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…

Green Tea Cucumber and Tomato Salad

As summer is coming to a close I'm inspired by the lingering heat. Cucumbers have such a hydrating and cooling appeal. Gorgeous multicolored heirloom tomatoes are an ingredient to snatch up while still available.

When it's hot it can be hard to get yourself to eat anything hearty. This dish feels light, but packs plenty of nutrients. Just sprinkle in some beans on top and you're good to go.

Crisp granny smith apples add crunch and sweetness. The cucumber is refreshing and crunchy. Tomatoes add acid.

1 large cucumber, sliced into quarter circles
2 pints heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1 granny smith apple, diced
1 jalapeno, quartered, then sliced
3 tbls olive oil
1 tbl white vinegar
2 tbls hot sauce
1/4 cup diet citrus green iced tea
3 tsps dry dill
2 tsps salt
2 tsps black pepper

Toss everything in a bowl and gently stir to combine. Let rest an hour or two in the fridge. Done and done.