Monthly Archives: February 2012

Baked Falafel

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Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook is one of my favorites from my family’s cookbook collection. My mother found it at a used bookstore and it shows all the signs of a well-loved cookbook. The binding is broken, pages are falling out, and a couple frequently used recipes are caked with remnants of their final product. We should probably just get a new copy, but there’s something about the 1970s hand-written copy of the Moosewood Cookbook that makes it difficult to get rid of. (Or maybe we’re just lazy.)

The book is full of vegetarian recipes. Though I am not a vegetarian, I do take pride in participating in Meatless Mondays (if I don’t forget) and have a secret love for brussel sprouts and asparagus. One of my favorite recipes from the book is falafel. Falafel is described as an Israeli “spicy chickpea croquette.” It’s typically fried, but I opt to bake it for a couple of reasons. (Sometimes it’s spelled “felafel,” but I’m not quite sure which way is right.)

Most falafel recipes call for dried chickpeas, soaked for a couple hours. But I use canned chickpeas out of convenience. The canned chickpeas don’t allow the falafel to hold together very well, so if you try and fry them, you end up with a big mess. Baking the falafel is also healthier.

You can serve falafel in pita pockets or on a salad. Or, just eat them straight-up with a little bit of tzatziki (a yogurt-cucumber sauce) or tahini sauce (sesame paste mixed with lemon and other spices). I like to fill a pita with fresh tomato, cucumber, lettuce, red onion, tzatziki and tahini. Other options for fillings include banana peppers, tabouleh and pickles.

Baked Falafel
Adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

4 cups (about 2 15-oz cans) chickpeas
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup finely minced celery (about 2 stalks)
1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons fine bread crumbs or flour

  1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas. Add the remaining ingredients and chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. Shape the mixture into 2-inch patties and roll in flour. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the falafel over halfway thorough cooking.
  4. Fill a pita pocket with falafel, onion, tomatoes, tahini and tzatziki (recipes below)

Tzatziki: Mix together
4 oz (1/2 cup) plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 clove pressed garlic
1/2 tablespoon fresh dill
2 1/2 tablespoons shredded cucumber with the water removed.

Tahini: Beat or whisk together
3/4 cup tahini paste
3/4 cup yogurt
1 small clove of crushed garlic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Dash of each cayenne, paprika and salt
Dash of tamari (optional)

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Red Velvet Cookies

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Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day.

In honor of everyone’s favorite day of love (or, in some cases, watching The Notebook alone with a bucket of ice cream) Caty and I have whipped up these lovely little cookies. They are perfect for sharing with a special someone (or your 74 cats). They are partially prefabricated, which is usually against our blogging morals, but in this busy day and age a little cake mix won’t kill you. Especially when the results are so adorable.

This is a recipe we found on the great blog Two Peas & Their Pod. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Cookies

1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, for rolling the cookies
Heart shaped cookie cutter, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Take about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in powdered sugar until fully coated. Place cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges are set and cookies begin to crack.
  3. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. If desired, cut cookies into heart shapes, using a heart shaped cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

World Nutella Day: Grilled Nutella and Banana Sandwich

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Happy World Nutella Day! There seems to be a special holiday for every type of food, but this one’s definitely worth celebrating. If you want to honor the creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread, try a grilled Nutella and banana sandwich. It’s a step up from spreading Nutella on toast, and if you sprinkle the banana with cinnamon and brown sugar before grilling, you’ve got a fancy Bananas Foster-esque dessert or breakfast. Enjoy!

Grilled Nutella and Banana Sandwich

Melt butter on a preheated griddle. Spread Nutella on two slices of bread and top one with sliced banana. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the bananas then place the other slice of bread, Nutella side down, on top. Cook on the griddle until the bread is golden and the Nutella is melted.

 

For more ways to celebrate World Nutella Day, visit http://www.nutelladay.com.