Oven roasted broad beans falafel

When we think of falafel we instantly think of chick peas. Did you know that you can make falafel with broad beans also? It is a delicious alternative.

The falafel in this recipe are oven roasted, the mixture is not appropriate for deep frying, the falafel are going to dissolve into the pan.

This dish is a great source of protein and is full of herbs. The taste is truly amazing, it is as fulfilling as a meat dish.

The final result will be very crunchy and a bit dry. It is very important to serve them with sauces. Any sauce will do, here they are presented with a yogurt sauce and a tomato sauce.

Rosé wines are an excellent match for falafel. Any rosé will be fine, this weekend I had enjoyed them with a Malbec rosé.

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If you wish to taste this super healthy and super nutritious dish follow the instructions below.

Ingredients for 4 people (or 2 very hungry people) :

  • 350 gr broad beans soaked in mineral water for 48 hours, skins removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 medium red onion roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds roasted and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds roasted and crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • a pinch of paprika
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbs all purspose flour
  • sunflower

Instructions:

  • Place the beans, onions, garlic, and herbs in a food processor and mix them until the beans are chopped into small pieces. Do not over-mix, no need to create a paste. If your food processor is small, place the ingredients in small bunches.
  • Put the mixture in a big bowl. Add the spices, baking soda, lemon juice,  flour and  salt.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Put a bit of sunflower in a pan.
  • Create little patties with your dough and flatten them a bit, it will be easier to cook them in the oven this way.
  • Place the pan in a preheated oven in 200 C. Cook for 15 minutes on one side. Then flip the patties over and cook 15 more minutes on the other side or until golden brown. Do not over cook, they will become very dry.

Your falafel are ready, enjoy 🙂

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Mint and couscous salad

This is a simple salad that can be prepared quickly. It is excellent as an accompaniment of a Sunday lunch, or on its own. You can use the left overs for lunch boxes. It can be kept in the fridge for one day.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 250 gr of couscous prepared according to the instructions of the producer
  • 200 gr sweet cherry tomatoes chopped in half
  • half a cucumber chopped in small cubes ( seeds removed)
  • 1 bunch of mint leaves
  • half a red onion chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small carrot chopped in small cubes
  • 2 green onions
  • origano
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • salt
  • a rich of cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Prepare your couscous according to the producer’s instructions or if you are lucky enough to have access to homemade couscous just prepare it as you regularly do.
  • Add a bit of olive oil to your couscous.
  • In a large bowl place all the vegetables and herbs and mix gently.
  • Add a bit of salt to the mixture.
  • Place the couscous in this mixture once it is cold with a pinch of cinnamon.
  •  Your salad is ready.

This salad is great when served with falafel, yogurt and tomato sauce and cabbage salad.

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Prosecco wine goes very well with this dish.

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Aubergine salad with peanut butter

“Πενία τέχνας κατεργάζεται” is a very old Greek saying, meaning that poverty develops and contributes to the research of the arts.

It is not poverty, as lack of monetary means, that contributed to the creation of this recipe. It is poverty as lack of specific ingredients in the city that I live, more specifically the lack of tahini. Tahini is a sesame based paste, that is commonly used in aubergine salad. It is  quite complicated to find Tahini in Bangkok.  So I have decided to replace it with peanut butter. The result is very tasty. If you wish to try this dish please follow the instructions below.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 medium aubergines
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 small red onion
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp of white sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • sweet paprika

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Instructions:

  • Cut the aubergines in big pieces.
  • Roast the aubergines in the oven covered under an aluminium foil for one hour
  • Once the aubergines are cooked put them in a food processor and mix with the onion, garlic, peanut butter, olive oil and salt. Serve with chopped  parsley and paprika.

Enjoy 🙂

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Vegan Christmas, vegetarian Berber couscous

dsc_8403Many traditional Christmas dishes are composed around meat. It is useful to remember that our ancestors did not have the luxury of meat in everyday life. So they compensated by creating exceptional carnivore dishes.

Having said this, vegetarian and vegan dishes become more and more popular. I wish to share this traditional Berber couscous from Algeria adapted to the sauce of the modern world. It is a light, healthy and colourful dish that will satisfy all tastes.The combination of spices with the chickpeas is so tasty that meat becomes unnecessary.

It is a nice idea to prepare this couscous also in case you have guests with different nutritional regimes. A slow roasted lamb shoulder in the oven can be presented as a side dish for whomever appreciates this without compromising the taste of  your vegan/vegetarian guests.

The greatness of this dish is the amazing aroma of the spices. Your kitchen will be enchanted by a beautiful Christmas scent.

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Ingredients for four portions:

  • 400 gr instant couscous (optional, if you know how to separate the grains by hand and you live in a country where you can find real couscous, take the time to prepare it properly)
  • 200 gr chickpeas
  • 3-4 medium carrots chopped in large chunks
  • 250 gr turnips chopped in large chunks
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis in large chunks
  • 4 tomatoes mixed in a food processor
  • a roasted eggplant
  • a sliced onion
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2 tsp raz el hanout
  • salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter (optional, can be replaced by olive oil)
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 l of water
  • some herbs for the presentation (parsley, mint, coriander according to your preferences)

Instructions:

24 hours before:

  • Put the chickpeas into a bowl of water with the baking soda and let them rest in the fridge for a whole day.

On the day of the preparation:

  • Put the chickpeas into a pan and boil them for 1 hour or until they become soft.
  • Drain the chickpeas.
  • Put some olive oil into a pan, turn the heat on low and add the onion and the spices.
  • Add the garlic cloves.
  • Roast for 3-4 minutes, just enough time for the spices to develop their aroma.
  • Add the chickpeas and keep on stirring in low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and the turnips
  • Add the water.
  • Add the tomato sauce
  • Let this soup simmer for 1 hour
  • Carefully add the zucchini.
  • Let simmer for 20 more minutes.
  • Prepare the couscous according to the instructions of the packaging.

It is ready. For the presentation separate the vegetable from the chickpeas and the sauce. Present the grains of couscous in a separate large and deep plate, the sauce in a bowl and the vegetable on a plate. In this way your guests will choose whatever they wish according to their taste.

Enjoy 🙂

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Candied pesto

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This is not a pesto recipe. This is a pesto conservation recipe. Dear Italian readers please ignore this post. I know your pesto is sacred and what is going to happen to it in this recipe is outrageous. For the rest of the readers,  this is a great way to keep pesto fresh and vibrant green after the day of its fabrication. It is a chef that gave me the recipe when I complained that the pesto I kept in jars with olive oil turned black and became “bitter” after a few hours of its preparation.

This is my recipe of basil pesto, it is not traditional and it is not authentic because theres is garlic in it, but I like it very much and like the French say “des goûts et des couleurs, on ne discute pas”.

Ingredients: 

  • a large bunch of basil leaves
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (optional)
  • 50 gr of pine nuts
  • 100 gr of freshly grated parmesan cheese (it can be replaced by any type of hard yellow cheese such as pecorino, gruyere etc
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • salt

Instructions:

  • Pick the basil leaves from the stems.
  • Crash the garlic cloves.
  • Put all the ingredients in a chopping robot and mix until you reach the desirable consistency. I enjoy pesto with small bits so I stop mixing after a few seconds.
  • Your pesto will be quite dry at this point.
  • Put a generous tablespoon of  this mixture in a small piece of plastic wrap and fold it.
  • When all the pesto candies are ready put them in the freezer.
  • Use your portioned candied pesto when you wish and add to it a generous amount of extra virgin Greek olive oil.

This pesto is great in pasta as well as in soups or as a savoury addition to salad dressings.

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Enjoy 🙂