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…

Artichoke and Mushroom Pasta

Mushrooms, artichoke hearts and capers join forces to create a classically inspired vegan Italian pasta dish.

A minimum of ingredients allows each component to shine.

6 ounces dry pasta

1 jar artichoke hearts packed in brine
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
2 poblano peppers, diced
1/4 cup white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps capers with some of the liquid

1/2 cup white wine
4 tbls olive oil
1/4 cup pasta water

1 tsp flour

1 large handful fresh basil, chiffonade

1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Cook pasta. Set aside. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Saute salt, black pepper, mushrooms, peppers and onions in 2 tbls of the olive oil until mushrooms darken. Add wine, artichokes, including packing liquid, garlic, pasta water. Simmer for 7 minutes. Add capers and flour. Simmer 3 more minutes.

Add remaining oil, pepper flakes and pasta, Toss to coat pasta in veggies and liquid. Turn off heat. Add basil. Stir. Let sit for 3 minutes.