Category Archives: Vegetarian

Kale Salad

i’m eating leftover kale as a snack RIGHT NOW.

I have a lot of flaws.  I’m impatient, competitive and sometimes I listen to the same song 4235 times in a row.  I quote Liz Lemon and wait to see if anyone notices, I yell at pedestrians for crossing where there’s no crosswalk and do EXACTLY the same thing myself, I cheat at cards and I would agree to watch a documentary only if I was also reading a book.  I am 28 years old and still make fart jokes, I eat mini marshmallows straight from the bag and I never listen to my voicemail.

But!  I also eat a shitload of kale, so I figure it all balances out.

Realistically, I eat this salad 2-3 times a week.  Because I LOVE it.  People I’ve made it for have scoffed, heartily, at this salad, because technically the kale is raw.  But they have all been turned by the power of kale salad.  Once, a 7 year old ate this salad voluntarily.  I dress this salad in one of three ways: sesame-soy dressing, lemon-parmesan dressing, or garlic-tahini dressing.  Any of the three will change your life.  Additionally, you get to enjoy the smug sense of superiority you can only get from eating something REALLY healthy.  Later, when you eat french fries while drinking a beer in a bar, you can say to everyone in shouting distance “IT’S FINE, I ATE A LOT OF RAW KALE EARLIER.”  Everyone will really appreciate it.

The main drawback to this salad is that it’s about 100% more labor intensive than I like cooking to be.  You have to wash the kale (it’s a sandy vegetable), rip out the bitter, overly cruciferous spines, rip up the leaves, massage the lot with salt, then rinse all the salt off, then wring it out, then dress it.  It’s like a 20 minute process.  But it’s worth it.  I had the best run of my life after having had coffee, 4 gallons of water and kale salad.  It’s magic.  (I also just realized this salad is vegan the only way food is acceptably vegan: accidentally.)  Because I haven’t written a blog post in 7 years, I’m going to give you all three dressing recipes.  You’re welcome.

Kale Salad

2 bunches of kale (I make two bunches for only myself.  If you’re making it for guests, probably go 3-4.)

2 tablespoons or so of kosher salt

Dressing of choice*

put on some usher or something while you’re washing, it’s gonna be awhile.

So basically, the salt cooks the kale a little.  It wilts the leaves, takes away the bitterness and shrinks it.  So!  You wash the kale leaves very well (sandy!), rip out the spines of the leaves, and rip up the leaves.  Put all the ripped up leaves in a big bowl.

When you’ve washed and ripped all the kale (approximately 2 months after starting the process), sprinkle about a couple teaspoons or so of kosher salt all over the kale.  Don’t be afraid of saltiness, because you’re going to rinse all the salt off later.  Massage the salt into the kale for 2 minutes.  If possible, draft someone else to do the massaging, because why not!

this picture is actually from when i was in denver a couple months ago and made kale salad for sue. she also now eats it multiple times a week.

After massaging, you can let the kale sit for awhile, kind of marinating in the salt, if you like your kale really wilted.  If not, rinse the salt off right after the massaging and the kale will be more crunchy and bouncy.  When you’re ready to rinse it off, put all the kale in a colander and rinse it very well.

too salty kale is tragic.

If you do a bad job, the kale will be too salty and everyone will cry.  So rinse it well.  Then, take it in handfuls and squeeze out all the excess water, putting the kale back into the big bowl.  Then dress it and try not to eat it all while you make the rest of dinner.

*Dressing options:

Soy-sesame – My favorite.  2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, black pepper.  If you have sweet Thai chili sauce, put a couple teaspoons of that in there too.

Lemon-parmesan – juice of 2 lemons, zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup or so fresh parmesan, salt and pepper.

Garlic-tahini – 1-2 cloves garlic, zested on a microplane, juice of 1 lemon, 3 tablespoons of tahini paste, salt and pepper.  In the interest of being honest, I will admit that I copied this recipe from a kale salad they have at Whole Foods in the pre-made salad section, which I eat when I am lazy.

– Cat

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Filed under Dressings, Salad, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Kruse and Muer style Gazpacho and Herbed Croutons

I’m sure by now everyone has heard of the show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”, in which celebrity chefs discuss the restaurant that makes their favorite cheeseburger, chocolate cake, fois gras, whatever. Well, if I had to choose it would be Kruse and Muer bread (also the Brazilian coconut shrimp soup from Shuga’s, but that’s another post).  Kruse and Muer is one of a family of restaurants in metro Detroit, where I grew up.  Their bread, universally called  “Kruse and Muer bread”,  is famous, and AMAZING.  I don’t think there is a single person within a ten mile radius of a Kruse and Muer restaurant that doesn’t love this bread.  One time when Cat still lived by one, I made her cut up a loaf and put it in a Ziplock and bring it to me in Denver. When it got here, I wouldn’t share it with anyone. If Cat still lived near one, I would make her send me some weekly. It is THAT good.

Beyond the bread, Kruse and Muer has a fantastic menu. They have an amazing cheese tortellini in a tomato cream sauce that tastes like no other tomato cream sauce you’ve ever had. Not to mention their famous pizza, with a crust made from the famous bread.  One of my other favorites was their gazpacho, which they only served in the summer during the height of tomato season. I should disclose that one of the many components that made their gazpacho fantastic was the croutons made from the famous bread.

I would love to say that I have learned to replicate the bread, but I haven’t. What I do have is the “bread blessing” recipe. This is not top secret, it has been floating around Rochester, Michigan for years and years, and it’s in a cook book by Chuck Muer, restaurant founder. The bread recipe provided with the blessing, unfortunately, comes nowhere near the chewy crusty deliciousness of real Kruse and Muer bread, but if you are looking for a flavor that reminds you of that beloved bread, this will do the trick. This bread blessing tossed with a good French baguette, will make some fantastic croutons; one of the key components to their amazing gazpacho. Are you wondering what a bread blessing is? Simply, it’s herbed oil or butter that is brushed on to bread after it is risen and before it is baked, it is also commonly brushed on just after it comes out of the oven.

Now that I have rambled on and on about bread for a page, we should probably talk about gazpacho. Gazpacho is a cold tomato and bread based soup. It is of Spanish origin, and can vary widely from recipe to recipe. One of my favorite things about Kruse and Muer’s gazpacho was the tangy, acidic bite. It’s taken some time, and lots of tasting to develop this recipe. To me, 1,298 miles from the nearest Kruse and Muer, this is the closet replication I could make (yes, I Googled that exact location).

Kruse and Muer Bread Blessing/ Crouton Recipe:

Blessing Ingredients (1/2 recipe):

½ cup olive oil

½ large garlic clove, minced or pressed

1 Tbs dried oregano

1 Tbs dried basil

¼ tsp salt

1 Tbs poppy seeds

Crouton method:

1 French baguette, which you can find in the deli section of most grocery stores, I recommend white. Cut about 2 inches of each end and set aside (to be used in the gazpacho). Cut the rest of the loaf into small cubes. On a large baking sheet drizzle the blessing over the croutons and toss with your hands to coat.

Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, or until crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside (You can bake your croutons longer to be crispier, but this is similar to how Kruse and Muer’s are).

Gazpacho Ingredients:

4 cups of chopped tomatoes, whatever is the ripest **see note at the bottom**

3 cucumbers, stripe peeled (peeling some skin, leaving strips of some skin, or just peel it all if you like)

2 bell peppers, any color you like

1 Vidalia or other sweet onion

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

Ends of the baguette from the croutons, or 2 medium slices dried crusty bread

Juice of 2 lemons

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste (at least ½ tsp of salt and 4-5 grinds of black pepper)

Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) for serving.

Gazpacho Method:

In a food processor puree 2 cups of the chopped tomatoes, along with the bread. Drizzle in olive oil and blend again.  Pour the puree into a large bowl.

Slice the cucumbers in ½ and scrape out the seeds, then dice. Dice the onion. Remove the ribs and seeds from the bell pepper and dice.

Add diced vegetables to the puree, along with the remaining 2 cups of chopped tomatoes. Add garlic, vinegar, lemon juice and spices, mix with a large spoon to combine.Test mixture and adjust spices, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice to taste.

Serve chilled, topped with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and croutons.

Will keep in the fridge for a week.

A few notes:

** For the puree of tomatoes I used fresh large tomatoes from the farmers market, and for the additional two cups of chopped tomatoes I used quartered cherry tomatoes, orange and red. I LOVE those baby orange tomatoes, especially this time of year. If you find that at your local market, I highly recommend using them.

-Bell peppers and I are not friends. I would love to love them, but my tummy thinks otherwise. Despite the recipe above, I used just one yellow. You can use whatever color, and up to three if you love them.

-The original bread blessing does not include the poppy seeds. Before the bread is “blessed” it is rolled in a poppy seed and salt mixture. Poppy seeds are key to Kruse and Muer bread, so since I wasn’t baking the bread, I added them to the blessing.

– If you live anywhere near Kruse and Muer and you are reading this- send bread immediately.

– Sue

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Filed under Appetizers, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

Grilled Vegetable and Orzo Salad

This is quite possibly one of the easiest BBQ sides I have ever put together.  I knew a few things: I wanted grilled vegetables, and I didn’t want them on a salad, and I didn’t want them plain. While I love grilled vegetables plain I wanted to spice it up. When you put grilled vegetables on a big salad they all sink to the bottom and end up making the lettuce soggy. While a grilled vegetable salad can be plated nicely individually, it’s not as successful as a big dish.

This salad was also met with rave reviews; it’s been awhile since I had such a rush of requests for a recipe. A few other great things about this recipe: it can be made ahead, and I can attest to this because I ate every last bit of the leftovers. It can also be eaten warm or cold (versatility at its finest). It’s a GREAT summer salad because there is no mayo in it or anything to get all nasty when you leave it out in the sun while you are distracted playing bags (I know I’m not the only one). You can feel completely safe about eating round two hours after this salad has been sitting out. Feta cheese is one of those great cheeses that never really melts and never gets the greasy sweat that other cheeses sometimes do. Perfect for something like this.

By far- the best part of this recipe is how damn easy it is. Cook some orzo, skewer some vegetables, and crumble some feta…delicious amazing salad complete.

Grilled Vegetable and Orzo salad

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo pasta, cooked and drained

¾ to 1 cup block feta cheese, crumbled

1 zucchini, cubed

1 yellow squash, cubed

10 asparagus spears

15 (or so) cherry tomatoes

1 medium Vidalia (or sweet) onion chopped in large pieces.

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

Skewer the zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, and onion. Skewer only one kind of vegetable together. The onions will take a little longer, and the tomatoes will take the least amount of time which is why I keep like vegetables together. For the asparagus, prepare a foil packet for the grill and toss the asparagus with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper before sealing up. Drizzle the skewers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a healthy grind of pepper. Over medium heat grill each of the skewers until each of the vegetables has a nice light char. Onions first; asparagus, zucchini, and squash at the same time, and tomatoes a quick turn last. While the vegetables cook (or before) cook the orzo according the the directions on the box.

In a large bowl top the orzo with the vegetables and the feta cheese and toss.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and a few grinds of pepper (no salt is necessary, the cheese has plenty) and serve.

A few notes:

You could use any kind of vegetable here. Bell peppers would be lovely (if I liked them) along with eggplant, or any other vegetable (I can’t think of any other vegetables you grill, but maybe you can).

I love grilled (or roasted) tomatoes, but this salad could also be served with them fresh.

I highly recommend trying this as is first, but a bit of fresh basil, or other fresh herbs, would be wonderful.

-Sue

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Baba Ghanoush, Baba Ghannouj, Baba Ghanoug, Babaghannoush

All words for the same wonderful, perfect, delicious smoky dip.

I like hummus.  I really do.  I think it’s nice.  Hummus is like an ex-boyfriend who has a perfect driving record and is a big fan of Third Eye Blind.  You really thought you liked him at the time;  it was all healthy and chickpea-y, was easy to bring to work in a little tupperware container and went well with baby carrots.  Baba ghanoush is like a mysterious stranger that seduces you from the mezze menu and takes you on exciting weekend excursions out of town on its motorcycle and recites little poems, which might be Baudelaire if you knew more about poetry, but could also be originals.

The point is, baba ghanoush is sexier than hummus, by 1000%.  Hummus is Bill Compton, baba ghanoush is Eric Northman.  If hummus is Jack Hodgins, baba ghanoush is Seely Booth.  If hummus is the lead singer that everyone finds adorable, baba ghanoush is the brooding, quiet bass player.  You get what I’m saying.

Baba ghanoush is exactly the same thing as hummus, but instead of chickpeas as the base, it has roasted or grilled eggplant.  If you think you don’t like eggplant (because I, for one, do not like eggplant), don’t let that put you off baba ghanoush.  A weird alchemy happens to eggplant when you roast or grill it.  It stops being a purple, weird shaped thing that tastes and feels exactly like a dish sponge, and starts being a smoky, lightly sweet and totally unique substance that is crying out for you to enjoy with some pita bread.  I don’t have a grill (yet), so I roasted mine in the oven, and for good measure kept a few pieces of the blackened skin when I processed it to make sure the smoke flavor was imparted to the dip.  I watched 6 people (myself included) devour the whole bowl of baba ghanoush in about 4.5 minutes, so it must have worked.

Baba ghanoush

2-4 smallish – medium eggplants (I like a smaller eggplant as I think they are less bitter than larger ones.  I used 2 medium eggplants this time, and it made probably 3 cups of baba ghanoush.  Next time, I will use 400 eggplants, because I never want to stop having baba ghanoush.)

3 cloves garlic

3 tbsp tahini (Tahini is sesame paste, they should have it in a jar in the mediterranean section of your grocery store.  If they don’t, you need to find a new grocery store.  You may have this in your fridge already, if you ever make hummus at home.)

Juice of 2 lemons

2-3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Method:

Turn your broiler on high.  Cover a cookie sheet (rimmed) with foil, and prick your eggplants all over with a fork.

eggplants are weird.

If you don’t, they will explode, which sounds awesome, but makes an absurd mess.  Put the eggplants on the sheet under the broiler for about 30-40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes or so to make sure it’s blackening evenly.  The eggplants will deflate slowly like a balloon, and start to look really sad and weird, as the juices run out.   When the eggplants are soft all the way around, remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

this picture is horrible and not clear, but you can kind of see how soft the eggplants are.

Prepare a colander in the sink.  Strip the skin off the eggplants (no need to be super picky about this, some skin is okay, I’d say if you remove 90% that’s fine) and put the flesh in the colander.  Squeeze the flesh against the holes of the colander to remove all the liquid you can.  A lot will seep out.

When most of the liquid is removed, put the flesh into a food processor with the other ingredients.  Pulse until smooth and serve.  Enjoy total adulation.

mmmm dip.

– Cat

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Asparagus and Radish Spring Salad

Here is a secret: raw asparagus is fantastic.  I think I like it better than cooked asparagus.  And while I do prefer my radishes smeared with butter and salt, I’m not opposed to them in other preparations.  Like in this salad, for instance.  The raw asparagus is pretty sweet, for a vegetable that makes your pee smell weird.  So the sharp, lightly bitter crunch of the radish is lovely with the tender, buttery asparagus.  The lemony mustard vinaigrette is clean and springy, the whole salad is beautiful and wonderful like violin playing unicorns who never eat fried food or use foul language.

Asparagus notes:  1. You can store asparagus for a few days after you buy it at room temperature, stuck in a glass or jar of water.  2.  To trim asparagus, snap the yucky, dry, tough end off, letting the asparagus spear choose where to break.  It will snap at the best point.

Asparagus and Radish Spring Salad

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced into teeny, tiny slices

1 bunch radishes, ends trimmed, sliced thinly

1 bag of arugula

1 cup shredded or shaved parmesan cheese

juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

Method:  Mix together the vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with the cheese and toss.  Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the dressing over the salad.

so precious. just like baby bunnies eating Peeps shaped like baby bunnies.

– Cat

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Soft Pretzel Bites

I once took a memorable trip to Chicago with my family when I was 19 or 20.  I’ve been to Chicago many, many times, mostly to visit my Aunt Suzy, whom I adore for too many reasons to count, including that she ALWAYS has M&Ms in her fridge.  This trip was especially memorable though, because we (my parents, siblings and I, Aunt Suzy and Uncle Dan, Aunt Carol and Uncle John) played a game wherein we had to shock each other with facts nobody knew about us.  Hilarity ensued.

My fact was that I love mustard so much that if it were socially acceptable, I would eat it with a spoon.  Aunt Carol later made me prove it at dinner, which I did, happily and willingly.  She was making it socially acceptable!!!!  Hers was that she hadn’t read a book in 5 years.  All Monaghans present during the game nearly died of horror and disbelief.  She maintains to this day that it’s okay that she doesn’t read books because she reads many periodicals.  (She does, too.  I believe she reads the paper back to front, every single day.  Probably even the sports section.)

Soft pretzels are, to me, a vehicle for mustard.  A pillowy, tender, salty vehicle for mustard.  I usually buy the frozen kind that you heat up in the microwave for 1 minute and then dip in lots of salt and mustard.  Homemade pretzels were better than the frozen ones much like homemade dressings are better than bottled.  SO MUCH BETTER THAT BUYING THEM EVER AGAIN HAS BEEN RENDERED OBSOLETE.

This recipe makes a boatload of pretzel bites, I was nearly forcefeeding them to people and I still had lots leftover.  The good news is I reheated them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and they were fantastic again.  These seem like a lot of work, because there are a couple of stages, but make them anyway.  I promise, I swear on my love for French’s yellow mustard, that you will not be disappointed.  When I made these pretzels, for my shoot with Kelly of Capture Photography (whose talents I will not stop shilling, ever, she’s seriously talented and creative), I made my own mustard, too.  That post is coming later, but you can see how pretty my mustard is in the pictures of the pretzels.

Soft Pretzel Bites, from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees, it says, but I figured if it felt warm to my hand, it was good)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 package instant, active dry yeast

6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled a bit

2 tsp salt

4 1/2-5 cups flour

3 quarts water

3/4 cup baking soda

1 egg, beaten in a small bowl with 1 tbsp cold water (this is what they call an egg wash)

kosher salt for sprinkling

Method:  In a large bowl, mix together the warm water, yeast, butter and sugar.  Let sit for 5 minutes, it should bubble and be weird.  Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix together on low speed with a hand mixer.  (I don’t have a standing mixer, but if you do, you can do this in it, just use your dough hook and keep the speed low.)  Keep mixing slowly until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes.  If the dough  is too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it pulls away from the bowl and comes together.

Form the dough into a ball, spray another big bowl with oil, spray the dough a little with oil too and put the dough ball in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warmish place until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

When you’re ready to make them, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray two baking sheets with vegetable oil.

Bring the 3 quarts of water to boil in a saucepan, then add the baking soda.

Remove the dough and reform it into a ball in your hands.  Gently karate chop the ball into two equal pieces, then those two pieces into halves, then each quarter into two, making 8 equal pieces of dough.

Roll each piece into a rope about 2 feet in length.

 

that's my real hands! you can tell from the way they're not cute.

Cut the ropes of dough into 1 inch pieces to make pretzel bites (you could make whole pretzels too, at this stage).

Drop the bites into the boiling water/baking soda solution for 10 seconds or so.

I did each rope one at a time, putting them all in, then fishing them out with a slotted spoon and placing them onto the baking sheets, making sure they weren’t touching.  This step is what produces the beautiful brown crust on the pretzels.

When you’ve filled two sheets with pretzel bites, brush each one with the egg wash.

Sprinkle liberally with salt and put into the oven for 15-18 minutes, until beautiful and golden brown.

Serve with mustard!  Kelly’s idea for shooting these was circus-ish, which is so adorable with the blue background and the soda.  Makes me want to go on the Tilt-o-Whirl.

– Cat

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian

Falafel

this is the most beautiful picture of food EVER.

I have said a lot of questionable things about vegans and vegetarians, on this blog and also to anyone who will listen.  Sue and I were just having a conversation, in fact, wherein I expressed my fear that my kids will grow up and become vegans, because kids rebel.  I’ll raise them to love pate and understand why it’s perfectly acceptable to keep bacon fat in a jar, and they’ll grow up and only eat raw kale.  It’s the way of the world.

The truth, though, is that I like food with no meat in it.  I eat it all the time.  Just now I had a brownie.  No meat.  Yesterday I had some Doritos.  No meat.  (I don’t think.  Erg.)  I’m about to eat some bread and butter pickles.  No meat!

My mild acceptance of food with no meat intersects with something I LOVE: Middle Eastern food.  Babaghanouj is so delicious, it makes hummus look like its uglier, less charming cousin who just won’t give up on “your mom” jokes.  The smoke of babaghanouj pairs so wonderfully with the fresh tang of tabbouleh.  Tabbouleh is fantastic also because it’s a snack that’s good for you.  You think you’re having a nice bar snack with your beer, but you’re not.  You’re having a salad.  It’s so good you don’t even consider throwing it on the floor and demanding jalapeno poppers with ranch.

Sidenote: Dom and I were going out to dinner this past weekend, and I wanted to go to this Middle Eastern place I’ve been eyeing.  It took some convincing to make it happen, because they don’t have beer, but we got there in the end.  We get there, the kid says 35 minutes (lie), so we go stand out in the cold for an hour playing the celebrity name game, during which Dom said that not only was O.Henry not a celebrity, but didn’t count because O. is not a first name.  Untrue.  Anyway, the meal was good and the portions were enormous, but the restaurant itself sucked, terrible ambience, harried and sour looking servers, seated too far away from each other to have a private conversation, etc.  We both complained for some time, before Dom goes:  “But all that aside, I know you’re so happy to be taking this home to keep in the fridge right now.  I also would like to make a wager that you break back into this babaghanouj before the night is over.”  I did not take that bet.

All that is why falafel is on the good vegetarian food list.  It’s wonderful, and also gives me a chance to demonstrate one of my Central Tenets of Home Cooking.  To wit, deep frying at home is never necessary.  I bake my falafel.  I do douse it a bit with olive oil so the patties get nice and brown, and I bake them on high heat so they don’t dry out.  It’s taken some doing to get my falafel right.  I like them a little on the wet side, that ensures them staying moist and tender.  Also, there’s a secret to making perfect falafel: refrigerate it overnight and bake it the next day.  It lets all the flavors meld together, and firms it up for easy patty-making.  Falafel was one of the things I made for my food shoot with Kelly Goode of Capture Photography.  She is amazing, which you already know, because you see the pictures.

Falafel

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 onion, chopped roughly

1 cup parsley leaves

1 cup cilantro leaves

juice of 2 lemons

5-6 cloves of garlic

4 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp chipotle powder (or a combination of smoked paprika and cayenne or red pepper flakes)

copious salt and pepper

2 eggs

2 cups panko

Method:  In a food processor, combine all ingredients but the eggs and panko and pulse until smooth and well-combined.  If your food processor is WAY too small to accommodate this much stuff, like mine is, you can do it in stages, like I did, and dump it all into a big bowl and mix it together there.  As long as the ingredients are all in really small pieces, you’re good.  With everything in a big mixing bowl, mix in the eggs and panko.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Drizzle some olive oil onto a cookie sheet and spread it around.  Using a spoon or your hands, ball up the falafel into 1 inch or so balls, flattening each slightly so they form little patties.  (This is a judgement call, lots of falafel is round, I just like the way patties sit more nicely in a pita.)  Lay them onto the cookie sheet and drizzle the tops with a little more olive oil.  Bake for 10 minutes or so and then flip and bake for another 10 minutes or so.  The falafel should be deep brown and crunchy when you touch it.

Serve in sandwich form like I did, with greens, cherry tomatoes, pickled beets, pepperocinis and tzaziki, or in any form you like.

Tzaziki

1/2 cucumber, grated, taking care to save the juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

copious salt and pepper

Method: Grate the cucumber into a bowl.  Mix in all other ingredients and serve.

mmm garlicky. thanks Kelly for the beautiful picture!

– Cat

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