Remember when people used to complain about technology and social media ruining everything?

I bet they have changed their tune.

In these days of physical isolation from others, the internet and social media have become such a blessing. The ability to see my loved ones daily albeit on a screen is priceless. Being holed up with my immediate family and pets is lovely, but I really miss other people.

The text groups I have going on with my Mom friends who I used to see daily, the waitresses from work, my besties, and my Mom and Sister are truly keeping me afloat. Plus, the behind the scenes Instagram convos, my Facebook newsfeed and even silly old Tik Tok give me the necessary social connection that I crave. All of these things have gifted me a vague sense of normalcy and security that I need.

Can you imagine what a Pandemic of this scale would have looked like just 30 years ago?

We would all be in isolation, calling people on landlines, waiting for the news to come on and reading the newspaper. I am not sure how I would do with that…

Sure, maybe the constant stream of info on the internet at times can stoke the fires of anxiety, I get it. But as an intensely social person, I am truly thankful for the Zoom happy hours, Instagram lives and especially the ability to facetime my Mom any time.

I look for hope where I can find it and I am finding it on the internet through stories of those who are recovering and the stories of the amazing people in the Healthcare, Delivery and Food retail Industry who are risking their lives to keep us cozy at home. 

Do your part and stay home. I promise, it’s not so bad and this too shall pass.

Now go forth and cook some lentils!


Chana Dal Recipe

Prep time: 10 mins
Soak time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1hour
Yield: 5-7 servings


2 sweet potatoes
2 carrots
3 cloves garlic
3T fresh ginger
1 onion
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2tsp turmeric
1T garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed pepper
2T tomato paste
Salt and black pepper
1/2 lb chana dal split garbanzos


  1. Soak 1/2 lb dry chana dal (split garbanzo beans) in hot water for 30 mins. Drain water then put in a pot with enough water to cover them plus about three inches above. Boil until soft about 40 mins or so but check often and add water when it begins to evaporate. Halfway thru cooking add 1 stick of cinnamon, 2 chopped white sweet potatoes and 2 peeled and diced yellow carrots or any potato or carrot type will do

    2. In a large wok or cast iron sauté 3 cloves garlic, 3T fresh chopped ginger and 1 onion diced small until golden and fragrant in olive oil 

    3. Push the Trinity of garlic, ginger and onion to one side and add the dry spices to toast them: 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 2tsp turmeric, 1T garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper and cook a few minutes stirring constantly until very fragrant then add 2T tomato paste and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. If you do not have all those spices you may substitute 3T curry powder

    4. If using a large wok you may pour the cooked split garbanzo mix into the spice mixture if not, pour the spices into the garbanzos and bring all to a boil, then simmer for 15 mins until all flavors are melded.
    Taste for salt and always add fresh black pepper and copious amounts of cilantro!

Enjoy! If you make this recipe please share with Sara and VeganZine on Instagram with #VeganZineBoston.

Sara Tercero is the Better Food Guru!
You can find more of her recipes and content here.