The bonus is it tastes satisfyingly good. The kids wouldn't touch this with a barge pole though. No one in this house appreciates my cooking finesse! That's OK, more for me, they can eat boring nuggets or sausages (which they would have no complaints about)!
I appreciate the days Summer and Izzy are at school and kindy. I need those days to catch up. To calm the overwhelm. I am in a state of tenseness (mainly in my shoulders) most of the time.
In the last six years I haven't had a break away on my own. A break from being a mum, a wife and housekeeper. It's taking a toll on me. I need a weekend away by myself. No kids, no husband. Just me.
Finding that weekend seems near impossible any time soon. I just have to keep plugging away and savouring the breaks where I get them. I need to nourish myself well, mind and body. I have too many people to care for and no one to look after me. Except me. So I need to do a bloody good job!
A recent course I undertook, to do with food and health, encouraged you to eat as many different ingredients in a day as you could. About 25 - 30 different foods was the recommendation for obtaining as many nutrients as possible from natural sources.
This recipe has more than ten, so it's a good start to reaching that goal, along with a great breakfast and evening meal filled with healthy natural foods.
Red lentil and coconut dhal
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 stick celery, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh green chilli
3 cups water
375 gram packet of dried red lentils
1 can coconut milk
500 grams diced pumpkin
Fry onion and celery in oil over a medium heat until onion is transparent.
Add garlic, ginger, cumin, star anise, coriander, turmeric and chilli, stir for one minute.
Stir in lentils and coconut milk, bring to boil.
Reduce heat, stir in pumpkin and simmer covered until lentils and pumpkin are tender, about 25 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
I like to serve it with a dollop of natural yogurt, fresh coriander and mint scattered on top.
- Remember not to eat the star anise, it's not that palatable, however I don't mind chewing on it to get the flavour out of it and then spitting it out. It's not for everybody.
- Instead of pumpkin, try other veggies like eggplant, zucchini or sweet potato. Even carrots, broccoli and peas!
- Keep peeled ginger in the freezer. It won't perish in the bottom of the fridge and is easy to grate when frozen and pop the rest back in the freezer for another time.
- I also freeze any herbs that are threatening to turn feral in the fridge, like coriander. The stalks give so much flavour to soups and casseroles. You'll be saving money too by keeping it for later.