Lentil Cauliflower Crock-pot Curry

I’m in the process of creating a few fun tidbits but I can’t share them just yet…so in the meantime, I wanted to share this delicious recipe I made up!

My crock-pot has become one of my most favourite kitchen tools.  When I’m working, I love coming home to the smell of a yummy meal and not having to do a thing – other than grab a bowl and dig in.  Now that I’m on maternity leave with two under two, I love that it saves me from having to try to get dinner ready during peak meltdown time (also known at 4pm), or trying to explain to an almost 2 year old that dinner needs to cook for another 5, 10, 15 minutes.  It’s just ready to serve when hunger strikes!

I’ve also been trying to incorporate at least one meatless day a week into our meal planning, offering up healthy substitutes like tofu and legumes, which are much cheaper than meat and give us all a break from animal protein.  I whipped up this particular dish earlier this week on a whim using things I happened to have on hand – and I must say it turned out quite tasty. Even the toddler gobbled it up! I love exposing my kids to such bright flavours – no chicken fingers or mac & cheese in this kitchen! This one is definitely going to make its way into our regular rotation.

Lentil Cauliflower Crock-pot Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils (you could use any kind of lentil)
  • 1 cooking onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 can (28 fl oz) diced tomato + one can full of water
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cayenne to taste (I didn’t include this for the little one but I’d start with about 1/4 tsp and then adjust according to your preference)
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions

Put all ingredients in the crock-pot.  Fill the empty can of tomatoes with water and add to ingredients. Stir and set to low for 6-8 hours.  Around 15 minutes before serving, remove lid to evaporate any extra liquid.  Serve with naan bread or over rice.

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I didn’t have any cilantro on hand but next time I’d add it for garnish and an extra kick of flavour.

 

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The little man’s portion – he ate the whole thing plus extra naan!

Easy right?? I might try adding some light coconut milk next time as well to give it a bit of a twist.  The nice thing about this kind of dish is that you can adjust the seasoning and flavours to suit your palette.

Enjoy! 🙂

Easy Pillow Dress

After yet another round of illness in our home, we are more than ready to get this winter over with and welcome spring and summer with open arms.  In an effort to will summer to arrive sooner rather than later, I made a cute little summer dress for my little lady.  I had some fabric that I’d originally ordered to make throw pillows, but I thought it would be really cute of a little girl’s dress.

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I couldn’t find a ribbon that matched exactly but I think it still works.

Most of the tutorials I looked up required a serger (which I don’t have) so I was excited when I found this awesome tutorial to make this (very) easy pillow dress. I really liked the sizing chart the author provides.  I went with the 12 months sizing.  Our little girl will be 6-8 months this summer but I figured I’d make the dress to work for the next few summers – it can always be a cute top once she gets taller!

As always, I pre-washed, dried and ironed my fabric.  I measured and cut two pieces, 15″ wide by 19″ long, making sure the pattern was in the right direction.

Then I folded over about 1/3 inch down the sides of both pieces, ironed, folder over once more, ironed again.

Fabric pieces

I think I need a new iron because after washing, I can never get the fabric perfectly flat…so pardon the wrinkles!

Then it was just a simple straight stitch down the sides. I didn’t bother back stitching since I’d be closing off the ends.

Easy peasy straight stitch, now THAT I can do :)

Easy peasy straight stitch, now THAT I can do 🙂

Next came the opening for the ribbon.  I lined up the pieces side by side to make sure they lined up and gave myself about 1/8 of an inch on either side of the width of the ribbon.  So just over an inch.

Make sure to leave yourself enough wiggle room so you'll be able to thread your ribbon through.

Make sure to leave yourself enough wiggle room so you’ll be able to thread your ribbon through.

Folded over, ironed, folded over again, and ironed once more (are you seeing a pattern yet? hehe).  I was careful to sew as straight as I could along the edge to make sure the opening would be big enough. I made sure to backstitch at each end here.

Sew about 1/8 of an inch from the bottom edge, making sure to leave enough room for your ribbon.

Sew about 1/8 of an inch from the bottom edge, making sure to leave enough room for your ribbon.

Next was putting the two pieces together, right sides together, to sew them and create the arm hole.  The tutorial was for a 2T size so the author left a 6 inch opening but given I was making a much smaller size I started 4 inches down from the top.

Pin the pieces together where you'd like the seam to start, leaving enough room for the arm hole.  A good trick is to use a current piece of clothing to check the length you'll need for the arm hole.

Pin the pieces together where you’d like the seam to start, leaving enough room for the arm hole. A good trick is to use a current piece of clothing to check the length you’ll need for the arm hole.

I pinned to mark my starting point, then, starting my stitch below the pin, sewed down tight against my other seam, backstitching at the top only (where the arms will go).

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Then I pressed the seams down.

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Next was the hem.  I folded over once, about an inch, ironed, folded over again, and gave it a final iron.

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I stitched the top line, then I decided to get a little fancier, and stitched a bottom line, creating a little more weight at the hem.

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The final step was threading the ribbon! I turned the dress inside out and gave it one last iron.  I heated the ends of my ribbon to make sure they wouldn’t fray.  Just be careful not to get too close with the flame.  I couldn’t for the life of me find a safety pin so I just used a sewing pin to give the ribbon weight and help push it through the opening.  The tutorial called for two pieces of ribbon that tie on each side, but I decided to leave the ribbon in one piece and have it tie on just the one side, and skipped stitching it into place. This way I can always go back and change it if I want later on.

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And there you have it!! A very easy, breezy pillow dress ready to go for the summer weather (if it can ever get here!!).

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I also found these super cute bloomers on sale that I think will go really well with the dress 🙂

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I can’t wait to dress up my little lady!