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Tag Archive: chickpeas

Falafel (gluten-free + vegan)

February 1, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Happy February, everyone! We’ve survived the first month of 2015…only eleven more to go before the year I graduate, the year I become an adult, the year where the rest of my life begins arrives.

That’s a while away, though. I’m still getting used to writing the number fifteen so frequently on my papers for school, and I still have so many recipes I want to try and share with all of you, too!

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These falafel–or Middle Eastern crispy chickpea balls–are a dinner staple in my house. I get bored making the same thing over and over again, so for something to be a staple, it must be particularly special. And while it may look plain and simple, this dish is really anything but.

What I love falafel is that they can be made using very little kitchen equipment, require only about ten minutes of hands-on time, and usually yield a ton of leftovers, which are great for lunch and making people jealous. (Though I have brought in falafel for my friends and teachers, too, because I am just oozing with coolness. 😉 ) The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful, and everything on the plate is bursting with nutrition, from the protein in the chickpeas to the healthy fats in the sesame seeds to the vitamins in all of the fresh vegetables.

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Usually, falafel are deep-fried and served in pita bread. Sure, you can opt to do one or both of these routes, but I prefer my falafel baked and served over a bed of veggies for a lighter meal and less mess.

Don’t worry, though. I promise all of the crunch is preserved in the oven! Just follow my advice and you will wind up with a deliciously crispy final meal.

Most bean burgers or fritters call for cooked beans; falafel, however, use dried beans that have been soaked. So, for your first step, make sure you soak your chickpeas in a water bath overnight and up to 24 hours to soften them up.

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The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and invite all of your remaining ingredients–including herbs, spices, onions, and garlic–to the party in the food processor and blend everybody up to get well-incorporated.

Then form into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet…

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…and off to the oven they go! (It’s about to get hot in here.)

After thirty five minutes of baking, let the falafel cool for a few minutes before serving with carrots, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, and a tasty tahini sauce. It’s as easy as that! (I promise.)

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Falafel

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)

FOR THE FALAFEL:

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of cayenne (optional)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve

FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:

1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)

The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)

A generous pinch of salt

Water

Directions

FOR THE FALAFEL:

Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.

Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.


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What is one healthy dinner staple in your house? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Falafel

January 30, 2015 Print this page

These are a go-to dinner in my house. Simple, delicious, and filled with protein, these are absolutely delicious over a bed of fresh vegetables any time of day (or year!). Best of all, they’re baked, so you can spare yourself the mess of frying and still have a crispy final result. Adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe. (Mark Bittman = bae)

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)

FOR THE FALAFEL:

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of cayenne (optional)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve

FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:

1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)

The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)

A generous pinch of salt

Water

Directions

FOR THE FALAFEL:

Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.

Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.


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Chickpeas and Dumplings

September 2, 2014 Print this page

The idea for this soup was born when I wanted to make my chicken soup but had just eaten chicken for dinner the night before. What was a girl to do? Well, make it without meat, that is…and throw in some chewy, doughy dumplings! Voila–chickpeas and dumplings. 

Ingredients

Prep Time 15 min
Cooking Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 min
Yield 6 servings

FOR THE CHICKPEAS:

2 cups of dried chickpeas

2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (one with active enzymes, like Bragg’s)

1 strip of kombu (found in the Asian section at grocery stores)

OR 1 15-ounce can of pre-cooked chickpeas

FOR THE SOUP:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

1 large onion, chopped finely

4 large carrots, chopped finely

2 stalks of celery, chopped finely

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

6 cups of vegetable stock (preferably homemade or low sodium)

1 cup of apple cider

FOR THE DUMPLINGS:

1 1/2 cups of almond flour

1/2 cup of tapioca powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/3 cup of vegetable broth

Directions

First, cook your chickpeas. I always make my beans from scratch–canned beans always give me indigestion, and personally, I find home-cooked beans to have much more flavor. 

Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of warm water and the apple cider vinegar overnight. This will help lower the level of anti-nutrients (like phyates and lectins) and break down the long-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for your body to digest.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse them well with fresh water. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with fresh water (enough to cover the beans by at least 2 inches), and bring it to a boil. Once bubbling, add in the strip of kombu (a kind of seaweed that also has enzymes to help break the beans down), and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are soft and tender, about 2 to 3 hours.

Now that your chickpeas are ready, get started on the soup base.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat until beginning to sizzle. Add the arrowroot powder and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to help brown it a bit.

Next, add in the onion. Let it saute for five minutes, then add carrots and celery.

Let all of the veggies saute together for another 5 minutes, then pour in the salt, poultry seasoning, and turmeric. Stir to cover the vegetables with the spices and let saute for another 2 minutes.

To the vegetables, add the cooked chickpeas, vegetable stock, and apple cider (the SECRET ingredient!). I made my own vegetable stock, but if you use store-bought, please purchase the low-sodium variety! Increase the heat to high and bring everything to a boil, then turn it down to low and cook for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings, adapted from this recipe.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almond flour with the tapioca powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse for about 30 seconds until a soft dough is formed, then simply roll into balls and drop into the soup for 25 minutes.

Serve hot and eat with a big old spoon. Enjoy!


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Chickpeas and Dumplings (gluten-free + vegan)

September 2, 2014 1 Comment Print this page

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As nights and mornings gradually grow colder, I love having something warm to eat. While summer weather is beautiful and I do adore Sun Gold tomatoes, nectarines, and grilling, fall and winter are my favorite seasons for food. Soup, stews, and braises are truly some of my favorite things to cook: throw everybody in a pot, cook over low heat for a long time, and remove the lid to discover broth-infused veggies, perfectly-cooked beans, and meat that falls apart with the touch of a fork. There is nothing better on a dreary November night. Nothing. Except a molten chocolate lava cake.

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Perhaps September 2nd is a bit premature to start talking about fall food, but I started school last Monday, and school means fall, so there. I want my soup and I want it now.

Especially a soup as tasty as this one!

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The idea for this soup was born when I wanted to make my chicken soup but had just eaten chicken for dinner the night before. What was a girl to do? Well, make it without meat, that is…and throw in some chewy, doughy dumplings! Voila–chickpeas and dumplings.

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In addition to being incredibly filling and warming–it kept me warm all through the freezer that is my French class (to quote my teacher, “Pourquoi il fait toujours froid dans ma salle de classe?!”)–this soup provides a healthy serving of vegetables and a good source of protein from the beans and dumplings. Traditional chicken and dumplings includes cream, but I decided to leave it out–we didn’t miss it in the slightest. (We don’t like cream soups very much, anyway.) You’ll be too busy sipping away at that flavorful broth, perfectly accented by my secret ingredient.

Want to find out what it is? Keep reading–and make this dish while you’re at it. 😉

First, cook your chickpeas. I always make my beans from scratch–canned beans always give me indigestion, and personally, I find home-cooked beans to have much more flavor.

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Soak 2 cups of chickpeas in a bowl of warm water and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (one with active enzymes, like Bragg’s) overnight. This will help lower the level of anti-nutrients (like phyates and lectins) and break down the long-chain carbohydrates that are difficult for your body to digest.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and rinse them well with fresh water. Place them in a medium saucepan, cover with fresh water (enough to cover the beans by at least 2 inches), and bring it to a boil. Once bubbling, add in a strip of kombu (a kind of seaweed that also has enzymes to help break the beans down), and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the beans are soft and tender, about 2 to 3 hours.

Now that your chickpeas are ready, get started on the soup base.

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In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until beginning to sizzle. Add 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to help brown it a bit.

Next, add in 1 large onion chopped into small pieces. Let it saute for five minutes, then add 4 large carrots and 2 stalks of celery also chopped into small pieces.

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Let all of the veggies saute together for another 5 minutes, then pour in 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning, and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric. Stir to cover the vegetables with the spices and let saute for another 2 minutes.

By the way, vegans and vegetarians–poultry seasoning does not contain any meat, quite the opposite, in fact: it’s a combination of lots of yummy herbs like rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and others.

To the vegetables, add the cooked chickpeas, 6 cups of vegetable stock, and 1 cup of apple cider (the SECRET ingredient!). I made my own vegetable stock, but if you use store-bought, please purchase the low-sodium variety! Increase the heat to high and bring everything to a boil, then turn it down to low and cook for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings, adapted from this recipe.

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In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 1/2 cups of almond flour with 1/2 cup of tapioca powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 cup of vegetable broth. Pulse for about 30 seconds until a soft dough is formed, then simply roll into balls and drop into the soup for 25 minutes.

Serve hot and eat with a big old spoon. Enjoy! 🙂

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What is your favorite fall soup? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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