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 Runner's Garlic Tofu Mousse

I took up running about a year and a half ago. I had previously been a cyclist. The transition went smoothly, for the most part.

I'm naturally a long distance/endurance athlete. A 3 mile run doesn't do it for me. A 10 mile bike ride is simply not enough.

At some point in my long runs I hit a wall and even with rest I struggled to recover. I pored over articles on the Internet about exercise, running and vegan nutrition.

I learned about the importance of vitamin d. I learned about warm ups and proper clothing selection.

As plant based people, we already understand the need to supplement B12. We also know that plant combos create complete proteins.

What I didn't understand is how much of everything I'd need for such a high intensity activity like long distance running. I have the bad habit of thinking if I'm eating fortified cereal with fortified almond milk that I'm okay with the B vitamins.

I also assumed if I was eating a variety of grains, veg and legumes that I was covered in the amino department.

I thought I was getting enough B12. I thought I was getting enough protein and potassium. I thought I had everything I needed nutritionally. But when you're working your body as hard as you can work it, the amount of nutrients it requires skyrockets.

When I made a concerted effort to add a lot more of everything, I saw a big difference in recovery and performance.

I came up with this recipe to incorporate more nooch and protein into my diet. It yields a creamy, cheesy, salty puree that you'll enjoy adding to whatever you're eating.

1/2 block silken firm tofu
1/2 cup nooch
2 garlic cloves
1 serrano pepper
2 tsps salt
1 tbl olive oil

Buzz it all up until a fluffy, whipped mousse is formed. I used a stick blender.

Use it as a mayo replacement, a dip, a puree. Or just eat it by the spoonful if you're so inclined. It's a creamy, salty, garlicky, unami treat.

It'll help keep your runs long and joyful and make your runner's highs  more consistent.