Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Moroccan Lentil and Rice Soup

Whoever ordered winter can quit it! Thankfully, this Moroccan Lentil and Rice Soup is a perfect way to thaw out after shoveling, building snowmen or tobogganing - packed with earthy lentils, brown rice and a medley of spices, it's a healthy and filling addition to your winter menu.

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So, we've hit the "dumping of snow on everything we love" part of the year. I know many people love this time - sledding, long walks, skiing and the like, but I am very much against anything that has the capacity to chill me to the bone (or flare my arthritis). So while my mom is outside making snow angels and towing the littles around on their little toboggans, I'm inside making a meal that will warm everyone up. 

This soup was inspired by my discovery of a large bag of lentils and a handful of rice I found in the pantry - both affordable staples for any household with almost unlimited potential which find their way into many a lunch. Having a bevy of spices from Selefina made picking a theme tough though - which part of the world do I travel? Ultimately I went with the savoury spice blend inspired by Morocco - one of my favourite locations to travel culinarily. From there, it was just a matter of assembling the rest of the soup - and discovering that I had a lot of stock on my hands for one pot, finding a second to split everything - and letting it simmer away while I studied for my Paralegal exam.

By lunchtime, the whole house was perfumed with the spice mix, and (having changed out of all the snow gear) mom was first in line for a taste - I'm not going to tell her I had first dibs! Everything melded perfectly after that long simmer, and no spice was dominant (which can be a problem with spice-heavy dishes). Like most soup, it was even better the next day!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Dry January and February Made Simple with Jordan's Skinny Mixes

After a long overdue holiday season, where most of us were having larger groups, parties and other special events, we all need a bit of a reset. Dry January was started in the UK in 2012 as part of a public health initiative, and now millions of people around the world make the choice to abstain from wine, beer and liquor for the month. Making that small change not only helped the pocketbooks of participants - let's face it, alcohol is an expensive hobby - but a study in BMJ Open found that those "who abstained from alcohol for 30 days slept better, had more energy, and lost weight" as well as lower blood pressure, cholesterol and cancer-related proteins in their blood.(link).

 Dry January not only impacts your health habits for the first 31 days of the year though - the above mentioned benefits were shown to continue due to the fact participants had changed their alcohol consumption patterns. Given that the rough estimate of the amount of time needed to break a habit is 28 days, this isn't surprising! In Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society keeps the momentum going with Dry February, which combines alcohol abstinence with fundraising for cancer research.

Sounds great, right? But what about the birthdays, get togethers, game nights.... all those social events that inevitably happen? Harvard Medical School has some pointers:

  • Find a substitute non-alcoholic drink. For social situations, or when you crave a cocktail after a long day, reach for alcohol-free beverages like sparkling water, soda, or virgin beverages (non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic drinks.)
  • Avoid temptations. Keep alcohol out of your house. When you are invited to someone’s home, bring your non-alcoholic drinks with you.
  • Create a support group. Let friends and family know about your intentions and encourage them to keep you accountable. Better yet, enlist someone to do the challenge with you.
  • Use the Try Dry app. This free app helps you track your drinking, set personal goals, and offers motivational information like calories and money saved from not drinking. It’s aimed at cutting back on or cutting out alcohol, depending on your choices.
  • Don’t give up. If you slip up, don't feel guilty. Just begin again the next day.


Jordan's Skinny Mixes is making that first suggestion a little easier on everyone with their great lines of syrups and flavour infusions - from Cherry, to Meyer Lemon and Raspberry (my favourite!) and very unique Strawberry Rose, Mermaid and Unicorn flavours, mocktails take on a whole new life. I love using the Cherry Limeade Flavor Burst in my water when I need incentive to drink more - it's the perfect mix of sweet and tart.

Sugar free, with options for naturally sweetened and Keto syrups with added MCT, there is something for everyone. If sweet coffee your thing but trying to cut back on drinking your calories? Check out their vanilla, hazelnut or mocha syrups with zero calories and all the flavour!


Check out more:

Need inspiration? Try these recipes from Jordan's:

Sober Mermaid:

Not So Spiked Raspberry Lemonade:

Cherry Limeade:

Shirley Temple:

  • 8 ounces of diet ginger ale

  • Sugar Free Cherry Syrup - tablespoon, build up the flavor as desired.

  • Maraschino cherries - garnish