Don’t you just love it when a new recipe idea pops into your head, and you realize that you already have every ingredient you need?
Last night, the plan was pizza. Fully loaded falafel pizza. You see, I found myself at a Greek restaurant a little while back with some friends, and after searching the entire menu the only thing I could find that could be veganized was their pizza. (Well, either that or a salad.) So, I asked for a cheeseless pizza, and what I got was an impossibly dry crust scattered with a few slices of tomato and bell pepper. It was not at all the restaurant’s fault, though. I should have gotten creative and asked them to replace the cheese with hummus or baba ganoush. Every experience is a new learning curve!
Needless to say, I’ve been in serious need of some pizza redemption.
All I did for this pizza was take a large whole wheat pita and spread on some basil tomato sauce. Then, I stacked it with layer upon layer of my favorite veggies, topped with some homemade falafels and a drizzle of garlic hummus that I made the other day. Adding hummus to a cheeseless pizza is a fantastic way of giving it that rich, creamy texture.
Bell peppers (I sauteed mine in water and soy sauce)
Crushed chili peppers, black pepper, and Cajun spice sprinkled over top
Then, I just put this in a pan with the lid on and let it simmer at low heat on the stove for about 15 minutes. No oven required. When I was ready to eat, I raised the temperature to get the crust all crispy, and that’s all there was to it. Extremely satisfying, oil-free, vegan pizza in no time at all!
I’ve been craving falafels lately (I mean, who doesn’t from time to time?!), so I decided to have a go at making them at home. The ready-made ones in the supermarkets are quite pricey plus they are deep fried in oil, so I figured it was pretty much a win-win if I could successfully make some oil-free versions at home. Healthier, cheaper…and surprisingly delicious if I do say so myself!
This is different from the standard falafel recipe, as you may notice. I mixed in some Indian spices, plus I used a cheesecloth to separate the chickpea “milk” from the chickpea pulp. I then used the milk afterwards for an exciting vegan cheesecake recipe which I’ll be posting about shortly!
Here are the ingredients I used for the falafels:
one cup dry chickpeas
sweet Mayan onion
fenugreek leaves (a handful of parsely would be more conventional, but I love the taste of fenugreek)
madras curry powder
crushed chili pepper
starch (if needed to help hold the mixture together)
I started by soaking the chickpeas overnight. A traditional falafel recipe would then blend the water and the chickpeas together with all of the ingredients, but instead, the next morning I blended the chickpeas and the water until smooth, and then used a fine cheesecloth to drain out all the chickpea milk and set that aside for my dessert recipe!
Into the chickpea pulp, I mixed the rest of the ingredients listed above. Then, I just rolled the mixture into little balls and then grilled them up until they had a nice crispyness on the outside. That’s really all there is to it!
I served this with homemade hummus and a simple tahini sauce. For the tahini dressing, I just mixed together the following:
fresh garlic paste (garlic powder would also work well)
Just for fun, I also tried making these mini falafel donuts. Same recipe, same process…but cuter.
For tonight’s dinner I cooked up some brown GABA rice & about a quarter cup of multi-grain mix…then I actually mixed in some fresh salsa and added a layer of guacamole on top. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I loved it!
Here it is, complete with a few slices of mini portobello mushrooms, a tofu stuffed pepper, and a veggie falafel =)
– The mushrooms I sauteed in a drop of oil, then added a tiny bit of sesame oil for taste, along with hot sauce and some salt & pepper.