Archive | April, 2011

Falafel!?! OK.

30 Apr

The other night (last Saturday night to be exact), Betsy and I got together to make some dinner!  She brought along her cookbook Appetite For Reduction and we made some falafel.  Ryan and I have made falafel once before, but from the box, so this was exciting to be trying something new.  And I must say, making falafel is easy and fun!  There isn’t much prep work, except to measure and roughly chop, because the food processor (or Vita-mix) does all the work!

Baked Falafel

Serves 3-4

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cloves garlic

½ small yellow onion, chopped roughly

1/2 cup fresh parsley

2 tsp. olive oil

2 tsp. hot sauce

3 Tbsp. chickpea flour

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. smoked paprika

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a food processor, or Vita-mix, puree the chickpeas, garlic, onion, parsley, hot sauce and olive oil until almost completely smooth.

Put into a bowl and stir in the chickpea flour, spices and baking powder.  Now would be the time to add the salt and pepper, but we forgot oops (:  Add more chickpea flour if needed (the dough should be soft, yet able to hold its shape).

Using a scoop, or measuring spoon/cup, portion the dough into 12 patties, somewhat flattened.  Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes, flip and bake another 12-15 minutes until browned on both sides.

That’s it!!!  Homemade falafel that tastes better than any box mix you could try!!

We put ours into a whole wheat pita with Betsy’s homemade hummus made with white and garbanzo beans.  Then we filled the pita to the brim with romaine lettuce.  So delicious!

Crunchy Bacon Salad Topper!!!

23 Apr

Bacon?!  Well… not really.  When Julie and I went to the Martha Stewart Show in March, Biz and Martha cooked an amazing stew (one that I’ve already had twice and loved both times!) and to top that stew they made a mushroom “bacon” topping.  I am not a huge mushroom lover, but I try and force myself because I know they are good for me, so I was a skeptic at first.  Ryan and I ran to the store and bought some beautiful shiitake mushrooms (seriously they were amazing looking) and we chopped them extremely thin and baked them in olive oil just like the recipe said.  It was taking forever!!  They just weren’t getting crispy!  But then something miraculous happened… they became crispy… We were cooking for some friends, thank goodness they got crispy, so I had to sample them to make sure I could serve them with confidence.  I think I ended up eating half of them before anyone arrived.  OOPS!

Well, here I go again.  This time I’m making them just for Ryan and I!  I’m going to top my salad with them!  It’s like shiitake-mushroom-baco-bits!

Shiitake Bacon

Serves 4

5 oz. shiitake mushrooms (about 6 large)

Canola oil or any oil, I used an aerosol can of canola oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the mushroom stems; slice the shiitake mushroom caps thinly, about 1/4 an inch.

Spread them evenly on to the parchment lines baking sheet, but it’s ok if they overlap a little because they shrink down.  Spray, or drizzle, the mushrooms with oil, and place in to the oven for 8-9 minutes.  Use tongs or a spatula to flip the mushrooms; this is hard because they are sticky and soggy so I just stirred them around the best I could and then tried to thin them back out into a single layer.  Spray, or drizzle, the mushrooms again and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Flip the mushrooms a second time, and return to the oven for another 8 minutes.  Repeat this, removing any mushrooms that have crisped, until done (I ended up flipping one last time, spraying with oil ever so lightly, and cooking another 6 minutes – they crisp up more as they cool).

It’s hard to resist eating all of them!!!

Coconut Maca Energy Balls

20 Apr

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot about a superfood called Maca and can you believe it… it’s on sale!  I love when that happens.

Maca is great for energy levels, stamina, and, as a customer at Whole Foods made sure I remembered, “it makes ya horny.”  Oh how people never cease to amaze me!

Well let me just say, I bought it for the energy Mr. Customer, not for what it seems you buy it for haha!!!

I thought it would be a great idea to take what I loved about the Chocolate Chip and Almond Butter Balls that I made before and what I am needing recently… protein and energy!  I came up with these fiber-full, protein-packed, melt-in-your-mouth energy balls that everyone loves.

Coconut Maca Energy Balls

Makes 26 balls, depending on the size of your scoop

10 Tbsp. coconut flour

10 tsp. Maca powder

3 Tbsp. cacao nibs, processed in the food processor until finely ground

2/3 cup dried coconut flakes, unsweetened

3 Tbsp. chia seeds, briefly processed in the food processor

2/3 cup old fashioned oats

1 1/3 cup chunky almond butter

1/3 cup raw agave nectar

Directions:

Combine all the dry ingredients together (everything but the almond butter and agave nectar).  Whisk to combine completely.  In a small separate bowl, combine the almond butter and agave nectar and mix to combine completely.  Add the wet to the dry and mix.  This takes a few minutes, but make sure every morsel is coated with the almond butter and agave.

Use a scoop, or a spoon, to portion out the balls.  I love my cookie scoop that has an automatic unloader so I don’t have to get my fingers sticky and it measures out the perfect size every time!  With the scoop (which I believe is a 2 Tbsp. scoop) this batter produces 26 energy balls.  I put the ingredients into my Iphone app ‘Lose It’ and got an approximate calorie count of 143!  Not too bad for an extremely satisfying snack!  With the chia, 3 g. of fiber and 4 g. of protein, these balls fill you up and have a long lasting effect!!

Eat on the go to ward of hunger or after an intense workout to amp up recovery, either way… ENJOY!

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