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.