It feels really weird to do two posts in one day, but I am getting behind and don't want to get "backlogged". I wouldn't get used to as many food posts as you will see this week on a regular basis. I've had a long weekend and naturally I have done more in the kitchen.
I wish I could describe how good this meal was, so simple, nothing special, but a real treat nonetheless. It probably looks like I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, as there is a lot of stuff here, but I didn't. This is an easy meal, and pretty much everyone likes falafel.
I made some roasted red pepper hummus, as this is Brett's favorite kind (he got really excited when he found out I was making the hummus, I love seeing him happy like that!) to go with it, and now I'll have easy lunches when I go back to work Wednesday and there will be food here he likes enough that I can be confident he'll actually eat (I wonder how he survived before me...).
I also made Lizzy's Vegan Tzatziki. I love tzatziki, Brett loves tzatziki. That tangy cucumber-yogurt sauce is a wonderful compliment to Middle Eastern meals. The only problem, well most yogurt is dairy and for Jennifer that = very stuffy, snuffly, it's not pretty. The last time I had tzatziki (incidentally, I believe also the last time I intentionally had dairy), was when I was on vacation. Shortly after I enjoyed my delectable treat, I was standing in Union Station in Washington, DC sounding as if I had some sort of disgusting, very communicable disease. People were literally shying away from me, I couldn't help it! My nose was runny, I was coughing, sneezing, it was awful. Anyways, so I've always longed for a vegan version of the sauce, but have never been too much of a fan of any soy products or "replacements", so I thought it just wasn't going to happen. When I saw that Lizzy had made some tzatziki using soy yogurt, and said it was good, I knew she wouldn't let me down, so took down the recipe. This weekend, I got some soy yogurt, some local cucumber, and made her tzatziki. I am very serious when I tell you I could not tell the difference. It was amazing, and so simple. Thank you so much Lizzy, you have livened this meal like you wouldn't believe!
This was also my first time making falafel from scratch. I've been finding out lately that many of these culinary things I have been intimidated by are not really anything to be scared of, they aren't as hard as we make them seem in our minds. This was no exception. I just kind of went with what I learned via Brett from a cool dude from Jordan he used to work with, what I've had, and what I found online.
Enough yammering, here are the pictures and the recipes. And I seriously, strongly urge you all to try Lizzy's Tzatziki, it was really good.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
3-4 cups of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), cooked*
1/2 cup water*
1 large fresh red bell pepper, roasted and stem removed (trust me, fresh is better)
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 tbsp good olive oil (optional, but recommended)
cumin (to taste)
salt (to taste)
cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, adding water until hummus has reached desired consistency.
Refrigerate for about an hour to allow flavors to meld.
*If cooking beans from dried, reserve about 1/2 cup of the bean cooking liquid.
Basic Baked Falafel
1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas), soaked in water for 12-24 hours, drained
1/2 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
parsley (fresh is best, just a little bit)
cayenne pepper (seriously, I put this stuff in everything)
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor until blended and of a fine grain.
Lightly oil a baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).
Form falafel into golf ball sized balls and lightly flatten out.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.
With the falafel, hummus, and tzatziki, we also had fresh local lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber slices, whole wheat pita bread, kalamata olives, and pickled peppers.
'Til next time.