Falafel Salad with a Twist

This past week has been a fog of adjusting to my “real” life, while not fully willing to accept the loss of my Thailand life. It just such a treat to get into a groove and rhythm of a place, but always such a drag to wrench oneself away from it. This, on top of an erratic sleep schedule, can put anyone into a tiz.

But now I am BACK! and I do love it here as well. NYC has it’s own timbre and cadence that rings my inner bells with familiarity. I also really love NYC in the summer. I know you’re going to think I’m nuts- but I can’t help it. It’s a little quieter and a little slower. It gives me a feeling of playing hooky somehow. I’m itching to get on my bike and ride around- which I may do tomorrow for fun.

I was a good girl on my trip, and though I tasted many new and wonderful things (basil seed soup), and indulged in the familiar favorites (Kaow Neow Mamuong- Mango Sticky Rice), I managed to keep it to a reasonable amount. As a result my pants still button perfectly and I lack the post-travel remorse that I am usually famous for. The last time I traveled to Thailand I returned a good 12# heavier. I LOVED every bite! but the months of dieting after- not so much.

So I am going to take this opportunity of being ahead of the curve and perhaps start eating a healthier diet, and a downward trend on the scale- and why not? Beautiful fruits and vegetables are everywhere!!

I’ve started with these small falafel made with chickpeas and edamame. Great fiber and great protein. Rather than deep fry them I sautee them in just a little oil in a cast iron pan- which keeps them much lighter than the grease bombs on the street, and serve on a bed of greens. Extras get a quick refry the next day- So l can lunch one day and supper the next- just switch up the greens and chopped vegetables that go along side.

BTW- I’m not a huge fan of paper towels. I use them to be sure, but they are not particularly PC- in my opinion. To drain my falafel babies I cut up one of my paper bags from the market- which I also use as parchment or to line a cake pan.

Falafel Salad with Tahini Dressing
serves 6
1c shelled edamame- cooked
1 can garbanzo beans- drained and rinsed
1 large egg
1t ground coriander
1t ground cumin
1c fresh bread crumbs
2 scallions- chopped
S & P
1c raw sesame seeds
.25c tahini
2T olive oil
2T fresh lemon juice
1T toasted sesame oil
.25t sugar
6T water
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
Combine edamame, garbanzo, egg, spices and bread crumbs in a food processor. Pulse into a coarse puree. Stir in scallions.
Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Prepare cast iron pan with small layer of oil and heat to medium high.
Spread sesame seeds on to a shallow plate. Roll 2″ balls of falafel mixture and press flat into seeds on both sides.
Gently fry on each side for 2 mins, taking care not to burn seeds. Drain on paper.
To prepare dressing simply combine all the ingredients and whisk. Allow to rest for at least 30 mins. Please adjust for taste.
Serve falafel on a bed of chopped greens and vegetables and pour dressing over to your heart’s content.

Wasabi Edamame Hummus On a Flagel

Ah how wonderful is Hummus? – a fantastic staple to keep on hand that lends itself to so many variations.
It’s an easy, protein laden, Go-To that is also fiber rich. Easy to make, easy to store, and a great thing to have at the ready.  I have made several different versions, but feeling like spring, I made this one with wasabi. The horseradish gives a bright sharp taste that feels lighter than traditional hummus.
Chickpeas are the classic bean for making hummus, but I really love to use edamame as an alternative. Edamame has a lighter taste- more to the green pea side of things, and makes a puree with a silkier texture.
A bag of frozen shelled edamame is a constant in my freezer. A few minutes of boiling and they are ready to be tossed onto a salad, or into a pasta dish, or mashed into what we have here. Once the “hummus” is made it keeps for several days in the fridge.
It is not uncommon to see me dip a carrot or two in for a few bites before I make my dinner. Hummus is the perfect little snack to stave off the gnawing hunger- nutrition rich and guilt free.
I was immediately taken by the look of these flagels that I bought at Fairway. I just think they are beautiful. They are an oversized flat bagel of delicious proportions. The right size to make a terrific sandwich. The flagels have that wonderful chewiness of a bagel without all the doughy middle breading. These are great for a meaty sandwich too, and are perfect for soaking up juicy dressings. One round is large enough for two, and can pack up and travel very nicely. Perfect for a picnic, now that the weather is warming up.
Edamame Wasabi Hummus
makes 2 cups
1# bag frozen, shelled edamame
1 package silken tofu
1 clove garlic
2T wasabi powder
salt to taste
Boil salted water in a pot and toss in edamame. Cook for 4-5 mins and drain. Rinse under cold water to cool.
Toss all the ingredients into a food processor and off you go.
The taste of the wasabi will emerge as it sits. I suggested letting the puree rest for a few minutes then taste again and adjust salt and wasabi if desired.
store in airtight container in the fridge