By Enya Tierney
As the weather gets colder, grey landscapes become more common and the days get shorter, our tummies crave more nourishing foods packed with flavour and spices that leave us feeling satisfied and full of energy.
And the best part is that you don’t need to spend a fortune, use unhealthy ingredients or spend hours in the kitchen to enjoy a meal that will make your body and soul feeling happy.
We suggest two dishes packed with flavour and superfoods that you can prepare in advance and eat in the Bialann on those rainy college days.
SUPER EASY LENTIL SOUP
You can make a big batch on the weekend and have your soup ready for whenever you need it during the week as it preserves perfectly fine in the fridge.
This lentil soup is perfect if you are on a budget but you want to stay healthy and energized. Lentils are legumes, they are high in protein, carbohydrates, and fibre. The spices and vegetables combined with these have amazing properties: they are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more.
The beauty of this soup is that you can pretty much change the ingredients and adapt it to whatever you have on your fridge and spice rack.
Ingredients (Four portions)
- Two cups of red lentils
- A tin of chopped tomatoes
- Vegetables of your choice: we went with half an onion, three cups of frozen carrots,
and two handfuls of spinach.
- 3tbs of turmeric
- 3tbs of cumin
- 3tbs of chilli powder
- 1 tbs of curry powder
- 1tbs of garlic powder
- 1 cube of vegetable stock
- A pinch of salt
- 2tbs of oil
- Start by putting a large saucepan on a high heat and pour the oil of your choice before it heats up. As you wait for the temperature to rise, peel and chop the onions finely.
- When the oil is simmering, add the onions and occasionally stir them for a minute or two until they are a light golden colour. Add the cumin, turmeric, curry, chilli and garlic powder and stir for 30 more seconds or until the spices start to release their aromas.
- Put the frozen carrots in the saucepan and keep stirring until they are completely defrosted.
- Add the lentils, the chopped tomatoes and three cups of boiling water. Remember that there should be a 1:2 lentil- liquid (chopped tomatoes and water) ratio. Put the spinach, vegetable stock cube and salt in the saucepan before you reduce the heat to medium and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. It is important to not over-stir the lentils for them to have a nice texture but still do it once in a while so they don’t stick to the saucepan.
- Add more water if you desire a more liquid consistency and feel free add more spices if you want more flavour once it’s done. You can enjoy them straight away or put them in the fridge once they have completely cooled. If you prefer a smooth texture you might want to blend the soup, but the texture is very rich already, so you don’t have to.
PROTEIN OAT PANCAKES
These pancakes will give you all the macronutrients you need to rock your workout at the gym, keep you energized through a long study session and satisfy your sweet tooth. You can top them with berries, yoghurt, nut butters, or whatever you want!
Ingredients (Two servings)
- Half a cup of flour
- A cup of oats
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Optional: a teaspoon of chia/ flax seeds
- 1 1/2 cups of chocolate protein milk
- One egg
- Blend the oats with a food processor or a blender and put them in a big bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing them well.
- Mix the milk and the egg into the mixture and stir thoroughly. Make sure the batter is not too thick at the start as it will thicken more on the pan when the oats absorb some moisture.
- Use some oil to grease a pan and heat it on a medium temperature. When the pan is hot, pour some batter onto the pan. Make sure not to pour too much of it, as it will be harder to flip.
- When bubbles start to appear on top of the pancake and the batter gets solid on the bottom, flip the pancake with a spatula.
- When the batter is solid, put the pancake on a plate and repeat the process until all the batter is gone. Top them with whatever you want and enjoy!