lentil lovin’

Oh, sweet lentils. I started thinking about you on my six mile run today. I began asking myself how I could use you in a quick lunch recipe that would taste delicious and give me the post-run boost I needed. I also starting thinking about what you would pair up nicely with. Then you spoke to me, with your sweet green colour and said curry. So I listened, and came up with something that totally left my belly feeling happy.

Curried Lentils

Makes 2-3 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of lentils (or prepare your own – time crunch = canned!)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2-3 collard green leaves, cut into thin slices
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • EVOO, salt and pepper (according to liking)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro
Directions:
1. On medium-high heat, heat a large frying pan. Once heated, add EVOO, onion, carrot and pepper. Cook until tender (4-5 mins)
2. Add prepared lentils to pan.
3. Add in all spices and mix together.
4. In the last few minutes, add collard greens.

5. Once everything has cooked, transfer to a bowl, put a dollop of Greek yogurt on with some chopped cilantro.

It really is that easy and tastes amazing! It sure hit the spot with the hubby 😉

After that boost, I headed to work for some more training (and luckily it doesn’t end there – one more training day tomorrow). The girl I was working with was awesome. A lot of little things to remember, but that’s why I had that trusty lentil lunch to help me! I better stop talking about them, it’s making me want some!

Q: What’s your favourite thing to pair with lentils?

Advertisements

spring cleaning

After eating meal upon meal this past weekend, I decided that my body needed a spring cleaning. Although, it’s hard to resist the mini eggs and anything chocolate (basically), I did my best and well…kinda succeeded. Breakfast started out with some fruit and water, since I needed it back in my life! I think my body knew it was time for some spring cleaning, because I wasn’t very hungry to start.

Later, I found it best to have a green smoothie; I mixed frozen berries, kefir, flax oil, milk, vanilla protein powder and 2 handfuls of spinach up in the magic bullet and enjoyed. It’s definitely what my body needed after eating all that food that weighs you down.

I was a little devious in the afternoon and did have some jellybeans (oops!), but in all honesty, the studying made me do it! I was trying to cram in as much chem as I could yesterday. My goal was to have all my units completed by Sunday, which didn’t work out so well with this weekend being Easter and all. I only had two units left to do, so thankfully, I got through one and a half, and am finishing the last part up today!

Side note: I forgot to include the Easter cupcakes my sister and I made and I have to show you…well, because they’re pretty!

easter cupcakes anyone?!

I even turned one into a flower in hopes that Mother Nature would get the hint to bring spring to Canada!

Studying consumed me yesterday, so I didn’t really prep anything for dinner. The hubby had leftover turkey, but I wasn’t feeling it. I opted for a big salad and a side of cauliflower with cheese sauce.

Because I’m trying to cut out meats, I really need some high protein alternatives…suggestions?!?

I work through dinner tonight, so, again, I won’t have anything planned, which bums me out because I love to cook. And I’m definitely back in my cooking slump :(.

I’ve continued the spring clean by snacking on some fruit again this morning.

But, now my belly wants something else! Time to hop to it + tackle my mean ‘to do’ list before I have to go into work.

Hope everyone has a great day!!


easter takeover

I’d like to attribute my neglect to the blogging world over the past day and a half due to the fact that Easter takes priority. Since Easter = family and most of my hubby’s fam (sister and boyfriend, mom and dad) live nearly 6 hours away, we squeeze in as much time as we can get when they’re in town.

On Friday, we ventured over to the sister’s house after the hubby finished work…I should really start using names because I can see this being VERY confusing. We feasted on lasagna and salad that night, and the Easter meal was set for Saturday night. I’m glad I ran for an hour earlier that day because Easter really is a bully to your waistline HA!

The hubby had Saturday off (the one and only day that week :(), so we hung around in the morning before heading back to the sis’s. Let me just note: I never noticed how much stuff I put into smoothies…can someone say cutbacks?

This doesn’t even include the protein powder, which I forgot to picture here! After the smoothie (which wasn’t a hit for me – I added too much ‘green’ to mine), I did a bit of running around. I finally picked up something I’ve been eyeing for quite some time. Peanut Butter & Co’s White Chocolate PB!

First response, was to eat it on my fingers an apple! Although, I couldn’t resist and DID taste test on my way home. I was just happy that after Friday’s incident, all the stores were open today, so I could grab the few things I wanted.

Later that afternoon, we took the scenic route to the sis’s house. I really did enjoy living on the west coast, but I do love the country area around Ontario…specifically a little place called Hockley + getting to enjoy driving with the hubby! We detoured a bit when I saw a sign for maple syrup, and this is what I got.

I was happy.

When we got to the sister’s house we hung out and the niece and nephew had a mini-easter egg hunt.

They found them all…with a little help ;). That night we had delicious ham! I’ve been trying to eat less meat lately, but still had a small piece of ham, and was glad I did! After din, we hung out and played some games.

Today I managed to squeeze a 40 minute run in, since the dinner’s continue! The hubby’s working, but hopefully won’t miss too much of the evening.

But it’s time to go since the grandparents just arrived! HAPPY EASTER!!!!


soup day

I wish I could say that Earth Day/Good Friday entailed awesome weather here, but sadly, it didn’t. Oh well, you move on and make the best of it. I started the day off right with another bowl of PB & J oats…seriously, how CAN you get enough?

It fills you up and taste SO good. I want more just writing about it!

I feel so unorganized lately and feel like I’m constantly struggling – struggling to fit some time in to get chemistry done (goal is to be done and start studying for my final exam by Sunday), read blogs (hardly a struggle, I know), make some awesome meals in the kitchen and do the little things on my to do list. I had either a blond moment today or an “I’ve lost track of where I am and what’s going on” moment when I started to leave my house today to run some errands. Good thing I didn’t get far before I realized, “hey, it’s Good Friday – everything is closed!” I quickly turned around and decided to make the soup I had planned to make many a few  days earlier.

I had already wanted to use quinoa in a soup, and Chelsey pushed me to do it…so I did it, I made a vegetable soup with quinoa.

I’ll post the recipe tomorrow because I’m exhausted tonight and I don’t know why! Let’s just say it was delish…tons of veggies (onion, snow peas, zucchini, tomaters, carrots, red pepper, celery, spinach; basically a small vegetable village!) and obviously quinoa.

The thing I love most about soup, is not how it’s the easiest way to add spinach to a dish, because it basically cooks itself and allows you to put a dent in the big container you bought for some reason.

Also, not because it smells as good as it tastes. Or is pipin’ hot, yet so so good in your mouth.

But because, you are provided with a ton of leftovers that are good for freezing or eating an hour later the next day.

The one with the red lid is successfully in the freezer so we can enjoy it next week! Now, they look small, but trust me, they hold a lot. Did I mention that I would love a good camera and perhaps some 3D love so you can really get a feel for what I mean?! Someone pass the camera message onto the husband :D?? K, thanks!

Later in the day, we went to the hubby’s sister’s place for a nice din with all his family. The hubby had a super long day at work, so we decided to leave a bit earlier tonight and rest up so we could enjoy the day with them tomorrow all that much better! We got a little loot bag on our way out and was pretty happy to discover that we got some mini eggs, because I totally made a comment on the drive over that I wanted some. Guess the Easter Bunny read my mother-in-law’s mind!!!

Q: What are your Easter plans this weekend? What does the Easter Bunny bring you, if he still visits haha?


again and again

The weather just doesn’t surprise me time and time again, you’d think it would. I woke up to this today:

yuck!

It’s honestly what I’ve come to expect from living in Canada. Almost May…who cares, let it be cold and snowy! So, can someone just take me back to here:

I don’t think a trip to Florida is too much to ask!

To warm me up, I had the same oats as yesterday – PB &J! I think I would have enjoyed them a little more if I wasn’t rushing out the door to go to training. The real bummer with that, was someone told me yesterday that training started at 8:30am, but it was actually 9am. I coulda used the extra 30 mins in bed. I was just dead tired sitting there the whole day…NBD!

What did Dementia training entail? Well, you definitely learn a lot about the different diseases, how family copes with it and how to work with them. It’s pretty interesting and also very scary at the same time. It really put in perspective what they’re going through and hopefully I can apply that to my job in a manner that serves them better.

Even though it’s a disease they have no control over, they aren’t stupid, and that was the message I really got today. Sometimes they just want to feel included or useful. I know I only serve them their meals, but I think even when I interact with them in those 30 mins that I will try my best to just talk to them and get to know them as people!

Training was suppose to finish at 5pm, but we were done by 3:30pm – always a bonus! I love going home early!

I have Easter weekend off (thank you boss!) so I really have to get through chem tomorrow so I can make fun Easter cupcakes with the little sis!

Q: What do you do with your family & friends for Easter?

We’re going to the hubby’s sister’s tomorrow, to eat with his sis, her husband and our niece and nephew and the hubby’s parents are in town, too! Then My fam on Saturday or Sunday…still up in the air!

PS – I’m totally addicted to smoothies. I had another mixed berry smoothie with vanilla protein. Why do they have to taste soooo good?!?


one of those days

I felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day today. I didn’t have enough time to do chem. I didn’t have enough time to get groceries and make some sweet protein bars. I didn’t have enough time to make snacks before work…ok, I did, but didn’t have enough time to eat them. Where did the time go? I swear I wasn’t moving slow today…I actually tried to move quite quickly!

And I can’t say that I fueled myself improperly, because it’s nearly impossible when you eat this:

That’s right…peanut butter and jam oatmeal – as delish as it sounds! All I did was add some PB, (blackberry) jam, a little maple syrup, and slivered almonds. Fantastic!

After I ate, I did some chem, then headed to the grocery store. I only say this because I’m completely comfortable in my marriage. But, if the hubby wasn’t my amazing love (build him up, right?), this would be it:

The pomegranate. I don’t know why, but this magical superfood gets me. Like really gets me. It keeps me from getting sick and taste so delicious. We haven’t been able to find them in the grocery store for a few months now and have been going crazy! Until today. I would have bought fifty five, but ‘budget Char’ told me to only buy one.

The hubby and I have a theory that this little bit of awesomeness is the reason we weren’t getting sick. When we were in Florida with the hubby’s family back in December, everyone else got sick but us, you know why? We ate pomegranates everyday. I stand by this statement 1000000000%.

After I came home from the grocery store and ate half the pomegranate in like two seconds, I knew I had to make my lunch for work. It was a close call to finishing that pomegranate over making a lunch, but ‘longterm Char’ thought it best to make the lunch and learn a little thing called ‘self-control.’

I prepared my lunch for that evening, not knowing when I would eat it, since it was first day of work and all. I also didn’t know if I would have the chance to take pics of my food without looking like a weirdo, so I decided to just take the pic while I prepared it.

For my salad I did spinach, red pepper, carrots, cucumber, vegan cheese, black beans and edamame. Not pictured, is the sweet potato hummus I topped it with. It turned out awesome – mainly because I’m hooked on the sweet, sweet taste of sweet potatoes right now.

So I made a lunch and with little time to spare needed something to give me the boost I needed before the first day of training at work. This did the trick:

I did a mixed berry smoothies with vanilla protein powder. It’s always a safe bet and taste delicious. I sipped on this on my way to work. Good thing I brought it with me because I barely ate my whole shift. Since I’m in dietary services, the job at night involves serving the meals, but since it’s such a short  and time consuming shift, you don’t get breaks. So I hadn’t eaten since 2:30pm and worked until 7:30pm. To make matters worse, I work with food! Next time I’ll know better and bring a snack with me in my pocket or something!!

Since I work in long-term care, you hear some interesting stories about the residents. Too bad some of them are PG and beyond the level of boundaries I offer on this blog :D. Although, I do hope there are a few that I’ll be able to share…even if they only bring a few laughs! i forgot to mention that I work in the Dementia unit, so it is very interesting in terms of what they eat – a lot of minced and purees.

Time for bed, I have a Dementia training course tomorrow that I’m attending!!

Q: What’s one food that you would die for right now that you haven’t had in a while?


a little bit about me

I wanted to make this post since as a new blogger you may not know what I’m about or even who I am. I also wanted to make this post because something awesome happened yesterday morning, but without background info, it may just seem kinda odd.

Hi, I’m Char.

I’ll try my best not to build myself up with tacky remarks, like, ‘I’m super cool’ (even though I am). 🙂

Let’s start with the basics – I have a birthday coming up next month, which kind of scares me. I’m hitting the big ‘2-5’ and have been experiencing my quarter of a life crisis since the new year hit. I bet you’re wondering why I’d be scared about turning 25? It has nothing to do with my personal life, since I already married the guy of my dreams (see how fitting the picture below is? :)).

excuse the bad colouring - it was scanned with an ancient printer.

Or that we took an awesome honeymoon.

hollywood!

And decided to extend our honeymoon by traveling further to Australia.

Bondi Beach, Sydney

The Grotto, Melbourne

Fraser Island

It didn’t even scare me that we moved there with nowhere to live and no clue how we were going to make money. None of that scared me, so why does turning 25 do that? It’s only a number, right?

Wrong.

It’s 25; the number that eeeeverybody freaks out over!! When you reach 25, you’re suppose to have accomplished a lot, figured yourself out and got it all together.

Perhaps there is where the panic sets in. I’ve got the guy. I’ve seen some of the world. I’ve gone to school. But I still don’t have the career (which for me is having yourself figured out and having it all together). The husband hates when I say that, because I am going back to school in the fall and will have the career I want after that. So in a few years, I’ll finally be doing what I want…NBD – let’s hope my brain understands that.

I’m not trying to stray away from what I mentioned above about something awesome that happened yesterday…I’m getting there. Be patient! So the hubby and I have been married for a year and a half. Part of that year and a half included going on the honeymoon and living in Australia for four months. When we returned, we drove out west (and basically across the country) to reside there for a little bit – hubby got a job out there, which inspired the move.

When we got back from Australia, we had no vehicle. So before we moved across country, that was the first thing we did – bought bikes. Kidding! We bought a jeep!!

This is where it gets interesting…

We successfully managed to share a jeep for over a year. I don’t know how we did it, but we did it with a lot of careful planning. Can you see where this story is heading? We got a second car yesterday! And that’s the excitement behind the whole story.

But there’s another twist. This is our temporary car. See, we actually bought a jetta, but it won’t arrive until beginning to middle of May, but we needed a car now. I just got a job.

It’s been a struggle for me since completing university (in 2008) to find a job that I actually really liked. I had a great job all through school, but it was one of those jobs that you could only have if you were in school. So, I had my go at other things, but nothing lead anywhere. Which is why I’m glad to finally be going back to school for what I want to do (application submitted yesterday!), and just recently found a job in a relatable field – residential community where I’ll be working in food services. I got the job last week, and we needed a car pronto, since the hubby works in the east, so only naturally would I get a job in the west. We’re so lucky that VW worked with us to give us a ‘loaner’ car until ours comes in!

And that’s me in a little nutshell. Life really is a journey and if you learn to accept what you’ve chosen for yourself, you’ll be much better off! I’m still learning, but I really wouldn’t trade my situation for the world!

Q: What great things have you done so far in your life that you’re proud of?