Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bell Pepper & Tofu Garam Masala


Now that Ashley has discovered her love of Indian food, life has been flavorful.  Possibly too flavorful.  Whenever I leave her to dinner, Indian food is on the menu.  And not just Indian food, but a variety of two different dishes-- Palak Aloo or Chana Masala.  I love both of these, but I am not a man who can eat the same meal day after day.  Ashley, on the other hand, can have the same thing for lunch every day for a month and be perfectly content.

So a week ago, after begging me to go for Indian food at an Indian restaurant down the street from us, I finally convinced her to try something new.  In fact, that was the deal; I'll pay for dinner, but she had to try a new dish.  It was too early for dinner but too late for lunch, so the restaurant was fairly quiet.  We sat down, ordered our drinks, and munched on samosas as Ashley tried to figure out what she wanted to try.  The restaurant, a North Indian styled place, has a menu that is roughly 12 pages long (as many Indian restaurant menu's tend to be) and filled with veg options.

Five minutes passes.  Ten minutes passes.  The waiter comes by, asks if we're ready.  Not yet.  Ashley thinks she knows what she wants-- stops, waits-- "should I just get the Masala?" she asks me, pleading for me to agree.  I smile and laugh; I don't need to say anymore to make my opinion clear.  Again she goes back to studying the menu as though it's a map, running her fingers across the descriptions of the meals, hoping to find something she may have missed before that she already has tried.

The waiter comes by for the second time.  I tell him we need a few more minutes and he promises to be within reach if we need him.  Ashley tells me she thinks she's ready: she's going for the Vegetable Biryani.  A good choice, I comment, but she's already too busy staring down the plates of palak headed to the only other table filled to notice.

I get the waiter's attention and he asks us if we're ready.  I tell him my order of Aloo Mutter, and he turns to Ashley, which she responds to with "Chana Masala" with an evil grin on her face.  So much for trying something new.

So, in revenge, I made this little dish; not 'authentic' Indian food by any means, but a delicious substitute for the lazy and hungry.

2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp garam masala
1 carrot, diced into sticks
1 16 oz. block extra firm tofu, cubed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup cream alternative (unsweetened soy works best in my experience)
1 tsp cilantro, dried
salt and pepper to taste

Place large skillet over medium heat and add oil. When oil is warm, add sliced onions and saute until soft.

Add ginger, cumin, cilantro, and garam masala. Saute for another minute or two.

Add tofu and saute until lightly browned. Make sure to stir tofu around to get as close to an even browning as possible. Add bell pepper and saute for a few more minutes

Add the tomato sauce, water, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer.

Simmer until sauce is thickened to a loose paste, about 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice and naan. Enjoy!

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