Archive | October 2013

Falafel with Tahini

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This month’s recipe is an easy way to bring your favorite Greek restaurant home. However, if you want to skip the mess (and the fat) that goes along with frying, then just form the balls, flatten them a bit and lay them on a sheet pan. They can bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees until crisp on the outside and cooked through the middle. If you want to venture away from the Mediterranean, then this same method applies for making other veggie patties such as black bean burgers. The rest of the recipe should work well, but feel free to add other spices like ancho chile powder if you want more of a southwest flavor. Two falafel balls is one serving or one larger patty if you want to go a bit bigger when shaping.

Falafel Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (1 can) chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of chopped parsley

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed to make a smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning as needed and drizzle over top of the falafels.

(Yields about 1 cup)

Preparation:

1. Put the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground, but not until smooth . Add the baking powder, onion, garlic, spices, and herbs and process until the mixture is pureed. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, taste and season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

2. Pour about 3 inches of the oil in a deep fryer or deep heavy pot and heat to 375 degrees.

3. Roll the falafel mixture into little balls, about the size of ping pong or golf balls (using the right size ice cream scoop here is helpful with consistency) and lay onto a pan. Carefully drop a few at a time into the hot oil, making sure they don’t stick to the bottom. Fry until the chickpea fritters are a crusty dark brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 3-5 minutes per batch. Remove the falafels with a slotted spoon and drain on a pan lined with towels/paper towels.

4. This recipe should make roughly 16 falafel, depending on the size of the balls rolled out. Serve with warm pita bread, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, Tahini sauce and a sprinkle of feta cheese.

Nutrition Facts (For 1 small patty):

Calories: 62 / Fat: 5g / Saturated Fat: 1g / Carbohydrates: 6g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 2g

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Japanese Vegetable Spring Roll Wrap

Spring roll

Japanese Vegetable Spring Roll

In recent years, research has reported that the traditional Japanese diet is closely linked with reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, while also promoting overall longevity. This recipe is proof that the Japanese are indeed doing it right when it comes to eating a a low calorie diet that consists of disease fighting foods. This vegetable spring roll wrap is not only very light and healthy, but it is also extremely flavorful. And believe it or not, it is also very simple to prepare. You do not to have to be a pro in the kitchen to make these look appealing. If you can make a burrito or a wrap, then you can make a spring roll. They make for a great lunch, snack or hors d’oeuvre for guests at a party.

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz bag of broccoli slaw
  • ½ red bell pepper diced small
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 5 green onions chopped small
  • 1 pack spring roll rice paper wraps

Preparation

1. Prep all of the vegetables and herbs, and mix together the soy sauce and the honey in a bowl. Set aside.

  1. Saute the broccoli slaw and the red pepper with the oil in a wok or large saute pan at high heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to toss for about 15 seconds.
  2. Add the soy sauce/honey mixture, tossing thoroughly before removing from the heat. The vegetables should be softer, but still somewhat crisp. Place in the refrigerator to cool down for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove vegetables from the refrigerator, and mix in the diced cucumber, cilantro and green onion.
  4. Fill a bowl or baking dish large enough to hold the rice paper with warm water. With your hand, emerge two layers of the rice paper (stacked together ) in the warm water until it just begins to soften enough to work with. Lay the rice paper down flat on a cutting board or plate. Scoop one heaping spoonful onto the middle of the rice paper. Fold the end closest to you over the vegetable mixture (as you would  if making a wrap or burrito) slightly pulling the mixture towards you. Then fold each end towards the middle and continue rolling away from you. Arrange on a platter or a plate with the seem side down. Repeat this step until you are out of vegetable mixture. You may cut them diagonally with a sharp knife for a more attractive presentation. I personally like serving these dipped in a sweet chili sauce.

Nutritional Facts

48 calories / 0.6g fat / 7g carbohydrates  / 1.2g fiber / 2g protein

Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Butternut Soup

There is no better time of year to enjoy a bowl of soup than the early days of fall.  This recipe is a different take on the traditional tomato soup. The butternut squash adds a bit of sweetness along with a thicker consistency, while also providing an abundance of nutrients.  A cup of this soup can be sufficient fuel when used as a  pre-workout snack, but it can also make for a great recovery meal after a day out on the pedals or a long run on the trail. It can be a nice addition to a multi-course meal as well, if you happen to be entertaining friends and family. The recipe serves 8.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash, cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger or 1/2 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cups vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 400 and spray a sheet pan with pan spray. Toss butternut squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the sheet pan and roast until tender all the way through and beginning to brown on top (about 30 minutes).

2. Saute onion and garlic in a large soup pot at medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Add the roasted butternut squash and the white wine and stir for about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender and adjust seasoning as needed.

  • Nutrition Facts
  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 2g