Archive | November, 2012

How to Cook While Juggling

17 Nov

After I came back from our honeymoon, I started studying almost immediately. I am trying to get into grad school, so I started taking prep classes for the GMAT and working on my applications to school. Pairing that with a crazy work schedule, my husband having to work several weekends, and trying to get enough sleep every night, I have been neglecting not only my little blog but also my kitchen.

The first week of classes and studying, I was totally overwhelmed. We ate out most nights and I totally was transported back to college where I had the munchies and just ate whatever. Obviously I’ve gained a few pounds since my honeymoon, and it became quite clear to me that the goal this month should be to not gain any weight (and to be honest, that’s usually my goal around the holidays).

By my second week, I had some new ideas about what to do to eat well and not get carry out every night. We have been doing lunchmeat for some lunches (usually I cook enough that we have leftovers for lunch and I make something new for dinner) and eating leftovers for dinner. I’ve been making quick meals — chicken sausage fajitas, gyros, roasting some veggies while studying for a bit — and I started buying yogurt with fruit already in it to save me time in the morning.

(If anyone else has any time saving suggestions, I’d be happy to see them!)

One thing that has helped me immensely is my slow cooker. And with that, I give you my slow cooker cassoulet (inspired by a Cooking Light recipe).

*warning: this doesn’t taste like cassoulet whatsoever; picture a hearty and flavorful chicken stew and that’s what this realllllly tastes like

Serves: 6
10 WW points plus (but super filling!)

Ingredients:
2 parsnips, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1.1 lb of chicken or turkey sausage, mild flavoring, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

For breadcrumbs:
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 oz Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a pot or pan (I used my trusty Dutch oven) and throw in parsnips, onion, garlic and carrots. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Take cut sausage and put into pot, cooking until browned (a few more minutes). Put into slow cooker.
3. Add thyme, bay leaf, canned tomatoes and beans into slow cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste and combine everything.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours.
5. Melt butter in microwave and add cheese and breadcrumbs. Stir until combined.

Serve 1/6 of stew and top with 1/6 of breadcrumbs. Enjoy!

And some pictures:

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Cooking in my Creuset pot.

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Getting cozy in the crock pot.

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Deliciousness!