Vegan Falafel

Vegan Falafel
Vegan Falafel

Falafels are one of my favorite foods, when done correctly. They can easily be dry or tasteless, but when perfectly crunchy on the outside, light on the inside, and bursting with flavor they are delicious! The trick to perfect falafel is to used soaked, but not cooked, chickpeas. The texture is far superior to those falafels using cooked chickpeas. I also love the addition of lots of fresh herbs in this recipe. These flalafel are also surprisingly easy and quick as long as you remember to soak the chickpeas the night before and you use a food processor to bring everything together.

I suggest making a double batch if you plan to share.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour or chickpea flour if gluten free
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped tomato for garnish
  • Diced onion for garnish
  • Tahini sauce
  • Pita bread or salad

Instructions

  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
  5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Using either salad or pita, top with flalafel and any garnishes of your choice.

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms
Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms

The holidays are flying by! Just New Year’s Eve and we are back to dreary winter with a far off February break to look forward to. I actually love winter, but I’m still waiting for it here on the East Coast. No snow yet and it makes me sad! Who knows if I’ll still like winter now that I’m living in the city, but I’m willing to give it a shot. I mean, it hasn’t even really been cold enough for hot chocolate, and what is the point of winter if not to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate?

On a side note, I think you should make these stuffed mushrooms for you fancy New Year’s party to serve while you sip on champagne and make plans for the awesome year to come. These stuffed mushrooms have been a part of my family’s holiday table for a very long time, well, not these exactly. I had to develop a vegan recipe that brings all the yummy to the table. These have gone through lots of trials, and this is a very tasty and simple way to make them. I hope you enjoy!

 Ingredients

  • 8 oz button mushrooms
  • 2 TBL fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • ½ cup minced shallots (yellow or white onions work just fine as well)
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 TBL vegan cream cheese
  • 1 TBL tahini
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 TBL nutritional yeast
  • ½ -3/4 cup bread crumbs (make sure they’re vegan)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove stems from Mushrooms. Chop stems and set aside.
  3. Place Mushroom caps in a baking dish. Pour a few drops of lemon juice into the center of each cap.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet. Add mushroom stems, shallots and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the salt and white wine. Stir until combined.
  6. Add the Cream Cheese , tahini and nutritional yeast. Stir again and remove from heat.
  7. Add Bread crumbs until totally incorporated and the mixture becomes stiff.
  8. Stuff each cap with mixture to very overflowing.
  9. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until caps are soft. Serve immediately.

Crave Worthy Vegan Smoky Bean Dip

Vegan Smoky Bean Dip
Vegan Smoky Bean Dip

This bean dip is one my husband made for me the first time while I was pregnant and he was being delightfully sweet and making me a surprise dinner. Since then I have made it every few weeks. Pretty much whenever we have all the ingredients in the house. This is one of those vegan recipes that you crave, and really think there is no way it could be vegan. It is also gluten, soy, and corn free (all the things I am avoiding because of my daughter’s sensitivities). When you need that super yummy, feels bad for you, gooey, warm, salty, comfort food; this is the one for you.

If you are being careful of the foods listed above make sure to read labels. Many canned refried beans have soybean oil, some liquid smoke has gluten, some salsa and hot sauce has gluten, soy or corn, and most vegan cheese has soy.

Vegan Smoky Bean Dip 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups refried beans, homemade, or one 15 oz can
  • 1/2-3/4 cup prepared salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 TBL prepared hot sauce
  • 1/2-3/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese (Daiya brand is everything free)
  • Chips, crackers, or something crunchy to dip with

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat stirring frequently until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Serve hot with crunchy dippers.