Penance Post

So I’m not sure what to call the first post after 15 days!  I think with my schedule this month, I was overly ambitious to do 20 themed posts about snacks, but I’m going to try to make up for my lack of posts in the first 2/3 of the month.  We’ll see how that goes for me!


Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had snacks.  Yummy snacks – but not ones that I made myself.  I’ve been traveling a lot for work and when I AM home, I have 3 late nights per week when I don’t get home until after 10pm.  That doesn’t leave me much time for making my own snacks, and instead I’ve been buying up yummy snack food at any hippie grocery I can.  I think I will do a post on those in their own glory.

For today, I have a recipe.  It’s not a snack – it’s a stewp.  I suppose you can make it a full on soup by adding more broth, but I like it just the way it is.

Crissie’s Butternut Squash, Lentil, Rice, and Greens Stewp


*1 medium onion, chopped

*2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

*1 tbsp olive oil

*4 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed

*1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (same size as potatoes)

*1/2 cup lentils (I used French lentils because they hold their shape well, but brown or green would work here too)

*1/2 cup rice (I used brown jasmine rice, but any will work)

*4 cups vegetable broth (or water mixed with bullion)

*2 bay leaves

*1 tbsp lemon pepper (take note that ANY spice blend here would work.  I used the Penzy’s salt-free lemon pepper blend, but I think Italian would be good, or even a sweet blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and garam masala or even curry!)

*5 oz kale (I bought a 10 ounce bag at Trader Joe’s and used half)

*1 tsp salt (may need to adjust based on how salty your broth is.  I used water with a vegetable paste base which was fairly high in salt, so I didn’t feel the need to add a ton after it was cooked).


*in the base of the pressure cooker, saute the onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil.  If you’re not using a pressure cooker or your’s doesn’t have a saute option, use a skillet on the stove top.

*add the lentils, rice, potato, butternut squash, broth, bay leaves, and lemon pepper.  Add the lid, and cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes.  Let the pressure release naturally (about another 10 minutes).

*open the lid carefully (away from your body as there will be a ton of steam), add the kale and close the lid.  Bring to High Pressure for 2 minutes, and release the pressure manually (quick release).

*open the lid carefully, add the salt, and stir it all together.  STEWP!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you could likely cook on the stove by brining the stewp to a boil after step 2, add a lid, and bring to a simmer for 45 minutes, until lentils and rice are cooked.  When you add the kale, stem for about 10 minutes with the lid on.  It’ll be just as yummy, but not as fast!

I was so glad I made this – it turned out great.  It made an easy 6-8 servings, so I’ll be set for the week.  I threw some into a thermos to take with me to R’s swim meet, and 3 hrs later, I was enjoying a steaming bowl of it.

it would have been a prettier picture if it were actually in a bowl and had I used a real camera and not my phone….but wanted to share anyway!

And for fun, here are some other random food pics from the past several days!

stuffed bell peppers at a Mediterranean restaurant in Madison, WI called The Nile. It was fantastic!
D took me out on my bday for lunch at a place at home called Hell’s Kitchen (no relation to the Gordon Ramsey show…this is a place that broadcasts a radio punk show every Sunday night!). I had a grilled bbq vegan burrito!
dinner on my bday every year is at Geisha’s. Here’s my veggie sushi platter – sweet potato, avocado, and broccoli. YUM.
I went to a really lovely local/organic/veg friendly restaurant with my parents called CafeOne24. I had the quinoa salad with roasted veggies, a big Portobello mushroom, and a champagne citrus dressing. It was delicious!


I have been traveling a ton in the past few months, and the majority of my workouts have been runs and yoga (thankfully these can be done anywhere), and a few weight training workouts in hotel gyms.

I can say I’m totally excited to hit up crossfit this week with M before my next trip (which is next Saturday).  The next month is going to be hectic – I have several trips in that month alone – but I’m really looking forward to a bit more stability in being able to just be home and have a normal routine.

I’m proud of this project I’m working on, but I’ll admit that I’m sick of living out of a suitcase and missing my family so much.


Life is good, if not completely frenetic.  My most recent trip was short, but riddled with issues.  Flight delays got me stranded in Detroit (on my dime) and showing up 2 hrs late in my final destination for a training class.  Then it was fast paced all week (like driving 3 1/2 hrs round trip just so I could have a mid-week dinner with my parents!), and then more travel delays trying to get home Thursday night.  I eventually made it, but it was one rough week.

The weekend, however, was fantastic.  I took off on Friday (it was my bday), and had a really nice day.  I did laundry, dishes, went for a long run, and then had lunch with D.  Gotta love a restaurant that offers a free bday shot instead of cake!  Sadly, I had to decline since it was only 1 in the afternoon and I had stuff to do!

I went to Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods is opening in 4 more days!), picked R up from school, and went home.  Once everyone got home, we went out to dinner at my yearly favorite, Geisha.  I had sushi and a bday pineapple, and opened my presents.

D’s made me cry.  He had each of the kids pick out their favorite baby pics, and he had them all framed together.  A and M were each about 2 in theirs, and R was 1.  It was just beautiful and thoughtful.  A made me a really gorgeous dress that I’m going to have to wear to work this week!  I can’t get over how the quality of her work has just shot up in the past 6 months.  R got me a pretty necklace, which I very much need (I lament my lack of jewelry often)

Yesterday was R’s very first swim meet!  She competed in 4 events; freestyle, relay, backstroke, and butterfly.  She did well, and more importantly, she had fun.  She was really nervous, but I’m so incredibly proud of her.

warm up is over…let’s get this started!
ready to dive in and race!
resting up between events

Today is going to be my typical cooking for the week day, and hopefully a movie if I have time!

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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