Baked Falafel

Falafel pic for site

Falafel, pita and hummus… three of my favorite things on a plate.  Of course traditional deep fried falafel is great but definitely not healthy.  Luckily I’ve finally created my own recipe for baked falafel which also happens to be vegan as well.  These will freeze well too so you can always have some ready to go!  Also see below for my favorite healthy store-bought falafel.

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Makes 10 patties

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 cup of diced onion

1/3 cup flat leaf parsley

1 Tbsp tahini

2 Tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1-2 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp whole wheat flour

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mash chickpeas in a bowl with fork until it’s a crumbly mixture. Set aside.

Add garlic, onion and parsley to food processor and process until finely chopped and combined.

Next add the mashed chickpeas to food processor along with tahini, bread crumbs, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper. Process until combined, adding the water 1-2 Tbsp of water as needed. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula in between processing.

Once combined, empty into large bowl. Add the flour and mix, you should be able to form into large ball. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add a Tbsp of water. If it’s too wet, add an additional Tbsp of flour.

Form into 10 small patties (approximately 2 inches). Place on baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil or cooking spray. Bake for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

PS – This a was the photo from my original post in 2011.  Gasp!  This is awful!

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Summer Vegetable & Lentil Taco Filling

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On my quest to create some awesome vegan recipes with ingredients you can buy at Trader Joes,
I stumbled upon an easy taco filling.  Substitute any other of your favorite vegetables!  Just take note that their taco seasoning is bit spicy so go easy with it and if you want to use less you can add in some cumin or other spices for flavor without the heat.

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Makes enough for 6-8 tacos

Ingredients

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 small onion, peeled and diced

1 small zuchinni, ends removed and diced

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbsp taco seasoning

1 Tbsp flour

1 cup vegetable broth or water

1 small tomato, diced

1 bag Trader Joes frozen Melodious Blend Lentils and Green Garbanzo

1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Method

Heat oil in a skillet over medium low heat.  Once hot, add onion and zuchinni.  Saute for 5 minutes giving a couple stirs.

Add in garlic and taco seasoning and cook 2 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Stir in broth, then add frozen lentil and green garbanzo mix, tomatoes, and corn.  Stir, then raise the heat to medium and bring to a simmer.  Cook 5-6 minutes until cooked through and sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.  Serve in tortillas, over rice, nachos.

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White Bean & Herb Burgers

I love, love, love sandwiches.  There’s just something awesome about stuffing a bunch of stuff between bread.  I like making vegan burgers with beans because it’s great vegetarian protien component.  You can also freeze these so you have them on hand.  For toppings I used arugula tossed with lemon vinaigrette, tomato and of course avocado, just because I add it to everything and it’s fantastic.  Next time I would try topping it with sauteed garlic mushrooms…mmmmm!  As for bread, it would be great on artisan bread but I just happened to have an everything bagle slim and although not that fancy, it was still great!

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Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients

1/4 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

1 15oz. can cannellini beans

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or gluten-free flour)

1/2 cup frozen shredded hashbrowns or cooked brown rice

Canola oil

Method

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Optional step: lightly saute onion and garlic before adding to food processor.

Add onion, garlic and herbs to food processor and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper.  Pulse several times until mixture comes together but is not pureed.  A few pieces of beans and texture is good in these.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in breadcrumbs and shredded hashbrown pototoes or rice.

Divide mixutre in to 6 portions and roll into balls.  They should be equal size so make any adjustments then form into patties.  Lightly dust each one with flour on each side.

Heat lightly oiled skillet and cook each patty 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Transfer to baking sheet and finish in the oven for 15 minutes.

Crispy Tofu Tacos

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner so it couldn’t be a better time for perfecting some of those Mexican inspired recipes, of course done vegan and healthy.  When I teach cooking classes people always ask me for tips on cooking tofu.  I think getting the right texture is the biggest challenge when cooking with tofu.  In this recipe I’ve used one of my secret weapons, the vacuum packed tofu that’s already been pressed.  Not the kind in water that you have to drain and press yourself.  This way you cut out a step and the tofu already has that firm texture.  You definitely wouldn’t a watery, mushy mesh of tofu in your tacos. Yuck.

 I love the House Foods Vacuum Packed Tofu, and the Cutlet is great too because it also has a “skin” on it, as well as great texture. And bonus – they’re CERTIFIED ORGANIC and NON-GMO CERTIFIED. So, so important when buying soy products. You can read more about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) on the Non-GMO Project site.

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Makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

1 Tbsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne (optional)

2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)

1 8oz. package vacuum packed tofu such as House Foods (not the kind in water)

1/4 cup diced onion (or add 1/2 tsp onion powder to spices)

4 crispy taco shells, warmed in the oven

Fixins: Avocado (mashed with a pinch of salt), pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, hot sauce

Method

Mix spices in a bowl, then add soy sauce.  Crumble tofu into the bowl and mix with a fork to further break up tofu and thoroughly coat with spices.

Heat a skillet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly coated with oil.  Add tofu and onion.  Cook over medium-heat, stirring a few times, for about 5-8 minutes.  Spoon into tacos shells and pile on the fixins!

BBQ Tempeh Sandwich with Coleslaw & Avocado

Can it just be summer already!?  The days are getting longer, the flip flops have had a couple outings, and baseball is here but I’m done with wearing a coat to the games.  So yea, I’ve been daydreaming about all things summer and it shows with what I’ve been craving.

This is the first of many summer recipes that I’ll be cooking up.  The marriage of a smokey barbecue sauce and a tangy coleslaw is simply divine.  Add in the avocado, put it between bread, and it’s heaven!  It’s important to get a stellar barbecue sauce and if you’re vegan, read the ingredients.  Some have worcestershire sauce in them and therefore can have anchovies (yes, many worcestershire sauces have anchovies).  Some BBQ sauces also have honey so heads up for those who may avoid that as well.  I love Stubb’s or Trader Joe’s Kansas City Style Barbecue Sauce, which is pretty kickass.  Check out it’s 5 out 5 stars  review on this site loaded with reviews of barbecue sauces.

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Makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

Tempeh

1/2 package of tempeh, sliced

Barbecue sauce

Coleslaw

2 Tbsp unsweetened almond or soy milk

2 tsp distilled white vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp vegan mayo, such as Earth Balance or Vegenaise

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp grated onion

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups shredded or chopped cabbage

1 small carrot, grated

Slice bread or roll

Avocado, mashed

Method

Place sliced tempeh in a shallow tupperware or dish.  Slather on the barbecue sauce with a brush (a small spatula or spoon will work) getting it all nice and coated. Let it sit in the fridge for an hour.

While it’s marinating, make your slaw.  This is also best if it has a little time to sit.  Mix your almond milk, vinegar and lemon juice in a bowl.  Give it a stir and let it sit for a 5 minutes.  Now whisk in your mayo, sugar, onion, salt and pepper.  Make any adjustments to suit your taste.  Add cabbage and carrot and toss to thoroughly coat.  Set in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Take tempeh slices and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, flip pieces and bake another 10-12 minutes depending on how thin the tempeh is sliced and how crispy you want it.

Take some mashed avocado and spread on one or both slices of bread.  My favorite way to assemble is bread w/ avocado, tempeh, spread on a little extra barbecue sauce, coleslaw, bread w/ avocado.  Dig in!

Falafel Spiced Roasted Chickpea Tacos

I really love falafel.  So much in fact that at one point I created a baked falafel recipe in my early days of blogging.  I’ve been meaning to revisit this recipe to see how I could revamp it, but to have to bust out the food processor, form little patties, and all that, just hasn’t been something I’ve had time for.  So I had this brilliant idea to take all those spices and flavors and just coat the chickpeas in them, then roast them.  I do love roasted chickpeas. I substitute onion for onion powder, fresh garlic with garlic powder that way I wouldn’t have to worry about it burning in the oven and the flavors would be all combined.   It worked like a charm!  I got my falafely goodness without the work. Yep, I’ll pat myself on the back for this one.  It’s pretty freakin’ good.

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Makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp white pepper

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

Diced tomato

Diced onion

Diced dill pickle (yes this goes very well with falafel)

Lettuce

Tahini dressing (I love the one from Trader Joes that you can find by the hummus or try my recipe)

Taco size tortillas

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Chickpeas to a bowl and add olive oil and lemon juice.  Give it a toss to coat.

In a small bowl, mix all the spices together.  This is important so that you have an even flavor throughout.  Add the spices to the chickpeas along with the fresh herbs and lastly the salt and pepper.  Toss to thoroughly coat.

Spread chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes (depending how crispy you want them).

Grilled Avocado Sandwich

Tomato soup has a new BFF and doesn’t have cheese.  Glorious avocado steals the show in the tasty grilled sandwich.  Yea, yea grilled cheese sandwiches are awesome but this isn’t trying to replace it.  It is its own kind of awesome and it also pairs exceptionally well with tomato soup.  Of course you could add other things to the sandwich but I like to keep it simple, just a little S+P, maybe a dash of garlic powder, and all that rich, buttery avocado. Pair with some of this yummy tomato soup and enjoy!

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Makes one sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread

3-4 Tbsp mashed avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of garlic powder (optional)

Earth Balance vegan butter spread, room temp

Method

Heat skillet over medium heat (I use a cast iron skillet). Mix your mashed avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder if using.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, on the other side spread on your avocado.  Place the other slice on top and spread with butter.  Cook in skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.