My Number One Rule For Handling Stress

by Lauren on November 7, 2012

Good Evening!

Wow, what a week it has been.  I can’t seem to keep up this week and keep hoping for a significant chunk of time that I can devote to just getting my ducks in a row.  I’ve got so many wonderful projects and events on my plate right now, but I’m starting to feel the need to practice a bit of balance.

Just because a good opportunity comes, doesn’t always mean it’s the right opportunity at the time.  I need to keep reminding myself this!

Anyways, I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed this morning, thinking about my gigantic project list I have to accomplish over the next several weeks.  I had a million ideas flowing through my head, multiple deadlines, and reminders that I knew I couldn’t forget.  So what did I do? I wrote it all down.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I write it all out in front of me, it always seems much more attainable.  I operate on organization.  I need a plan, I need to see it, and I need to have structure.  Not that I actually accomplished anything n that list today, but just the mere act of writing it out gave me slight peace of mind.

It’s going to be a crazy few months.  Bring it on!

I mentioned the other day that I haven’t spent as much time in the kitchen this week as I would have liked. We’ve been busy with meetings, events, and dinners out but tonight, I did manage to put together a simple but delicious fall dish that is one of my favorites for a busy mid-week meal.

This time of year, I always seem to have the same vegetables in my fridge; squash and brussels sprouts.  Right now, these are about the only two vegetables in my fridge so dinner tonight was developed around them.

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Quinoa with Apple Maple Chicken Sausage

 You really can not go wrong with this recipe. The ingredients are simple and it comes together in less than 20 minutes.  I’m not sure why people think a nutritious and wholesome meal is something that has to be time consuming.  Remember, it’s not about the dish on a whole, it’s about the ingredients that makes it healthy.

Quinoa (fiber) is a staple for me, as well as vegetables and protein.  When I hit all of these in one meal, I’ve accomplished it.

While you sautéing the vegetables in one pan, you cook the quinoa in another.  As soon as the quinoa is done, it’s time to add to the pan with the vegetables.  All that is left to do is fold together and add some cheese.  Simple!

Since I like a little sauce in most of my dishes, I came up with one on the fly; just balsamic vinegar and maple syrup whisked together and added to the pan along with a few generous handfuls of spinach.  The spinach is just an added bonus for color and nutrients.  Why the heck not, right?

And feel free to use whatever flavor chicken sausage you like, but to achieve the full fall flavor of this dish, I like the sweet apple that many lines carry.  (I used Trader Joe’s)

So my victory for this week is making at least one delicious and wholesome dinner.  Next week I’ll try for a few more but for now, this is what I’m celebrating.

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts Quinoa with Apple Maple Chicken Sausage
Main Dish, Entree
2
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup sliced brussels sprouts
  • 2 Apple Maple Chicen Sausage links
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ⅛ cup goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Rinse and dry quinoa. Add dry quinoa and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, heat a large skillet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and add squash and sprouts. Saute vegetables for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Add the chicken sausage and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. In a small dish, whisk the balsamic vinegar and syrup. Set aside.
  4. When quinoa is done cooking, add it to the pan with the vegetables and sausage. Stir to combine.
  5. Add spinach and balsamic to the pan.
  6. Fold everything together and add the goat cheese. Cook for an additional minute or until the cheese beings to melt.

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{ 18 comments }

Erica { EricaDHouse.com } November 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Omg this recipe looks DIVINE! Like something I’d order off some 5 star restaurant’s menu!

I was actually just posting on fb this morning about how I am so ridiculously grateful for all of the opportunities my blog is bringing me but, with teaching 6 classes, I am getting a little overwhelmed. I’m also a die-hard list maker so thanks for reminding me to carve out some time in the morning to work on one!

Lauren November 8, 2012 at 7:37 am

I know what you mean! So grateful for the opportunities but sometimes, I have to get better at learning how to say “no.” :)

Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife November 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm

wow another wonderful recipe! I think I could definitely make this one at home. Eric loves sausage and I love veggies! Perfect! I’m going to pin this when I get home from work!

I hope you get some time to catch up on everything. Writing everything down helps me too!

Lauren November 8, 2012 at 7:35 am

Thanks and you too! I know things have been crazy for you these past few weeks.

Haley @ The Saucy Apple November 7, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for sharing! Brussels sprouts really intimidate me for some reason (I think it’s because I was never exposed to them growing up). But lately, I’ve really been itching to try them. Maybe this is the dish for me! :)

Lauren November 8, 2012 at 7:34 am

I know what you mean. I never had them growing up either and then I discovered how amazing they are! Just made sure you saute them or roast them. Steamed brussels sprouts are completely different (and not very good).

Haley @ The Saucy Apple November 8, 2012 at 8:09 am

Thanks for the tip, Lauren! I’ll make sure NOT to steam them. And I might just dress them in a teeny tiny bit of parmesan when they’re done. :P

Erica November 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Great thoughts on stress! I’m a fan of writing things down because I enjoy crossing them off my list when I”m done with them! Great meal. Mmmmm to brussels. Its been too long since I last had some!

Anonymous November 7, 2012 at 11:42 pm

yummy!! wow, i wish i didn’t stink so much in the kitchen! :)

oh stress, i’ve felt a bit stress-ball myself lately, and like u writing helps me too. i sort of write down the things i CAN take care of and recognize the ones that are pretty much out of my control and from there just breathe and let watever happens just happen. :P

Lauren November 8, 2012 at 7:32 am

Aw, I’m sure you don’t stink as much as you think! :)

Emilie @ Hungry Delights November 8, 2012 at 12:18 am

It looks super delicious. I have only recently been using quinoa and loving it. Unfortunately here in Australia we don’t seem to get the same variety of sausages you do in the US but I am sure I could modify something similar :)
xo Emilie @ Hungry Delights

Lauren November 8, 2012 at 7:31 am

I almost made salmon but then decided the chicken sausage sounded better. You could definitely sub something else or just leave it out completely!

Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 8, 2012 at 6:36 am

I always have to write down all of my “to dos”! It definitely helps to have a list!

Danielle @ clean food creative fitness November 8, 2012 at 8:16 am

Love this recipe! Love all the flavors and it sounds so filling! I will definitely have to give this a try!

Genelle November 8, 2012 at 8:40 am

Yum! That looks fantastic. I do havepple cheese chicken sasuage so I might twist it up. I love the fact that it only takes 20 minutes. Now that’s my kind of recipe. Thank you!

Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries November 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

I’m definitely a list person too! Writing out that list instantly helps my stress levels go down.

Brussels sprouts and squash are easily two of my favorite vegetables, so I’m loving this time of year! This meal looks delicious and so simple – love it!

Victoria @ Vicky D's Delights November 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I too have been looking for/testing recipes with brussel sprouts. Never really like them until I had them in this delicious dish with BACON! YUM!!!! This looks perfect. Thanks for sharing! :-)

Sara @ sarasmiles November 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

I’m the same way with writing stuff down-the good old fashion way. I don’t understand how some people can operate on iPhones and computers only…sometimes I need a to-do list using pen and paper! Plus it’s more satisfying when you get to cross stuff off

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