Day 18 – Falafel and Friends

We had another recipe heavy day. After the early service at church, we called our friends who were headed to the late service and decided to do lunch. As it’s much easier to cook instead of go to a restaurant for us right now, we invited them over. To their credit, they accepted… haha! We warned them about our cooking style, and they bravely decided to try it.

Really though, they’re awesome and adventurous and supportive, so they were up for it.

Then I freaked out a little.

It’s Sunday, and as far as I’m concerned, a commissary run was not an option. We didn’t have a plan and figured we had about 2 hours before they arrived to get food going and make our house look like tidy people live there. When I invite people over, I like to run the menu by them to make sure they’re happy, which is especially true with an unconventional diet. Unfortunately, they were going to be off the radar for a couple of hours. I had been eyeing this recipe for Warm Lemony Olive Potato Salad for a couple days and wanted to do something around that, but most of what we thought to cook seemed to work more with another theme. We thought about burritos, or… no that’s all we thought about. Stumped. If it was just us, we would just serve a huge salad and call it good, but for our friends, we want meals that seem more complete. I gave it some thought and decided to look into baked Falafel, which I had also been hoping to try. Problem there? No pita bread, or sauce, and we can’t use feta.

So we decided to make a million things from scratch.

And it worked! We spent two hours in the kitchen cooking, and came out with this awesome meal! They loved it (or at least faked it well) and we felt like we hosted another successful vegan friendship party. This is another set of items that I will not be embarrassed if you try. Go for it!

As pretty as yesterday was, today turned back to dreary Germany. Our meal was warm and colorful and the ideal antidote. We served our falafels in a homemade whole wheat pita with tzaziki, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and peperoncinis served the potato salad served on the side. We had the Gajar Halwa for dessert with mint tea. It was a perfect meal with perfect company!

Recipes

  • Skillet Hash (recipe below)
  • Baked Falafel (recipe here – We added some oregano, used more water, and mixed onions into it at the end because we didn’t have scallions. We baked these as we weren’t having much luck with the pan.)
  • Tzaziki (recipe below)
  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread (recipe here)
  • Warm Lemony Olive Potato Salad (recipe here – We cut the greens in half and used frozen leaf spinach because we didn’t have baby, and served this on a bed of red leaf lettuce. We also added hearts of palm. DELICIOUS!)
  • Gajar (Carrot) Halwa (recipe below)

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Tzaziki 

  • 300 g Tofu (about a cup)
  • 3/4 c. Plant Based Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice (Use a little more if fresh squeezed)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Tahini
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic (Can be reduced. My cloves we medium, not large)
  • 1.5 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Dill
  • 1 Med Cucumber finely shredded (and the seedy core cut out)

Add all ingredients except cucumber to a good blender of food processor and blend until really smooth.  Add more milk (or water if necessary) until consistency is a little thicker than what you like as cucumbers will add moisture. Stir in cucumber and chill.

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Gajar Halwa (Carrot Dessert) – My take on it being I’m not Indian and am not using sugar.

  • 4 cups Carrot finely shredded (think shredded parmesan… but as fine as you can make it)
  • 1.5 c. Plant Based Milk (almond, soy, etc. – avoid coconut for fat content)
  • 5 Dates, pitted
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom
  • 1 Tsp Rosewater (optional… can use vanilla if you can’t find it, but look in the Middle Eastern section of the grocery store)
  • 1/4 c. Golden Raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/4 c. Sliced Almonds (optional)
  • 5 Dried Figs

In a medium saucepan, heat up a thin layer of water on medium high. Add carrots and water sauté stirring constantly for a couple of minutes. Add 1c. milk, stir well, reduce heat to medium, and cover for about 10 minutes or until milk is absorbed, stirring occasionally. This will cook the carrots.

Meanwhile, in a small blender, combine 1/4 c. milk, pitted dates, cardamom, rosewater, and cinnamon until dates are finely ground. Once carrot mixture is ready and previous milk is absorbed, add the date mixture and stir. Once all is absorbed again, add raisins and 1/8 c. almonds. Let stand on low stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

To serve, put mixture into serving dish, top with remaining almonds and dried figs cut in quarters.

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