falafel spinach salad

June 1, 2011

 I had the most amazing dinner last night that was thrown together in less than 15 minutes.  How can that be?   This Middle Eastern staple has been thrown a curve ball and made into a super quick and healthy weeknight meal. 
 This falafel is irresistible with the cumin and curry flavors mixed with the lemony, fresh spinach.  I cooked them in a smidge of sesame oil to brown each side and make a crunchy, flavorful crust.  
I must say, they turned out pretty and really quite tasty.  I’ve honestly found my favorite weeknight meal.

Falafel Spinach Salad
vegan, gluten-free
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained and dried
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sesame oil (for cooking)

for salad
two cups baby spinach
1 cup sprouts (I used alfalfa sprouts)
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
  1.  Add chopped onions to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  
  2. Add garbanzo beans and blend until smooth.  
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until well incorporated.  
  4. Heat sesame oil on a skillet over medium-high heat.  Form balls using the bean mixture and carefully place on heated skilled.  
  5. Gently press each ball with the palm of your hand to flatten a bit.  
  6. Let cook on each side until brown.  
  7. To prepare salad, add spinach and sprouts in a mixing bowl.  
  8. In a separate small dish, combine sesame oil, lemon and salt and pepper.  
  9. Once mixed, add to spinach and sprouts and toss together until thoroughly mixed.  
  10. Serve hot falafel over spinach salad. 

uncovering fruit: mission iii

The lychee nut.

Whaaat?  That's what I said.  It's definitely one of the oddest fruits I've ever laid my eyes on.  It's a tiny round red-ish guy with a rough and bumpy outer-skin.
The lychee has been around for a long, long time and is most popular in Asia, and China in particular.
While mission i and mission ii were both a complete and bitter fail, the lychee has absolutely come out on top!  It's grape-like-textured insides are super sweet and almost perfume-like.  While that may not sound appetizing, what I'm attempting to convey is that they taste really sweet and nice.  Should you come across a lychee nut in your grocery travels, absolutely pick them up and get them a try!

birthday bunny!

Happy birthday to the sweetest, most beautiful sister-in-law in the world.  As my only sister, I’d like to officially drop the “in-law” portion of the title, since she is everything I could ever want in a sister.  I’m very much looking forward to being “physically” closer to Tara very soon.
“Soon” is actually coming very soon.  Three weeks away to be exact!  While I couldn’t be more excited about the move to Austin, a cross-country relocation is pretty darn overwhelming.  I’m so thankful I have an amazing family and a great friend that’s helping me orchestrate and prepare. 
For a celebratory birthday treat, I thought I’d continue in the s’mores marathon with a s’mores cookie.  It’s a brownie-type-cookie of sorts that chocked full of white and milk chocolate chips and, of course, mini-marshmallows.  They’re uber-gooey and it’s recommended from s’more-cookie-connoisseurs treat yourself to these cookies cool from the refrigerator! 

S’mores Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup mini-marshmallows
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; Set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.  
  3. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well in between each addition.
  4. Add vanilla and salt.  Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, powder and soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing slowly.
  6. By hand mix in the chocolate chips and marshmallow.
  7. I made really big cookies using a 1/4 cup to scoop dough to a uniform-sized ball and gently flattening with my hand on the cookie sheet.  
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges begin to harden.  
  9. Let cool five minutes on the baking sheet then continue to cool on a rack.  For yummiest results, store and serve from the refrigerator (or just eat them extra-gooey off the pan!)
It's also recommended that these cookies are served best with a s'mores milkshake in one hand and a s'mores pop in the other.