Eating better food for less and other tales from a no-moneymoon

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lunch II, Bigger and Bolder

So that little old bowl of chickpeas with some chimichurri mixed in...that's not just another leftover, it's a fantastic opportunity for a lunch sequel. And unlike most sequels, this dish won't have a re-hashed, dull flavor. It's a whole new enchilada, or falafel as the case may be.

I had my first falafel in Germany. Yes, in the land of snausage, even I-Love-Salty-Meats herself needed a break in the wurst way possible (sorry, I couldn't help myself.) That's when the two vegetarians in my study abroad program and I discovered the Turkish falafel stand. Fried balls of chickpea aren't exactly healthy, but the food was fresh, spicy and filled with green-goodness. I fell in love with it at first bite.

I usually bake falafel to keep this easy dish diet-friendly. Baking won't make it as filling, but you still get a lot of the good flavor without all of the deep-fried calories.

Baked Falafel Leftover Mashup

1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Ground pepper
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Pre-heat oven to 420F.

Place leftover chickpeas and sauce and all ingredients in the food processor. Combine until it looks like a paste. **If you are making this as a new dish, just put all of the ingredients for the chimichurri in the food processor along with these ingredients doubled and the chickpeas.

This was looser than my usual mixture so instead of shaping patties, I dropped the falafels like you would cookie dough.

Make about 10 small falafel "piles" on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes one side. Flip falafel and bake another 10 minutes. These spicy falafel-ettes will be crispy on the outside and a little gooey on the inside.

Since I'm not eating too much bread these days, I replace the pita with a big romaine leaf and scatter the falafel with tomato and sliced scallion.

Serve with:

"White Sauce": 1/4 plain yogurt + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice + 1 minced small clove of garlic

Pickled Cabbage: Another leftover sequel! Shred about 1 cup cabbage (I used green) and cook in 1/2 cup of leftover pickling liquid and all the garlic from Garlic-Cumin Refrigerator Pickles. Cook until cabbage looks bright and slightly wilted. Cool before serving.

Leftovers get a makeover with some pantry pals
Healthy and flavorful lunch in half and hour
Thriftier and healthier than the food truck falafel

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