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Crunchy, Low Fat Falafel

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1 1/4 cups dried chickpeas (7 oz)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro —(cut in half)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin (more?)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne

Soak the chickpeas in cold water (covered by a couple inches) at room temp for at least 12 hours and up to 24. Drain and rinse. Put everything in a food processor and whiz for about 2 minutes. Spread the mixture into a thin layer on a baking sheet and let dry for one hour. Scoop 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the stuff, form/press it into patties and either:

a) Plop it into a preheated (medium heat)  nonstick skillet with a little olive oil until brown on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip it and brown on the other. Eat.

b) Plop it onto lightly oiled aluminum foil on a baking sheet, form it into patties and freeze. Then when you want them toss them, still frozen, into a preheated skillet and cook for ~3 minutes a side or until browned how you like. Eat.

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Things I learned about falafel:

  1. 1 bag of dry chick peas makes a small mountain of falafel.
  2. You can brush the raw patties with a little olive oil and freeze them. Then just toss them, frozen, onto a heated pan whenever you want some.
  3. Falafel is wicked frigging awesome.

Things I still don’t know about falafel:

  1. What you call the fricking raw, paste stuff. Dough? Batter? I have no idea.

Seriously though, what do you call it? Meh, doesn’t matter, I’m finally posting this recipe! Are you excited yet? You will be. Well, if you like falafel that is. Shall we make some? Yes we shall.

First things first, chickpeas.050These were soaked for about 12 hours, I think, then drained and brought to my sisters house. Because that’s where we were making it, you see. Then she got me some parsley from her garden, cilantro, garlic and onion.048Plopped in the food processor and whizzed about.054Spices added.057Chickpeas on top.059More whizzing, until pasty.063Then we turned it out onto a cookie sheet, I recommend removing the blade at this point. 066Spread it around to dry and wait. I hate waiting. /end Inigo069At this point my sister and I put 1/4 cups of it into a well oiled, preheated on high waffle iron. Because we wanted to see if it would work.101It did. Now everyone say “waffle falafel”. It’s even more fun to say than to eat. Well, almost. Heh. However, this post will mostly be about freezing them. Sadly I didn’t get any prep shots of that for some reason, but what I do is take my 1 1/2 tbl cookie scoop and take out rounded dollops, dollop them onto a greased piece of foil lined baking sheet and flatten them a bit. Then toss them in the freezer for a couple hours, pull them out, dump ’em in a freezer bag and toss them back in. That’s it. Then whenever I want falafel I pull a couple out and put them in a preheated skillet.038 A few minutes and a flip later, lunch. 055Or snack. Or appetizer. Or whatever, it’s falafel. Eat it, preferably with some kind of delicious yogurt sauce or tahini.

Filed under: middle eastern, side dish, vegetarian

Quick and Spicy Vegetarian Rice and Beans

From the Vault: I know, I teased with falafel and am giving rice and beans. But I have things going on and for some reason I always write posts right before I post them. So that means a vault recipe today, sorry. On the plus side it’s awesome, so there is that. And I really, legit promise to post the falafel before the week is through.

———-1 cup rice
2 cups cooked beans
2 cup water or broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp blackening seasoning
salt, if desired

Saute the onion in some olive oil until translucent, add the garlic and stir for ~30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the liquid, seasoning and beans, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed. That’s it.

Note: You can start with dried beans. Take a cup of rinsed/sorted dry beans, put them in a pot and add water until they’re covered by a couple inches. Add ~tsp of the blackening spice and let simmer until tender, ~2 hours. You can them use some of the liquid you cooked the beans in for the rice, I did half that and half broth.

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Here’s a quickie, guess what makes for a killer rice and beans seasoning? The blackening seasoning from the shrimp last week! I know, shocking. I wanted something easy, so I looked over my pantry. I had pasta, rice and beans. I’ve been eating a lot of pasta so I went for rice and beans. I started with dry beans, but you can just use a can and it would maim the cooking time. Although you wouldn’t be able to use any of the cooking liquid from the beans, which does add a nice flavor and texture. I guess it all depends on the time frame you have. With canned beans you could have this on the table in less than a half hour, I’m guessing.

And who doesn’t love that? Not that I ever eat at my table these days, unless you count the dinette set table my computer is on. Heh. The one thing about the seasoning is that I found it didn’t have quite enough salt for this kind of thing. It was plenty for the shrimp, but rice and beans want a little more. Although it’s not really required, you could easily do a low salt thing and it still tastes wicked good.

If you wanted to un-veg it you could add some bacon or sausage. Or put it in a tortilla with some taco or carnita stuff. That would also be wicked good.

Filed under: beans, rice, side dish, vegetarian

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