Sunday, 27 January 2013

Lentils for the New Year

Hello everyone and hope you have started the year on a positive note. 

We certainly have and are now back into the swing of things with both kids  soon back at schoool and getting ready for very exciting years, 6th and 8th grade. WOOHHOO 

Now in regards to nutrition I feel we went 2 steps backwards as we vacationed in the US and I don't know about you all but when we are on vacation we don't like to be constantly on top of the kids about what they eat, especially if the choices at restaurants are not the best anyway for them. So after 12 days in the US they may have had one too many refills of coke and enough chicken tenders to last them the whole year. 

This of course made our life easier and yes the kids did try new foods, they certainly are getting better and more experimental with their food choices. In fact after we got back from our trip and I was making dinner the kids asked me what are we were having as appetizer. I started laughing and said " A glass of water". Vacation is over.

So now we are back into routine mode and that goes for them as much as me. Packing lunchboxes is my nightmare... It doesn't matter what I put in them I always get the healthy items returned and the odd treat I'm sure is exchanged for something else. Anyway that is just my venting because I have the whole school year ahead to experiment what to put in those darn lunch boxes. The lunch box dilemma just came to my mind because we found last years one and it still had the sandwich in it that I made for last day of school. Yuck!! 

I took Holly food shopping with me yesterday and we made a pact that if anything we saw at the super market had ingredients we couldn’t pronounce or numbers in them we would not buy it or eat it. 

In an attempt to teach her about preservatives and the importance of eating our vegetables, not only so Sara can squeeze into her Allan Border medal dress, but most importantly for our health. 

Anyway this year will be dedicated to really hammering the kids about not putting harmful chemicals found in processed foods into their mouth and eating way to much sugar for their own well being. 

We also had a good chat that having 5 juice poppers/ boxes is just as bad and we really need to drink a lot more water. In this important stage (teen nightmare) with hormones all over place and the demanding schedules they have; sport, homework etc. It is so important they are eating a balanced diet and that they are conscious of it. 

Also kids,  I don’t think drink enough water which means that they mistake being hungry for thirsty and they can get grumpy or have headaches because they are dehydrated. That is also true for us adults.

These are some of the issues I deal with that I am sure are not foreign to others who will be reading this blog.  (If you find my stories naive remember I had to take the crash course in parenting LOL.) I love comments that are filled with useful information about others experience, so please if you have some trick that has worked for you please share so others can read. I learned from a cousin of mine that in a desperate attempt to make her kids eat vegetables she would hide them in chocolate cake, I don’t know if that's something that I could ever do. Broccoli brownie doesn't sound healthy or appetizing. 

Why lentils? Lentils are a fantastic source of fiber and protein that does not come from an animal source. I really want to encourage the kids to eat them more this year and it will not be easy as I mostly get a "Gross what is that? I am not eating that." I persevered with Asparagus and Salmon and now they enjoy both so I will be persistent with the legumes. I will make other things to accompany the lentils like chicken and rice so they have other foods on their plate and it will be an easier introduction. 

The recipe is easy and you will feel great after eating a bowl of this yummy lentil recipe.  


Feeds 6 people

3 cups of lentils
mix of green and red lentils (preferably organic)

olive oil 
2 carrots
1 red onion
3 spring onions
1/2 a  red or green pepper
½ stalk of celery
2 garlic cloves

2 tables spoons of ginger
2 table spoons Lemon Grass Ginger Coriander chilli from Gourmet Garden.
1 teaspoon of garlic salt

4 cups of water  and 4 more cups for later 

Mix of Red and Green Lentils, mind that 3 cups makes a lot of lentils. They triple in size. 

 In a mixer place all of the above: carrots, celery, spring onions, garlic, spring onion and press pulse. I find it is easier to use the mixer than to sit and chop everything one by one.

In a large pan or pot place a enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan or pot. Once the oil gets hot

add the chopped veggies and cook for about 5 minutes or maybe more.

Then add water to the lentils and place them in the veggie mix with all the water plus 4 cups of hot water.

Add the ginger, Lemon Grass Ginger Coriander chilli from Gourmet Garden, and garlic salt. Stir.

At this time you may add any other spice of your choice- cumin, pepper, fresh coriander are great additions.

You will have to taste it to see if you need salt. I am making it a point not to have much salt in the foods I cook.

Stir and cook at a low temperature. You will notice the lentils take a while to cook and you don't want to add a lot of water at once as you may over cook them and not realize it. So I find that it is easier to just keep checking the lentils and tasting them to see if they are cooked. If the water is drying up add the other cups of water while the lentils are cooking. Make sure it is boiling water so you don't delay the cooking time.

I like my lentils dry that is why I add the water slowly. If you like them to have more of a soup consitsency then you don't have to worry about adding too much water at once.

My lentils took about 1 hour to cook. Brown lentils might take less time to cook. I have not found legumes to be reliable in cooking time and it might vary also on the kind of lentil you use.

I hope you enjoy this recipe it is very simple and very good for you. xxx


  1. This looks awesome . I always liked lentils :).

  2. it looks awful. Those kids must be miserable :( with a Nazi step mom like sara

  3. I know right... how horrible to give kids the opportunity to try healthy good food. Life must be miserable when you have someone looking after your well being and feeding you foods that are clean and good for you.. ;( stay tuned more healthy recipes to come.
    Chickpea soup coming soon. ;)

  4. Its nice to see someone trying to get kids to eat healthy but finding nice recipes that make use of decent food is not all that easy, I am certainly going to give this one a go

  5. Hi Patricia,

    I agree and kids will not always eat something healthy the first time you make it. it might take a few times before they just get into a routine of a new dish.
    best of luck