I have been a bit lazy lately with cooking. I have been eating out a lot more on the weekends. So this weekend I wanted to make something healthy and special. I’ve had this bag of Fava beans for a while now, so I wanted to try making Falafel. I have never made it before, so thought I’d give it ago. The Fava beans took nearly 24 hours to soak, as they are very hard and need time for the skin detach from the skin. It took me nearly an hour to peel the skins off 500 g of them, but the results were worth it.
I decided to bake my Falafel so that they would be a bit more healthier. I also filled the mixture with heaps of fresh herbs from my local Asian market. To go with it I made Wholemeal Flax Seed Pita Pockets, Lemon Cashew Yoghurt and Kale & Quinoa Tabouli. By the time I got our late lunch on the table it was dinner time, so the whole family got to eat with us. Everyone really liked and had seconds or thirds.
Wholemeal Flax Seed Pita Bread (vegan, soy free, nut free)
1.5 cup warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
3.5 cups wholemeal flour (more for board)
2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
canola spray oil
1. Take 1/4 of warm water and add yeast and sugar. Leave it for 10 mins.
2. In a large mixing bowl add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, ground flax seeds and sea salt.
3. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture.
4. Gradually add more the rest of the flour and warm water until you have a dough.
5. Knead the dough for 10-15 mins, until it is nice and elastic.
6. Brush a bowl with olive oil and leave the dough to rise for an hour or more (the longer the better).
7. Divide the dough into 10 balls. Then roll each ball out into a flat circle shape.
8. Heat a pan on high and spray with canola. Place the flat dough onto the pan and cook it till it puffs up. Make sure you turn it regularly so it doesn’t burn. It should only take 1-2 mins per pita.
9. While the pita is still hot, slice it in half.
*Makes 10 Pita Pockets
Baked Fava bean Falafel (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
500g fava beans (soaked 24 hrs, then peeled)
6 garlic cloves
1 brown onion
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 bunch coriander
1/2 bunch dill
1/2 bunch parsley
sea salt & black pepper
1. After soaking the fava beans, peel off the skin and boil for 30 mins or until softened.
2. Finely chop the garlic, onion and all the herbs.
3. Place the fava beans in a process and make into a paste. Then add all the spices, onion, garlic, herbs and sea salt & pepper to taste.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
5. Make the mixture into balls and place on a nonstick tray. Bake for 20 mins.
Lemon Cashew ‘Yoghurt’ (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)
1 cup cashews (pre-soaked/raw)
1 cup water
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons lemon juice (more to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt to taste
1. If you haven’t soaked the cashews then boil them for 10 mins.
2. In a Vitamix or high speed blender the cashews. Break them down, then slowly add 1/2 a cup of water. Blend till it becomes creamy.
3. Add garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and blend. If you need add more water to break down into a cream, but not too much, it should be thick.
*Makes 1 cup
Kale & Quinoa Tabouli (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
1.5-2 cups kale, chopped
4 shallots or green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
sea salt to taste
1. Cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Then strain and allow to cool.
2. Massage the chopped kale with sea salt to break down the fibers.
3. Combine the kale quinoa and all the remaining ingredients and serve.
*Serves 4 as side salad
Over the weekend we ended up visiting The Green Edge on our way to visit hopefully our future house. I decided to try something different so I ordered the Noodle Bowl. It had soba noodles with twice-cooked pumpkin, served in a soy sauce-miso-shiitake broth. I doesn’t look like much but it was really nice. There was pumpkin all under the noodles as well. The rest of the family had their amazing vegan burgers, chips and salad. This was the first time my mums partner had been there. Of course his response was ‘I can believe its vegan’.
My new favourite drink at the moment is this Frozen Peach Smoothie. I forgot about all the peaches that I froze a while ago. With the kiwi, banana and milk it tastes just like a peach ice cream.
Frozen Peach Smoothie (vegan, raw, gluten free, nut free, soy free)
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 golden kiwi
1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)
1. Blend in a High speed blender and serve
Over the weekend I finally tried something else that’s been in my cupboard for a while. Celebrate Health is a new brand that started appearing on supermarket shelves. Their range includes flavoured lentils, quinoa, recipe bases and stock. All their products are Gluten free, Wheat free, Dairy free, Tree nut free, Peanut free, 100% natural and Preservative free. Most are also vegan and Soy free. I had the Indian Marsala Lentil Packet. So I made this with some brown rice and Indian spiced greens. I just followed the packet directions, which were easy to understand. I ended up having to add alot more water, as it dried out quickly. They had more of a bite then I thought they would. Usually when I made red lentils they dissolve a little, but these ones didn’t.
So the verdict? Well they were quite salty and the spices weren’t that strong. They were definitely not as tasty as if I made them from scratch. However, they were quick, convenient and healthy side dish. I think I will definitely try some more of their products for those nights when I am too tired to cook anything fancy.