and calmer. I especially miss the feeling of finishing a solid run.

 

I’m often an all-or-nothing thinker when it comes to health.

One of my strengths is that I put my all into everything I do. However, this occasionally works against me. In an ideal world I would always eat nutritious meals, exercise at least 5 days/week, and practice mindfulness daily. Let’s be real though– that’s not going to happen. I struggle with recognizing that it is absolutely still worth it to try and keep going even though I will not do it perfectly. This type of thinking has been holding me back lately because I keep waiting for the “right time” to get back to a healthier lifestyle. I know that the graduation celebrations and a vacation I have coming up may interfere with my plans to be healthier, so I keep think it’s best to delay starting. In reality, the best time to get healthier is now! Rather than viewing a missed workout or eating a donut as failure, I need to see it as a slip and move on. After all, a healthy lifestyle is all about moderation.

 

So, what am I going to do about these confessions?

  • Eat more whole foods. For my next weekly meal plan I’m going to incorporate as many whole foods as I can. I’m out of school right now, so I have plenty of time to cook, and I can’t wait to try out some new recipes and share them. I’m also going to record a few full days of food on Brown is the New Pink to hold myself accountable.
  • Exercise more. I want to come up with some exercise goals, and I’m going to start sharing a weekly workout recap on Sundays.
  • Identify my all-or-nothing thinking and come up with alternative thoughts. This is a cognitive-behavioral therapy technique that I’m going to try out. I’m going to write down any all-or-nothing thoughts that I have and then come up with a better thought to replace it. I’ll share that on here as well.

Smile, It’s the Weekend

As my previous posts indicate, I am a soon-to-be social worker. I love what I do, and I know that it is what I am meant to be doing. That being said, it is really difficult work sometimes. While I see some great moments for people, I am more often present for moments of struggle, loss, or death. It is fulfilling work, but it is also draining. By the time I get to Friday afternoon I usually need something lighthearted, touching, or funny to separate myself from work. From now on, I will be posting things on Friday afternoon that make me smile or laugh. I think it will help me transition into the weekend, and I hope that it will help anyone else who just needs to see a little bit of good in the world.

I didn’t think of this idea until late last night, so I’m going to cheat and post today instead. 🙂

Remember this moment from Miss Congeniality . . .

perfect date

So awkwardly awesome.

Yesterday, I saw this adorable video of a man finding out he’s going to be a grandfather. The look of pure joy on his face is priceless.

I LOVE Parks & Rec. It’s probably my favorite show on TV right now. All of the characters make me laugh for different reasons, and I appreciate that the show can be touching without being corny. This is a little old now, but it still makes me laugh:

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#Blessed

Finally, I recently became a big Jimmy Fallon fan, and this video of jokes for a depressed panda cracked me up. I believe one of his writers is actually dancing around in that suit.

Now I’m off to Brewgaloo for a fun afternoon with friends. Have a great weekend!

Brunch Bundt Cake Recipe

In the eloquent words of William Wallace, “FREEEEEEEDOOOMMMMM!” I officially completed all of the fieldwork for my social work degree today. I enjoyed my internship, but I am ecstatic about having a few weeks off.

Since it was my last day, I made a brunch bundt cake as a small thank-you to the people who made my internship a great experience. It’s certainly not a healthy recipe, but it’s great for sharing. This cake is perfect for breakfast and brunch because it’s sweet, but the sherry keeps it from being too sweet. The flavor is reminiscent of coffee cake.

*RANDOM SIDE NOTE: In my family we call it Aunt Dolly’s Brunch Bundt Cake, but I have a confession. I couldn’t pick out Aunt Dolly in a crowd. In fact, I have no clue how she is related. All I know is that she makes a great bundt cake. Thanks Aunt Dolly, whomever you are!

Without further ado, (Aunt Dolly’s) Brunch Bundt Cake:

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3 3/4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter flavoring
  • 3/4 cup cream sherry
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (any kind)

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons milk (any kind)

Instructions

1. Beat first six ingredients together for 6 minutes. The batter will thicken and take on a stickier consistency.

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2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and nuts together.

3. Put 1/4 of batter in a greased bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture.

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4. Add more batter (but less than half of the batter remaining).  Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

5. Add all remaining batter.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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7. Mix glaze ingredients together and pour on warm cake that has just been removed from the pan.

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I think my brand new bundt pan and the cooking spray I used resulted in an unusually crispy cake. It is not normally this dark. Thankfully, the cake was still moist and delicious!

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8. Serve warm and enjoy!

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How To Meal Plan Online

It’s Hump Day! Even more exciting, tomorrow is the last day of my social work internship. I have enjoyed being an intern, but I’m definitely ready for my 3 week break before I start working. Right now I’m making a brunch bundt cake as a thank-you to the team that I worked with this year. I’ll post the recipe for the cake soon.

Tonight I want to share my meal plan for the coming week. I use a website called Say Mmm. Say Mmm is great because  you can link recipes, plan meals for the week, and generate a shopping list. I start off by creating my meal plan based on what I already have in the house and what’s on sale at the grocery store. Here’s what I came up with for this week:

Screenshot 2014-04-23 20.59.47

After I make my meal plan, I use Say Mmm to create a shopping list. The ingredients needed for the recipes automatically appear in the shopping list, with the exception of typical staple items such as salt, pepper, etc, which are noted on the recipe page. You can then manually add any other items you need such as snacks or non-food items. Here’s what part of my list looked like this week:

Screenshot 2014-04-23 21.19.56

I look at the list on my phone when I go grocery shopping. The mobile webpage actually has check boxes that cross out the item after you select it. I am such a list person so I love checking everything off.

Meal planning is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. I’m a weirdo and enjoy meal planning, but I know it can be difficult to find the time to do it. I’ve found that tools like those on Say Mmm really speed up the process and keep me from making multiple trips to the grocery store. Please feel free to share your meal planning tips, challenges, and questions. I hope that you find this information useful!

*I was not contacted or compensated by Say Mmm. I just find the website incredibly useful and wanted to share!

How Brown is the New Pink Got Its Name

If you don’t know me in “real life” I bet you’re thinking, What the heck does “Brown is the New Pink” mean? Well, this is definitely NOT a fashion blog. I believe a sense of style is required for those blogs. 🙂

The name of the blog emerged from my recent wedding, which I will post about soon. My maiden name is Brown, and my new last name is Pinkerton. Some of my friends from college came up with the hashtag #brownisthenewpink for the wedding. I thought it was cute and funny, and it stuck with me after the wedding.

Screenshot 2014-04-21 22.13.22

When I was brainstorming names for the blog, Brown is the New Pink seemed fitting for all of the new beginnings in my life right now. In the last 2 months I moved into a new place, got married, got my first job, and I graduate and start my new job in less than 1 month. With all of the changes, I feel like I am starting fresh with a new name and a new outlook on wellness. Hence, Brown is the New Pink.

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