Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Healthy Falafel

Here is a vegan falafel.

I have had a long lasting love affair with the falafel, and have only recently figured out that it does not have to come at the expense of a of being a high caloric indulgence. This recipe maintains the delicious savoriness that I associate with the more traditional recipe. less grease than the fried version, but not as dog biscuit-like as some baked versions I have had in the past. These are light and almost fluffy in the middle, but crispy on the outsides. One word of caution, however: these are a bit fragile, so treat them gently. You will be glad you did!

Modified from  Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
Original recipe

  • 2 small onions, rough dice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional, I made some with and some without as I have a non cilantro eater in my house)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Plain flour on a plate 
  • Cooking spray
  1. In food processor, whirl onions and garlic into a paste, then add chickpeas and dry spices. Whirl again until smooth. 
  2. Add the chopped coriander if you are going to use it (or split out the mix you wish to keep cilantro free), and pulse with the food processor until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. At this point, the mix is very moist and the process is a bit delicate. Heat a skillet or griddle to medium and coat the pan with cooking spray. Form medium sized balls and lightly dust with flour to reduce their stickiness. Place them on the griddle. Once on the griddle, gently spritz the top of the= balls themselves with the cooking spray, then use a spatula to flatten them into a thin patty shape. Cook for 4-6 minutes on a side and flip GENTLY. They are rather fragile creatures compared with the fried falafels you may be used to.  
  4. Eat them! They are good on pita, on a salads, as an accompaniment to various side items, and they reheat well. I like to serve them along with hummus (although many would consider that redundant), tahini, or pretty much any dressing you can imagine. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hummus Among Us

Alton Brown's Hummus- my alterations
 modified from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/hummus-for-real-recipe.html?oc=linkback

1 pound cooked chickpeas (from scratch or canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup tahini, stirred well
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

Place the chickpeas, garlic, and kosher salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 15 to 20 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and process for another 15 to 20 seconds. Add the lemon juice and water. Process for 20 seconds. Add the tahini. Process for 20 seconds, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil.

I think this had a bit too much lemon at the same time as was a bit too thin (neither a fatal flaw, however). Next time, I would reduce the lemon juice. To increase the garlic flavor, but maintain the oomph, some garlic powder could be added.