Greek inspired lentil salad

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I am Indian, a desi, a first generation Indo-Canadian and I very rarely cook daal.

Why?

I just find indian food to be very mushy or overcooked.  Well some of it I love: Saag or Panner but all my life, I’ve always loved salad (I can see everything, it’s crunchy and healthy obvi :P) so eating indian food that has been cooked to an oblivion isn’t really appetizing to me.

But, I had no idea that the base of a salad could be something other than lettuce, kale or spinach.  I mean I’ve made quinoa salads but never a daal based salad.

Until I found this recipe.

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What you need:

Lentils:

  • 2 cups of brown green lentils
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic

Dressing:

  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 6 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tbls vinegar (I didn’t have cherry so I used white)
  • Pepper to taste

Everything else:

  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Soft cheese to top (I used feta)

What you’ll do:

  1. Cook the lentils by first rinsing them a few times in cold water, then adding them to a pot with the garlic and bay leaves and filling the pot with water 2 inches over the lentils.  Let the lentils boil on high heat for 20 minutes and then on medium-low for another 15 minutes until they are tender.  Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and garlic and strain.  Place lentils in the fridge to cool
  2. Add the salt, mustard seeds, olive oil and vinegar to a bowl and whisk until the mix emulsifies
  3. Chop up the cucumber, Avo and slice the olives and cheese as required.
  4. Mix everything (except the cheese) until everything is fully coated in the dressing.
  5. Plate your salad and top with cheese.  Serve as a side or as a main :)

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Yesterday I meditated

I realized that I needed to actually meditate (not just throw it off my goals list with an excuse).  I also realized I needed a bit of guidance.  Thank goodness for free apps from the Appstore.  I tried this one as recommended by my sister.

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There was a little too much talking but I did appreciate the idea the announcer made of feeling my body’s weight and listening to the sounds around you (usually with mediation you try not to focus on those things).  When my thoughts wandered, I tried to focus mainly on counting (from 1 to 10) and following my breath.

It actually felt really relaxing and I even got an idea of something to paint #The100DayProject.

Something that helped me get in the mood was actually putting on clothes to mediate in. #GetUpDressUpShowUpNeverGiveUp

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If you been following the last 5 days, you might have noticed that I’ve blogged everyday from Monday to Friday and, as a goal and personal challenge,will continue to do so for the rest of June 2017.

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You also might notice that I didn’t actually get this post published on time.  I did 10 sun salutations for the first time in months yesterday and my muscles really felt the effects.

 

Creating magic 1 second everyday #1SE

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I take a LOT of pictures.  Yet I still have to find an effective way to getting them off the hard drive (or rather first off the SD card) and into my hands.  I did order this but still need to work on photo books for the last few years.  Definitely need to put my head down and get those done and printed.  Somewhat related story: Miss S saw one of her friends’ mom using a Canon DSLR and promptly told the Mister that she was using momma’s camera!  Luv you girl!

In a world where we are scrolling through feeds and craving that insta-gratification I feel even more compelled to save our memories not for the vanity metrics but rather for us to cherish forever.

Enter the app 1 Second Everyday.   This app and personal project has been by far the best creative endeavour I have taken in the last year.  It only requires a few minutes a day and the output is BEAUTIFUL and UNREAL.  I literally watch my compiled video of the last 7 months (ok 6 months because I was almost 9 months pregnant in February and forgot to take daily videos! Because taking naps trumped everything) several times a week and I am smiling ear to ear.

Miss S is already in love with it which makes my heart glow.  6 months of video is just under 3 minutes so another 6 months will take me to 6 minutes.  What a perfect way to remember the year.

My Buy Nothing Challenge

The other day I watched the documentary Minimalism.  And after it finished I immediately wanted to watch it again.  I guess lately I feel like a fly on the wall looking at all the STUFF at big box stores, grocery stores or even my own home.

….Maybe because I have two kids now and there is a lot of clutter in our play area and basement (although the Hubz and I find it really refreshing to rotate out the toys, but still the boxes of toys downstairs have got to go), or maybe because I am becoming more in tune with how much I create vs consume or maybe I am thinking about our environment (well always thinking not enough doing on my part) or maybe just the thought of Christmas  gift giving/wrapping paper is giving me anxiety or maybe I just need to change, somethings’ got to change.

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The movie essentially says that we can lead more meaningful lives with less.  I am glad that they had a father of six give his perspective, a couple with two young children give their experiences and even a husband and wife who admit that their son is more ok with being minimalist than their daughter.

I think Miss S is almost at the age where she is realizing she gets stuff (presents, gifts from abroad, loot bag goodies etc) but from the beginning I’ve tried to teach her also about giving back.  But we definite balance out what she is playing with vs what she actually receives.

It’s also got me thinking about people bringing gifts for the birthday parties we’ll host and celebrate this year.  I mean, I know the only thing I remember from my birthday parties as a kid was cutting the cake and playing with my friends – so maybe there is an opportunity to teach our children something here also.

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As for me, I want to try something new.  I would love to do Project 333 but my postpartum body needs a minute.  I think a reasonable goal would be to cut down on unnecessary spending.  I will challenge myself for the next 3 months (Jun 1 through to Aug 31) to not BUY anything for MYSELF.  It’s unrealistic for me to go cold turkey so I have a few rules that I will follow:

  • food is OK (as in groceries obviously)
  • toiletries / costs associated with self care is OK (Vitamins or Physio as an example)
  • paying for experiences is OK (costs associated with travel, day trips, photo printing, events, date nights or activities)

And to be clear, items that I normally buy for myself which are not allowed during this challenge are: nail polish, make up, shoes, clothes, jewelry, craft / stationary supplies (this will be hard)

Wish me luck :)

Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 5)

The weather finally stayed consistently warm this weekend which was pretty rad because I pretty much lived in my jean jacket!

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On Friday, Thursday I watched Minimalism (check the blog later this week for my thoughts on it). And then on Saturday I started watching Food Matters (another documentary I plan on discussing). If it were up to me I’d watch documentaries more often but that would mean the hubs would be falling asleep on the couch more often too :P

I am currently working on my June EdCal and plan on sharing my EdCal process for May as well. Without going into too much detail I loved having a tangible place to see my blog post ideas and found that it allowed me to be on top of my posting schedule (considering that posting more consistently is one of my Mat Leave goals).

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Ok onto how our weekend went!  We had one of Miss S’s preschool friends 3rd birthday party on Saturday morning.  Although birthday parties can take over your weekend – I actually love that the kiddos get to interact and see each other outside of school.  The rest of the day we took it easy by fitting in a workout, doing some groceries and hanging out at home.  Sunday we braved the rush at IKEA for an early lunch and to get my steps in. The Misters mom and I were in a Weekend Warrior challenge going on and she legit gave me a run for my money. Later in the day we headed over to the in laws to visit as my Father In Law just returned from India and it was my nephews birthday. 

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Here is my review on last weeks goals:

  1. Finish reading my book (see here)
  2. Continue research/gathering ingredients for the bread recipe (purchased yeast now time to try something!)
  3. Take more photography ex: OOTD, family photos, sisters snapshots (done! Got done visual content for the blog also)
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times (yep killed it on both accounts!)
  5. Get a grip with my laundry piles (done got folded away some still sitting in the the dryer and some still in the basket waiting to be put away )
  6. Update my Etsy shop (started to look at it but got distracted)
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print (nothing to report here)
  8. Do 10 sun salutations (I did 4 – will try again next week)
  9. List out monthly goals for June (done!)
  10. Start working on some photos books (not yet, although I ordered some photo magnets!)

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For this coming week these are my goals:

  1. Read 2 chapters for my book
  2. Make some bread!
  3. Take some more everyday photography shots and move photos from SD Card
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times 
  5. Take Miss El to the Born to Read library program
  6. Update my Etsy shop 
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print
  8. Do 10 sun salutations 
  9. Finish June EdCal
  10. Work on Miss S’s party planning

Have a great week!

Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 4)

Yea for LOOONNNG weekends! #TheUnofficialStartToSummer.  Technically the weekend isn’t over yet.  We are having friends over for a BBQ today.  We just finished marinating some chicken and reviewing tomorrows menu.  Our group of friends (and their kiddos) are full of variety: vegetarians, vegans, carnivores, food allergies etc.  It’s actually kind of fun to be creative and think of menu items to cater to such a group.  I hope I remember to take lots of pictures :)

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We also hosted my in laws for a belated Mother’s Day celebration. The Mister and I enjoyed curating the menu and then actually making it happen.  We used to do a lot of side-by-side cooking / working in the kitchen.   But for a few years, MBAs and kids kind of took over so… really loving that we are getting to do this again!

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Okay on to a review of last weeks goals:

  1. Finish reading my book (made some progress but still not done)
  2. Gather ingredients for this bread recipe (I didn’t realize how much research is required to make bread – this needs its own post)
  3. Work out M, Tu, Fr & get 10K steeps 5/7 days
  4. Sort out plans for Miss S 3rd birthday
  5. Journal and Meditate
  6. Print Pictures or start making a photobook
  7. Update Etsy listings with my scrabble prints
  8. Do a mini grocery haul
  9. Buy the next level of potting mix and transplant my plants
  10. Work on Baby Nursery (includes an Ikea trip)

Next week I plan on taking it easy, relax and just generally getting “caught up” rather than go-go-go.

  1. Finish reading my book
  2. Continue research/gathering ingredients for the bread recipe
  3. Take more photography ex: OOTD, family photos, sisters snapshots
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times
  5. Get a grip with my laundry piles
  6. Update my Etsy shop
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print
  8. Do 10 sun salutations
  9. List out monthly goals for June
  10. Start working on some photos books

I’ve dropped the meditation and journaling items on my list for now.

I am torn between working out and sitting still.
I am torn between blogging and journaling.
Why?

Because these activities are one in the same to me.  Running clears my mind and I truly believe has a meditative effect on me.  And although I am a firm believe of putting pen to paper, when I can’t (read: not making it a priority in my morning) I’ll take regular blogging and painting over it any day.

Have a beautiful week everyone!!

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