Tag Archives: fall

Lentil Stew with Spinach, Sausage, and Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Hello friends! Hope you’re all surviving the heat. Late July/early August is always rough here in North Carolina. With that said, you’re probably looking at the post title and thinking, Who makes stew in July? Well, I do. I was wishfully think about the crisp, cool days of fall, my favorite season, and I just happened to have a few random items to use up that worked for a stew. So I decided to pretend it was a beautiful fall day and ignore the oppressive heat outside. Besides, I’m one of those weirdos who has no qualms about eating soups and stews all year long. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!

*Apologies for my sad, dim photos. Hopefully I’ll have a kitchen with more natural light in the future!


Lentil Stew with Spinach Sausage, and Sweet Potatoes 

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 to 1 lb sausage of your choice
  • 1.5 medium onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Quick note on ingredients: I used a mix of chicken stock and broth because I didn’t have enough broth, and it turned out fine. As far as sausage, I used Trader Joe’s Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage, but whatever sausage you prefer or have on hand would work. Finally, I used spinach as my green because it’s what I had. Other greens would work just as well. Make it your own!

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through if you’re not using pre-cooked sausage.

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2. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic during the last minute of cooking the onions.

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3. Add broth, sweet potatoes, lentils, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for about 25 minutes.

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4. Add spinach and continue simmering, partially covered, for 5-10 more minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and lentils are tender.

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5. Allow stew to cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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Wedding Weekend #2 and This Week’s Meal/Snack Plan

Hope you had a great Halloween! Derek and I had another fun, busy weekend that included another wedding. I guess we’re at that age now? Weird.

My parents and brother came into town on Friday afternoon to go to a family friend’s wedding on Saturday. My brother Jared was the best man in the wedding, so he headed straight to the rehearsal, but my parents came over for dinner. We caught up and ate Chinese food while we waited for trick-or-treaters. We only ended up getting one trick-or-treater, but it was a nice, relaxing way to spend Friday night.

The next day we headed to the wedding ceremony, which was at Duke Chapel. Duke Chapel is absolutely stunning and definite must-see if you visit Durham.

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One of the stain glass windows inside Duke Chapel.

It was a sweet ceremony, and everything looked beautiful.

The reception was at Angus Barn in Raleigh. There were floating candles on all the tables, gorgeous rose and hydrangea flower arrangements, and a roaring fire in the fireplace.

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Inside the Angus Barn’s pavilion. Isn’t it gorgeous?

It was oh-so-cozy. As one can expect from Angus Barn, the food was delicious as well. We had a blast dancing, and Jared did a great job with his best man speech.

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My mom and me.

I’m definitely a romantic so I love weddings, but I especially enjoyed this one. I’m also thankful for another chance to spend time with my family. Can’t wait to see them at Christmas!

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Love my family. From left to right: Jared, my mom, Derek, me, and my dad.

Anyway, onto this week’s meal plan! As I mentioned in my last confessions post, I am trying to incorporate more snacks to keep me from getting too hungry. I’ve listed a few of my snack ideas for this week below the meal plan.


Meal Plan- Week of 11/3

Monday: White Chili + Raw Veggies with Ranch Dip

Tuesday: Turkey Meatballs + Sweet Potato Tots + Salad

Wednesday: Maple Glazed Salmon + Couscous + Broccoli

Thursday: Curry Chicken + Brown Rice + Green Beans

Friday: Dinner Out

Saturday: Brunswick Stew + Bread

Sunday: Meat Loaf “Muffins” + Red Potatoes + Salad

Snacks

  • Cottage cheese and oranges
  • Raw broccoli and baby carrots with ranch dressing or hummus
  • Peanut butter and an apple
  • Crackers with cheese and an apple slice

Happy Halloween {Fun Friday}

Happy Halloween! Welcome to a special spooooooky edition of Fun Friday.

First up is an oldie-but-goodie. If you don’t already know, Jimmy Kimmel challenges to parents to tell their kids that they ate all of their Halloween candy. The kids’ reactions are priceless. My favorite reactions are the adorably sweet ones in the last minute of the video. Enjoy!

I’m still catching up on my cleaning, so this E-card speaks to me.

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Next up is a Funny or Die slideshow of people freaking out in a haunted house. I would hate to see what faces I make when I’m scared. :0

Finally, I’ll wrap things up with a few of my favorite costume pictures . . .

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Lactose intolerance. Source.

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Corgi Avengers. Source.

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Lego Movie characters. (Now that “Everything is Awesome” song is stuck in my head again, ahhhh!!) Source.

Hope you have a great weekend!!

Another Whirlwind Weekend {Weekend Recap}

Whew! It was another whirlwind weekend.

I stayed late at work on Friday to facilitate a family meeting about goals of care and potentially transitioning to hospice. It went quite well considering the circumstances. It’s bizarre that I can have literal life-and-death conversations and then be laughing about something silly with Derek an hour later. I care deeply about my patients and stay in the moment with them, but I’m glad that I can leave some of those thoughts and emotions behind when I finish the workday. I’m definitely developing that fine balance between caring about my patients without letting it interfere too much with my life outside of work.

After work I went home and changed to go out to dinner. Rather than our typical takeout or casual Friday dinner out, Derek and I got dressed up and went out on a real date. (Hooray for married people dates!) One of my sweet coworkers gave us a Groupon for dinner at Maximillian’s Grill in Cary a few months ago, and we decided it was a good time to use it. We’ve been so busy with work, med school, and family events that it seemed like the perfect time to have a date night and spend uninterrupted time together.

Dinner was absolutely delicious! I wanted to take some pictures, but the lighting was too dim in the restaurant. Derek got the braised short rib, and I got phyllo-wrapped salmon. Both of the dishes were great, but the salmon was AMAZING. The service and atmosphere of the restaurant were also excellent. Maximillian’s is definitely out of our normal price range, but the prices were reasonable considering the quality and portions of the food. With the Groupon, it was affordable for us. Groupon for the win!

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to head to Wilkesboro, NC (Derek’s hometown). Wilkesboro is in the foothills of the mountains, located about 30 minutes from Boone.

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On the road again.

On our way to Wilkesboro we stopped in Kernersville for my youngest sister-in-law’s cross-country meet. I’m glad we got to see her run! She did great, and it was fun to reminisce about my high school cross-country days.

After the race, we got some lunch and then continued on to Wilkesboro. We spent the rest of the day hanging out with Derek’s family.  I only have an older brother, so I love that I inherited two younger sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law (who lives out in California). It’s been really cool to see them all growing up over the past 3 years that I’ve been with Derek.

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The view from the house’s front porch.

We headed to church on Sunday morning with the whole family, including Derek’s grandfather. After church we ate lunch and then rested up for the main event of the weekend: Derek’s cousin’s wedding.

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Pre-ceremony selfies.

The wedding was at Rendezvous Mountain, which is only a 30 minute drive away. The foliage was gorgeous, and you couldn’t ask for better weather.

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The leaves were seriously stunning.

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We are no longer the newest newlyweds in the family!

It was a sweet, intimate ceremony, and Derek’s grandpa even served as the officiant.

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Gotta love the “Pastor Grandpa” sign.

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The Mr. & Mrs.!

After the ceremony we headed back into town for the reception, which was held at a local restaurant. I stupidly forgot to take a picture, but Derek’s aunt did a great job decorating. There were candles in mason jars that had been wrapped in burlap and lace and beautiful fall flower arrangements. I’m a big sunflower fan, so it was right up my alley.

We ate, we toasted, and most importantly we celebrated the bride and groom. It was a beautiful beginning to what I’m sure will be a wonderful marriage. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Derek and I unfortunately had to leave the reception right after the cake cutting so that we could head back home.  Just like last week we didn’t make it home until after 9pm. By the time we got settled in and changed, it was already time to go to bed. Yet another crazy weekend that ended too soon.

Now we’re trying to get all of our normal weekend chores done and then some. My parents are coming into town this weekend for another wedding we’re attending, so we really need to get the house in working order again. Onto another exciting week and weekend in the Pinkerton household!

Fall Bucket List

I’m still a bit bummed about my running situation, but I thought of something fun to do that will cheer me up. I LOVE fall. I love watching the leaves change color, the crisp weather, and pumpkin-flavored everything.

To celebrate my love of fall, I’m going to make a fall bucket list. Here we go:

1. Watch Hocus Pocus

2. Carve pumpkins

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How do people do this??? Mine always end up looking deformed haha. Source.

3. Drink pumpkin beer (I welcome suggestions)

4. Conquer a corn maze (preferably a haunted one)

5. Go hiking

6. Bake an apple and/or pumpkin pie from scratch

7. Roast s’mores

8. Step on some extra crunchy leaves

9. Host Friendsgiving

10. Make Halloween costumes and go to Franklin Street

11. Bake pumpkin bread

12. Run in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving

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Last year’s very cold Turkey Trot with the whole Brown-Pinkerton gang.

13. Decorate for fall

14. Tailgate for a football game

15. Go to a pumpkin patch

Ok so I cheated a little because we’ve already done a few things on the list, but they are definitely fall bucket list material. Do you have anything different on your fall bucket list?

Happy fall y’all!

Favorite Posts: September 2014

Happy fall y’all! It’s hard to believe that September has already come and gone. I spent the first weekend of September in Kentucky celebrating my grandfather’s 90th birthday. It was such a great trip! I also completed weeks 6 through 10 of half marathon training, though I’ve been dealing with a lot of injuries.  Derek finished his family medicine rotation, and he started pediatrics this past week. (Side note: he’s loving pediatrics; perhaps we have a future pediatrician on our hands?) Overall, September was a relatively quiet month for us. It’s a good thing, too, because October is going to be crazy. We’ll be traveling a lot with the half marathon and a few weddings. Anyway, here are my favorite posts from September 2014:

90th Birthday Celebration {Weekend Recap}

Health Equity {Social Justice Issue}

A Swift Kick in the Butt {Fun Friday}

In Case of Accident Bring Cheese and Crackers {Fun Friday}

Never Miss A Chance to Celebrate Life

Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Since it’s starting to cool off I figured it was time to introduce my first chili recipe on Brown is the New Pink. Chili was definitely a staple in my house growing up, and I love making it in the fall and winter. My dad makes the best slow cooker white chili, which I’ll have to add to my recipe page soon.

Today though, I want to provide a review for a vegetarian chili recipe that I recently tried for the first time. It takes a decent amount of prep for the vegetables, but actually cooking it is extremely easy. This chili is also a versatile recipe because you can really add whatever vegetables you have on hand. It would be a great one for using up extra veggies before they go bad.

Anyway, on to the recipe!


Recipe Review: Insanely Easy Vegetarian Chili by Tia the Baker on All Recipes.com

Before the cooking begins gather and prep all of the ingredients. Chop 1 onion, a handful of mushrooms, a few stalks of celery, a handful of baby carrots , 1 green bell pepper, and 1 red bell pepper. (I used canned diced tomatoes with roasted garlic already added, but if you don’t cheat like me, you’ll need to prep the garlic now as well.)

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Clockwise from the top right: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and yellow onion.

Next make sure you have all of the canned goods opened, rinsed, and ready to go. (It says to include the can liquid, but that can be high in sodium. Instead, I added some extra water.) The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I also added in some garbanzo beans.

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Left to right: corn, diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans.

To complete the prep stage, gather your spices.

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Left to right: chili powder, cumin, basil. Not pictured: oregano.

Alright, time to get cooking. The first step is heating oil in a pan over medium heat. I used my dutch oven, but you could easily use a large sauce pan. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots. (If you didn’t get diced tomatoes with garlic, now is the time to add it.) Let the onions and carrots cook for 3-4 minutes. Next add the bell peppers, celery, and chili powder.

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I ended up adding more than the recommended amount of chili powder because I prefer a bolder chili flavor, but it’s up to personal preference.

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Adding the chili powder.

Allow the mixture to cook for about 6 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Next add mushrooms and cook for 4 more minutes.

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Adding the mushrooms.

After all the chopped veggies are added, stir in the canned tomatoes, beans, and corn. Season the chili with basil, oregano, and cumin. Bring the chili to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

While my chili cooked, I made chili’s greatest sidekick: cornbread. Seriously, does it get better than chili and cornbread? I think not.

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Well hello there cornbread.

After 20 minutes, the chili is ready to eat!

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The chili was colorful, delicious, and nutritious. Win, win, win. According to AllRecipes.com, the recipe serves 8 for about 155 calories/serving. My version is probably slightly higher in calories due to the addition of garbanzo beans, but still not bad at all! Enjoy!

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