Curried Grain and Lentil Salad

Well…finally a new recipe! As I took the picture I thought “Wow…doesn’t even look like it has curry in it.” and “I need a professional photographer”.

Until I tackle the wonderful world of food photography you’re stuck with my quick photos right before I scarf something down or right after I’ve put it into a container for storage.

I love grain and bean salads in the summer. They are easy and hearty because a girl can’t live on lettuce alone…and of course cooking stews and soups in the summer aren’t always what I want to do. I’m prepping stuff for a camping trip and even though veggie dogs sound appealing right now I really don’t want processed food and bread…it’ll just be too tempting to over eat.

Bread is a huge trigger for me. If I eat it then it sets me off to crave/want more so it’s better for me to just avoid it.

Ok so back to the grain and bean salad. Lots of times I just dump a bunch of stuff into a bowl until I’m tired of chopping and prepping. The basics are grain, bean, veggies and a dressing of some sort.

This one has freekah and lentils but you could use any whole grain you have on hand–brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, wheat berries, mixed ancient grains, farro…anything grainy and whole. Couscous is not a grain folks but if you want to use it, go ahead.

As for beans…I like little beans such as lentils, black beans, black eyes peas, chick peas, adzuki beans…whatever you have and want.

Then comes the veggies. You want something that offers crunch and isn’t too mushy. Today I used carrot, zucchini, red pepper and green onion.

Now the big deal for me was making a dressing that tasted good but didn’t have salt, oil and junk. Below is the dressing I came up with today. It tastes good so I figured I better write it down before I forget what I did!!

Curry Chia Dressing

1 cup water or low sodium vegetable broth
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sweetener of your choice – date paste, agave, maple syrup, honey – add to taste
2 tsp curry powder (taste the dressing after you add one tsp just in case that’s enough)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Combine the chia and water and let it sit until the chia seeds have absorbed all the water/broth and turned into a gelatinous goo. This may take a while but start with that first then go prep your grain and veggies.

Once the chia is coated in a gelatinous goo or mucilage (yes I love the way that sounds), then add the rest of the ingredients.

It’s ok if the dressing tastes a bit bold…it’ll spread out into the salad and provide a nice flavour once everything is incorporated.

I didn’t bother pureeing the dressing in my blender but you could if you’re using whole dates in the dressing.

For a special touch you could add some chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit.

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A special message to all the busy moms out there

Hi to my fellow busy moms!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written something other than sharing a recipe but I feel inspired and I want to also send along warm wishes to all the moms who cross my path for a wonderful Mother’s Day.  I’ve also got a treat for you so read on!

As moms, caregivers, mothers, aunts, grandmas etc., we often put everyone else first.  I did this for many years and still do on many levels.  What took me a long time to get used to was to take time out for ME to take care of ME.  My kids were small, I was overweight and miserable and I didn’t want to leave my house much less put on a bathing suit and frolic with my kids in the water.  I ached and I felt old.  Every day it was the same hustle and bustle:

  • rush around getting everyone sorted out
  • making sure there was dinner planned
  • making sure homework got done
  • double checking that no one would leave the house with messy clothing ((gasp))
  •  keeping everything running
  • cleaning up

And after all that was done there was the usual plop onto the couch and a treat because I’d had a rough day.  I deserved it and I needed that reward.  If you’d ask me back then I’d probably come up with excuses as to why I weighed over 200lbs (although I probably didn’t know how much I weighed) and they made perfect sense to me.

Then I got fed up…are you fed up? (Well, hopefully not fed up with this post but I mean are you tired of being sick and tired?) I had to buy an outfit for my company Christmas party and nothing looked good.  I still hate the picture of me in that outfit.  I decided to make a change.  It started with changing how I was eating.  It start with Eat to Live.  That added some planning and time in the kitchen to cook my meals along with my family’s meals but it was worth it and I’m pretty good at multi-tasking in the kitchen.  Maybe less couch time too.

Things went well and I felt better.  But when it came time to devote to exercise it was harder.  I needed to carve out some real time to get it done.  Luckily I found T-Tapp and if I was really busy I could commit to just 15 minutes.  Sometimes it was hard to be able to focus and not be interrupted but it was a decision to put myself first and at times it felt selfish…but we deserve it and we need it!

After many years and a great deal of transformation I’m still a work in progress and I think we all are until the day we take our last breath.  But you know what…I’m so happy when I am able to help someone else break out of their rut and I love it when I hear busy moms tell me how great they feel or how well things are going with the exercise or eating plan even though it feels like everything else is going crazy around them.

As moms we will always deal with the worries and the duties that never seem to end but I know for a fact that when we take the time to put ourselves first even if it’s only for 15 minutes each day our family benefits.

This Mother’s Day I’ll be busy most of the day at a show and my biggest wish is to offer some hope and encouragement to some moms I will have the pleasure of meeting and chatting with.  I won’t see my boys until later in the evening but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

As a special gift to all the busy moms that cross my path tomorrow and those who read this blog post I’d like to extend these special offers to you as a thank you for following/liking/reading anything I put out there.  I would love to help you get your transformation started and help you with your weight loss or exercise goals.

A big high five to all the busy moms out there!! Have a fabulous Mother’s Day…lots of love from me to you! Enjoy the special offers too!

Apple Cinnamon Seed “Bread”

When I saw the original recipe for this bread here I knew I had to try it. I have flax, chia and nuts or seeds regularly so this would be a nice and new way to enjoy them. The portable bread is also a great alternative to pre-packaged bars that I sometimes buy for hiking trips. My mind is spinning with all the possibilities for this….I’ll be taking some to my T-Tapp retreat and enjoying it for breakfast too!

The original recipe has a few things I didn’t bother adding…ie. salt or oil and honestly I don’t know if it makes a huge difference but I’m happy that my version tasted so good. I’ve doubled the amount because it freezes so well. Once it has cooled down I store one loaf, already sliced, in the fridge and the other I wrap each slice and freeze it all in a bag and remove how much we need once in a while.

Apple Cinnamon Seed Bread

2 cups raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1 cup flax seeds, whole
1.5 – 2 cups chopped dried apple slices
3 cups rolled oats
4 tbsp whole chia seeds
1.5 Tbsp ground cinnamon
8 Tbsp whole psyllium husk
3.5 cups water

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl then split it between two silicone loaf pans. Smooth the top and let it rest uncovered at room temperature for at least two hours or even overnight. To make sure it’s ready it should hold it’s shape if you pull the sides of the pan away.

Bake on middle rack in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes. Remove the bread from the loaf pans and place upside-down right on the middle rack. Bake for 40 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Let them cool for 30 minutes…you have to!

Store in an airtight container for five days in the fridge or freeze up to two months.

Try this toasted…it’s sooooo good!

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