Recipe: Falafel

This falafel is baked and hits the spot. Serve it with cilantro hummus for added flavor.

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Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T bread crumbs
2 T chickpea flour*
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3/4 t sea salt, divided
2 T coconut oil
1 lemon
6 T tahini
1/4 c water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
pita bread
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
dill pickles, chopped

*Whole wheat flour can be substituted.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine chickpeas, onion, bread crumbs, flour, parsley, cumin, coriander, pepper, two garlic cloves, and sea salt in food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  3. Using a spoon, cookie dough scoop, or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the back of the spatula until they’re about 3/4″ thick.
  4. Brush both sides of each falafel disc with coconut oil. Bake for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Set aside when done.
  5. Whisk together juice from the lemon, tahini, water, olive oil, paprika, remaining 1/4 t sea salt, and remaining two minced garlic cloves and set aside.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. To assemble, cut about 1″ off the top of the pita to open the pocket. Add falafel, romaine, tomato, cucumber, and pickles and then top with tahini sauce.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Recipe: Cilantro Hummus

Hummus is a great source of protein and good fat, and the benefits of cilantro include aiding in digestion, preventing UTIs, and, perhaps most compelling, the ability to purify water.* The point is, it’s an incredible herb, and this recipe is like butta.

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Ingredients

15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 t sea salt
3 T tahini
1/4 c liquid reserved from chickpeas or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 c water

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  1. Combine all ingredients into the small bowl of a food processor, pulsing until smooth.
  2. Taste and add more lemon juice or sea salt, if you like.

Enjoy straight away or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to three days.

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Serves many snackers.

Adapted from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.

*Roizman,, Tracey. “Health Benefits of Cilantro, Basil, Rosemary, Dill and Mint.” Healthy Eating | SF Gate, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-cilantro-basil-rosemary-dill-mint-4675.html. Accessed 01 July 2018.

Recipe: Mujaddara

Mujaddara is a Lebanese dish, but I’ve also seen it associated with Jordan and Iran. I believe the origins are regional and predate today’s borders, but if you have more info please let me know in the comments below.

This recipe is simple,  savory, and an unsuspecting crowd pleaser. The caramelized onions are heaven and the vibrant spices bring the dish to life. Rick houses it.

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Ingredients

1 c lentils
1/2 c olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t black peppercorns, cracked or whole
3-5 red onions
2 t sea salt
3/4 c brown basmati rice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1″ cinnamon stick
3 c water
1-2 lemons
2 T pine nuts, toasted (optional)

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  1. Put lentils into a medium saucepan and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a minute. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns, occasionally shaking the pan until the cumin seeds darken, about one minute.
  3. Sauté onions and 1/2 t sea salt, stirring often. The onions are done when they’re dark brown in color with slightly crispy edges. This will take about ten minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, move about half of the onions to a tea towel or paper towel-lined plate. These are for garnish.
  5. Add ground cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick and sauté about one minute.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and allow the rice mixture to steam for about five minutes.
  8. If using, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat about five minutes.
  9. Serve rice mixture with the reserved onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, and pine nuts, if using.

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Unlike the photo above, make a polished table presentation by filling a mold or small bowl with the dish and flipping it onto a plate.

Enjoy this mujaddara for lunch or dinner, as a side, or as a main course.

Serves four.

Adapted from Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions.

Recipe: Strawberry Cake

 

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Look, I get it. Sometimes gorgeous strawberries mesmerize you at the grocery store and the next thing you know you have two pounds of them in your fridge at home. This cake is one great way to use up those summer strawberries.

Ingredients

Cake:
2 c and 3 T whole wheat pastry flour
1 c cane sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1 c puréed strawberries*
1/3 c canola or olive oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T ground flax
3 T hot water

 

 

 

 

*Wash, hull, then purée strawberries in a food processor or blender.

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Frosting:
~4 c powdered sugar
1/4 c organic Earth Balance
1/4 c puréed strawberries
1 t vanilla extract

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 9″ cake pans* with parchment paper and lightly oil.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt.
  3. Prepare a flax egg by mixing the ground flax with 3 T of hot water from the kettle. Allow to sit for a moment.
  4. Mix the purée, oil, vinegar, and flax egg into the flour mixture. The batter will be very thick, so either use a spoon or the cookie dough attachment of a stand mixer until just combined. Be mindful not to over-mix.
  5. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. Mix powdered sugar, butter, purée and vanilla with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start slowly, increasing speed until frosting is thick, fluffy, and smooth.
  8. Decorate frosted cake with fresh strawberries.

 

 

*For a taller, more narrow cake use 7″ cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes.

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I am not a fan of food coloring, but as you can see the strawberries give the icing a gorgeous natural pink color.

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Serves ten.

 

 

Adapted from VEGAN STRAWBERRY CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY FROSTING.

Recipe: Pad Thai

 

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Ingredients

6 oz rice stick noodles
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c mirin
3 T ketchup
3 T soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 T lime juice
1 T sambal oelek or sriracha
~15 oz baked tofu*
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1 handful of baby carrots, shredded
1/4 c fresh cilantro, mint, or combo, chopped
1/2 c roasted peanuts, chopped

*Get hard, vacuum sealed tofu in the refrigerated section. Don’t get the crumbly stuff. This should require a knife!

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  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Whisk syrup, mirin, ketchup, soy sauce, lime juice, and sambal oelek together. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over high. Add tofu and stir-fry for four minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.
  5. Add noodles and sauce mixture and stir-fry until even coated.
  6. Add scallions and carrots and stir-fry until all ingredients are well combined and heated through.
  7. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in herbs and peanuts.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.