Monday, May 9, 2011

accidental falafel

Dinner for this week was intended to be another Atlanta-inspired dish- the quinoa veggie burger from Farm Burger. I searched a few quinoa burger recipes and figured I'd take a little inspiration from each. The main ingredients I chose were great northern beans and quinoa. I'd never heard of great northern beans before, so I figured I'd give them a shot. I could only find them dried in the WF bulk section. This was my first dried bean experience and I think I'm hooked. SO much better than canned. I just use the WF bulk section cooking guide to make all my beans and grains, it's not hard they just take awhile to cook.

Back to the burgers though. I mixed my ingredients up and the mix looked a heck of a lot more like falafel than the burger I'd eaten. My first issue was the fact that I was combining two recipes, and my second was that I never checked my stock and ended up having only 1/3 cup quinoa! Anywho, I didn't think my mixture would stay burger shape, especially for three days, so it was on to plan B. Enter- the Great Northern Quinoa Falafel. Figured I'd roll the mix into balls the size of... racquetballs? Big golf balls? IDK, something of the sort! I then flattened into patties and baked at 400 degrees.  Crisis averted! These are DELISH, despite being a total accident of randomness. Here's the recipe (everything is organic except maybe the beans.. not sure on those!):
Great Northern Quinoa Falafel
(serves 3-4)

1 cup great northern beans (dried)
1/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
4 scallions, white and green
1/2 small zucchini
8 baby carrots
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Kosher salt, black pepper, TJ 21 Seasoning Salute

Note: If you like traditional falafel use cumin and coriander to season. I am not a huge cumin fan so I switched it up. Parsley is a nice add in as well. I just threw my whole mix in the uncleaned food processor with the herb mix from the tabbouleh, so I had no need to add any herbs.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and soak beans in 1 cup water (anywhere from 4-12 hours; I did 8).
  3. Put beans in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. Cook for about an hour, until soft. Judge using taste.
  4. While beans cook, place rinsed quinoa in pot with 1/2 cup water (or go by your box). Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until water absorbed.
  5. Pulse carrots and zucchini in food processor until at a medium-fine chop.
  6. Add scallions, quinoa, beans, bread crumbs, and seasonings (to taste) to food processor. 
  7. Blend ingredients in food processor until well mixed into a doughy but still mildly chunky texture.
  8. Roll dough into balls and place on oiled baking sheet. Flatten gently.
  9. Bake until golden-brown on bottom side (maybe 15 minutes?). Flip and bake until other side is golden-brown.

Great Northern Quinoa Falafel

These falafel are great served on salad (see next recipe) or in a pita. Pairs well with tzatziki sauce, tahini, or hummus.

mushrooms, sweet potatoes, zucchini pre-roast

With the falafel, I roasted two sliced sweet potatoes, a container of white button mushrooms, and the other 1/2 of the zucchini. Just tossed everything in olive oil, salt, and cayenne and roasted in the same 400 degree oven as the falafel. Remove veggies once edges brown and veggies begin to shrivel.

organic, oven-roasted goodness

For Sunday and Monday night dinners, I reheated the falafel and 1/3 of the roasted veggies in a 400 degree toaster oven. Put all that on top of a pile of organic baby spinach. The dressing was just 1 T tahini plus the juice of 1/2 lemon and hot water to thin to a good consistency. I also cracked some black pepper and sprinkled Kosher salt on top. YUM. This was an awesome salad, packed with nutrients and flavor.

Great Northern Quinoa Falafel Salad w/ Lemon Tahini

Today I also had a nice crusty, white dinner roll with a pat of butter on the side. I could live on warm bread.

Now its off to work. I coached my GOTR girlies this afternoon, so an orange and LARGE Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with skim milk and sugar will be accompanying on my ride in. Hope Monday treated you all well!

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