6-Layer Bean and Lentil Protein Packed Casserole


IMG_9050I spent about half of the afternoon in the kitchen today cleaning, prepping, baking, packing, washing, and more cleaning!

The good news is my order is ready to go. :)

I made a batch of my Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Breakfast Muffins (a personal favourite of mine!) and my Absolutely No-Oil Pumpkin Apple Raisin Muffins. Come to think of it, the zucchini muffins have no oil in them too! Sweet, indeed.

IMG_9027 IMG_9046

Want to see the results of my candy bar molds for my Glo Bars?


This bar below was created in the bottom mold (above):


The verdict? I was impressed with the result! It was easy to use and came out pretty well after being in the freezer to harden. The only snag? I pushed too hard on the mold when it came out of the freezer and I broke the plastic on one shell! :( Oops. I guess next time I will let the molds warm up a bit before handling them!

The other candy bar mold was not so great:


I couldn’t get it out!!

I had to take one for the team and eat this bar with a spoon. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do! ;)

I also got something else accomplished on my to-do list: My workout.


I decided not to go for a walk/run outside because I am not sure my body is ready for the wear and tear of the nasty pavement!

My treadmill is quite easy on the joints (which Landice treadmills are known for) and I wasn’t sure how my body would appreciate a much harder surface! I chose to stay on the ‘comfy’ treadmill today. Don’t want to push it too much, too soon.

My workout stats:

  • Duration: 49 mins.
  • Walk/run intervals (Walk = 4.1-4.2 mph, Run = 4.8 mph) I ran 2 out of 3 miles today. :)
  • Max heart rate: 162 bpm
  • Avg heart rate: 138 bpm
  • Feel the burn: 376 kcals

Instead of doing today’s BBBC challenge, I opted for more planks. I don’t have the best knees and I find that lunges and squats can irritate them– especially if I am running too. At three points in my workout, I got off and did a 1 minute plank.

I did:

  • 1 min. regular plank
  • 1 min. right side plank
  • 1 min. left side plank

And no, the side planks aren’t getting any easier!!

Seconds 45-60 are nothing less than excruciating for me.

It feels like someone is taking my waist and ringing it out like a washcloth. That is the best way to describe it. Surely, I can’t be the only one who hates these side planks???

But alas, they work, and I will keep doing them. Even if I am eyeballing my stopwatch, cursing, and flailing about. My stomach is getting tighter, so I can’t really complain all too much now can I?


Help a Mama Out!


My mom recently took the plunge and purchased a treadmill and shortly thereafter, a new Polar Heart Rate Monitor (go mom!!). I recommended the Polar brand to her because I have one myself and love it and I have also heard many great things about the brand.

However, my mom says that when she tested out the HRM, her heart rate was jumping all over the place- 90 bpm and then 10 seconds later 115 bpm or 120 bpm- all while at rest. It has her a bit concerned. I am wondering if it is a faulty monitor because I think I have heard a couple other readers complain of this problem.

If you have any ideas or advice for my mom, please leave a comment below (she reads all the comments!) :)


Tonight for dinner, I created a fun 6-layer bean and lentil protein packed casserole dish:     

When I started making the black bean puree, I wasn’t really sure where I was going with this dinner idea. All I knew was that I had leftover zucchini puree and I needed to use it!

I just opened the cupboards and looking for some fun items!

I rarely follow recipes; I prefer to just add foods that I enjoy and experiment with cooking!It’s more fun that way!

Ingredients (oh boy- let’s hope I remember!):

The Zucchini Bean Puree layer:

  • 1 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup Zucchini
  • 2 T Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp garlic puree (or 1 garlic clove)
  • Crushed Chili pepper (to taste)
  • Paprika (to taste)
  • Tipsy Whiskey BBQ Sauce (1 glug)

Directions: Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.

For layers 2 and 3, I used frozen mixed vegetables (microwaved in water and drained) and 1 cup (before cooking) Red lentils (pre-cooked on stove top for 10-15 mins).

Layer 1: Frozen Veggies                              Layer 2: Black Bean Puree


Layer 3: Cooked Red Lentils                       Layer 4: Frozen Veggies


Layer 5: Black bean puree                           Layer 6: Cooked Red lentils


This casserole would be fantastic with cheese or soy cheese melted on top! We didn’t have any though.

Directions: Cook for 1 hour, covered, at 400F. Serves 4 hearty portions.

The result was nothing short of spectacular!!


My plate:



This casserole was delicious! Eric and I both thought that it was a fabulous knock-off of a traditional potato and ground beef casserole. The red lentils mimic the potatoes and the black bean puree was a wonderful ‘imposter’ to a ground beef mixture.

With an aromatic Easter Lily ($4.44 on sale this week!):


(Yes, I moved the flower so I could see my husband! haha)

Dessert: 2 large Dark Belgium Chocolates:


Ok, back to work! My list is still huge and I feel like I barely made a dent! I’ve got some long reading to do.

See you tomorrow AM for the winner of the Fundraising contest and more!

Have a wonderful night. :)


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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Run Sarah April 15, 2009

Your muffins look GREAT! I love the casserole, too…I need to try it. My knees hurt too much doing squats and lunges too, especially ones combined with plyometrics like in Jillians Shred, so I’ve tried to avoid them lately.


2 kristisummer April 15, 2009

just found your site. those muffins look great and a very colorful casserole. Sounds like you had a very productive day with a great workout.


3 Jen April 15, 2009

Oooh, that casserole looks fantastic! Unfortunately I will have to admire it from afar…black beans upset my stomach and lima beans give me a rash :( (plus, my husband would never agree to eat an entirely meat-free meal…it’s just not gonna happen). Eat a serving for me, please!


4 Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 15, 2009

BEAUTIFUL casserole :)


5 Lara April 15, 2009

Do you know which model HRM she bought? Some of the more basic models can pick up interference from other electrical equipment or gadgets like ipods and make the readings erratic.

That casserole sounds delicious. I love lentils and black beans and make a similar layered dish with the them plus polenta and salsa.


6 Priyanka April 15, 2009

I think mostly the HRM should be faulty. But just in case she wants to be at peace, she can try checking her pulse on her forearm and check the rhythm which should be synchronous and like a wave. That would be a good reflection of the real heart rate. Here’s one link that shows how to take the pulse,


But all said the HRM is what’s normally at fault!

The Dinner looks fantastic..trying it soon!


7 Alison April 15, 2009

That casserole looks delicious! It’s one of those things that may not be the most aesthetically pleasing as far as colors go, but you just know it will taste fabulous.


8 bobbi April 15, 2009

mmm that casserole looks devine, side planks are a killer!


9 OSGMOM April 15, 2009

Lara – Thanks for the info on interference, however, I don’t believe that is the issue. It is a Polar F6.
Priyanka – Thanks for the link to the website. I checked it out and read the instructions on taking an accurate pulse reading, and I will use this method until I get the Polar wrist unit working properly.
And last but not least, thanks Ange for posting my concern!


10 Hallie April 16, 2009

I don’t have any thoughts about the HRM, but that dinner looks amazing! Super creative, too.


11 Hangry Pants April 16, 2009

I love the bean casserole!

I have a Polar HRM, but haven’t had problems with the HR jumping.


12 Danica April 16, 2009

Your casserole looks fabulous and so easy to make. I never thought of layering lentils. I will have to give that a go. Thanks for the idea!


13 BethAnn April 16, 2009

That casserole looks delicious! I want to make it, but I’m always wary of baking in my apartment because my oven is really tiny and if I put the temp. to 400 it will probably burn the food in 10 minutes. Do you know what temp. I should put the oven to? How many degrees I should lower it? Thanks for sharing the recipe!


14 Courtney April 16, 2009

Make sure she isn’t wearing her reciever too tightly! So many people cinch it up so tight, and the monitor will get too many readings, and create other “pulses.”


15 Shelby April 16, 2009

The Muffins and bars look nothing short of spectacular! Mmm. Now I want zucchini muffins!

Love the casserole! I’ll have to try it out sometime.


16 VeggieGirl April 16, 2009



17 gliding calm April 16, 2009

that lentil casserole sounds amazing! I’lll have to give it a go!


18 Jodi April 16, 2009

I also had this problem with an F6, and exchanged it for an F7. I think it had to do with the hard plastic band not sitting “perfectly” around my chest/ribcage. The F7 has a fabric-like band and fits much better. When I did the exchange, the salesperson mentioned that the F6 was being discontinued and that’s why they were on sale everywhere (in Ontario) — who knows?? Nevertheless, perhaps your mom can exchange hers too! :D


19 Gillian April 16, 2009

That casserole is a great idea! I love doing faux lasagna with eggplant and zuchinni. Made a wonderful dessert last night, baked stuffed apples! So simple and so good, just stuff apples with different dried fruits/nuts/oats/cinammon and almond milk, then bake for half an hour with lemon squeezed on top. Delish!


20 amy (veganissexy) April 16, 2009

Yum! I want all of the food you ate today! The casserole looks fabulous. I love cooking a big casserole or pot of soup so you can keep eating off of it all week long :) My favorite is the green bean casserole off of fatfreevegan. Holy moly that one is a show stopper!


21 Marya April 16, 2009

Love your recipes. Very inspiring though I’m not sure what my family would think.


22 Stef April 19, 2009

Your site is amazing! I heard about it through Allison P, you have a lot of great ideas and tips. As for some advice for your mom, The Polar that I have is an F6 as well. I need to make sure that the transmitter on the chest strap is wet before I put it on, when it isn’t wet (well actually it is just moist) then the readings go on and off and are all over the place. Maybe trying that will help?


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