Recipe: Spicy carrot and lentil soup

With the days getting colder and darker is there anything better than a pot of soup on the hob with the smell wafting through the house.

Today’s soup of choice is Spicy carrot and lentil soup.

Now I’ll be honest my recipes are not to the exact gram as I often just go with the flow and throw ingredients in.

Ingredients

7 carrots

1/2 sweet potato

Vegetable stock 2 cubes

2 onions

Lentils

Fry light spray

Tikka power or curry power

Method

Chop onions and fry with fry-light spray until brown.

Add 2 pints of stock

Add nearly half a bag of split lentils

Add chopped carrots

Add 1/2 sweet potato

Season with salt and pepper

Leave to boil for 3/4 hour

Blend and taste

Now you can add the tikka power or curry powder if you wish.

Enjoy…

My survival guide

Many people ask me how I cope with 3 kids 5 & under also with an occasional husband (who works away 2 weeks at a time) To be honest some days are more fun than others. Sometimes I look at people with 4 or 5 kids and wonder how they cope. Having 3 kids really push you to your limits when your solo parenting. I try to keep on top of the housework as much as possible to make this journey more enjoyable for everyone. It’s getting easier now the kids are older and more independent. I love to plan things out, write myself notes, and be prepared for the week ahead. I don’t have OCD but after you read this blog you might think so. It works for us. Everyone does life differently, so here’s how I do mine:

Prep the kids
I found out through experience and reading baby books that kids love routine. Keeping them informed makes them happy bees in the hive. A fine example of this: Gracie is sitting engrossed in the iPad, instead of taking it off her I would prep her beforehand. If i didn’t I would then endure a 10 minute tantrum which then leads to some serious misbehaviour. “Gracie, you’ve got 5 minutes left on the iPad” then a while later “two minutes, Gracie” then after a another couple of minutes ” okay Gracie, times up put down the iPad now that’s long enough” It works wonders. I would say 90% of the time she puts the iPad down. It’s a good technique to use when were about to leave the grandparents ” were leaving in 5 minutes kids” and so on. Usually we all leave happily and without a tantrum, tantrum free= happy mum!

Prep the food
At the start of the week I love to meal plan for the week ahead. I first got the idea from a Slimming world class. It helps you to stick to your chosen meals for the week and not go off track. I try to involve the kids as much as possible however their reply to “what would you like for supper?” is usually “noodles.” I have recently started to write out a shopping list before I head to the supermarket. We’ve found that we save money as we only buy what we need for that week, we actually come out with some decent meals. As before I would wander around the aisles throwing stuff in the trolley be £100 at the till and have nothing to make a decent meal with. So this is how we do it now. If its not on the list it doesn’t go into the trolley. On a Monday I do lots of food prep when the kids are away at school. A typical Monday can be quite stressful for me so I like to have a big pot of soup boiling on the hob. This will do us for 3 lunches. I also stick a big piece of meat in the slow cooker that will do us two meals too. Doing this just releases the stress of making supper after one of our busy Mondays knowing that the meals are sorted.


Housework
The dreaded word, right? I used to enjoy house work when I had time to do it before we had kids. Nonetheless with 3 kids now and sometimes a working mum I struggle to find the time. I like to be able to keep on top of it so it doesn’t nag me. There is more important things in life than housework however when the house looks like a bomb has hit it something needs to be done. I love following The organised mum method(TOMM) 30 minutes a day on specific rooms and your done! I hear you thinking that doesn’t work… but it does. She also does a deep clean method for all those homes needing a bit more tlc. I find that if I keep the washing & ironing basket empty I am not doing piles of ironing that I hate. I like to spend a little time each day in my utility room sorting out clothes and it keeps the whole thing at bay. Sometimes if were busy over a weekend and I don’t keep on top of it, and I go into the utility on a Sunday I could just walk out again and cry.

Morning Routine
From when I open my eyes in the morning even before I have a cup of tea here is a glimpse into my morning routine. This only applies when Sean’s away. As when he comes home the routine can sometimes get a knock on the head. When I hear the first child awake, usually one of the girls I jump in the shower while Malachy is still asleep in his crib. The girls will sit happily with the tv on until I shower. We are lucky with Malachy as he sleeps from 7pm till usually 7am. If I were to take him out of his crib there would be carnage in the bedroom and I would end up not getting a shower. He can be seen running about calling 999 with the house phone, emptying bedside table drawers or dunking the toilet brush down the toilet. So I tend to leave him in bed till I get myself organised. After everyone is dressed
1, Make beds
2, Throw all dirty clothes down the stairs
3, Quick tidy of bedrooms and bathroom upstairs
4, Open blinds and turn radiators down (Sean’s request)
5, Everyone comes down stairs and eats breakfast
6, While the are kids eating breakfast I load the washing machine.


I love to come down stairs to a clean kitchen and empty sink so the night before I ensure the island is free from dishes and clutter. I like to set out everyone’s clothes for the next day in the bathroom in their individual piles. When the kids get up they know the routine, get dressed and go down stairs. I try to encourage the girls to help with making their beds and throwing the laundry down the stairs. Which usually results in a pair of knickers landing on Malachys head. The girls can be so messy at times, I try to engage them in some games when it comes to tidying up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Please note my routine doesn’t always go to plan the way I would like it. There’s usually a chase around the bedroom with a half-naked child trying to put on their socks. That’s what makes life exciting I suppose a lap around the bedroom before school. I’m not the perfect mum or don’t try to be. I just love routine and so does the kids. What is the perfect mum?

Lidl Food Haul

Our weekly shop has came round so quickly again. Beforehand I usually write out a list of the meals for the week ahead and a separate list of food. Otherwise I go in and head strait for the middle aisle and come out with a tent and a machine that takes dry skin off your feet instead of any actual meals. We’ve also found when we’ve started doing this (lists) weve been saving a lot of money, not so much popping in and out of shops mid week, and you only buy what’s on the list. Simple right?! Should be. But who said the weekly shop was simple..

Today’s shop of choice was Lidl. I love Lidl! To begin with when Lidl’s first came to our streets, I was a bit dubious and wasn’t keen on the brands that I hadn’t seen or tried before. However it’s now my first choice for a food shop. You save a fortune! I’ll admit though sometimes I head to Tesco afterwords for particular things that they don’t stock.

Grabbed a trolley and in I went 9.30am so was nice and quiet. Malachy was the child of choice today as the girls were at school and nursery.

The fruit and veg in Lidl’s is so fresh and great quality. I love their animal marketing scheme that’s going on just now with the veggies.

Unicorn carrots! Now who can resist unicorn carrots? When I’ve got the girls with me and they see these they go wild. I first thought ok here we go they will never eat these. But they do!! Every time! So why can’t other foods not have unicorns on them. crocodile mini cucumbers are also another great buy!

I couldn’t pass buy the flower stand without buying a bunch. To me, from me xx. They weren’t on the list but the house is a bit bare after Christmas. They have started stocking daffodils already! Come on Christmas was just a week ago and we’re getting organised for Easter? Big bargains to be had on all those Christmas foods, chocolate and some of the dates go on into next year!

Another love of mine is the dairy section. My kids love to snack, snack snack all day long, so knowing what healthy snacks to give them can be difficult when you run out of ideas. These yoghurts are yummy and very cheap at 75p per pack, packs of small raisins 75p (pack of 12) and blueberries go down a treat too!

Lidl’s has now increased their range of spices and baking ingredients which is great as that’s what I would usually nip to Tesco it ASDA for.

I now only buy Lidl’s nappy’s and wipes. Kids have had no problems with blisters or leaking like I’ve seen in other brands would highly recommend them!

Someone recently recommended me to buy pure coconut oil to help with Malachys skin. Malachy is constantly itching, we’ve tried everything nothing seems to work. He hasn’t any allergies or asthma so I’m going to give this coconut oil a chance. If it doesn’t work at least he will smell lovely.

This year in our house we are trying to save more money than usual so saving that little extra on the food shop can help. So no more shopping down the middle aisle for me! But it’s a different story when Sean wants something or just a quick look down the middle aisle….Sean step away from the power drill you don’t need it, and it’s not on the list!!

So in total I got all this lot for £75.64.

That should do us for the week.

Visit Here for all the latest Lidl highlights and offers.