Friday, September 30, 2005


Falafels (Which Happen to be Vegan Too)

What with all this rampant veganism working its way across the blog-o-sphere I have been inspired to make that classic vegan standby, falafels, from scratch, since anything had to be better than the stuff from a box (tried that once...was a little bit underwhelmed). I was super excited to see how easily they came together and how enjoyable the whole process was. While not the quickest meal to make, they are extra tasty, and re-heat well, so you can make a gigantic batch and eat them whenever the fancy strikes.

My only question, to myself, is: What in the heck took you so long? I finally have the falafels I want, heavily spiced, crunchy and delicious. (Not that I'm suddenly going to be passing up lunch at LA's best falafel stand, Eat-A-Pita or anything though!) They may be quite a deviation from the traditional, but to me, they are perfection. As a funny aside, I baked the first batch, and they were outta sight, then the next day, all ramped up, I thought I would just go for the gusto and deep fry a second batch to see how much better that could be. Oddly, they just dissintegrated over the course of about 6 minutes in the hot oil and I ended up with a deep-fried-pot-o-crumbles. It was hilarious. I don't think I'll bother doing that again. The ones I bake, I served these with a tomato-cucumber and mint salad, some minced chiles, onion slices and tahini sauce (made with tahini paste, lemon juice and salt), I didnt bother with pita, but I did include some dolmas on the plate, since I always have them in the house. It was a supreme meal, vegan friendly, delicious, filling and nicely balanced. So try them and enjoy!

3/4 cup cracked wheat
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small yellow onion
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups chick peas (I used canned)
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
large pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest

In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add the wheat, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand 20 minutes or until the wheat is soft.

Coarsly grind the cumin and coriander in a spice mill

Meanwhile, saute the onion, garlic, lemon zest and spices until just softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a food processor, (or you can just do this by hand) pulse together the remaining ingredients until they are mixed but still coarse.

Let rest 5-10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400F

Form the mixture into small balls (or, as I did, small disks). Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 30 falafels

(My actual IMBB 19 recipe, btw, is here) Tagged with: +

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week said it was considering an application by Kraft Foods to lower the minimum required curing period for Parmesan style cheese from six months from the current 10 months. In Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano producers must cure the cheese for at least 12 months. Italian producers are worried about the competition from the big US companies - especially if they can produce the cheese faster, in greater quantities and for a cheaper price than they can. The Italians also worry that reductions in the strict production methods they use would lower quality and harm the image of the cheese.

Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) are the most widely consumed legume in the world.

These men are vegans: Bryan Adams, Steve Jobs, Rick Rubin and Moby

I love The Millenium Restaurant Cookbook, which is all vegan food. Simply Heavenly is also quite charming, and has a unique spin on veganism, as it was written by the Abbey of a Christian monestary. Go figure.

You know what isn't vegan at all? SHORT RIBS WITH A CELERY DUO! Post your recipe today for The (Second) Really Big Cook-Off!

Great vegan idea! They're actually pretty healthy if you bake them and I think I would make them with whole wheat breadcrumbs, too. Thanks for the post and have a great weekend!
I adore falafel, and your baked version sounds great. Im intrigued by the addition of the cracked wheat- Im definetely bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing :-)
pah! your falafels look better and sound better than mine.
thanks for the second entry and the little vegan facts you have been entering to the bottom of your posts!

sam x
Sam - I disagree! I think your falafel looked delicious! And you made dolmas, which I could never manage!

And you know, Im all about the little facts...
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