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In Blog, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
September 17, 2018

Baked Falafel Salad with Tzatziki Dressing

In junior high school I had a friend who would bring a delicious looking homemade lunch every day. I would stare longingly at her lunch as I ate my daily peanut butter and honey sandwich. My mom made a lot of homemade meals, we weren’t deprived, however I was raised in a sandwich for lunch everyday kind of family. One of the things that always caught my eye was when my friend would have pita bread with vegetables and these odd little circular patties. I remember one day I asked what they were and that is the day I learned about falafel. Now I didn’t go on to try falafel for several more years, but once I did, I knew it was something I needed in my life regularly!

Now if you are like me in my junior high days wondering what the heck is falafel, let me tell you! Falafel is a Middle Eastern staple made out of chickpeas, fresh herbs, garlic, spices, and onion. Falafel is filling, full of protein, and is absolutely delicious paired with tzatziki sauce (we will get to that later), or thrown in a pita, or on a salad. Today I am going to teach you how to prepare falafel with a salad and tzatziki dressing. Traditional falafel recipes call for uncooked chickpeas, I prefer to use cooked or canned chickpeas in my falafel because I prefer a more moist falafel.

Now about that Tzatziki dressing- first, for those who have never heard of this or maybe you’ve seen it on a menu or another recipe and you thought how in the world is tzatziki pronounced, here you go: “Tah-see-key.” Tzatziki is a tangy yogurt sauce with cucumber, lemon, and dill. It is so creamy and is typically served with Greek gyros.

My recipe today will combine a green salad with crisp veggies, my baked falafel, drizzled with my tzatziki dressing, and topped with feta. Well enough is enough, let’s get cooking!


Baked falafel salad with tzatziki dressing ingredients:

Green leaf lettuce

Cucumber slices

Grape tomatoes halved

Carrot slivers

Red onion

Falafel (recipe below)

Tzatziki dressing (recipe below)

Feta crumbles

Instructions:

Chop salad vegetables, prepare the baked falafel and tzatziki dressing. Plate everything together, drizzle with tzatziki dressing, and toss on feta if you like.


Time: 20 minutes to prepare

           30 minutes in the oven

Yield: 18 falafels

Falafel Ingredients:

3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cans chickpeas drained

½ C fresh parsley leaves

½ C fresh cilantro leaves

1 small yellow onion (chopped in half)

4 small cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

¼ C flour

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Instructions:

1)      Preheat oven to 375 F.

2)      Combine chickpeas, parsley leaves, cilantro leaves, small yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil together. The easiest way I have found to do this is by using a magic bullet and using the largest cup option. If you do not have a magic bullet use a food processor. Everything combines easiest if you do it in 2-3 batches. If you try to stick all the ingredients in it will either not fit or it will give you a ton of trouble trying to blend it together. Just work with it, you will get everything well combined eventually. If some of the chickpeas and herbs are still a little chunky, no worries.

3)      Once you have the above ingredients combined put it in a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, flour, cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir together.

4)      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil it up to prevent sticking. Scoop out 1 ½ inch balls of the falafel dough and roll into a ball, set it on the baking sheet in rows (they do not expand so they can be close together), then flatten each ball slightly with your hand.

5)      Bake in the oven for 30 minutes on 375. Check to make sure they are not getting brown.

Tzatziki Dressing Ingredients:

1 C Greek yogurt

1/4 of a cucumber

Juice of ½ of a lemon

1 tbs dried dill

2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1)      Combine all ingredients in magic bullet, blender, or food processor. Enjoy!

 

In Blog, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Vegetarian on
August 27, 2018

Summer squash and lemon rosemary goat cheese empanadas

A few months ago I posted a picture of these wonderful little summer squash empanadas on my Instagram and the crowds went wild! And what I mean by that is I had a small handful of messages asking me to share the recipe. I am excited to be back in the blogosphere and delighted to be sharing this as my first recipe after a 3 month break.

So what the heck is an empanada, you might ask? An empanada is a Spanish or Latin American pastry filled with wonderful things, either savory or sweet. Today, my empanada recipe is a savory one. It is the end of summer and any good summer gardener has a garden overflowing with happy summer squash (yellow squash and zucchini) ready to be eaten. The only problem is, you have too many! What to do with all of the summer squash? Well friends, here is an idea- you make my delicious summer squash and lemon rosemary goat cheese empanadas. Wow, that is a mouth full of a recipe now. And it will be a delicious mouth full in about an hour from the time you read this to the time you have one of these lil guys in your mouth.

With empanadas you can go big or go easy. By that I mean you can make the empanada dough yourself or you can buy frozen ready to go in a nice flat disk empanada dough at your local grocery store. I have always bought Goya frozen empanada dough and never had an issue finding it in Texas because, well, Texas. But since we moved up to the tippy top of Michigan I haven’t found it. So sad! So I made my own empanada dough for the first time and it was more time consuming, sure, but it was straightforward and tasted great! I will link the recipe I used for that for any brave empanada dough making warriors.

Alright, let’s get on with the recipe now! Wonderful roasted summer vegetables along with warm goat cheese and the most pleasant rosemary and lemon flavors bursting out of a crisp baked empanada along with a side of my 5 minute hummus for dipping- let’s go!

Yield- 10 Empanadas

Time- 50 minutes

Ingredients:

1-2 zucchini depending on size (1 if its giant, 2 if they are smaller)

1-2 yellow squash (same rule applies as above)

1 yellow onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

2 cloves minced garlic

*juice of 1 lemon OR Meyer lemon infused olive oil *see note

olive oil to lightly coat veggies

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4-6 oz goat cheese (depending on how goat cheesy you like it)

Make my 5 minute hummus for dipping. I promise it will add SO much to these!

*note: I found a delicious Meyer Lemon infused olive oil which I used instead of adding lemon juice. You can find it HERE or you can use any lemon infused olive oil. Otherwise juice 1 lemon and lightly coat with olive oil. I have done it both ways and it always turns out great.

Instructions:

  1. If you are making the empanada dough, click here for the recipe I used.
  2. If you are using frozen empanada dough, set it out to defrost.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  4. Chop onion, zucchini, and yellow squash into small pieces.
  5. Toss onion, zucchini, and yellow squash with lemon juice, olive oil, chopped rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper and lay on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Once vegetables are done pull out and let cool for 5 minutes. Then add in the goat cheese and mix.
  8. Now it is time to assemble the empanadas. Scoop a hearty amount of the veggie/goat cheese mixture onto the empanada disk but make sure you don’t overstuff it. It will be hard to seal if you put too much in. To seal the disk carefully fold in half and press the edges together with your fingers. Fold and twist the dough as nicely as you are able or use a fork to press and fold the edges over.
  9. Put the assembled empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.
  10. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes before digging in. Don’t forget to make the hummus because it adds so much to these yummy empanadas!

 

In Blog, Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
February 19, 2018

Sweet Potato Hash Brown Stack with Eggs and Guacamole

You know those days where you really don’t want to put more than one ounce of energy into figuring out something deliciously healthy to eat? Yeah, I know those days. This recipe is a go to for those days. I recommend making everything homemade because when you make it yourself you know exactly what is in it, the quality of it, and you can give yourself a big ole pat on the back because you’re awesome. BUT this is the kind of recipe where if it ain’t gonna happen, if you don’t have time or energy to be a goddess of all things homemade, you can buy frozen hash browns and pre-made guacamole.

There are only 3 components to this: make some hash browns, make some eggs (anyway you like) OR tofu scramble if vegan, and make some guacamole to top it all off with. If that isn’t simple, I don’t know what is! This recipe is filling and full of healthy fats. It is one that will taste like comfort food, but give you all the energy to do all the things! Oh, and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is that versatile.

Could you just picture this on your brunch table with mimosas, a little spread of fruit, and some of your favorite people sitting around laughing with you? Make it happen.


Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes

Olive oil/coconut oil/ or butter for cooking sweet potatoes

4 eggs (scrambled, fried, or poached- one per person)

Season hash browns and eggs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Guacamole:

3 avocados

1 vine ripe tomato diced

¼ small red onion chopped small

2 tbs chopped cilantro

Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to season

1/8 tsp cumin

Juice of one small lime

Instructions:

1) If making your own hash browns, peel your potatoes and use your food processor with shredding attachment, if you really want to get down and dirty you can make your own hash browns by grating your sweet potato with a cheese grater and bonus- you get a great arm workout!

2) In a nonstick skillet add your oil or butter to thinly coat the bottom. Add your sweet potato shreds in on medium high heat. Continually stir, add in more oil or butter if needed to help with the sticking, and add in your salt, pepper, and garlic. It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook. You will know they are done when they look like hash browns and are soft.

3) While hash browns are cooking make your guacamole. First mash up your avocados, then add in the rest of your ingredients mixing well unless you like it chunky. Set to the side.

4) While hash browns are cooking, cook up your eggs whichever way you would like. One per person. Season with salt and pepper.

5) Once everything is cooked it is time to assemble. Scoop some hash browns onto a plate; next add your egg, and then top with guacamole. Add salsa if you’d like for a flavor boost!

*Cook hash browns according to package if opting to use frozen hash browns.

In Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
January 21, 2018

Thai Peanut Kale Wraps

Heyo! It’s been a good bit since I have posted a recipe. I have been doing this “clean eating plan” that I put together from the beginning of the year and plan to do it all the way through March so I haven’t been able to be as creative because I am sticking to my meal plan 100%. Anyway, as y’all can probably guess, I love cooking and coming up with recipes to share, so I’ve missed it! I have every intention to get back to more recipe posting in coming months.

Anyway— today I have one to share with you, whoop whoop whoop! I am OBSESSED with anything Thai peanut flavored. To those who haven’t taken their taste buds in that direction, you might think adding peanut butter to things like noodles or kale or well anything except for bread or a banana is insane. Well you are right, except that it is insane-ly good! One day I thought up this recipe for these Thai Peanut Kale Wraps and I have eaten them a handful of times and they are tasty, healthy, crunchy, filling, and colorful. It is easy to just prep all the stuff and then pull it out and make them for lunch throughout the week. Best of all this tasty recipe is packed with so many veggies and they are coated with that delicious Thai peanut flavor! 


Ingredients:

Chopped kale

Red bell pepper

Carrots

Avocado

Cilantro

Cooked quinoa

Tortillas

For the sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy works best)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4-1/3 cup water (add in gradually and taste to see how much you want )

Instructions:

1)      Cook your quinoa according to the package

2)      Make your sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a magic bullet, blender, or by hand.

3)      Put chopped kale in a bowl (don’t use the hard parts of the stem) and pour the peanut sauce over the top. You judge how much you want on their but I like a lot of sauce… Most important part: MASSAGE your kale with the sauce on it for 1 minute. This helps the kale to be more enjoyable to eat.

4)      Next chop your veggies into thin strips or however you like to eat them.

5)      Add everything to a tortilla, quinoa, kale with sauce, bell pepper, carrot, avocado, and cilantro, roll up, and enjoy!

 

In Dinner, Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
November 6, 2017

Mediterranean Tostadas

It’s daylight savings time, that funky day of the year that messes up schedules and throws everyone off. Days like this call for easy dinners and I’ve got just the thing for you. Think flavorful out the wazoo, healthy, crunchy, satisfying and QUICK- and you’ve got Mediterranean Tostadas!

A tostada is basically a toasted or cooked (whether baked or fried) tortilla. I buy mine premade and I am sure you can find them in your local grocery store in the tortilla section. I like to load these tostadas up with hummus and veggies and to really up the flavor game I add tzatziki sauce and feta- two Mediterranean all stars.

This recipe involves some chopping, a little bit of roasting, mixing, and piling a mountain of tastiness onto a crunchy tostada. It shouldn’t take you long and if you are really in a hurry buy some premade hummus and tzatziki sauce at the store (typically you can find this in the deli area) and a jar of roasted red bell peppers and this will be on your plate and in your belly in no time.

This recipe is vegetarian and could easily be vegan if you omit the tzatziki and feta.

Makes 12 tostadas

Ingredients:

Tostadas

2 red bell peppers (to be roasted)

2 tomatoes

1 cucumber

1 small red onion

1 handful of chopped parsley

1 can of olives

1 avocado

5 minute hummus or store bought hummus

Tzatziki sauce

Feta

Instructions:

1. If you are roasting your red bell peppers at home do this first! I use good ole Ina garten’s tips and tricks.

2. If you are making your hummus and tzatziki, go ahead and do that now.

3. While the red bell peppers are roasting chop up all of your veggies into small pieces.

4. Once the bell peppers are done roasting, chop then drizzle with a little olive oil, and add a dash of salt and pepper.

5. Time to assemble your tostadas! Take a tostada and smear a hearty scoop of hummus on it, add any and all chopped veggies, drizzle on the tzatziki sauce, add feta cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

6. Get down to flavor town and enjoy!

 

 

 

In Blog, Food, Lunch on
October 19, 2017

Vegetable Fritters with Avocado Lime Dip

VEGETABLE FRITTERS WITH AVOCADO LIME DIP

We are not a sandwich kind of family so lunch time means we have to get a little creative. I have a handful of things I make for lunch for us and I cycle through them week by week. When I am thinking of what I want in lunch I want something easy to eat, not too time consuming, full of veggies and nutrients, of course tasty, and filling- in comes veggie fritters with avocado lime dip! When I got this recipe down how I wanted it I added it to our lunch time rotation ASAP! I saw a recipe once for veggie fritters and it was a big thumbs down but I was not ready to give up on this idea so I spent some time and revamped it. All you have to do is a little choppin’, a little mixin’, a little grindin’, and a little sizzlin’ and voila, a delicious lunch that might even last you a few days depending on how many mouths you’re feeding and/or if you just can’t stop popping them into your mouth.

This recipe calls for chickpea flour and let me tell you a little story- I once was making a recipe that required chickpea flour and I looked all around my local grocery store and to no avail I could not find any. I thought to myself “chickpea flour, huh, is it really just chick peas?” So I whipped out my phone and googled this and learned right then and there I could very easily make my own. If you decide to make this recipe you could of course use pre-made chickpea flour but I will post instructions below on how to make it at home.

OK! First, let’s tackle the chickpea flour. If you aren’t about that life then go get you some chickpea flour (Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour – 16 oz.) and skip ahead.

Ingredient– 1 cup dry chickpeas. That’s it!
You’ll also need a coffee grinder or a great food processor and a sifter.
All you do is put your chickpeas in the coffee grinder (1/2 C at a time) and go to town with it. Let those little guys get ground down to a fine powder. If you do this with a food processor it will take you a bit longer but don’t give up! After you’ve got a fine looking powder add it to a sifter to get out all the bigger chunks and sift into a bowl. While the recipe only calls for ¾ C of chickpea flour I say use 1 C to make the flour because not all of it will be useable due to the few stubborn chunks.

Ok, moving on to the main event, what we’ve all been waiting for! The veggie fritters!

Time: 30 minutes
Yields 12 fritters


Ingredients
¾ C chickpea flour
¼ C all-purpose flour
1 large carrot shredded
½ small red onion
½ red bell pepper
1 C chopped spinach
½ C corn
1 egg
½ C plain almond milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tbs nutritional yeast (what the heck is this?) Buy here (NOW Nutritional Yeast Flakes,10-Ounce)
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
A pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil to coat your pan

Instructions

• Chop all of your veggies into small pieces (if you’re eating these as an adult, you do you, make them whatever size you want BUT if you are planning to feed these to a small child, like I did, then make them little pieces ) and set them aside
• Next, add all ingredients (not olive oil which is specifically for cooking in the pan) to a bowl and mix evenly!
• Add olive oil to generously coat the bottom of a stove top pan (no more than ¼ of an inch needed) and turn it up to medium high heat. It should only take 2 minutes or less for your oil to be ready.
• Spoon out your veggie fritter batter into the heated pan in small/medium size dollops and then pat it down with your spoon a little. Turn heat down to medium while you cook all the fritters.
• Let fritters cook 2-4 minutes on each side or until each side looks golden and slightly browned.
• Using a spatula take the fritters out of pan and add to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
• Let cool for at least 5 minutes and enjoy! These little guys can last up to a week in an airtight container in your fridge. Just pull out and heat up the next time you want to eat them.

 

Avocado Lime Dip

Ingredients
• 1 avocado
• 1 clove garlic minced
• 1 tbs water
• Juice of 1 small lime
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 2 tbs chopped cilantro
• ¼ tbs cumin
• Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions- add all ingredients to a magic bullet or blender and mix until smooth and creamy.

Use this dip to take these fritters along with many other dip-able foods to the next level.

Happy lunching!