Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Revised Menu Plan and Falafel

Have you ever seen the show Portlandia? (the first season is available on Netflix instant) I'm not always a huge fan of sketch comedy, but some of the pieces really had us laughing. In the first episode, there is a couple that goes to great lengths to make sure their chicken was ethically raised. That sketch hit close to home for us...

Yesterday, I wrote about how I was so excited about going to the farmers' market and dairy farm... Well, that plan didn't pan out. It turns out that while Mother Nature was cooperative, our car was not. When we moved to Massachusetts, we made an unorthodox choice of vehicle. We decided to purchase a 1985 diesel Mercedes. It's a great car - they run forever, they're safe and you never have to worry about finding it in a parking lot. The one downside is that they can have trouble in the cold. Under 20 degrees the diesel fuel tends to gel up and requires some special treatment. We thought we had covered all of our bases by using a cold weather fuel additive and plugging in the engine block, but it still didn't start. So our food shopping will all take place at the neighborhood grocery stores and the fish mart.

Menu Plan

Monday - Ham and Eggs, Plantains and Salad
Tuesday - Rib Steak, Cauliflower, Green beans and Salad
Wednesday - Split Pea Soup
Thursday - Buffalo Chicken Salad
Friday - Fish (whatever looks best at the fish market that day), kale salad and mashed butternut squash

The other night we made some falafel that turned out really well. I realized that I had never made it from scratch, and I don't know why not. It is so easy! And it tastes so much better than falafel from a boxed mix! We served it over spinach salad, with avocado and tzatziki sauce.

Falafel inspired by Moosewood Cookbook and The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook

4 C chickpeas
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/3 C onion, chopped
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne
1 1/2 t salt
2 eggs
3 T tahini
2 T flour (I used chickpea flour)
olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Chill for 1 hour. Form small balls or patties.*

Stove Top: Gently heat 1/4 inch of oil in a cast iron pan, and add the falafel in small batches. Cook until crispy (about 5 minutes), and flip to the other side. Remove and cool on a wire rack or paper towels.

Oven: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Generously coat a large sheet pan with the oil, and arrange the falafel. Cook until crispy on the first side (about 30 minutes), and flip to the second side (cook an additional 15 minutes). Remove and cool on a wire rack or paper towels.

*I made them too big and it made it difficult to flip them and preserve the crunchy crust. You want the crust!

Tzatziki Sauce
1 C yogurt
1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
1/4 C onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t salt

Place the yogurt, cucumber and onion in a bowl. Sprinkle the salt on the minced garlic on a cutting board. Use the side of a knife to smear the salt and garlic to create a paste. Add the garlic paste to the rest of the dressing. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.

This post is part of My Meatless Mondays, Delicious Dishes, Made by You Monday, Just Another Meatless Monday, and Midnight Madness Meatless Monday, and Menu Plan Monday.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about your car troubles... Ugh! Not fun especially in the winter!!! Your menu plan for the week sounds delish... I'm trying to incorporate fish at least once a week too.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

My old diesel pick up can be a little cranky sometimes too....

Falafel is one of my all time favorites and I've never made it from scratch. I'll give it a whirl!

Unknown said...

I only like salmon a lot and I make sure, we do have that weekly.
That photo is making me hungry.

Jenn @leftoverqueen said...

I love falafel...and Portlandia! :)

Stealthy Mom said...

Falafels... thank you for posting a "scratch" recipe. The mixes we have tried were not great... I really like the idea of giving of oven-baking them.

judee said...

Love the easy falafel recipe and love the presentation. Yum.

Unknown said...

Found you via a Facebook link from Meatless Mondays. Coincidentally enough, I made falafels last night, and they were awful, but I'm eager to try your recipe. Did you use canned chickpeas?
PS Love Portlandia!

City Share said...

I'll admit we did use canned chickpeas. I always mean to soak, cook and then freeze beans to have on hand, but I'm not very good about it. I think it would be even better with homemade beans because they always have a nicer flavor.

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