Friday, April 15, 2011
Falafel...the lunch of champions
Every time I say the word "Falafel" I laugh. I don't know why exactly...but to me it kind of sounds like a curse word. Next time you are inclined to swear try inserting the word "Falafel" and tell me I'm right. If you have met me you know that I am a non-swearing person. No, I have not lived in a box my entire life...well, at least not all of it. Back when I was an awkward 11 year old girl living in suburbia Texas I was moved by the evil spirit to curse at my Mom as I angrily stomped away from her. Little did I know that 2 4-letter words could change my speech for the rest of my life. Now, I was a bratty little girl, I lied, I cheated, I stole, I disobeyed, and then I lied some more. For this reason punishment was not foreign to me and I was ready to accept the consequences...or was I? Bring it on. I was expecting the usual, lines - writing 1,000 times "I will not curse at my Mother", going to bed without supper, folding laundry until I was dead...just the usual. I was wrong. Instead my parents decided to try something new and grounded me for 3 weeks. No friends, no outings, no anything for 3 whole weeks. Normally this would have been fine and I could have handled it, but no, not this time. During these 3 weeks I was invited to 3 birthday parties, the only 3 I had been invited to all year. Were these parties an exception to the punishment I had been assigned...no, they were not. So while I sat at home wallowing in my misery while my friends tea partied away I decided that cursing was not worth the consequences that came with it, and I would never again curse, so help me God.
Strangely enough I have stuck true and fast to this vow I made so many years ago. If my parents wrath was so painful and awful how much worse was God's going to be when I died? So parents with young ones take this story to heart and when your kid swears for the first time punish them, punish them something fierce and maybe you will scare the swear out of them for good. Now, this is not to discredit the use of swearing, because believe me there are times when I think swearing is definitely merited...but really, your beeping beeping did beeping what? Shouldn't we leave the beeping to our cars? Now onto the Falafels!
Falafels originated in Egypt, and are typically deep fried. Some say they were first made as a meat replacement on Fridays during lent. Vegetarians also use falafels as a meat replacement. Just so you know, you don't have to be Catholic or a Vegetarian to enjoy these! Since Falafels are primarily made with chickpeas they are a high source of protein and fiber and are a healthy addition to any meal!
1 lb. of dried chickpeas
Rinse chickpeas with water and put into large bowl. Cover the chickpeas with cold water at least 2" above the level of the peas. Soak for 18-24 hours. Rinse and drain.
Place soaked and rinsed chickpeas in a large food processor and pulse until ground, not smooth. Add the following:
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pulse the food processor a few times and then add the following:
1 large onion diced
3 green onions (scallions)
6 cloves garlic chopped
2 handfuls fresh parsley rinsed
1 handful fresh cilantro rinsed
1 TBS lemon juice
Pulse together until smooth and herbs are no longer whole. Chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Coat bottom of saute pan with olive oil or coconut oil and heat of medium high heat. Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, scoop Falafel mixture and press into patties and place in heated oiled pan. Cook a few minutes each side until golden brown, flip and cook on other side. Enjoy with tahini or with Greek yogurt, or a quick Greek yogurt sauce - Greek yogurt, lemon, garlic, and paprika. You can freeze this mixture pre baking, or it will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. I found that the longer into the week it sat in the fridge the better it tasted.
This is not a Falafel. Do you know what it is? Bet you don't. I will give you a hint, it is a fruit.