I’ve felt inspired by watching how resourceful people have become since the start of lockdown. It’s uplifting to see people deal with anxiety and isolation by finding new ways to connect and creative ways to spend their time . I’ve watched businesses close overnight and the very next day transform to meet changing customer demands. Pilates studios have become virtual; babies gather on zoom for story time; and independent food retailers are compiling food parcels and boxes with well thought out meal plans.
It’s the perfect demonstration of that popular quote from Tony Robbins: ‘its not resources but resourcefulness that ultimately makes the difference’. In my own way I’ve had to find ways to adjust and reach new levels of flexibility and resourcefulness. My biggest challenge being the exhaustion of looking after a baby 24/7 on my own. Toddlerhood means Zahra’s little world has become very exciting and bedtime is not getting in the way of that. So on those nights when all I’ve looked forward to bedtime, I accept that today I will not get a break. Instead I roll out my mat and practice some Pilates whilst she burns off some energy crawling all over me.
Becoming more resourceful in the kitchen has been my other big win. In this time I’ve finally made hummus that tastes better than shop bought. Pesto, almond milk and even coconut yoghurt have been whipped up when things have run out.
When fresh food is running low red lentil, coconut and tomato dahl has become my favourite ‘pantry meal’. The onion and garlic are fresh, but as they store for a long time I tend to have those knocking around. The rest of the ingredients are dry/tinned but still full of nutrition. It’s pretty quick to make and just needs to simmer away on the stove. This is another great batch cook recipe which freezes well and can be stored for a 2-3 months. Serve it with rice or fresh rotis as these freeze well too
Red Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Dahl
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
- 160g red lentils, washed
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes or 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
- 300ml water, more if needed
- fresh coriander to serve
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan or dutch pot over a medium heat. Cook onion for around 8-10 mins until softened and golden brown
- Add garlic, ginger, and spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant for about 2 minutes. Add more oil if needed to prevent the spices drying out.
- Add lentils and stir coating with spices
- Add tinned tomatoes, 300ml water; and season with salt and pepper
- Set aside ¼ tin coconut milk for serving and add remaining coconut milk to pan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft, 20–25 minutes. Add more water if the dahl starts to get too thiick. Season more if needed.
- Serve with roti or rice, fresh coriander and pour the remaining coconut milk into the bowls.