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!


  • 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


  • 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.

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!


Tortellini Soup

I am always looking for quick and easy meal ideas, especially with a daughter who is a vegetarian.  This recipe says chicken broth, but you can substitute vegetable broth just as easily.  We also used frozen tortellini over refrigerated.

I served this with some garlic bread and it was a hit in our house.

Let me know if you make this and if it is a hit in yours!