Falafels with Naan

I was talking with a friend the other day who was saying how easy it is to make naan. I nodded my head in agreement… but deep down, I was like, “No. Way.” I’ve gone through three naan recipes in two weeks. The one I have below is my favorite thus far, but I still feel like it’s a work in progress for me.

With the falafels, I love falafels. I mean, I will eat chickpeas straight out of the can. When it comes to this falafel recipe, it’s pan fried which is a little different than most restaurant falafels that tend to be deep fried. I found that coating the falafel in a seasoned panko mix gave it a nice crunch and added depth of flavor.

Naan (inspired by Saveur)

  •  3/4 c warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp active yeast
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c high protein bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c plain, full fat yogurt
  • 2 Tbls canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • *optional, chopped garlic to add into dough later
  • Melted ghee, for brushing
  1. Combine the warm water, honey and yeast in a bowl, let sit for 10 minutes
  2. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients
  3. Once the yeast mix has proofed, add all wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry
  4. As dough comes together, knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let sit for an hour
  5. Portion dough into 10 balls. Roll dough out to 1/4″ with rolling pin, *optional to add chopped garlic into dough. Let the flattened naan sit while pan is heating up
  6. I recommend using a cast iron skillet for this recipe. You do not need to oil the pan. If the pan starts smoking – it’s too hot, turn the heat down
  7. Run your hands under some water so they are damp. Pick up the flattened dough, pass back and forth between hands so dough gets slightly wet. Drop dough onto hot skillet and cover. This is the look you are going for:AE6320F1-1B12-43FF-A43C-50CDA5899AAA
  8. Cook for about 30 seconds per side

 

Falafels (inspired by Minimalist Baker)

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed
  • 2 Tbls raw sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 1 Tbls chickpea flour
  • Panko breadcrumbs mixed with 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3-4 Tbls oil
  1. Combine and pulse everything in a food processor except for the flour, panko and oil
  2. Slowly add the flours into the food processor, pulse for a few more seconds
  3. Roll the falafels into desired shape. I prefer flatter, circular shapes
  4. Lightly press or roll falafel into panko seasoning
  5. Add oil to cast iron skillet, set heat to medium. Add the falafels, making sure you have enough room to flip
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side. Set falafel on a plate lined with paper towl
  7. Garnish with desired toppings. I made a cucumber, tomato, onion salad with a pre-made tahini dressing

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Mushroom Loaf

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Mushrooms – people either love them or hate them. I absolutely love them. Hence, the mushroom loaf. Tasting Table came out with a wonderful recipe for a Mushroom Loaf.

I served this to my parents and they said it tastes like Thanksgiving, aka stuffing. The downfall to my first attempt was over dicing my mushrooms – the consistency was pretty….soft. Next time, I will follow the recipe more closely and do a fine chop/dice – but don’t bring out the food processor to do this. Oops.

I love the flavor and texture of this – the oats, breadcrumbs and walnuts; along with the topping of ketchup, remind me of everything I want a “meat”loaf to be.

Have you tried any meatless loafs before? Whether you have, this one is definitely worth a try (unless you fall into the anti-mushroom category…then stick with a lentil loaf!)

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

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I’ve been working on a cooking class that features plant based protein. This Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh was awesome! I served it with a side of couscous which is topped with oven-roasted green beans and mushrooms. I then dressed the dish with truffle infused balsamic. I may have gone a bit overboard with balsamic. You can definitely substitute other flavors and sauces, such as barbecue or ketchup.

Now, I ask you friendly viewers, what are your favorite plant based proteins? Some of mine include marinated tempeh, tofu (scrambles and eggless salads), chickpea sloppy joes, and desserts using soft tofu as the filling.. I would love to hear some ideas from you that I could incorporate into my upcoming class!

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/3 c balsamic vinegar (start with less, unless you are really looking for that balsamic flavor)
  • 3 tsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  1. Steam the 8 oz block of tempeh in a skillet until water is evaporated (I fill enough water in the pan to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the block of tempeh)- this takes about 10 minutes. I like to steam my tempeh before cooking with it because it opens up the protein which helps the marinade process. Tempeh can also have a strong, fermented taste, and steaming can help soften that flavor
  2. Let the tempeh cool until you are able to handle it, then cut it into desired shapes. To make the small triangles, I cut the 8 oz square into 4 triangles. I then cut those triangles in half (width wise) and then in half lengthwise.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, olive oil and pepper
  4. Add the tempeh in a pan/dish where you can lay them all flat – I fit them easily into an 8×6 Pyrex. Cover the tempeh with your marinade. Let this sit overnight, then flip them in the morning
  5. In the evening – or whenever you’re ready to bake these, preheat your oven to 350F. Cover your pan/dish with foil, bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed

Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Bars

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Most people have at least one type of food vice. I happen to have a few. One of these vices is protein bars. I LOVE a good protein bar. I never seem to schedule enough time in the morning. By the time I’m done exercising and getting ready for work, I have about 5 minutes to either make a protein shake or grab a protein bar. Why so much protein? After seeing a nutritionist a few years back, I realized I was lacking sufficient protein intake. I feel the easiest remedy for this is a strong protein based meal in the morning to set the tone for the day. I’ve also noticed that this A.M. protein boost helps me feel full throughout the day while I’m at work. WOO!

Ok, so let’s get to the recipe. I found a great base to work with thanks to Oh She Glows. I omitted the chocolate because I really don’t like sweet bars, especially in the morning. I also reduced the sweetener and added some almond milk. Feel free to play around with what I came up with!

Ingredients
– 3 c oat flour (GF)
– 1 c puffed brown rice
– 1 c vanilla raw protein powder
– 1 c raw peanut buttter
– 3/4 c maple syrup
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 2-4 Tbls almond milk

1. Combine oat flour, puffed brown rice and protein powder in a large bowl
2. In a smaller bowl, combine peanut buttter, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir until everything is mixed together
3. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry
4. With your hands (I used cooking gloves), mix everything together. You will likely find the mix to be dry, begin to moisten with 1 Tbls of almond milk at a time
5. Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper. Spread the bar mixture in the pan with your hands. Once the mixture is smooth and even, place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cut into desired shapes!

Sriracha-Maple Glazed Tofu

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Tofu seems to be one of those proteins that people love or hate. And, for the haters, I’d guess it’s because they’ve had a bad experience with the block of bean curd. While tofu can be intimidating to work with, I guarantee you, it can be incredibly delicious if it’s properly prepared.

For this simple dish, I used Trader Joe’s super firm tofu (16oz). I cut the block in half and saved the other half for later. With the 8oz block, I cut 4x4x4 so I was left with nicely shaped cubes. Then, in a sauté pan, I heated sunflower oil and once it was hot, I added the tofu. I cooked the tofu for about 5 minutes or until it was brown on multiple sides. Next it was time for the glaze. I used a simple combination of sriracha, maple syrup, barbecue sauce and a little ketchup. I covered the tofu in the glaze and continued cooking at a medium heat. Once the glaze begins to caramelize and create a crust, remove the tofu from the heat and enjoy!

Oatmeal Energy Bites

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What can get better than a bite sized ball of energy? Um..nothing! My energy bites are the most delicious treats on the planet. Whenever I am having a sweet craving or want a quick snack before hitting the trails, I chomp down on a few.

I would like to play with the recipe a bit because they are a little on the sweet side for me. Other than that…they’re perfect!

Ingredients

  • 1 c old-fashioned oats
  • 2/3 c unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 1/2 c ground flax
  • 1/2 c carob chips (or chocolate)
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Once well combined, let chill for 30 minutes
  2. Remove from the fridge and form into little balls. I made about 22

BBQ Tempeh with Roasted Veggies

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Dinner tonight was incredibly simple and would satisfy any meat eater’s appetite.  First, I roasted some veggies which were coated in garlic infused olive oil and baked at 400 F for 30 minutes.

For the BBQ tempeh, I took a package of tempeh, sliced in half, then in half again leaving me with 4 thin slices. I steamed the slices for 10 minutes, let cool, then coated them in a BBQ sauce. I baked them at 375 F for 10 minutes then added more sauce and cooked for 10 more minutes. Overall the tempeh was good but I feel like it’s missing something. I think I need to season the slices more prior to adding the sauce. Enjoy!

Chickpea Quickie

Chickpea salads are awesome. They are quick, light and refreshing, and are packed with protein. Another bonus is you really can’t mess them up. Chickpeas provide a neutral base to which you can add any spices and herbs that you are craving.

Tonight, I kept it simple and went with a more traditional flavor profile. The recipe was enough for two wraps and a salad. It’s a perfect meal for lunches throughout the week or a late night, oh my god I need to eat right now, dinner.

Enjoy!

Chickpea Quickie

  • 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 green onions, chop green parts (or white if you want a stronger flavor)
  • 1/4-1/2 c vegenaise
  • 1 tsp-1 Tbls yellow mustard
  • pepper to taste
  1. Mash the chickpeas with a fork to a desired consistency. I usually like a little chunk left in mine
  2. Add in the celery and green onion
  3. Start slow with the condiments, taste to your liking (I usually go heavy on the mustard and light on the mayo)
  4. Serve on a salad, wrap, sandwich or eat on its own!
Chickpea salad served as a salad, topped with spicy pickles

Chickpea salad served as a salad, topped with spicy pickles