Greek Potato Salad Double Duty Dinner, Part 2. Falafel Pitas

So, part 2 of this double-duty dinner is a cinch. In fact, I’d classify it as a fast-food meal really. All you do is pick up some pita bread, make some falafel (you could even buy them ready-made from the deli counter, but remember the store-bought ones are usually deep fried and don’t taste as good as homemade. If you make them at home, you can virtually dry fry them in a good cast-iron pan), and add some extra greens as filler with yesterday’s Greek(ish) Potato Salad (if there is any left after the family keeps sneaking back for more).

That’s it- you then have a delicious and fast faux Greek falafel. Since this was the easiest recipe post ever, I’ll spend the rest of the post showing how to assemble the falafel and wrap it for lunch the next day so that it looks like you picked it up at one of those fancy fast food pita bars:

Step one:
Cut the pita halfway round and gently pull the sides of the pita apart to make a pocket. Fold the top flap halfway back.  100_5055

Step two:
Fill the pocket- first add some greens (I used baby kale), then pack in the Greek potato salad, add the falafel, and finally top with some black olives.

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Step three:
Lift the pita up and gently shake all the contents down until they are right down filling the whole pocket and (here`s the trick) take the (front) flap that is folded backwards, and roll it forwards over and behind the contents so you have a nice firm roll.

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Step four:
Finally, roll the back flap forward over the whole thing, and wrap it all a piece of parchment paper. Fold the bottom of the paper under to protect against any leaks (I just used plain, but if you want to get fancy you can get the checkered stuff like the restaurants have).

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The paper isn’t really necessary but it makes a nice cone to eat from (especially fun for kids). Make a few extra for lunches the next day, and wrap them in a layer of tin foil. The paper helps to keep them from becoming soggy and the foil seals them.100_5066

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Yum! More, please.

Happy Year of the Snake! Recipes #3. Fat-free Vegan Chicken Balls

100_4599So here was the challenge: chicken balls as good as the old deep fried ones I used to eat, but- they had to be vegan and fat-free. I planned to use jackfruit as the chicken, so it seemed an easy task- simply find a good batter. And, of course, a way to fry them with no fat- which was where I got stuck. Until I suddenly thought of … Continue reading

Happy Year of the Snake! Recipes #2 Bean Sprout and Baby Bok Choy Salad

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Here is a quick and easy salad we had with our 100_4489Chinese New year meal. I used home sprouted mung beans for the freshest flavour, and then I looked for what was freshest at the market. You could do the same thing with any fresh vegetables for an extremely fast Chinese-style side dish.
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Bean Sprout and Baby Bok Choy Salad
  • 4 baby bok choy, washed and chopped
  • 4-5 cups bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1 bunch enoki mushrooms, cleaned, roots removed
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/8 cup soy sauce

Directions:
1) Pour boiling water over bok choy in colander. Rinse immediately with cold water. Drain thoroughly and place in medium serving bowl. repeat process with bean sprouts and place in same bowl. This will brighten the greens and slightly soften the vegetables, allowing them to soak up the flavours.
2) Mix agave, vinegar, soy sauce. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
3) Garnish with the mushrooms.
4) Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Cooking Club Chronicles Update (With a Bonus Double Duty Recipe Twist): Part Two

After all my talk about how our last cooking club failed because there were people who just weren’t committed, I was the jamtart at the last meeting. It was at my house and the last few weeks I have been in what I call crisis mode, when I’m so busy that I can just think about the next hour or so. I use detailed lists for my every move to make sure I get some regular tasks done in between dealing with the real crises at work. Sometimes when I really need some relief I begin my lists with “write list” as my number one task, so I have something I can cross off immediately as done. It provides some “Toad” perspective and helps me to me slow down and smile.

Anyway, crisis mode does make the work week fly by, but also tends to result in a house I’d be ashamed to let people in. Which reminds me of a true story. A good friend of mine came home one day to find her door kicked in. After checking the house, a police officer came out and told her that it was safe to enter, but unfortunately the crook had ransacked the place. He was very kind and sympathetic as they went in to the house together so she could tell him what had been stolen, and she was horrified to see that things looked just the same as they had when had left it that morning. In fact, since the thief had taken her husband’s electronics and games which had been strewn around the living room, it was marginally cleaner! When my house gets to the state it was in last week, I think of how humiliating it would be to have to admit to the police that it is not the result of a crime.

So that’s my excuse for why, instead of prepping for cooking club, I did a really good houseclean. It was a nice foodsafe kitchen we worked in, but my recipe choices were a little last minute and based on what I actually had on hand. Even so, they turned out to be pretty darned good, and when I combined Marg’s recipe with one of mine I got the bonus of another “double duty” recipe set.

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