Maple Alps


Poor Man's Lentil Soup

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps22 Comments

It was one of those months where we needed to get creative with what was in our pantry. It happens a few times a year where what we have needs to stretch out as long as possible - not necessarily always because we're short on cash, but especially when we have a new goal (like a trip or a larger purchase) that we want to aim toward. There are also times where we feel it a good idea to "clean out" our pantry by making sure we eat what we have to avoid spoil.

Usually, we purpose to not spend a penny during these times, relying on canned and frozen vegetables to accompany our other staples, but this time around, we splurged and were able to score some inexpensive, and fresh produce at the farmer's market!

Poor Man's Lentil Soup |

I love soup and have never associated it with not having money, so it's always a welcome dish to me. However, it is also one of those things my husband does not anticipate to fill him long enough, so I always purpose to make it hearty. I, however, enjoy more brothy soups, so this was a great in-between. The lentils fill us, but the broth is so yummy, and perfect for some bread to soak up. 

The fresh kale makes it even more enjoyable - I love the texture and colour that this soup has; the bright oranges and greens! 

Poor Man's Lentil Soup |

This soup is not only extremely inexpensive to make - it is also flexible (use beans or potaoes or whatever you have in the pantry/fridge instead of lentils) and amazingly easy to make. 

Poor Man's Lentil Soup

What you need:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 stalk celery roughly chopped

  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 3 TBSP homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning

  • 2 tsp salt

  • sea salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup dried lentils

  • 4 cups water

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1/2 bunch of kale, roughly chopped

  • Your favourite vegan sausage (optional)

What to do:

1. Cook carrot, celery and onion with 2 tsp salt in olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven

2. Add vegetable stock, water, garlic, seasoning and lentils

3. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked

4. Add kale and allow to turn a deep green and wilt a bit before stirring into the soup.

5. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

(good in the fridge for 4 days)


What are some of your go-to meals when cleaning out your pantry? 


Jumping into the Holiday Mood

HolidaysAmanda Walter | Maple AlpsComment

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas.

Dale Evans

When was the last time you took a moment, a break from your life and just… enjoyed? Enjoyed the world around you, the love that’s virtually everywhere, the beauty of what’s visible to the naked eye and beyond it? Exactly. Why have we collectively given up on all the joys around us and decided it’s way more important to hand in that report by Friday than listen to our kids jibber jabber about their latest cartoon obsession or help out with the Christmas decorations? Ah, yes, we’ve grown old(er) and, for some reason, that meant willingly giving up joy. Hey, maybe we don’t actually have to go through with it? What if, all it takes to bring joy, excitement and thrill back into our lives is to decide we will? Yes, let’s do it!

This Christmas, no matter how (seemingly) disinterested you seem to be, decide to make the best of it and jump into the Christmas spirit rapidly! After all, at Christmas, everything somehow gets softer and more beautiful. It’s like a magic is waved over this world and everything, suddenly, becomes better, lighter and happier.

Here, a simple guide that will help you get into the holiday mood and enjoy this season with your loved ones:

Go DIY on decorations

Buying decorations is super practical but making them is what’s adding to the wonderful Christmas spirit. Just imagine yourself and the kids sitting together, doing arts and crafts, coming up with the craziest shapes and forms for your tree and the entire house… doesn’t it sound wonderful? Apart from making unique decorations, you’ll get to spend time with your little ones, enjoy their gorgeous faces and brilliant minds, and have a chance to reconnect. These are the memories your kids will cherish forever.

Speaking of DIY, you can also go crazy on the Christmas outfits – make it a family project for everyone to design and sew (obviously, you’ll help out) their outfit, and wear it on Christmas day. Fun!

Bring on the scents

This holiday season, try to introduce some wonderful scents into your home, scents that will give power to the wonderful spirit of Christmas – think maple tree and cinnamon, pine tree and vanilla, apple and cypress, coconut and vanilla, peaches and honey, etc. These days, scented candles, air purifiers and scented air fresheners can do wonders for a room! While air purifiers will clean out the air you breathe, scented elements will give the space just the touch of smell you are hoping to get. How’s that for an instant Christmas thrill!

Cook, bake, eat

Remember when you were a child and you’d wake up to the scent of your grandma’s cinnamon pie? Wasn’t that, just, phenomenal? Well, let your kids make the same memories!

Come up with some super tasty Christmas recipes you’ll make for the family or find those treats that are not that hard to make and include your little ones into the process! You can make gingerbread together, cookies for the rest of the family (the more shapes the better), you can even let them take their pick and decide on what’s going to be the main delish… as long as you’re all included, as that’s what  Christmas is all about.

Watch a holiday movie

A Christmas movie night is a must! Make a list of all the movies your kids love to watch and gather together for a movie night. Get some popcorn and blankets, let the Christmas lights charm you into loosening up and enjoy this precious time.

It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, especially for moms (after all, it is mostly us who are doing all the work). But, as the very observant Caroline Kennedy put it “when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul”.



This was a guest post by Claire Hastings, who is a wanderer and a writer. She has written as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat.

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If you are interested in guest posting, check out the guest posting guidelines for Maple Alps, here.