This week of no meat has been fulfilling and just plain filling. I spent about half as much at the grocery store this week and felt fuller most days. I have been experimenting with lots of different grains and bean main dishes. One of my favorite dishes of all time is falafel. There is just so much freshness mixed with so much comfort in these little delights, I can’t help myself. And, little did I know, they are so easy to make.
- 4 c soaked and boiled garbanzos/chickpeas
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley (or 2 T dried)
- salt and pepper to taste
- lemon juice and olive oil until right consistency
Falafels are so easy I have no idea why I waited so long to try. Put the garbanzos in the food processor, process until fine and grainy. Add the parsley, spices, onion, and garlic. Process until mixed. Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice and add either olive oil or broth until it reaches a workable consistency to shape the balls. Shape the mush into a cookie-like ball. Put on cookie sheet with parchment and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until slightly crisp on top. At this point you can either (a) eat them like this, (b) freeze/refrigerate them, or (c) pan fry them with a little bit of oil to get that nice crispy edge. I like to serve on pita with cabbage, carrot, and cilantro. Top with a dill+yogurt+salt+pepper mix.
The multitude of non-wheat grains has also been a wonderful addition to my diet. Buckwheat, oat groats, rye berries, teff grain, all wonderful, nutty, rich, and flavorful. My breakfasts have been consisting of oat groats, berries, nuts, and cinnamon. Or when I am feeling ambitious, I’ll make a cobbler: canned peaches, apples, canned plums + cobbler top of ground oat groats, ground flax seed, rough ground hazelnuts, raw honey, little whole wheat flour, cinnamon, and melted butter to barely pull it together. Sprinkle on top and bake for about 20 minutes at 350. So simple and delicious. Also good fresh out, cold, or with nut milk the next day.
My DIY moment of the week, was making my own Rayzen Brann. I love the idea of taking something that people think they have to buy, and making it at home with a fraction of the ingredients. This cereal can also easily be gluten-full or gluten-free.
Home Made No Additive Good Old “Raisin Bran”
- 1 c fine flour (like buckwheat, whole wheat, amaranth, anything really fine)
- 1 c course flour (like teff grains, processed oats)
- 1 c nut flour (hazelnuts, almonds, walnut, etc)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 c milk
- 1/2 c water
- 2 T-1/4 c honey or brown sugar (I prefer to heat up raw sugar and pour in)
- Any spice you want: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, etc
Gather all ingredients and mix together. Bam! That easy
Roll out (1/4 mixture at a time) between parchment and plastic wrap. You must use parchment and plastic wrap because this stuff is sticky (I made the mistake of using wax paper and baked completely inedible flakes). Roll out until almost transparent.
Bake at 350 until leathery. Let cool. Once cool, tear into bran sized flakes, and bake again at 275 until crisp.
Once the flakes are dry and cooled. You can add nuts and fruit. I added dried blueberries and chopped hazelnuts, then doused with a little bit of cinnamon.
I still do not plan on being a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, raw foodist, or any of the rest, but I am loving these grains, lentils, and beans. Cant wait to share these little beauties at the Food Swap tonight and bring home some tasties for myself. I’ll report back soon and let y’all know about my Food Swap booty!