So we haven't posted in FOREVER and mainly its just because we have been busy and generally sticking to the good old standby recipes-most of which have already been posted on this blog. I feel like I have been in a bit of a rut, not really attempting to work new recipes into my weekly meal planning. But, now that spring is upon us I am starting to get pumped for all the new warm weather possibilities. Until we come up with something outstanding, I am posting the recipe below.
There is absolutely nothing that makes me happier than eating Mediterranean food. Seriously- fresh vegetables, grains, lots of herbs....whats not to love?! I could probably eat hummus, falafel, and couscous on a daily basis and be perfectly happy (I am not so sure Mike would agree on the everyday part, though). The best Mediterranean food we have had in the US is from Anita's Kitchen in Detroit. If you live there - please go. Go weekly. I am pretty sure we would get take out from there once a week if we lived closer than a 4-hour drive. Until Anita's opens a restaurant in Dayton, I have resorted to making my own Mediterranean fare.
Today's recipe is for falafel, which is typically deep fried but in true cooking light fashion, we will saute ours in a skillet with olive oil. If you have never had falafal - don't be afraid. Its easy to make, good for you, and I can only hope it makes you as happy and content as it make me :)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
olive oil for the pan
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (regular or greek)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
1 garlic clove, minced
Remaining ingredients: (all optional in whatever quantities you like)
whole wheat pitas
1. To prepare falafel, place first 8 ingredients in a food processor; process mixture until smooth. You can also just put all in a bowl and mash with a potato masher or your hands. Divide mixture into 9 equal portions, and shape each portion into a 1/4-inch-thick patty. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until patties are browned.
2. To prepare sauce, combine yogurt, lemon juice, tahini, and chopped garlic clove, stirring mixture with a whisk.
You can spread yogurt sauce into a pita half, fill with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and falafal patties. Or you can load up your plate with everything, and just munch here and there like I do. We rounded out our meal with couscous but hummus would have been an excellent choice also. I am still working on perfecting my hummus recipe, so we will get to that another day. Enjoy!
By the way, you can find tahini with the Meditterranean foods at your local grocery store. I have purchased it at both Meijer and Kroger.