That's not Marlowe, is it? :) Nope, how about we focus on another family with a different adorable vegan toddler today :) Actually, you might remember this little girl from our very first vegan kitchen series post (a family friendly snack). Well here we are with a bit of a longer, extended version of the idea. Not only delicious, family recipes, but taking you a bit more into the homes of some other vegan (and non vegan too) families.
Ally, vegan donut super hero, is back today to share one of her families favorite meals: FALAFEL and a dipping sauce and a quinoa tabbouleh too! Yes, THREE amazing vegan recipes. Falafel is one of my all time favorite foods and I can't wait to try Ally's version of it. Some fun things to note: this family is also in South Florida. We obviously have some pretty cool vegan families down here--- if I unbiasedly say so myself ;) Also, lunch is the star in our home too. They're kitchen? Swoon. Also, I dont know if you would agree, but I think Ally's Penny looks like a mix between my Marlowe and and Nicolle's Audrey. (See both girls squished together HERE). Anyway, enough rambling, I hope you enjoy this family and these three amazing recipe as much as I do!
So for this awesome post I decided a relaxed weekend lunch would be the way to go. We don't care much for breakfast and I personally could care less for breakfast food. That is with the exception of my favorite food in the world: bread and butter. I always like to ask friends at random moments "If you could eat anything in the world, right now, near of far, without feeling guilty what would it be"? I'm always so intrigued at the answers; yet mine never changes and it's always bread and butter. The crustiest, perfectly warmed bread with a pretty exaggerated amount of earth balance, preferably from somewhere amazing like Poilâne in Paris. Oh and dinner, it's love hate, bittersweet, unfortunately. I'd love to have it, especially because by night time I'm my weakest and will eat anything (as long as it's vegan), spoiled or not... Just kidding. Sort of. Fun Fact: I lost 80 pounds 10 years ago and have gone up and down since then. I was my thinnest right before I got pregnant with the little lady and dropping the weight has been work but ever since going 100% vegan a year and a half ago (I was vegetarian for 3 years before that) I've been my healthiest and have been able to maintain all of the lost weight off without yo-yoing. With that being said Lunch is my star. It's our favorite meal and what we look forward to everyday!
Penny is usually big help in the kitchen! She likes to be in charge and needs to know everything that is going on. She's a little lady with a big voice! She lets me know what she's in the mood for and makes it clear when something doesn't float her boat. Luckily she's very much into everything we made for this Sunday lunch. I have to admit, the tabbouleh is usually not what she goes for first, The falafel usually wins the race. But... to my surprise the tabbouleh was her favorite! She couldn't quite get enough of it! :-) As for the other love of my life, Luis, he's a big fan. When we first met he wouldn't eat anything past rice, beans, and some kind of meat to accompany. Now, my heart smiles every time I see him eat these delicious meals I cook up for him. He doesn't enjoy being in the kitchen, he'll usually see me doing something "fun" like rolling out dough and then he wants to roll, realizes it harder than it seems and leaves a mess behind when he realizes it's no longer fun. ha. The good news is that he has earned the title of certified dishwasher! And he loves helping me out that way! What a lucky lady I am! After our awesome lunch we cleaned up, Penny played cashier, and we read her a book, Birdies Big Girl Shoes her favorite. She decided to take a nice long nap which meant one thing to Luis and I...no. not that. ha. Breaking Bad. It's an addiction to be honest, but after going to sleep at 4 a.m. because we had to know what happened at the end. We're back though, back to being normal human beings, daydreaming about unicorns and rainbows, not zombies dreaming of meth labs and all of the benefits that come with that lovely lifestyle. All in all, a perfect lazy sunday in our small home, with our small girly.
On the menu:
Spinach Falafels with a Lemon Tahini dipping sauce
you'll need: a food processor.
- Garbanzo beans uncooked, soaked overnight (about 1/2 lb)
- Fresh Spinach (large handful)
- Parsley (you can add as much of the herbs as you would like, I prefer mine with a good amount of parsley and cilantro)
- White Onion (3/4 of an onion)
- Mint Leaves (Mint is very strong so be sure not to over do it, Start with a few leaves at a time)
- Good amount of Salt, Pepper, Cumin and Onion granules)
Optional- Garlic - Classic Falafels are made with Garlic but I'm not really a fan so I stay away but if you like it... garlic those babies up!
In a food processor pulse together until you've reached a mix that can be formed into falafel balls or patties. Note: Spinach contains a high water content making you falafels watery, When this happens I like to toast a couple of slices of Millet bread, allow to cool and pulse them in the food processor to make bread crumbs. Then add to falafel mix to thicken it up.
On medium heat warm up oil of choice, (I use olive oil), a fry a "test" Patty. This test patty will let you know if they're missing salt, or any spices. Once you have your mix how you like it, start making patties and place them in the hot oil. Make Sure your oil is not too hot because your falafels will burn on the outside and the inside will stay uncooked. This is especially bad because uncooked garbanzo beans have a very metallic taste. Once they've browned on one side flip them over until both sides are completely brown. Remove from oil and allow to cool on a paper towel to absorb extra unwanted oil).
Lemon Tahini Dipping Sauce:
- 1 tbsp Tahini 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt Pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp onion granules
Add tahini and lemon juice and a bowl and mix well. The lemon juice will start to curdle the tahini but mix well and eventually they will combine. The consistency should be like a watery thinned out hummus. Add the salt, pepper and onion granules and mix well.
- 1 Cup cooked and cooled Quinoa (I used 1/2 red quinoa and 1/2 white quinoa)
- 12-15 grape tomatoes quartered
- 1/2 peeled cucumber
- 1 red onion (diced)
- 1 handful of parsley
- 1/4 handful cilantro 6 mint leaves
- Juice of 5-6 lemons (depends how juicy they are)
- pink salt and pepper to taste
Mix together and serve cold. Note: Whenever making quinoa it's always hit or miss for me. I'm not great at measuring but ever since making the "Perfectly Cooked Quinoa" recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's book It's All Good, I've made amazingly perfect quinoa.
Perfectly Cooked Quinoa - from It's all Good: Gwyneth Paltrow- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 3/4 cup water
- course sea salt
Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer (although this may sound like an unnecessary step, it really makes a huge difference in flavor, since quinoa's natural coating tastes like soap). Place it in a post set over high heat with the water and a big pinch of salt. Bring the quinoa to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa's germs look like lots of little spirals, 12-15 minutes. Turn the heat off, place a dry paper towel between the pot and the lid and let the quinoa sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.
Dolmas (Stuffed Grape leaves)
(Olive bar at Fresh Market - note: I've purchased lots of dolmas from various places but these are by far some of the best, the leaf is so tender and they're well marinated which makes them sooo good)
Vegetable Hummus (Natures Gourmet - store bought at Whole Foods)
Local or traveling? Check out Ally's soon to be vegan donut shoppe: Parlour (in Plantation, FL)!
Thank you so much Ally! Donut and falafel date soon, k?