lunch this week

crock pot season is in full swing and i celebrated this week with a big batch of stew that took care of some lunches AND dinners for the week. i was inspired by the great crock pot officiando, stephanie, of the crockpot365 blog. i spiced up a basic sausage and lentil stew with a cajun adouille sausage and spicy red pepper tomatoes. so perfect for warming your insides from the brisk windy days and nights. the mister was also sick this week, so the spice also aided in clearing out his sinuses – bonus perk! i ate this stew for lunch and dinner two days in a row and honestly, i plan to make it again for lunches next week.

SPICY ADOUILLE SAUSAGE AND LENTIL STEW (adapted from crockpot365)
1 cup lentils, rinsed with cold water
4 cups beef broth
12 oz of cajun adouille sausage, cut into rounds or half rounds (i find half is easier to eat)
1 1/2 – 2 cups diced carrots
14-15 oz can of (hunt’s) diced tomatoes with spicy red pepper
a couple bunches of spinach, washed with stems removed

layer ingredients in crock pot in this order (first/bottom to last/top)
-rinsed lentils
-beef broth
-sausage
-can of tomatoes, juices and all
-carrots

throw the lid on and cook on low for 5-6 hours. now, the spinach – i do not love extremely cooked, mushy spinach. who does, really??? my trick for the spinach in this recipe – right before you ladle the hot soup onto your bowl, tear up the spinach leaves (as much as you like! i like a lot of spinach) and toss them into the bottom of the bowl, add the piping hot soup, give it a few stirs with your spoon to mix the spinach up and there you have it, spinach that is more blanched than horribly over cooked. love it.