Category Archives: Health

Port Credit: my first long distance bike ride

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I had always wanted to visit Port Credit, Mississauga for no apparent reason other than I have passed it many times on the GO Train and have always wondered what was there. A couple of weeks ago, my roommate and I decided to take the ride via the Waterfront Trail and it was awesome. A couple things I learned along the way:

  • If there’s a will, there’s a way. I haven’t ridden a bike in a very long time and having only started recently, I didn’t think I could take such a long journey (45 kms is not an easy feat, at least not for me) but with determination to get out of the house and see a new place, I did it!
  • Bike riding is a great way to see and explore new places. The last time I did something like this was when I visited Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyards in 2013 (rented bikes and rode to each one, it was a spectacularly fun and exhausting day).
  • Always wear sunscreen. I learned the hard way and slightly burnt my nose and have a wicked farmer’s tan.
  • Getting lost is part of the fun. We were following the GPS but it is sometimes different from real life – it happens. Since we weren’t in a rush, we backtracked and eventually found our way. Also met some nice ladies that led us back onto the trail!
  • Being carefree. Since the ride took longer than suggested by Google Maps – 1 hr 50 mins to get there and 1 hr 30 mins to get back, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s a joy being able to stop and look at the clouds in the sky; without a worry to be had. Also, when you’re riding and you feel that summer¬†breeze passing you, there’s something inside of you that says everything is going to be alright.

For a first long distance trip, I think it was well worth the couple of hours it took and I maybe fitter than I think since there weren’t any muscle aches afterwards. Also, the mint chocolate ice cream bar helped ūüôā

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Cooking on Sundays: Nicoise Salad in a Jar and Baked Salmon

Now that I’m done my travelling for this summer, it’s back to cooking and eating better. Vacation took a toll of my body – who can resist having seafood everyday in Halifax? The inspiration for this week’s menu came from having dinner with a friend and her talking about wanting to cook in larger batches so she wouldn’t have to cook everyday. We got talking and I was telling her that there are many ways to cook in larger quantities in a more efficient manner, such as using a slowcooker or baking multiple items in the oven at the same time. This allows for you to complete other tasks without having to stand at the stove top and have to keep an eye on things.

Vegetables for the week

I chose a Nicoise salad because it’s packed with vegetables and protein. Also, it’s easy to store it all in a jar and take it to work. I made the dressing and stored the tuna separately so that it wouldn’t make the salad too wet and last longer.¬†I had frozen salmon in the freezer so it was easy to pair it with roasted vegetables. I was craving green things this week so that’s what I got.

Nicoise salad in a jar

Nicoise Salad

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 5 large eggs, sliced
  • 15¬†fingerling potatoes, sliced
  • 3 handfuls green beans
  • 2 5-ounce cans tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 3 cups salad greens (I got to use some greens from my balcony garden!!)
Greens from garden

Kale and greens from my balcony garden

Directions

  1. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, minced garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil, and whisk continuously until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Cook the eggs, potatoes and green beans.
  3. Slice the potatoes and eggs into 1/2 inch slices.
  4. Assemble the jar in the following order:
    • grape tomatoes
    • green peppers
    • green beans
    • potatoes
    • salad greens
    • eggs
  5. Serve with dressing and mix with tuna.

Baked salmon and veggies

Baked Salmon and Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen salmon, defrost and pat dry
  • 2 zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 500g cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon¬†Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven at 350F.
  2. Defrost the salmon overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.
  3. Chop up the zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and green pepper.
  4. Place in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the vegetable pan into the oven for 30 minutes.
  6. Spread the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper over the salmon fillets.
  7. Put the salmon pan into the oven with 15 minutes left on the vegetables.
  8. Portion out the salmon and vegetables into containers.

Happy cooking ūüôā

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Cooking on Sundays: Canada Day Edition

IMG_20160703_232314Since it was Canada Day long weekend, I decided to stock up on veggies and take my time to put together some meals for this upcoming week. I’m also going on vacation so only have to make six meals (lunches/dinners) since breakfast is always steel cut oats.¬†Since I had more time to shop, I visited my local farmer’s market, supermarket¬†and produce store to get all my vegetables.

Veggies1

I was inspired by a friend’s meal this week to try and make a collard greens wrap and just my luck, they were really fresh at the farmer’s market so I went for it and made a¬†chicken hummus collard greens wrap. To go with the wraps, I paired it with a potato salad and some cabbage/carrot slaw. As well, summer vegetables looked really good so made a simple veggie bake to go with the baked chicken breast.

collard greens1

Chicken Hummus Collard Greens Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, baked and shredded
  • 12 collard¬†leaves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 8 stalks asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • Hummus, store bought or homemade (mine was homemade)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Trim the white ends of the collard leaves as well as try to pare down the rib so that it’s flush with the leaf thickness.
  2. Simmer 2 inches of water in a large pan with salt and lemon juice. When it starts to simmer, turn heat down and place your first leaf in the water. Submerge for 30 secs and remove from water. Set aside on top of paper or kitchen towel to dry. Repeat for all leaves.
  3. Heat the pan with the canola oil and place the cut asparagus and pepper into it. Toss until asparagus is cooked yet firm.
  4. To assemble, place 2 leaves overlapping with the stems away from each other. Layer hummus, chicken, carrot and asparagus onto the leaves. Roll like a burrito with tucking in the sides as you roll. Repeat until all rolls are done. Then enjoy!!

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potato salad

Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 baby red potatoes, washed and cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes until soft yet firm. About 15 mins. Rinse and run under cold water to cool.
  2. Mix together the carrots, cucumber, potato, green onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, hummus, salt and pepper.
  3. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. It just tastes better cold!

Veggies3

Summer Veggie Bake

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced in rounds
  • 4 Roma tomatoes,¬†sliced in rounds
  • 1 ¬†baby summer squash, de-seeded and sliced
  • 9 stalks of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 stalk leek, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450F.
  2. Cut up the leek and wash it thoroughly. Here is a great Youtube video on how to wash it – I had to look it up.
  3. Put 1 tbsp of olive oil in the pan and put leek slices into the pan and saute until soft. Add the garlic for an additional minute.
  4. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil into your baking dish (mine’s a 2 qt) and spread around with paper towel until lightly coated. Place sauteed leeks on the bottom of the dish.Veggies2
  5. Layer tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, alternating slices. Place asparagus in between the rows.
  6. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper over veggies.
  7. Put in oven and bake for 45 mins or until veggies are soft. Serve with baked chicken breast.

Hope you had a great weekend and happy cooking ūüôā

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Cooking on Sundays: Baked Mushroom Burgers

Mushroom burger2

I have been eyeing this mushroom burger from Host the Toast for a while and never really got to making it. I saw cremini mushrooms on sale this week and jumped on the idea of creating this delicious veggie burger. There were a couple of changes to the recipe depending on what I had in my kitchen as well as being baked in the oven instead of fried on the stove top.

Mushroom burger1

Ingredients

  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups hulled barley, cooked
  • Oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ¬ľ cup old cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups panko bread crumbs, or as needed

Instructions

  1. Cook the barley according to package and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven for 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, chop up the onion, garlic, cremini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Saute the mushrooms, add the onion and then the garlic until all soft.
  5. Put mushroom mixture in a food processor with half of the cooked barley. Pulse until mixed and has a paste-like consistency still with some chunks of mushroom.
  6. In a large bowl, combine the processed mushroom mix with the remaining barley, old cheddar cheese, basil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and eggs.
  7. Place mixture in fridge for 30 minutes. When ready to cook, pull it out from the fridge and add the panko bread crumbs a little at a time until the mixture is sticky but not wet. Shape the patties by placing mixture into a¬†¬Ĺ-cup dry measuring cup and flipping it over onto your baking tray. Flatten the patty with the back of the cup.
  8. Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip over and bake for additional 10 minutes.
  9. Pair it with your favourite bun and toppings.

I had it with a crusty Kaiser, slaw, cucumber and spicy mayo! Happy cooking ūüôā

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Donating Blood

Donating blood¬†has always been on my to do list but I never really took the time to research¬†it or actually do it. My first blood donation was last November when I tagged along with my BF when he went for his second donation. As the Canadian Blood Services slogan says, “It’s in you to give” so why not?

I’m trying to keep up with it but I got rejected last time because my hemoglobin levels were too low to donate so I was really glad that I was able to donate this time. The goal is to go every two-three months. The BF and I are trying to coordinate times so we can go together.

It’s my way of trying to volunteer on a consistent basis. The entire process takes about an hour and you can donate blood every two months or so. There are other options as well, platelets or plasma¬†donations are also done at the clinics and there is a separate guideline for those donations.

There are four steps to the blood donation (taken from the CBS website):

  1. Registration. All donors are required to register with Canadian Blood Services by providing proof of identity with your full name and signature such as a donor card or full name and photograph such as a valid driver’s license.
  2. Screening. Screening ensures both your safety when giving blood, and also protects patients from transmissible disease. It involves physical tests and answering questions on general health, travel history and high-risk activities, consistent with the guidelines of Health Canada’s Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate.
  3. Donation. When you are taken into the donation area, your arm is swabbed with a disinfecting agent to ensure the needle site is sterile. A new, sterile needle is used for every donation and used needles are safely disposed. When your blood is drawn, a portion is kept for testing, and about 450 ml is collected for transfusion. While your blood is being drawn, staff monitors you and your progress to make sure you continue to feel well and there are no concerns. After the needle is removed, sterile gauze is applied to cover the puncture site.
  4. Recovery. Once you have finished donating blood, the clinic staff is there to ensure you are feeling alright. There’s a short recovery time, about 5 minutes, during which they monitor you to make sure you have no adverse reaction to donating. Then you’ll be shown to the refreshment area and given food and beverages to boost your blood sugar level (there are cookies and juice!!). When you leave the clinic for the rest of the day, drink plenty of fluids such as water or juice (avoid alcoholic beverages), avoid strenuous activity for 6 to 8 hours.

And that’s it!

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Happy New Year!

The year 2014 ended with an¬†exhausting but enjoyable two weeks filled with travelling between cities to spend time with family and friends. This means¬†I haven’t taken much time to focus on me and think about what I want to do with my life. My favourite Christmas present this year was my map cork board (seen above) courtesy of the BF ūüôā

The first week of January is coming¬†to an end and I’m feeling very¬†motivated and inspired to make some lifestyle changes this year.¬†With my 30th birthday also around the corner, I am more than just setting goals for 2015 – I am ready to tackle¬†some changes to lead a healthier lifestyle and be a better me. Though travelling is always on my to do list, below are the areas I will be focusing on:

  1. Eating better: Working and the holiday season has given me the excuse to buy my lunch more¬†often¬†and eat more junk food than normal. 2015 is going to consist of cooking more and eating more veggies, lean meats and less take out (the occasional time is acceptable because I love saag paneer roti too much to give it up). Before the holidays, the BF and I were using the slow cooker a lot so I’m excited to start that up again. Keep a look out for Slow Cooker Sunday posts!
  2. Fitness: I have been training¬†Krav Maga at Elite Martial Arts Toronto for the last year and a bit but with all the time spent travelling, I haven’t been as focused.This is the year where I train hard and get my brown belt. The instructors and members¬†form an amazing community that I’m really proud to be a part of. Check them out if you’re in Toronto.
  3. Sleep: This is something that I often neglect and think that I can catch up on or be alright with less. There is a huge difference waking¬†up feeling refreshed versus ¬†waking up and snoozing several times. Creating¬†a sleeping habit¬†what I’m going to focus on doing.
  4. Volunteering: Giving my¬†time back to the community. ¬†I used to ¬†volunteer once a month at an event around town and for some reason, I just stopped. I’d like to do more good this year.
  5. Online presence: Creating a more cohesive me online includes having a strategy that integrates the social media platforms that I’m on (currently on WordPress, Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn). Cleaning up my newsfeed and¬†promoting my blog on Facebook, ¬†being a more active member on Pinterest and in the WordPress Community, blog more, and updating my profile on LinkedIn¬†are some actions¬†to start with.
  6. Learn more:¬†I’ve always been one to be interested in multiple things at once. Typography, blogging, photography¬†and learning a new¬†language are all piquing my interests right now.¬†There are a lot of free online tools to do this as well as free classes at local libraries.

With a plan in action, I’m feeling really good about changes this year. Feel free to comment below on¬†what you’re looking forward most in¬†2015.

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Live Below the Line: Days 4 and 5

As Days 4 and 5 came and went, I think my body was starting to get used to the less calorie intake. I wasn’t back to my normal energy levels but I did feel less tired than I had in the previous days.

On Day 4, ¬†my sister and I needed to go out of town so I had cooked the night before so that we could pack our lunch and not be hungry for a good chunk of the day. We made breakfast in the morning consisting of steel cut oats, banana, cinnamon and brown sugar. Throughout the day, I wasn’t feeling as hungry as the first couple of days – probably because I was doing something during the daytime and not having time to think about food. We ate stir-fry veggies with rice for lunch in a mall food court (only place we could find to sit) and it was so tempting to buy more food. The impact that food has on one’s mental capacity is quite incredible. We resisted and finished up the out of town business and headed home. After a long day, I was glad we didn’t have to cook (pea soup leftover from Day 3).¬†

On the final day of the challenge, we had to go get another cup of rice because there we didn’t have any carb/starch for dinner. We had the rest of the oats for breakfast and had to make omelettes for lunch. I didn’t feel as hungry or lose focus as much on Day 5, which I found frightening because I’m not sure if my body had already adjusted to the food level and I was functioning at a lower energy level than prior to the challenge.¬†

From participating in this challenge, I have definitely become more aware of how big a problem it is that we don’t talk about poverty and¬†those living below the poverty enough. By this I mean, I am only living on $1.75 per day on food and drink but there people living on that amount for everything each day.

Along with this, I also learned that you can live on a limited budget by being more creative in the places you buy food as well meal planning. I can’t stress this enough! My sister and I sat and went through all the recipes in the resource manual to figure out which ones we wanted to make and how much of each ingredient we needed.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my journey through this challenge and will join me in donating to this cause by CLICKING HERE.

Thank you for your time.

Gloria

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Live Below the Line: Day 3

Day three has been the worst day for hunger yet. I got up feeling really hungry that I drank a whole  glass water before getting out of bed. We got up and made eggs with onion and tomato.

I was very grateful that my sister and I were doing this challenge together because we also had to look after our mother, who was feeling really sick and needed to go back to the hospital. She had an appointment at the same time as my bf, so my sister went with with mom and I went with my bf. I cannot imagine how people would have to make the decision of taking time off work to care for a loved one or to go to work and make money and figure out other arrangements.

For lunch, we cooked the same noodle recipe from Day 1.  After that, we went to our appointments. Even though I was taking care of my bf, he could see that I was looking tired and not quite myself. I knew I had to keep on going so after taking him to his appointment, I did some errands and went home to cook dinner.

Dinner was a new meal – Yellow Split Pea & Vegetable soup (recipe below). It didn’t take that long to prep, just took time to cook. I was very grateful to have dinner and couldn’t wait for my sister to come home (my mom ended up having appendicitis and had her appendix removed that afternoon so my sister stayed with her).

Dinner recipe and pictures can be found below.

Half way there! Stay tuned for day 4 and 5 progress.

To learn more or donate, CLICK HERE

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Recipes (servings for 2 people)

Yellow Split Pea & Vegetable Soup

  • 1 potato (diced)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1/4 onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 3 leaves cabbage (sliced)
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tsp soup mix
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, cabbage, and potato.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.
  3. Stir in the water, split peas, and soup mix.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the peas are soft and the soup thickens, about 40 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick, add a little water.
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Live Below the Line: Day 2

Last night before going to bed, we found a recipe from Marin Mama Cooks blog that would allow us to “pre-cook” the steel cut oats. You put the oats in boiling for one minute and then you let it sit out overnight. Re-heat it in the morning and you’re good to go! The steel cut oats has a crunchy texture compared to regular milled oats but I like that extra crunch. We added sliced banana and half a teaspoon of brown sugar.

I set out to finish groceries and ended up at a local bulk food store and No Frills. The rest of the groceries were:

  • Milk (473ml carton = $1.59)
  • Cinnamon (0.03lb = $0.15)
  • Soup Mix (0.10lb = $0.20)
  • Teabags (4 = $0.30)
  • Zucchini (2 small = $1.12)
  • Banana (1 = $0.21)
  • Seasoning (brown sugar, salt, pepper, soy sauce and hot sauce = $0.40)

Total this trip: $3.97

Total spent: $14.82

Left: $2.68

We’re not sure what we’re going to do with the left over money¬†– maybe a treat of some sort…

For lunch, cooked up rice and a veggie stir-fry – recipe below. It wasn’t hard but I was glad we were eating again. Throughout the morning my stomach was occasionally rumbling and to fight it off, I just started drinking more water.

I got a call from the bf saying that he was at a walk-in clinic because he hurt his neck. So I went to keep him company and make sure that he got home okay. ¬†I ended up cooking dinner for him – he’s not doing the challenge but was in serious pain and couldn’t cook for himself, so I did. ¬†I ate the leftover Shepherd’s Pie from the first night (recipe found here). By dinner time, my energy levels were really low and I was feeling very tired. I’m not sure how people living below the poverty line have the energy to work and take care of others because it was my second day and it was hard.

Recipes and pictures can be found below.

Stay tuned for Day 3 reflections tomorrow!

To learn more or donate, CLICK HERE

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Recipes (servings for 2 people)

Steel Cut Oats (modified recipe from Marin Mama Cooks)

  • 1/3 cup of Steel Cut Oats
  • 1 1/3 cups of Water
  • 1 tsp¬†Salt
  • 1/2 Banana (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  1. Boil water and pour oats into pot.
  2. Let the water boil for one minute and take pot off heat.
  3. Let oats sit overnight at room temperature.
  4. In the morning, re-heat the oats on the stove and serve with banana and brown sugar.

– – – – –

Rice with veggie stir-fry

  • 1/2¬†cup Rice
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 Zucchini (diced)
  • 1/4 Onion (diced)
  • 3 leaves Cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 gloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 tsp Soup Mix
  • 1 tsp Oil
  1. Rinse rice and put into rice cooker along with the water. Turn on and let it cook.
  2. Cut up tomatoes, zucchini, onion, cabbage, and mince garlic.
  3. Add oil to pan and add  onion, zucchini, cabbage, and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and soup mix to the veggies.
  5. Divide rice into two bowls and add the veggie mix on top of it.

 

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Live Below the Line: Day 1

I woke up this morning feeling hungry (not sure if it was because I ate an early dinner last night or the fact that I knew I would be challenging myself to live on $8.75 worth of groceries for the next five days). Either way, I set off on making breakfast for myself and sister. Omelettes were on the menu – more like two eggs each and water. I just fried it up with a teaspoon of oil and a sprinkle of pepper.

After breakfast, we set out to finish grocery shopping; to get some milk, soup mix, spices and zucchini. ¬†As we were shopping, I was highly aware of the limitations in that we were on a strict budget and couldn’t just buy what we wanted. We only had $6.65 leftover from grocery shopping the day before. Also, it’s a lesson of only buying what you need and not wasting food.

For lunch, we made noodles with veggies – recipe below. It was great to be cooking and spending time with my sister, since she doesn’t live at home for most of the year. It was fun and we bonded ūüôā

During the afternoon, I did start to notice that my energy levels were getting low and I was feeling tired to the point where I took a nap.

By dinner time, we were so excited to be cooking and eating again. ¬†We modified the Lentils Shepherd’s Pie to include carrots (which gave it a little bit of sweetness). ¬†Having never actually made Shepherd’s Pie before but it turned out great.

Recipes and pictures can be found below.

Looking forward to Day 2!

To learn more or donate, CLICK HERE

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Recipes (servings for 2 people)

Omelette

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Water
  • Dash of Ground Black Pepper
  1. Mix eggs and water together.
  2. Add oil to pan and fry the eggs.

– – – – –

Noodles with veggies

  • 1/2 pkg Egg Noodles
  • 1/4 Carrot (grated)
  • 4 leaves Cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 gloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Oil
  1. Boil hot water and rinse the egg noodles with it – drain and set aside.
  2. Cut up cabbage, grate carrot and mince garlic.
  3. Add oil to pan and add cabbage, carrot and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add noodles to veggies. Mix soy sauce with a little bit of water and add it to the noodles/veggies.
  5. Take mixture off heat and divide into two portions. Add hot sauce if desire. We did since the noodles were bland.

– – – – –

Lentils Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe makes 4 servings so we’re planning to have this for two dinners.

  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Carrot (diced)
  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 4 Potatoes (diced)
  • 1/3 cup hot Milk
  • A dash of Chili Powder, Basil and Garlic Powder
  1. Rinse, cook and drain lentils (instructions on how to cook lentils).
  2. Peel, cut and cook potatoes and carrot.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400¬ļF. Add oil to frying pan.
  4. Add onion and cook for 7‚Äď8 minutes, until soft and golden.¬†Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, lentils and seasoning. Spoon mixture into an ovenproof dish.
  6. In a bowl, mash the potatoes and add the hot milk and garlic powder. Mash until soft and fluffy.
  7. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the lentil mixture and bake for 25‚Äď30 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
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