TRAINING: nada! (I’m taking a rest as my poor body is hurtin’ after combat yesterday morning! I’m going to do some nice gentle yoga tonight so I’m ready for combat tomorrow morning! Weekends do not=rest)
- BREAKFAST: breakfast sandwich made my Matt 🙂 consisting of an onion bagel (but with lots of protein thanks to soy flour would be my guess), an egg, cheese and turkey bacon. (Very filling!)
- LUNCH: 1 left over falafel wrap (YAY finally!)
- DINNER: Moe’s! Mmm I ❤ me some Moe’s I alway get the overachiever combo with pulled pork (SO good! just smoked no sauce) and black beans…oh and probably either some of my beloved Kung Fu Girl OR maybe even a margarita to go with my meal 😉
Notice we will have one cheat breakfast and one cheat dinner or lunch out of the way all in one day? Yeah I guess so!)
SO, last night I got home from my business after hours event, shmooosing it up and making contacts for work and GUESS what was waiting on the counter for me?!!
WOOHOO! All soaked and ready to go. The man came through big time! I was so relieved (he may have read my blog 😉 )
So falafel is one of the most AMAZING vegetarian meals out there. It filling and it tastes warm and complex and its full of the most wonderful smelling herbs and spices.
Let me give you a little lesson on falafel from my good buddies at Wikipedia:
“Falafel ( /fəˈlɑːfəl/; Arabic: فلافل, i /falāfil/) is a ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as lafa. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables and hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze.”
When made with chickpeas, falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas are also low in fat and salt and contain no cholesterol. Key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, Vitamin C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B, and folate. Phytochemicals include beta-carotene.
Falafel is hearty enough to replace hamburger patties and meatballs in vegetarian dishes.Falafel can be baked to reduce the fat content associated with frying, but doing so will alter the texture and flavor.”
Here here Wiki! 😉
Now, I’ve been eating falafel for years thanks to El Basha and my mother’s love of experimenting with new foods.
Matt had bought me this container of falafel mix last year for Christmas and we finished it up last night. We simply don’t eat it enough if you ask me!
Now the mix is easy to find in most grocery stores these days. Usually it requires you to soak the mixture for about an hour though so keep that in mind. If you are feeling productive, you can use this recipe from my fellow Food Buzz buddy Indulging Life.
I like to stick with the boxed stuff as it’s fast and easy to make for a weeknight dinner.
You want to follow the directions on the package but make sure you BAKE them. This cuts out the fat drastically. I usually use an ice cream scoop as I did last night, and then flatten it out onto a baking sheet covering in foil and greased liberally with olive oil. You then drizzle or spray a little more olive oil over the top and generally bake then for about 30 minutes. They are meaty and spicy (spicy good, not spicy hot!) and ohhh so filling!
NOW, for the tatziki sauce. I have never used an actually recipe for this. I just kinda wing it. Mine consisted of the following but if you want to track down a recipe elsewhere, or simply TRY some falafel with tatziki sauce at a restaurant and then ask them whats in theirs, I promise I won’t be offended.
- 1 cup of plain 0% greek yogurt (I used Cho of course. My mother, before you could find greek yogurt on the market, use to have to strain regular yogurt through a cheese cloth so be thankful my friends!)
- juice from 1 lemon (or 2 if your a lemon fan like me)
- 3 Tbs. freshly chopped dill
- 3/4 cup (or 1 if you love cucumbers like me) diced english cucumber
- 1/2 cup red onion or scallions finely diced
- 2-3Tbs. *Tahini sauce
*Tahini is ground sesame seeds. It’s got the same consistency as natural nut butters. It’s STRONG, but in a good way! warm, nutty, sweet and tangy, it’s a bit indescribable, much like falafel. I have had this jar in my fridge for about a year. A little goes a long way so TASTE your tahini first and taste your tatziki as you go. It’s easy to over do it. I got my mine in Woo Town from my old buddy Eddy 😉 (Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace that is).
Mix all the loveliness together and as always TASTE OFTEN! This is YOUR dinner so you might as well like it!
Cut your falafel “disks” (I got a bit hasty last night) in half if you made them as large as I did, serve them on a nice healthy Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat pita, top with your tatziki sauce and then round it out with a good helping of fresh flat leaf parsley and be BOMBARDED with flavor my friends!
This meal is so complimentary; the warm, spicy complex falafel cooled down with the super creamy yogurt and cool crunchy cucumbers, all brightened up with that wonderful parsley.
Now I was under the assumption that Matt was not so fond of falafel. Yeah, he looks at me and says “this is good huh?!” That like Matt’s version of saying something is AMAZING (he’s not as animated as me..by a long shot!)! He went back…3 times!
Needless to say this a very satisfying meal, I promise you, no matter how much you love your meat, you will not miss it in this dish. I know it sounds a bit funky and intimidating at first, but do me a favor and try a bit, I promise, you will be hooked.
Tonight one of my FAVORITE movies should be waiting for me in my mailbox, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Play List. I’m curling up with my man, my dog, my Moe’s and my drink and am going to laugh myself into the weekend.
Have a great weekend everyone!