Vegetarian Lentil Chilli Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Chilli Recipe

Anyone who knows me knows I love spicy foods especially chilli con carne. It’s just so simple to make and so so tasty. Very versatile too, as once you have a big pot made you could make nachos, chilli chips, tacos, wraps or just have a healthy option with brown rice!

I’ve been trying to cut down on how much meat we eat in my family so I said I’d make my usual chilli with lentils instead of beans. I really enjoyed it, so did the kids 🙂 Himself on the other hand said he missed the chewy texture of the meat! Can never please everyone lol!

 

Vegetarian Lentil Chilli Recipe

Ingredients

Red split lentils (haven’t a clue of how much I use I’m one for guessing lol! ABout half a 500g bag!)
1-2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Tin of kidney beans
Chopped red or green pepper…or both
Chopped Onion
1-2 cloves crushed/chopped garlic more if you love garlic
2-4 teaspoons chilli powder*
1 teaspoon of cumin & cayenne pepper*
Tabasco sauce*
Salt
Pepper

*If you’re making this for kids use your own judgement on how much chilli powder to use. I also add cumin and cayenne pepper usually about a teaspoon of each…I never follow recipes for these things I throw in a bit of this and that lol! Also when I’m making ours I don’t add the tabasco sauce to the whole pan, just on the adults servings.

Method
Wash and rinse the lentils well then boil for 10 mins and simmer for 15
Fry onions in some olive oil
Fry the peppers for a bit or add later if you want them crunchy
Then add your lentils, chopped tomatoes, spices, garlic,kidney beans, salt & pepper.
Leave to simmer for about 20 mins and your ready to eat.

If you have a slow cooker I’m sure you could bang them all in that too!

To serve
I serve this with either chips or if I want to be really healthy some crackers or McCambridges stone ground bread will do with some cheese! Yum!

Depression: Do you ever really recover?

I’m in one of them pondering thoughtful moods today so be warned 🙂 Mainly it’s because I’m feeling a bit scared at the moment.

I’ve suffered from depression since my early teens along with eating disorders, anxiety and self harm, slowly over time between and general life stresses and circumstances, it got worse and harder to mange alone and I’ve been on anti-depressants since my teens. A good decade now I’d say. It took a lot of trial and error to find ones right for me. Some make you incredibly drowsy and not all there, lights are on nobody is home kind of thing, others make you feel worse than ever. Aggressive and give have suicidal thoughts.

It’s a scary road but I eventually found the ones right for me, they still make me feel a bit more ‘slow’ than usual but it’s a better side effect than not being able to get out of the bed right?

In the past I’ve regularly tried to come off them thinking I was ‘better’ and didn’t need them any more only to relapse. The same feelings of despair and gloominess would come back and hit me like a ton of bricks within about a month. Back to not being able to get out of the bed and forcing a smile on my face for the kids sake. Depression is exhausting. It also knocks your self esteem to an all time low.
Sometimes coming off them really messes with your head too and ends up with bad results when you’re not thinking clearly at all so I learned not to do it again and have stayed on them exclusively for years now.

Until now.

Since the beginning of January I have been eating better and my mood swings stabilised as well as energy levels being up. I was feeling the best I have done in years so I thought maybe now is a good time to come off them. So I weaned off them and eventually stopped them altogether about 6 weeks ago now.

I was feeling good, really good actually and very proud of my self thinking maybe finally I can function like a ‘normal’ person without tablets….maybe my brain imbalance was finally sorted once and for all! Maybe I’ve finally ‘recovered’

Over the last few days though I’m thinking I was very naive yet again. My anxiety feels heightened, I’m teary and very tired, generally just not feeling very good in myself mentally and for no particular reason at all?

I am really hoping it’s just PMS though and this feeling will pass. I’m probably just nervous and watching my self too closely, reading too much into normal feelings I get when I’m due my period.

There is however still a little voice screaming ‘Yaz you shouldn’t have come off the tablets….it’s coming back, fuck, it’s coming back!! Stop being a martyr and just get back on your tablets you need them to survive, you can’t do it without them!!’

But I don’t want to end up at the start again! Having to go back on tablets. Then the headaches, the sleepiness and all the other side effects that comes with starting on them again. As well as the long-term effects like having slower than normal reactions and not great concentration. I then feel like I’ve failed, like why can’t my brain just be normal without tablets all my life? But I also don’t want to end up in a bad place mentally again, its very very scary and that’s what I’m scared off now. It’s such a catch 22

I’m constantly seeing ads on tv or people in magazines along the lines of ‘I recovered from depression, so can you’ or quotes like ‘You can choose to be happy’ These make me feel like crap if I’m honest.

I feel like then maybe I’m not trying hard enough to be off tablets and that I’m doing something wrong. I really am trying though. I’m thinking more positively, eating better, exercising more so why am I not ‘recovered’. Why am I stuck in this limbo of on tablets, feeling better. Off tablets, feeling disastrous, then back on tablets. It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m going around in circles with depression

Depression

I know that it’s a chemical imbalance in my brain but I thought tablets over time would eventually ‘fix it’ along with a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle. Now I just don’t know. Maybe some people do recover from depression and never get it again but maybe some people just can’t, it’s apart of who we are just like a physical illness that can’t always be cured like diabetes.

Either way I’m not ashamed to have depression, I’m not ashamed to be on tablets.

I would however like to be one of those people who ‘recover’ but maybe it’s not always possible. Everyone is different after all.

Maybe depression is just part of who you are, a lifelong illness that you learn to manage and cope with whether it be with medication, a healthy lifestyle, meditation or a combination or all three.

Maybe it’s time for me to accept I will always have depression but everyone’s definition or way of recovering will different.

In the meantime while I figure out weather this is just a little blip or not I will continue to be positive, eat well, exercise and whatever else helps keeps me manage it better.

Best thing any of us can do is look after our mental health in whatever way we choose, whatever helps us keep it under control better.

Yaz xo

If you need any support with depression there is some brilliant support out there for info or help
Aware.ie
Helpline 1890 303302

Samaritans.ie
Helpline 116 123

Shineonline.ie
Helpline 1890 621 631 (Mon-Fri from 9am-4pm)

Grow.ie
Infoline 1890 474 474.

Seechange.ie
Yourmentalhealth.ie

3 Beautiful Family Road Trips in Ireland – Collaboration With Chill Insurance

If you’re like me you might love Sunday drives with the family. Especially on rainy days I sometimes love packing the kids in the car and just going for a drive. We might even stop off for some chips somewhere along the way.

With the help of Chill Insurance, I’ve listed some places that I think are great for family drives.

1. Phoenix Park

There are a few little roads off the main one in Phoenix park which can be a nice drive through nature, you will most likely see some of Santas reindeer too 😉 My favourite time of year to go for a drive through the park though is Winter time. I remember one time driving through after some snowfall, it was so magical looking with the deer there too. It can also be lovely when it’s frosty, it feels so silent and peaceful. Well worth a drive through if you live nearby like me.

Snowfall in Phoenix Park

2. The Dingle Peninsula

This scenic coast is located in Co. Kerry was voted NO.1 in the Chill Insurance vote for the most beautiful drives in Ireland: see here to download the ebook! The Slea Head drive seems to be most popular in this area. Along this route, there are stunning views, ancient architecture, a beach, some villages and many more.

Slea Head Drive

3. The Antrim Coast

Situated in Co.Antrim, this drive has loads to stop and do for everyone. A distillery, a castle, and of course the famous ‘Giant’s Causeway’. Many ‘Game of Thrones’ scenes were filmed in some locations along this drive
Also, The Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only World Heritage Site is full of wonder with the mythical polygonal stones.

Let me know of any other drives you would recommend around Ireland.

Collaboration with Chill Insurance, all words my own.