Red Lentil Curry
Week one of the 4 week challenge. Day two and I'm already exhausted. Not organized is probably a better word. I'm not in to a routine yet, I'm hoping that will happen soon.

Here's my complaint for the day. I know why there are packages. It's a lot easier. And I'm lazy remember? Hence the request for the short cook who takes orders. Instead it's me. I don't take orders and I'm not short. Saying I'm a cook is stretching it too, but you've got to make the best with what you've got so I guess it's me. How about a maid? Can I have a maid? A maid would be good. Scratch that. A maid would be great! Or a dishwasher. Not the machine I have one of those. An actual person to load and empty the machine (putting everything back in the right place so one can actually find it again). And to wash the masses of dirty pots and pans after all of this blasted cooking. No takers? Really. Me again? Pfft.

Yesterday my husband, while we were sitting on the balcony in the sunshine enjoying our dinner of red lentil curry with homemade naan bread and a nice chilled glass of wine, said "I could eat like this every night." First thing that went through my head was 'Be careful what you wish for.' and the second was 'I bet you would, you're being waited on hand and foot.' What did I actually say? Neither. I smiled.

I made breakfast, lunch and dinner for the household to ensure that we were adhering to the 'rules'. Remember I live with skinny gluttons. They eat anything and everything as long as its fast and in front of them. They sneak in chips and pizza. But when I cook for them they eat well. Anyways, back to yesterday the most interesting thing happens - First my husband says during said dinner on balcony "I feel really good today. Not too full, not hungry at all, and my body feels great. I like this Cayla." Then my daughter comes home from work later that night and says to me "Mom, I felt so good today at work, and I know it was because I was eating properly all day." Then she told me about her co-worker buying her some ice cream thing and how crappy it made her feel afterwards. But still progress, no?

This morning Warde and I had breakfast together, an omelet with mushrooms, tomato and a bit of cheddar along with 1/2 a grapefruit. I was quite happy to see that my daughter got up at the crack of noon and made herself some oatmeal for breakfast. I knew this because the dirty pot was still in the sink when I came home from work tonight. I can just hear her reading this going "Mom! How could you say that?" to which I may as well answer, "What? It's the truth."

I'm going to share the Fresh Tomato Soup recipe I made yesterday. It makes great use of the fresh tomatoes out there right now. And, I got compliments from my little family on how good it was. It is aptly named as that is how it tastes. The batch is gone already if that says anything. I've been making it for years. You may want to give it a try.


Fresh Tomato Soup
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, chopped (chop ~10 minutes prior to sautéing)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 - 4 cups chopped tomatoes (1-1/2 pounds)  (Skins and seeds included)
  • 1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 - 2 tbsp. fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste if using out of season tomatoes (regular or dried)
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in big soup pot. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery an sauté for 5 minutes until onion is transparent. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, mashing occaisionally with a wooden spoon until soft and pulpy. Sprinkle flour over tomatoes and stir smooth. Add water and seasonings, bring to a boil, and then turn heat down to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes if soup is to be pureed or 30 minutes if not.

To puree or not is a personal choice. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil right before serving.

There are endless variations you can do on this basic soup recipe. Add a few left over greens (cut into small strips) like chard to the soup, some left over brown rice can be added, or even some white beans. You can even add about one cup of white cannellini beans to the blender when pureeing half the soup in order to add a good protein source to the soup.

Until tomorrow.


08/17/2011 4:21pm

Cayla, I love your blog. I just happened to come across it and I've really enjoyed reading it. It's so informative and funny and well written.

I wish you the best of luck in your challenge. I live in the US and I think I would have a hard time feeding my family on $50 per person. Congratulations! I look forward to reading more.

Sincerely, Marcia


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