Baked Falafel 

If I can l, I watch Joy Bauer on The Today Show in the morning. A couple of weeks ago on the show she showed viewers how to make baked falafel.  I was super excited when she posted about the baked falafel online so I could replicate the recipe. 

My daughter is a vegetarian, so making items that taste good, include protein and veggies are especially important.

If you have a food processor and some time on your hands to make a healthy dinner, this is a great option. I totally forgot that I needed dried chickpeas and just used a can of chickpeas I had that I was going to make hummus with. 

These were easy, I made the chickpea balls in the morning and then was able to bake them when I got home from work.

My daughter gobbled them up and we had two nights of dinner. I chose not to make taziki, instead I picked some up from Trader Joe’s – which was amazing!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ cups dried chickpeas (or buy a can)
  • ¼ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

PREPARATION:

  • Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight (12 to 14 hours), then drain. I skipped this and just bought canned ones!
  • Preheat oven to 400˚.
  • Place the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse so they’re blended but not pureed. 
  • Add the onion, parsley, garlic, salt, lemon juice and cumin, and pulse a few times so that everything is well combined but not pureed.
  • Finally, add in the baking powder and panko breadcrumbs, and pulse a few final times again to form a dough-like consistency.
  • Form chickpea batter into small balls (about the size of a melon ball scoop and smaller than a golf ball) and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or one that has been liberally sprayed with nonstick oil, so the balls don’t stick. Mist the top with olive oil spray and bake for about 15 minute. 
  • Flip, mist the top again with olive oil spray and bake for another 15 minutes, until browned and crispy.

Serve 3 falafel balls in a whole grain pita stuffed with chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and tahini or Tzaziki.

Instant Pot Yogurt

Everyone knows that I am pretty much addicted to my InstantPot. It has been the single best cooking companion that I have ever purchased.

I have been doing my research and from what everyone was saying, This Old Gal has the easiest and best recipe out there.  So, I read it.  I read it again.  Then I tried.

Success!

I was very impressed with this and really have to hand it to This Old Gal for sharing her wisdom and expertise, I was very afraid to make this, but she helped me along and viola, here we go!

Now I am going to make this every week or so and maybe next time I will try for a whole gallon vs the 1/2 gallon I tried the first time.

instant-pot-yogurt

Let me know if you try to make yogurt or what fun fixings you put into it.  I would love to know if you love it as much as I do.

Some folks have said that it takes too long or that it isn’t worth the time, but when I struggle with food intolerances and all kinds of other problems, it is great to know exactly what is in my food.

Happy Cooking!

Vegan Banana Muffins

As many of you know I have been traveling and that has forced me to eat out.  A lot.

Sadly, eating out doesn’t always = healthy.

Take for example the other day when I was “in the mood” for ice cream, so I stopped and got some and no, I don’t regret it.

While I have been home these last few days, I have taken advantage of getting up early and cooking or baking something before working so that I eat better and so does my daughter when I am not home.

I adapted this recipe from Forks Over Knives (I used sweetened applesauce & chia seeds vs flax) to make some vegan banana muffins.

They are pretty tasty, but I have to say that I am likely going to invest in silicone liners, these paper ones are so old school!

We have been eating them with homemade yogurt and vanilla pudding (not together) and fruit.

Next time I will probably add some blueberry or strawberry purée to give it a little sweetness and maybe flax seed will change the texture a bit.

Ingredients:

4 very ripe bananas
2 cups oats, ground into flour

½ cup unsweetened apple juice

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder

½ teaspoon sodium-free baking soda

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners.
  • Grind oats into a flour.
  • Place in a large bowl and add all the other dry ingredients.
  • Puree bananas in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade until smooth.
  • Add the apple juice, applesauce, extract and apple cider vinegar and process again until combined.
  • Pour over dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Do not over mix.

Pour into muffin liners filling about 2⁄3 full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Seafood Miso Soup

As you know I have been using my Instant Pot a lot the last few weeks making different things. 

I love kitchen gadgets and this has to be one of the best ones that I have found (next to my VitaMix) for everyday use in the kitchen.

My daughter loves Miso and I do as well, but I don’t always have time to run to Trader Joe’s to pick up some. 

Lately I have been ordering from Door to Door Organics each week and this recipe was my starter inspiration for this dish.

I had to convert this from stovetop to Instant Pot, but after consulting my handbook, I knew I had a plan!

I added

  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Trader Joe’s Seafood Blend

To the existing recipe in order to make it a little heartier and give it some texture. 

Started with dissolving the Miso paste in the Instant Pot on sauté

Then I added veggies, seafood and tofu. Locked the lid and cooked on the soup setting for 5 minutes.


Once this was done,  I added my Soba Noodles and cooked for an additional 3 minutes. 

Vióla, you have my version of Miso Soup!

What have you made in your Instant Pot lately?

Instant Pot Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Last week while visiting my brother and his family, I made a pot of Broccoli & Cheese Soup on the stove. It was pretty darn amazing if I do say so myself, but it took about an hour to make and got three pans dirty. Honestly, that was way too much work for me and I would have rather spent time playing with my nephew.

While home yesterday I stared into the fridge looking for something to make that was going to be quick and easy. Fortunately at home I have an Instant Pot and I have a Pampered Chef’s Manual Food Processor so making this soup for a second time didn’t require a whole lot of effort and it still tasted pretty darn good.

My daughter took two bowls of it, I had two bowls of it and at the end of the day, we were both pretty happy with what was for dinner.

Broccoli & Cheese Soup.png

 

Black Beans & Rice (Instant Pot)

Recently I purchased an Instant Pot and have been scouring the internet for recipes to try that accommodate both myself and the vegetarian in my home.  I created a Pinterest board as well to try and put recipes in one place to try.

Last night I had the opportunity to make some dishes with my Instant Pot so that my daughter would be fed before I headed out to a hockey game.

I love Guy Fieri and Food Network – they make cooking so easy, so I hit them up for an idea for black beans in a pressure cooker and I found this:

So, I took the time to make some black beans and rice – I think it turned out great, but I did have to visit the little hispanic grocery store in town to get some epazote (Mexican oregano).

I did cook them all separate, however if you don’t care that your white rice turns black when cooking with beans, there are options for that and the Instant Pot website has some good options for a combined dish.

Since I am not a vegetarian, I like some chicken with my beans and rice.  Once I pulled the beans out, I put a few frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot, set it to 25 minutes and viola, shredded chicken to add.

I am still experimenting and I may even get up the nerve to make some yogurt this weekend (it looks complicated) and I will keep you updated with what I am making and tasting.

Share your favorites with me or head over to my Pinterest page and let me know what you have made!

Happy Cooking!

black-beans-rice-chicken

New Years Eve Preparation

Today I am starting to prepare my shopping list for New Years Eve. The difference this year vs years past is that this year The Ohio State University is playing in the Fiesta Bowl and they will be playing against Clemson New Years Eve evening.

I invited some friends and family over and then realized that I was going to need to actually feed those that were coming to visit.

I headed to my trusty Pinterest pages to gain some inspiration.

Now, my Instant Pot arrived today from Amazon and I am also thinking what I can use that for along with my trusty Vitamix and of course KitchenAid Mixer.  I am a little bit of a kitchen tool dork, as you will find, so you will hear a lot about the use of my cool (and favorite) kitchen tools.

Now, I am thinking I want to go with a Mexican theme, but I have also started to find that Buddha Bowls are amazing, so I started a board for specifically New Years Eve ideas.

As I look through these choices I am drawn to a taco bar, since I know some of my guests are not the most creative eating individuals.

The question is – what do I choose?  I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen and I sure don’t want to overwhelm my guests. My goal is to make things and have them out for my guests and I don’t want to deal with anything until after Ohio State is done playing!

It is odd that I don’t have a New Years Eve tradition, nor do I have a Christmas one. At the end of the day all I really want is to be surrounded by my family and friends to enjoy their company, love and friendship.

Take a look at my Pinterest board above and tell me what you think I should make.  So far these are my top three: