Sunday, June 21, 2009

falafel falafel falafel

A few weeks ago I discovered a delightful cooking website called 101 Cookbooks. The biggest feature of the website is that it has reviews for dozens of healthful cookbooks, and, from each cookbook, one sample recipe complete with beautiful photographs. The recipes are even divided into different categories (and lucky for me, there are vegetarian and vegan categories). One recipe I came across was for sweet potato falafel. Falafel is one of my favorite foods, so I decided to try it out...and it came out great! The recipe was very easy (I was intimidated at first--it just looked so fancy) and I'd definitely recommend it.

Step 1 - 1.5 lbs baked sweet potato, fresh cilantro, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Step 2 - add chickpea flour. (To save money and a trip to a specialty store, I researched how to make my own chickpea flour and found out that all it really takes is dried chickpeas--available in the dried bean section of any grocery store--and a food processor. My family has a Magic Bullet so I used that instead.)

Step 3 - chill.

Step 4 - scoop onto a baking sheet, and top with sesame seeds.

Step 5 - bake for 15-20 minutes and voila! Delicious falafel.

So then, I got to thinking, and I've been wanting to try making pita bread too, so I found this recipe, which uses a bread maker to mix the dough. They turned out perfectly! The only thing I changed in the recipe was using 1/2 wheat flour and 1/2 white flour.

After the dough was mixed and had risen, I divided it into small pieces and rolled them out into circles.

Then they went into the oven straight onto the wire rack for just five minutes. They puffed up a lot, making a perfect pocket when sliced open... so.

And asparagus is particularly good right now, so I decided that would be a good side dish. here you have it, sweet potato falafel on homemade wheat pitas, with asparagus on the side. Mmm!


Geidlbots said...

You're awesome and inspiring to me. I love the pictures and envy your skill and camera. :) I've been wanting to make falafel for awhile now. Perhaps when I get moved...I'm thinking bread machine as well for any dough kneading...I had one back in LR, let a friend borrow it--never got it back. :( Must see if I can find one on Craigslist b/c kneading the dough by hand is messy and hard on my stick arms.

onelonelyapricot said...

Aw, thank you! Food photography is one of my biggest commercial photo interests. I'd love to have a job in that field for awhile! I have a lot to learn, but I love trying new things out with the photos when I cook something.

That's so sad about your old bread maker. I love my mom's, so buying one is going to be my apartment-warming present to myself in August. I think it will be a good investment since I will be able to make healthful bread and know what's in it, for not too much money. I doubt I would do so without a bread maker since I just don't forsee myself having a ton of free time. And I've been finding cool recipes for things like this pita bread, bagels, and pizza dough too! I hate it that whole grain bread is so expensive in the grocery store. I wish we didn't have to pay more for them to leave natural things in our food... I understand about having puny arms too...mine are the puniest. I go through spurts of trying to lift weights a few times a week to get stronger but I never do. I seriously doubt I would be a good bread kneader.