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…

Asian Vegan Delight

Soy and ginger are a great combo. Sweet and salty  and unctuous. Garbanzos love soy and soy loves garbanzos. Let's put all these elements to work for us.

This is a simple Asian bean salad. I don't do a lot of Asian. Chinese takeout is already great. But sometimes I want something more raw and fresh.

1 bunch scallions, sliced on the bias
1 inch ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed

2 tbls soy sauce
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbl asian chili garlic paste
1 tbl hot sauce
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps basil
2 tsps salt
! tsp black pepper

Put everything in a large container and stir to combine. Rest in the fridge a few hours.

Rice wine vinegar would've been more authentic, but I didn't have any on hand.

Orange and yellow bell peppers are something I used to just overlook. I always went red or green. But since a market opened nearby that sells them all for the same price, I've discovered the subtle differences in sweetness and texture and how they each work in their own unique ways with other ingredients. It's worth exploring.

I don't use citrus for acid because it doesn't agree with me. But lime and/or orange would totally work here.