Yup, that’s me right now. It seems ridiculous, since most of my friends have been driving since the minute they turned 16 – I guess I’ve just been content mooching rides off of them and taking public transit. I’ve just never had the need to get my license; I live in a city with decent public transit, I’ve always lived and worked in close proximity, I haven’t had access to a vehicle, nor anyone to teach me on a regular basis.
But it’s gotten to the point now where I just feel like I need it. I have access to a car now, so it’s more motivation. Plus, once I get my license I won’t have to casually skirt around the issue when it comes up in conversation. I tend to just omit the fact that I can’t drive.
me: “Some friends and I drove down to Portland the other weekend.”
other: “Road trip? How fun!”
See what I did there?
First there’s a multiple choice test. If we pass, we get our ‘L’, then practice driving for a year with only one person over 25 in the car. Then we take a driving test around the neighbourhood with an instructor, and if we pass we get our ‘N’. Then we can drive solitary for another year or so until we take the test again, at which point we (hopefully) pass and get our full, 100% license.
I’m at the ‘L’ stage. I need to put a big red L on the back of my car so people know I’m learning. It’s like a big, red, scarlet letter following me around wherever I go. I should really just put the L on my forehead, since that’s basically what it feels like.
It’s not hard, I mean really, millions of people drive, but the learning part is quite tiring. After a session of driving, I need some comfort food to recharge my brain.
This spicy lentil stew is insanely easy to throw together and will be on your table within 30 minutes. It uses a lot of pantry staples, too, which means it’s one of those special, delicious meals that is a) easy and b) cheap. Win-win.
I love my food spicy, so it does pack quite a punch. If you’d prefer, lessen the amount of red curry paste, or just replace with tomato paste.
This meal is hearty, filling, healthy and cheap, and is bound to satisfy at the end of a long day.
|30-Minute Spicy Vegetarian Lentil Stew|| |
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- ½ Tbsp red curry paste
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 540g can lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 796mL can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup water
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Slivered options, to serve
- Parsley, chopped, to serve
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in red curry paste, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring well. Add zucchini and red pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add lentils, tomatoes (with juices) and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat, simmering for about 30 minutes until mixture has thickened.
- Remove from heat, then add lemon juice. Garnish with slices of fresh lemon, slivered almonds, and parsley.