Oh my god, I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything since July.. I’m so sorry!!
After my parents left, a lot has happened: I started doing 2 aerial silks classes/week, my father’s Parkinson’s got significantly worse, my manager went on paternity leave,… and I started looking into lowering my household waste and following the #zerowaste movement.
Although I don’t like to push the terminology #zerowaste, since it can lead to people not even trying, I’ve been trying to be more #lowwaste by making my own cleaning supplies, looking into lower waste beauty products, refilling household stables in glass jars, etc.
Another would then be also eating more vegetarian meals, or less meat-focused meals. Animal farming produces a lot of waste and to be honest, the developed world overconsumes meat. My mom said that when she was younger, they could split a whole chicken amongst their family of 11. Today I’ve seen one chicken cut in four.. to feed only 4 people!
Most of the veggie meals I’ve been making are more spontaneous vs. a strict recipe but.. I do have a favorite that I make when I can plan ahead – falafel!
This does require a food processor (though it may be possible to make it without one, with some persistence), which is one of those versatile kitchen gadgets that I believe are worth investing in. I’ve also used my food processor to make pie / empanada dough, pesto, hummus, mayonnaise, … the list goes on!
Food processors and blenders are excellent foundational kitchen tools to enhance your cooking possibilities. They don’t have to be that big; my food processor is 1.4L, but you can go even smaller if you don’t have the storage space. I had a little 0.7L one in university which was great in a pinch to get my pesto or hummus fix.
- 1¾ cup dried chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ground coriander (the spice not the herb)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup flour for binding (optional)
- For cooking:
- Neutral oil for frying OR
- olive oil for drizzling
- Soak the chickpeas in water overnight, ideally 24 hours. They should double in size. Do use dried chickpeas (vs. cooked, tinned chickpeas) and the texture turns out much much better. Save some of the soaking water and then drain.
- If using baking method, preheat oven to 190C or 375F.
- In a food processor, combine all the ingredients (except flour, if using) and turn on until all ingredients come together. Add a bit of the soaking water (no more than ¼ cup) if the mixture is having issues blending together. It should look crumbly.
- Pour into a large bowl. If using flour to help with binding, fold it into to the chickpea mixture. Form into large balls by pressing mixture together with your hands. It'll roughly form a ball but may come apart easily without the flour binding agent.
- For baking: Grease a baking sheet with olive oil or line with a silicone baking mat. Place falafel balls across the sheet and press lightly to form patties. This will help with baking them evenly. Drizzle some olive oil over the balls and place in oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.
- For frying: Heat oil in deep pan, keeping heat at medium to medium high. Carefully place a few falafel balls into the oil until they begin to brown (should be about 5 minutes). You'll probably only be able to cook a few at a time to avoid crowding. Once done, drain on some paper towels and repeat with remaining balls.