Day 25 – Spiced Millet Falafels with Tomato Relish

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This was good but honestly not the best thing I’ve ever made. That statement really entices you to make this doesn’t it? Lol.

I kind of followed this recipe from Goop, Millet “Falafels” with Avocado + Tomato Relish. I did change some things so it’s not quite the same recipe, I also baked them at the end cause I wanted to make sure the middle was cooked. The falafels themselves were very tasty but the biggest flaw I think was the relish – if I were to make this again, I would omit the avocado and just make a tomato relish. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE avocado, I just don’t think it worked in this recipe. Also, I would wear gloves while cutting the jalapeno. I didn’t do this yesterday and my fingers were ON FIRE for 6 hours, it was horrible. So this here is what the future me would do:

Spiced Millet Falafels with Tomato Relish

for the falafel

  • 1/2 cup raw millet, rinsed
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked unsalted chickpeas (garbanzo beans), crushed with a potato masher
  • 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small jalapeno, minced (If you have sensitive skin, put on disposable gloves BEFORE chopping)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 20 grinds black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon wedges for garnish

for the relish

  • 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes (whatever’s best; I like Trader Joe’s High Lycopene Tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon preserved lemon peel, minced (if you don’t have preserved lemon, use 2 tsp lemon zest)
  • the other 1/2 of the jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

preparation

1. Start the falafel: Combine the millet with 1½ cups of filtered water and a big pinch of a salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook until the millet is very soft and all the liquid has been absorbed, 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile…for the relish: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, seasoning to taste with salt. Set aside while you finish the falafel.

3. Back to the falafel…Stir the chickpeas, scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and spices into the cooked millet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Using a potato masher, crush the mixture until it holds together a bit.

4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Set a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with a slick of olive oil. Using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture, make a patty by squishing into a ball and then slightly flattening between your hands. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Put about 6 patties into the pan at a time and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Set the cooked falafels on the prepared baking sheet and cook the rest of the millet mixture, adding more olive oil to the skillet if necessary.

6. Bake all patties in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and start plating.

7. Cut the lemon into wedges, squeeze a bit of juice over each falafel. Put a spoonful of relish on top of each falafel and serve immediately.
yields ~12 falafel

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They really were good, I would make them again. I just think that after a week of amazing M Café recipes, this didn’t compare. If I had made this at the beginning of the week, it probably would have been more impressive. I served it with a Roasted Curried Broccoli, a recipe that definitely could use some work. When I get it right I’m sure I will post it.

 

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Lentil Oat Loaf

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I love Lentil Loaf. The first place I ever had it was at one of my restaurant staples in Los Angeles, California Vegan. I was looking at recipes all over the internet trying to find one that would compare to theirs, but there were SO MANY recipes for Lentil Loaf I couldn’t narrow it down. I gave up and just tried to find one that didn’t have tofu or rice in it.

I ended up finding 2 recipes that looked good and combined elements from both of them to come up with this one. It didn’t taste anything like the loaf at California Vegan, but it was absolutely delicious. It was firm, yet moist, perfectly spiced, and you would never guess it was made with steel cut oats! I served it with sauteed zucchini and my boyfriend and I each had a helping and a half. These are 2 recipes I merged:

My Vegan Cookbook Lentil Loafhttp://www.myvegancookbook.com/recipes/recipe.php?id=16                   

Dreen’s No-Fu Love Loaf, http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/04/dreenas-no-fu-love-loaf.html

I don’t know if I can really call this my recipe or not, but whatever, this is the recipe I’m going to use from now on.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Lentil Oat Loaf

Ingredients

Tomato Topping

  • 1 (6oz) Can Tomato Paste

  • 1 T Coconut Sugar

  • 1/2 T Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 T Onion Flakes

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

Loaf

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper

  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper

  • 1 T coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup brown (green) lentils

  • 1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free steel cut oats

  • 1 cup water, boiled

  • 2 T tomato topping

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

  • 2 T Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • 2 T nutritional yeast

  • 2 T ground flax seeds

  • 2 T vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce (I used Robbie’s All-Natural and Guilt-Free)

  • 2 T tahini

  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

  • 1/4 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1 tsp Bragg’s Sprinkle (or organic all-purpose seasoning)

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

 

Directions

  • Mix the tomato topping mixture together first because you will need some to mix into the lentil loaf. Set aside. If you don’t want to bother making the topping, you can just use ketchup.

  • Combine the lentils, vegetable stock, 1⁄3 cup of water, and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 25 minutes, until just about tender. Once done, add the steel cut oats and boiling water, cover, and cook on medium-low heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • While lentils are cooking, add coconut oil to a skillet on medium heat, add chopped onions, red and green bell pepper and let cook until onions are soft (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently.

  • Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil an oven-proof glass loaf pan and line the bottom of the pan with a strip of parchment paper to cover.

  • Once the steel cut oats are cooked, remove the bay leaf and stir in all remaining ingredients. Mix very well. Transfer the mixture to prepared pan and pack it in. Spread the tomato topping on top.

  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting to slice and serve. Serves 5-6.

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Yum!! I’m happy to say we’re eating it again tonight, and I can’t wait 🙂

 

 

 

Day 10 – Zucchini Pad Thai, Sort of

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Pad Thai is one of my absolute FAVORITE things. If I was on Death Row and was given a choice for my last meal, I would ask for Pad Thai. I was actually getting quite good at making it right before I went on this diet. But now that I am not really supposed to eat meat, rice, soy, processed sugar, eggs, or fish sauce, the recipe I was getting good at is not going to work for me anymore.

While looking at other blogs and sites, I came across a few recipes for Raw Pad Thai made with zucchini noodles. I decided I’d try to make a cooked version with zucchini and a more authentic sauce. It’s not the perfect recipe. The zucchini didn’t quite soak up the sauce like I’d hoped it would, it was super runny so I added some arrowroot powder to thicken it and put the whole thing over quinoa. It definitely wasn’t Pad Thai, but it still tasted really good and was kind of like a Pad Thai Stir-Fry. I followed this recipe here, http://thaifood.about.com/od/vegetarianthairecipes/r/padthaiveg.htm but changed a few things to fit my needs better.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. zucchini noodles from 2-3 zucchinis
  • 4 green onions, white parts sliced and kept separate from green
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 fresh red or green thai chili, sliced
  • 2-3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • lime wedges for serving
  • 1 – 2 T coconut oil for stir- frying
  • 1 T arrowroot powder (or corn starch)

     PAD THAI SAUCE:

  • 1 T tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 T coconut aminos (or tamari)
  • 1 tsp chili sauce (sambal)
  • 3 T coconut sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions

  • Make zucchini noodles. I used a Benriner slicer that my boyfriend found at a garage sale for $2. You can also use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler that makes ribbon slices.

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  • If you bought a block of seedless tamarind paste, you will need to strain the pod pieces out before cooking or you will have large chunks of pod in your sauce.  Heat a 2-inch chunk of paste in a small pot with 1/4 inch of water and simmer until paste is soft, about 5 minutes. Push softened paste through a mesh strainer. The paste will stick to the back of the strainer. Push and scrape strained paste off the back until you have at least 1 tablespoon usable paste.
  • Combine ‘pad Thai sauce’ ingredients in a cup, use a small whisk or fork to dissolve the paste and coconut sugar. Note that this sauce should have a very STRONG-tasting flavor that tastes sour-sweet first, followed by salty and spicy. Set aside.
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are chopped and ready before you start cooking
  • Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 T coconut oil plus the white parts of the green onion (reserve the rest for serving), garlic, ginger, and Thai chili. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
  • Add zucchini noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir-fry everything together 1-2 minutes using tongs and gently toss. Keep adding sauce and continue stir-frying in this way 2 more minutes.
  • Make a slurry with 1 T arrowroot powder and 1 T cold water. Add to the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring constantly til sauce has thickened.
  • Switch off heat and add the bean sprouts, folding them into the zucchini noodles. Taste-test, adding more aminos for more salt/flavor. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add a good squeeze of lime juice. If too sour, sprinkle over a little more sugar. Serve immediately over rice or quinoa. Sprinkle with reserved green onion, cilantro, and ground nuts. Add wedges of fresh-cut lime on the side.  (Thai chili sauce can also be served on the side for those who likes their noodles extra spicy). Enjoy!

It sounds harder than it is, the most labor intensive part is the chopping. And scraping the tamarind paste. If you find thin tamarind paste you will not have to do this part, but I could only find the seedless block at the Asian market.  This will serve 2- 3 people. As I said before,  it’s not quite Pad Thai, but it’s really tasty.