Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Recipe of the Moment: Easy Falafel

You guys, I make the best falafel. Seriously. The first time I made it, I was a little surprised at the taste because normally I order mine from food carts, and it tends to be dried out. But now, I turn my nose up at the $3 falafel sandwiches. 

(Okay, not really. They're great when I'm in a bind.)

But seriously, fresh falafel is awesome and not that difficult.

Also, I usually fry mine in oil. Do I ever take pictures of that? Of course not. I take pictures of the pan-fried falafel my boyfriend wanted to try out because it was "healthier." It's still tasty, but I feel like I violated some unspoken rule that falafel must always be deep-fried.

2 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans
1 small red onion, chopped and diced
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flour

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans.

Add the beans, onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, cayenne, garlic, and cumin to a food processor or blender and process or blend until it forms a green paste. If you're having problems, try doing blending in small batches or adding just a little bit of water.

So appetizing, I know.
Place the mixture in a bowl and add the baking powder. This is so important! If you skip this step, it might fall apart when you try to cook it and there will be no falafel for you.

Begin adding flour, a little at a time, until the paste is dry enough that it doesn't stick to your hands when you form patties.

Refrigerate for 4 hours (or at least 30 minutes) so all the ingredients blend together.

When ready to cook: heat oil in a pot or a pan, depending on how you're going to fry them. Scoop out mixture with a spoon (about 2 tbsp worth) and shape however you'd like before adding to the pot or pan.

Or don't shape them. Whatever.
 Cook until golden brown on each side.

And enjoy!
I served mine over rice, with chopped cucumber and tomato.

I also experimented each night with different sauces. They were all Greek yogurt based. 

My favorite was Greek yogurt, mixed with some grated cucumber, parsley, paprika, cayenne pepper, and honey. I love the sweet and spicy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recipe of the Moment: Green Grilled Cheese

After I made my Grown-Up grilled cheese, I haven't been able to eat a normal grilled cheese again. The funny part is that when I was a child, even up until college (or, okay, last month), I couldn't understand why people would eat a grilled cheese with anything but cheese. Tomatoes? No thanks. Grilled onions? Not really for me.

Well, no longer. I saw a picture of a grilled cheese this morning, and I seriously wondered why anyone would eat that much bread. It was hardly a sandwich at all! And that's when the irony of the situation struck me.

Anyway, this has to be my new favorite sandwich, mostly because it's so delicious and I feel like I just ate something amazingly healthy. I found this recipe here, and since I didn't have a lot of the greens on hand, I just substituted with my own. It's not that complicated, despite my initial fears, and I've made it a couple time since as a last minute dinner. It's so tasty!

2 slices of bread
2-3 tablespoons of pesto, recipe below*
thinly sliced Monterrey Jack cheese
handful of spinach
1/2 avocado
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
olive oil

Add olive oil to and heat your skillet on a medium-low flame.

Add pesto to each slice of bread.
On one slice, add Monterrey Jack cheese and goat cheese.

On the other slice, add spinach and avocado.

Carefully put one slice on top of the other. Cook in pan until golden brown on each side.


*Pesto Sauce
If you have store pesto, feel free to use it, but of course, anything you quickly make yourself tastes amazing. If you don't have some of these ingredients, feel free to substitute something.

1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
handful fresh parsley
handful fresh basil
handful chopped kale
handful spring onions
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend.