Thoughts, Tips, Ideas and Tricks to live your best life
Lentil soup can be vegan gluten free. The more you make at once the cheaper it is.
Lentil soup is one of my favorite meals, for many reasons. Its hearty, filling, satisfying, very healthy, high in iron (at one point I was close to being anemic and had to seek out foods high in iron) and very cheap. Oh! And it stores very well, in the freezer. This makes is perfect for someone that is very busy and gone a lot.... like a flight attendant!
Find lentils that you like, I think the most common lentils are green, but yellow and red lentils are delicious as well. Look at the cooking directions on the back, or if buying bulk talk to someone in the store. Green lentils take much longer to cook than red lentils. And this recipe is for green lentils, so if you decide to cook red or yellow lentils, the cooking time will be much shorter.
If you have broth in the house, I love adding vegetable broth. Get a large pan, I will use the largest soup pan I have in the house. It will usually cook enough lentils for about 10 meals. Please work proportionately to what you've got. The larger the pan the more room you'll need at the top to allow for spillage or as the lentils grow. For large pans I'd suggest 4 finger of room, that's about 2 inches.
I love adding every vegetable you have in the house, but leave out corn, sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts. If you're going to the store and really don't know what vegetables would be best my go to's are
onion, shallots, green onion
red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
mushrooms ( I like the typical button mushrooms)
If you want meat, I think chicken is really good, but then it doesn't freeze as well.
some carrots (I'm light on the carrots when I add them)
If I have kale in the house, I'll add a little, less than a handful, but I wouldn't buy it for the soup...
..... Which vegetables you add depends on your taste
I'd suggest at least 5 vegetables in the soup.
I like the chop everything fairly small because I like the consistency to be the same. Things taste better to me, when it all feels the same. But chop the veges large or small to your taste. Keep in mind if you chop the vegetable to keep them large the potatoes will take longer to boil. I put a little water in the pot, let it start to boil, then I'll add each vegetable as I chop it. Usually the potatoes first, because they take the longest to cook, then the onions, mushrooms, and garlic. And add the tomatoes, parsley, green onion, or other garnishes last. But its kind of hard to go wrong, so it you do it out of order that is OK.
Then once all the vegetable are in the boiling water, I'll add the lentils. Keep mixing the pot, as you add each item. After I've added the lentils, is when I will add the broth, then more boiling water if needed. Season to taste, I season the soup with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper, sometimes I'll use onion powder and garlic powder. (I don't think you can ever have too much garlic or onions). Then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer, coming back every 10 minutes to check on it and stir it a little. After letting it simmer for an hour or so, I'll taste it. If the lentils are soft and taste good its ready. Time to eat!
The Spanish eat Lentil Soup with bread and butter, it is so delicious pairing the two together.
If you made extra so you can freeze it just let it sit on the stove to cool off. After a few hours it should be cooled down enough to scoop into containers to freeze.
These are my favorite containers for freezing anything because one container is the perfect size for one serving. And they are stack-able which is awesome for space saving and keeping organized. This is not a promotion for Ziploc, its just my opinion.
Backpacker Special - $2
Can be vegan and gluten free
Though I'm sure this is nothing new, I came up with it on my own while I was backpacking around Australia. Its $2 per meal, and gets cheaper the more people join the meal. This one is so delicious and enough variety, I NEVER got sick of it.
Pick a pack of noodles that you like. I would usually pick Thai Kitchen, or Yakisoba (its a green noodle, made with Moroheiya, when I learned about the super food power of Moroheiya, that made my decision). The meal will still be delicious no matter what brand of noodle you pick. And I'd usually add a pack of noodles per person that would join the meal, but if it were three or more people I'd do one less pack. For example for 6 people eating at dinner I'd do 5 packs of noodles. It does need to all be the same brand, same flavor.
Then I'd buy two vegetables per person, more than three people I'd buy a piece of meat in place of one vegetable. Almost always I would have an onion in there. And since I was $ price $ conscious I'd usually buy what ever vegetable was the cheapest.
Then you decide if you will have soup or noodles. If having noodles fry the veges, then when they are almost done, cook (boil in water) the noodles, not more than two minutes. Strain the noodles, add the seasoning to the vegetables. Typically most pack of noodles will have some kind of oil in the pack but if you want more, and have it in the home, add what ever oil will go well with the meal. When the seasoning is all mixed in with the vegetables, add the strained noodles to the frying pan of vegetables, mix so that the flavor is even, and serve!
If I was cooking this meal only for myself, I'd buy Thai Kitchen Coconut Curry Flavor, buy an onion and mushrooms, fry the veges, boil the noodles, add the seasoning to the veges while the noodles strain, add the noodles, voila, a delicious vegan gluten free meal that is very satisfying AND under $2!!!!
When I would cook for 6
I buy 5 packages of Yakisoba Green Noodles, 1 chicken breast, I found an egg (yay) + 10 more vegetables, all different ( lets say an onion, bell pepper, a carrot, a celery stick, 2 or 3 mushrooms, 2 or 3 garlic cloves, a potato, peas, corn, some green beans). Then the same thing fry the veges, egg and chicken, I found some peanut oil so I added a tea spoon of oil, add the seasoning, boil the noodles, strain them add them to the seasoned veges, mix and serve. YUM!!! This meal will be A LOT of food, you may have leftovers, and it will definitely be under $2.
IF you don't have oil, except for what comes in the pack, as you are frying the vegetables, keep adding just a tiny bit of water as it evaporates.
To make it soup instead, just boil the vegetables, then when they are almost done add the noodles. Put just enough water, not how much you think you will need. Its best to keep a separate pot of clean boiling water so that after adding the noodles, you can add more boiling water if needed so that everything cooks. To make it extra delicious, if you have any broth in the house, add a little broth, you don't need much, just a splash would make a big difference. But be sure that there is more water than broth.
This meal shouldn't take longer than 10 - 25 minutes, from chopping the vegetables to sitting down to eat.
This series is dedicated to anyone that has ever been on a budget, or has any type of financial goal and doesn't know where to trim on their finances; and any new flight attendant :) Inspired by the most recent Flight Attendant I just flew with and just loved. He's so excited about this new and different life, but a little concerned about the financial side. I didn't get to give you all my tips, so here are some more... This is typical when you get your dream job and then realize how little you are getting paid. But its your dream job, there is always a way, I hope this recipe series helps.
Many people think that eating cheap and healthy doesn't exist. I'm here to share a few recipes that are incredibly cheap, delicious, and healthy.
Hope to fly with you soon, Jessica
What have you done lately to change up your routine? Is there any food, workout, new route, new book, goal, that you could try out? Being curious as I am I decided to sign up for a month of Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga). There are usually great deals to entice you to join "their" particular studio. Which is exactly what happened for me. I decided to look up classes to see how much it would cost, I came across an incredible deal for $30 for 30 days, that's $1 a day!?!
Even if I try it two classes, this kind of a deal makes it more than worth it. I decided I am going to go every day that I am home (seeing that I'm a flight attendant). I would really encourage you to try it out, if you haven't, unless you have serious medical concerns. I cannot believe how light and energetic I feel. I have a lot of allergies, and skin issues, get congested easily... but my skin is incredible & my sinuses are completely clear! Please do keep in mind you do need to drink A LOT of water, and make sure to eat plenty. Its very easy to pass out in these classes. But oh my god, if you can stick it out for three classes or more, there's no way you won't feel better. You are literally dripping sweat for an hour and a half, there's no way any toxins can sit in your body, they all come out, and wow does it feel good afterward. Plus its a great work out even if you do nothing but lay on your mat, which I did my first class. While taking a Yoga class is much more than 5 minutes, I dare you to come up with something you could do differently in your day to day life, stick to it for a month, and I know you'll get some positive results. I can't wait to see how I'm doing after an entire month of Hot Yoga every day!!!
Hello friends :)
For those of you trying to understand what on earth 5 minutes a day could do to improve your life, I'd like to share my recent challenge. Its only a challenge to myself, but I thought someone might like this idea. I do listen to A LOT of youtube videos. I like learning new ideas and perspectives. Lately the person I listen to the most is Teal Swan. She may not be for everyone, but in one video she talks about telling the water "I love you" and then drinks it. This also relates to the movie that came out several years ago, "What the Bleep do we Know!?" In both the film, and according to Teal, a metaphysical teacher, telling the water "I love you" changes its structure to form thousands of beautiful shapes, that in-turn make our body more healthy. I decided to see what would happen if I drank water fro 5 minutes straight while also telling it, that I love it. Its only been a couple days, but I like the result. So far, I am feeling more hydrated throughout the day, and my skin is looking better! In addition to that, during that 5 minutes that I am only focusing on drinking the water and telling it I love it, its a meditative experience, afterwards I feel more relaxed. Almost forgot, the cold that I felt coming on has disappeared, in less than two days! I like it and am going to stick with it for a month. What healthy, positive, or loving thing could you do for 5 minutes a day? What do you imagine the result would be? I'd love to hear what you come up with!
Do you ever find your self planning a Starbucks run just to get that delicious latte. What if you could make a cup of coffee that is just as amazing?
Of course, this does take a bit of preparation, but once you have everything, it will save you money and time, and maybe even improve your health*.
I'd recommend getting a:
Thermos and Whole Cinnamon Sticks
Boil the water and drop one cinnamon stick, or whole vanilla bean, that might be good, I haven't tried it yet, but don't see how you could go wrong! Add the boiling water with a whole cinnamon stick into the thermos and forget about it, you could even do this the night before. When you are ready to brew your coffee, use the (now) cinnamon tea instead of plain water. Oh my god! Just that alone is so delicious. But add sugar, honey, maple syrup, milk, cream... to taste. I love flavored almond milk creamer, and I heat it up a bit in a pan, the milk gets even thicker by stirring it quickly, Its SO delicious that I would rather have my home crafted coffee than go to a coffee shop.
I love my coffee even more, knowing that I am infusing the health benefits of cinnamon into my first cup of the day.
*Side note* There are many health benefits to cinnamon, but I am not a doctor, please do your own research to learn more.
Then once you have a thermos you can keep refilling it with boiling water, to have yummy cinnamon tea all day long, or change it up by switching to a different tea.
I'm so happy you decided to check out this page. 5 minutes a day is a philosophy I have come to believe over the years. With consistency you can transform your life, even if all you have is 5 minutes. A bit about me, I'm a flight attendant, a child care professional, and an optimistic artistic type of person. My most recent project is opening a business doing large scale art with kids for their rooms. I am very much about lifestyle design and on my own path to figuring out how to achieve my 'perfect' life. Part of my perfect life is being an inspiration to others, so I really hope you find something on here that is useful.
I love figuring out ways to make my life better and easier, I am always trying out some process or trying on a new habit from a youtube video or book that I read. Conversely, I often feel like I don't have anytime, and so that is where just 5 minutes a day comes in. With anything the smaller the change, the more permanent it will be. When something is a habit it becomes mindless, effortless, thus your life is better. What is the smallest possible tweak you can make in your own life to make it better? What habit can you incorporate that will bring more happiness or ease? By committing to something every day for a month for just 5 minutes, you will begin to see some real changes in your life. Thank you for joining me in this journey!
I'm very passionate about a lot of things, often trying to incorporate all of it into my life!