Tofu Garlic Vegan Mayo

I don't currently have the luxury of a lot of ingredients lying around. The coronavirus has turned everything on its head. Still, I'm trying to find comfort in familiar hobbies like cooking and origami.

What I did have was half a package of silken firm tofu that needed to be used and a whole head of garlic that wasn't getting any younger. That is the inspiration for this recipe. That, and my love of all things creamy and garlicky.

1/2 package silken firm tofu, drained
8 cloves garlic, stems removed
1 habanero, deseeded
1 serrano
3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls white vinegar
1 tbl salt
1/2 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Puree all ingredients in your food processor until a creamy mixture is the result.

It's great right away, but you can chill it in the fridge for a few hours to thicken and let the flavors coalesce.

This is extremely garlic forward and also hot from the chiles. Because the mayo is tofu based and tofu has no flavor of its own, the full on flavor …

Creamy Lemon Basil Lentils

I'm on a mushroom binge lately. Totally obsessed with different ways to combine them with other flavors and find all their earthy potential.

It's pretty amazing how something as humble as the mushroom can be the star of so many wildly different dishes.

Chicken piccate was my inspiration, but obviously some tweaks were required to meet my standards. I also played a little fast and loose with the rest of the traditional piccata. Just using the general idea as a jumping off point for something lemony, spicy and a little bit creamy.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 a serrano, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced

3/4 cup white wine
2-4 cups water
1/4-1/2 cup half and half or cream
1 tbl spicy mustard
2 tbls butter
1 tbl olive oil
2 lemons, zest and juice

2 tsps dry basil
2-3 tsp salt
1-2 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet with deep sides on medium high. Saute mushrooms with 1 tsp salt until lightly softened and mildly darkened. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, jalapeno, serrano, 1 more tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper. Cook 3 more minutes. Add wine and mustard. Stir to incorporate. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add lentils and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer until lentils are just about tender. Add more water as needed to cook lentils. When lentils are almost tender add enough water to give a generous amount of sauce in the pan. The sauce/liquid should come about 1/3 up the sides of the pan.

Uncover. Add basil and lemon juice. Cook 2 more minutes.

Lower heat to medium low. Add butter. Stir to melt and combine. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if desired.

Add parsley, peas and half and half. Add 1/4 cup half and half at first. This will yield a light sauce with a touch of creaminess. Add more if a richer sauce is desired.

Raise heat to medium. Simmer 3 minutes stirring to combine.

Turn off heat. Finish with lemon zest and some more uncut parsley leaves.