Friday, September 6, 2013

Health Inspection Shadowing and Sweet Pot Chili (Crock Pot)

It's Friday right? haha. I am very excited for the weekend not just cause it's the end of the work week but there's a cross country meet at Schenley Park which is basically our back yard. I will be able to cheer on Ian's super fast cousin, Mary! We also might head to the lake with his parents and the dog. I would love to get some open water swimming up here before it get's to cold.

Back to this past week. Man...has time flown by! Some days were super long and I just wanted to go home and sleep, but assignments were always present. Also, my computer crashed Sunday and after taking it to Best Buy (they thought the hard drive wasn't saveable). I'll send it to HP to see if I can get some of my files back. Always back up your files! I know that I needed to, but with the move up to Pittsburgh and the start of my internship, that was the last thing on my mind. I lost some documents such as a homework assignment for the internship, but like my one friend texted least it was at the beginning of the internship instead of halfway through when I would have a lot more work lost. So if anyone have a recommendation for a new computer...please drop a comment :).

The start of this week I was thrown into my food service rotation at HealthSouth Harmarville Rehabilitation Hospital for the next four weeks. It's about a 30 minute drive with my shift starting around 7:00am so traffic isn't bad! I really liked the Harmarville area and have brought some running shoes and my bike to hit some nice parks and roads up there. Normally, I like to have everything planned out and know where I'm going (for safety and too just know!!) when training, but lately I have not even tried to venture out on the bike from the fear of the unknown. I decided to just go out and explore with the bike and ended up having a blast (very out of shape) 1 hour and 40 minute jaunt around the Harmarville area and beyond. . I'll have another post on the HealthSouth rotation coming up soon.

As part of the food service rotation, I was assigned to follow a health inspector, Elliot, from the Alleghney County Health Department. The day was filled with inspecting multiple locations in the south side area including the Pittsburgh Steelers Training Facility! Elliot was very detailed in explaining how each inspection was done. He would explain to me why things were cited and the importance of covering each topic with the site manager for their understanding of the issues at hand and the significance of those issues. If you're interested in health inspection reviews of food facilities check out your local health department website for past inspection reports. I can't share some of the stories, but here are a couple of pointers I learned for food safety.
  • Try and store items in non cardboard boxes (roaches love to crawl in the cardboard layers and lay eggs :/)
  • mice can crawl through a crevice or hole that is a size of a dime
  •  Once hot items (like pizza) cools down to 135 degrees F then there's a 4 hour throw out rule (meaning you don't have to start the time right when it's done cooking but when it has come down to that temp)
  • Steeler's eat a lot
While the days have been long....I love to pull out the crock pot for some quick but delicious meals! Here's a recipe I used this week for sweet potato chili. I've been in a recent kick of sweet pot cravings. You can't go wrong when you see a bunch of chopped veggies :). This recipe is a great one if you have extra sweet potatos or green onions left over from the Sweet Pot Quinoa with Feta recipe from the previous post.

Sweet Potato Chili
Serving time: About 20 minutes of prep and 8 hours low or about 5 hours high


  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2-whatever you have zucchini, sliced 
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (any kind really works)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed (rinsing canned items can lower the sodium by 35%)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1-2 medium sweet potato and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • sour cream, sliced green onion for toppings, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a 4-6 quart slow cooker, combine the onion, zucchini, green bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.
  2. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours  or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Serve and have a happy belly :) Don't forget to top with green onion if you have any on hand.

Now the next big question is which shoe should I wear on tomorrow's run?? Haha...unfortunately there are only three pairs in there that are mine...the rest are the boyfriend's. 

Your dog pic of the week.
Steely the Australian Cattle Dog