Homemade Veggie Lentil Soup

Living at home with my parents over the past year, I’ve been cooking a lot of new things and have definitely broadened my cooking skills. My latest success was homemade veggie lentil soup (well mostly it was a success – both my Mom and Dad had to add some extra salt to their bowls – they love their salt!). I tend to stay away from soup recipes that require veggie broth — I think it’s much better to make everything from scratch. I like this recipe because it’s dead simple and doesn’t require a lot of steps.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 2 small potatoes
  • 2 crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 7-8 cups water
  • cilantro
  • turmeric, fresh green chillies, red chilli powder/flakes
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Chop all the veggies, garlic, and cilantro. Crush the tomatoes in a blender.
  2. In a big pot, mix water, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and olive oil. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add potatoes, lentils, and crushed tomatoes after a few minutes.
  4. Simmer for about 25 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with fresh cilantro, turmeric, chillies, salt, pepper, and lemon. Lemon gives it a nice zesty flavour!
  6. Serve with a side dish (fish or chicken), or for a light lunch, with a baguette or crackers & cheese. Will serve up to four people (for a couple days LOL!).
  7. Enjoy!!
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Homemade Veggie Lentil Soup

Make Salsa, Not War

This afternoon I made some fresh tomato salsa, using my Mom’s recipe. Not sure where she got it from originally, but for as long as I can remember, we’ve been using it for enchiladas, burritos, and as a dip for tortilla chips. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes (roma or other)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 spanish onion
  • cilantro
  • salt
  • ground cumin
  • splash of lemon or lime
  • fresh green chillis, jalapeno, or red chilli powder (I use all three)

Directions:

Most of the ingredients are to taste so you’ll have to experiment a little, depending on how spicy you like your salsa. But basically, chop tomatoes and onions into big chunks, and blend all ingredients together (I use the magic bullet and it works great). Serve with lightly baked tortilla chips and enjoy!

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Homemade salsa, Mom’s recipe

 

Do More Of What Makes You Happy

Tonight I’m staying in and working on a fun project – planning how I’m going redecorate my new room. Well it’s not exactly new since I moved back to Ottawa in February, but I still haven’t done much with this room that used to be my brother’s (and my sister’s before that).

My project basically involves two main steps:

  1. Hang up artwork, picture frames, quotes, etc.
  2. Re-paint room

The first step can be done fairly quickly, but I have a feeling that the second step may not get done until sometime next year. That’s ok though, this eggshell blue is starting to grow on me. Kind of. Not really.

I was originally inspired by these pictures I saw on Facebook:

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Beautiful huh?

Then today I went to Chapters, which always inspires creativity, but I couldn’t really afford anything there so I walked over to the dollar store and bought a bunch of picture frames and a couple decorative mirrors. As expected, whenย  I got home, I wished I’d gotten a couple of the frames in a different colour (like gold). So I scrummaged through some cupboards full of old photos, and found a little gold frame. So here is the assortment of things I have:

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The mirror says “Do More Of What Makes You Happy” (you can’t really see it properly in the pic), which I intend on doing! Life’s too short to do otherwise.

It’s going to be so much fun choosing photos for these frames, that capture some of my favourite landscapes and moments. I have a million great photos to choose from.

This is what my room looks like right now:

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My room – before picture

The plan is to hang a painting on the wall to the right of the window, then put the picture frames and quotes up either above my bed or above my desk or across the whole wall. And perhaps include a big wall quote like ones I’ve seen at Urban Barn and at friend’s places. My friend Neesha has one and it looks amazing! This one I found is pretty cheesy, but you get the idea:

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Wall Quote

Ok that’s pretty much all the ideas I have for now. I’m already thinking of replacing or re-upholstering the chair, and adding a black headboard to the bed. Better stop thinking before I exceed my budget!