Garam Masala Lentils

I've always been curious about garam masala. It certainly sounds interesting and tasty.

It's similar to a curry. A blend of spices. But it's less complex than a curry blend. It's usually used as a starting point and additional spices are added.

I got some as a gift and decided to try it with lentils and barley in a curry.

If you like curry and haven't yet tried adding garam masala, you should. It's easy to get online. It adds a whole new level of depth.

I love lentils in a curry because they need a lot of flavor and they bring texture as well as thickening properties. You don't want a loose or watery curry.

I made a huge batch. This yielded 2.5 quarts of food. So you may want to halve the measurements.

1 red bell pepper, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
2 serranos, minced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 can coconut milk
3 heaping spoonfuls of my hari…

Apple Cake with Marsala Plum Sauce

When it comes to desserts I'm all about apples. They are my favorite dessert fruit. Apple pie. Apple cobbler. Apple streudel. Apple muffins. Apple loaf. You put apple in it and some sugar and I'm sold.

This is my take on apple muffins. I designed them to be a little less sweet, but added a sauce as an accompaniment.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 packets maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
or 1/4 cup rolled oats and 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps salt
1 tsp nutmeg if you have it

1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup melted vegetable shortening or regular vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tbl real maple syrup
1 tbl vanilla extract

1 granny smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch chunks
zest and juice from half a lime

Preheat oven to 400 F

As you peel and cut the apple place it into a bowl filled with water and the lime juice.

Sift together dry ingredients. Whisk together wet. Add wet to dry and gently combine. Do not stir too much.

Fold in apples and lime zest.

Grease and lightly flour 4-6 large muffin cups or four 8 ounce ramekins. Fill to the top with the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until batter is set at the center of the cakes. .

I haven't tested it yet, but 1/2 a mashed banana plus 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce should be able to replace the egg for a vegan version.


Plum Sauce
2 black plums, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2/3 cups water
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 tsp pink himalayan salt or sea salt
1 tbl sugar
zest and juice from the other half of the lime

As you peel and cut the plums add them to a bowl filled with water and the lime juice.

Add all remaining ingredient to a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half. Use an immersion blender or pitcher blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Let cool to thicken.