Homemade Nutty Falafel

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Ingredients:

  • 300g dry chickpeas
  • 50g pecans
  • 50g fresh coriander; chopped
  • 30g fresh flat leaf parsley; chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic; halved
  • ~2cm piece of fresh ginger; peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium size onion; roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes
  • ~100ml olive oil for frying
  • 1.5l water for soaking

Method:

Pour 1.5l litre of filtered water to a pot, add the chickpeas, pop the lid on and leave to soak for at least 10h (overnight works best).

When you are ready to make your falafel, drain the chickpeas then pop them into a food processor.

Add all other ingredients spreading them evenly around the processor bowl but leaving the pecans to be added last. They will help to weigh down the fresh herbs, which means that everything will better stay in place while mixing.

Use the pulse function until your mixture is coarse to semi-coarse. Do not over pulse / mix or you will end up with a hummus-like texture, which isn’t ideal for falafels.

Once done, remove the blade from your food processor and start forming your falafels. I used an ice-cream scoop to measure mine out and the mixture should yield 24 almost perfect balls of falafel 🙂

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Do not squeeze your mixture too much as this will make it dense and remove moisture from it, which will result in dry falafels later on. If you are struggling to form your desired shape you can:

  1. Pop the blade back on your processor and pulse few more times.
  2. Pop it into the fridge to help firm it up a bit
  3. Or worst case scenario add some eggs to help it glue together, but you really shouldn’t need to do this, if you followed the measurements as stated.

Once all your falafels have their final shape, it’s time to fry!

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.In a heavy bottomed frying pan, ideally a small cast iron one, preheat 100ml of olive oil (or more if you pan is bigger, ideally you are aiming for enough oil in the pan to cover half of your falafel).

Bring the oil up to 180C before popping your falafels in. Do not over crowd the pan. I cook 6 at the time despite having space for 12 or even 15. More falafels at one time popped into the pan means a bigger drop in the oil temperature once you put them in (this will result in your falafel soaking up the oil making them greasy) and a general inability to turn them with ease, so take it easy and fry them in batches.

When I fry the oil drops to 170C, this is temperature of my oil once all new falafels are in. I heat it up to 180C again as quickly as possible before turning the heat down and cook for about 5-6 minutes turning regularly

When done remove with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen roll to soak up any residual oil.

Serve warm or cold with a green salad or go classic and add into a wrap.

Most importantly of all though… enjoy!

Do you like falafel?

What’s your favourite way of serving them?

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

Honey & Pepper Braised Radishes

Soft, sweet and buttery with a spicy finish, this recipe for honey & pepper braised radishes will make a wonderful starter, side dish or even a main dish for any vegetable lovers out there.

Soft, sweet and buttery with a spicy finish, this recipe for honey & pepper braised radishes will make a wonderful starter, side dish or even a main dish for any vegetable lovers out there.Who knew that radishes could be the size of a large grapefruit? They come not only in pink but also white and even pitch black… well, I for one didn’t know that’s for sure.

Our first trip to our local farmers market left us very puzzled. We returned home with bags full of weird and wonderful veggies, which to be honest we had no sensible idea for what they were, let alone what to do with them… Using tried and tested methods we deciphered most of them (some are still a mystery to this very day) and as it ended up some of the large black, white and rose-pink “balls” were not swedes or turnips but lovely giant radishes. Normally we would use a radish in our salads but let’s be honest how many salads can two people eat… we had to come up with something else to do with them all…

Soft, sweet and buttery with a spicy finish, this recipe for honey & pepper braised radishes will make a wonderful starter, side dish or even a main dish for any vegetable lovers out there.Soft, sweet and buttery with a spicy finish, this recipe for honey & pepper braised radishes will make a wonderful starter, side dish or even a main dish for any vegetable lovers out there.As the radish cooks, it loses its “bite” as well as some spiciness and becomes sweet. We were surprised just how sweet they can get when cooked on their own but then we started building on it and after a few tries we think we have perfected a dish of braised radishes which delivers the perfect mixture of sweet and sour. How do you do this you may ask, well you are going to need….

Ingredients:

  • 250g radishes
  • 60ml boiling water
  • 25g butter
  • 1tbsp organic honey
  • 1tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • Splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce (more to taste)
  • Spring onion, to serve

Method:

Wash and, if needed, chop radishes into smaller chunks.

In a heavy bottom pan, melt the butter, once melted add radishes and salt and cook for a minute or two.

Add the boiling water and honey. Cover with lid and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Add both the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, crack black pepper and cook further until most of the water has evaporated and you are left with a lovely thick honey glaze.

Serve on a plate and spoon the glaze over the top. Finally, finish with finely chopped spring onions.

Enjoy!

Soft, sweet and buttery with a spicy finish, this recipe for honey & pepper braised radishes will make a wonderful starter, side dish or even a main dish for any vegetable lovers out there.

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup

Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination!

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! The idea behind this soup was to create something with a little bit more “bite” but without making it spicy with chilli based products. Don’t get me wrong I totally adore standard carrot soup and its sweetness but this time I was in the mood for something else. I decided to take my soup to the next lever by upping the amount of ginger… it worked… the soup it truly something and if you like ginger you really should give it a go. And remember ginger is a super healthy spice loaded with vitamins and minerals that have many powerful benefits for your body and brain.

The measurements below will make 4 large servings or 6 starter sized portions.

Ingredients:

  • 750g carrots
  • 350g sweet potato
  • 75g ginger
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
  • Coriander; for serving

Method:

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and sweet potato.

Peel and fine chop the garlic, onion and ginger.

In a heavy bottomed frying pan preheat the oil and once hot add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper and fry until soft.

In the meantime as they cook grab yourself a large stock pot and prepare 700ml of stock. I’ve used two vegetable stock cubes from Knorr. Once ready pour it into your cooking pot and bring it to a gentle boil.

When your onions are almost ready add the ginger, garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes then fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes but no longer, as you don’t want any garlic to burn and therefor becoming bitter.

Remove from the heat and add into the cooking pot containing the stock.

Add all the carrots and sweet potato, pour in the coconut milk and bring it all to a gentle boil again.

Simmer on a low heat for 45-55 minutes.

Remove from the heat and either use a hand blender or let it cool a while and pop it into a proper worktop blender in order to cream it.

Once the texture is silky smooth and even with no visible lumps, you are ready to eat.

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! Serve with a generous serving of coriander and ideally some toasted or fresh buttered rustic bread (well we didn’t have any at the time of creation but Mark thinks it would be an ideal addition to this soup).

If you decide to try it I am absolutely sure you will like it as much as we did.

Do you like carrot soup? If not then this next level soup will convert you 🙂

Do you have any other next level carrot soups you adore and want to share?

Vegetable Burgers & Green Salad with Coriander and Lime Dressing

As much as I love meat from time to time I really do desire a vegetarian meal. Most of the time this meal will come in the form of a variety of salads but not today… today I had a veggie burger!

Vegetable Burgers & Simple Green Salad with Coriander & Lime DressingAs much as I want to take the credit for the entire dinner I simple can’t… well… I didn’t make the burgers; they were from Mash Direct.

Mash Direct are an independent, family owned farming and food production enterprise. They produce a huge selection of vegetarian meals including the burgers we had today – Vegetable Burgers with Cabbage. Don’t let the name mislead you, the burger ingredients are for more complex than just cabbage… we find in there potato, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip plus the stated cabbage; all coated in lovely crisp crumbs. I’ve never even considered making a veggie burger myself but after tasting how delicious they can be I think I am a convert and now really want to give it a go myself 🙂

Vegetable Burgers & Simple Green Salad with Coriander and Lime DressingSo I have declared that I didn’t make the burgers but I did create the salad and the dressing to go with it. When it comes to the actual salad, well… you can just pop into the bowl any veggies and salad leaves you have to hand… I will however share with you my Coriander and Lime Dressing recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red chilli; finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic; minced
  • 2 limes; juiced
  • 2tbsp honey
  • 1tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of fresh coriander; chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Finely chop the chilli, mince the garlic, juice the limes and place all of the results into a mixing bowl.

Add the honey, balsamic vinegar and stir well.

Add the coriander and olive oil and stir until all ingredients are well combines.

Salt and pepper to taste (lemon pepper works very well).

Drizzle over your salad and enjoy!

The dressing will keep well in the fridge for a few days. I am not absolutely sure how long to be honest as it never survives in our house longer than 2-3 days anyways.

What do you think about our dinner today?

Are you a fan of veggie burgers?

How about a coriander and lime dressing?

Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan CheeseHigher temperatures, more sunshine and warmer weather in general is very conducive to swopping bulky meat for some light veggies. Lately we have been experimenting a little with some new vegetarian dishes, inspired mainly by our “Eat Your Greens” cookbook from Parragon.

The cookbook, as the name would suggest, is focusing on greens. It covers everything from light bites, via might mains to a bit on the side; in addition it has an extensive green juice section. Every recipe has a clear picture of what your final dish should look like as well as detailed instructions on how to prepare it, including preparation and cook times.

We have tried a few different recipes from this cookbook so far and they were all truly delicious. So today I would like to share with you the Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan recipe.

The recipe will serve four as a side dish or two as a main course. You will need 20 minutes to prepare it and a further 20 minutes to cook it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large broccoli
  • 6tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Few handfuls of toasted pine nuts
  • 25g Parmesan cheese shavings
  • Lemon wedges to garnish

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C.

If you have unroasted / untoasted pine nuts, you might want to pop a few handfuls onto a small baking dish and pop them into the oven for a few minutes… just a few minutes as we don’t really want to burn them just toast them slightly to help release all the natural oils inside and that wonderful aroma from toasted nuts.

Wash and cut the broccoli into single florets.

Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese in the makingPlace your broccoli into a large bowl; add oil, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and gently toss around to assure even coverage.

My Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese in the makingSpread out in a large roasting tin.

Cover tightly with foil and roast at the bottom of the earlier preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the foil and leave them to roast with no cover for a further 10 minutes, turning them around mid-time.

Keep a watchful eye to make sure that your broccoli do not brown too much.

Remove from the oven and tip into a shallow, pre-warmed serving dish and with any cooking juices you might have in the roasting tin drizzle them over the top.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and lemon zest; add slithers of Parmesan cheese; garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

This was the first time we have had broccoli served this way and I have to admit we all loved it!

My Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan CheeseDo you like broccoli?

What is your favourite way of serving it?

***
Food Heroes: Eat your Greens
ISBN 978-1-4723-6450-0
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2014
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £6
Paperback; perfect bound

*  I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.