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…

Vegan Cilantro Aioli

Continuing on my path of discovering just how versatile and tasty tofu can be, I've come up with this cilantro flavored aioli.

It doesn't use store made vegan mayo, but it does feel and taste like mayo.

I've been slathering it all over rolls and bread. I've been dipping carrots and potatoes into it. If you're one of those people who love cilantro, you'll love this. If you're one of those people who hate cilantro, substitute parsley or dill. It'll be just as good.

6 ounces (half a package) silken firm tofu
2 tbls vegetable shortening
1 bunch fresh cilantro, including the thinner stems
1 lime, zest and juice
10-12 slices jalapeno/serrano
3 cloves garlic
2 tsps olive oil
2 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp dry parsley

In a medium sized sauce pan heat the cilantro and garlic on medium heat. Use a metal or heat safe spoon to scoop out the shortening and leave the spoon with the shortening on it in the pan with the cilantro and garlic to soften it up. As the shortening begins to soften stir the cilantro and garlic to lightly coat it in some of the fat. Do this for a few minutes until the cilantro is glistening with a thin layer of fat and has wilted just a little bit.

Add the cilantro, garlic and the rest of the shortening from the spoon to the bowl of a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Chill at least a few hours in the fridge to allow the tofu and the shortening to firm up to the right texture.