I’ve seen and heard about falafels for years. They are a Middle Eastern dish made up of chickpeas and a variety of herbs and spices. After taking a rest for a couple hours (or overnight) in the fridge, the mixture is ready to be rolled into balls and dropped into hot oil and fried to perfection.
Hold up…that won’t work for me. Frying is almost non-existent in my house. I do however, use an air fryer, which has to be one of the best kitchen inventions…EVER!
I followed a random falafel recipe. Soaked my chickpeas overnight. Some of you might be unfamiliar with chickpeas. I know I was. I had consumed them at my favorite Indian restaurant. I even found them in the Indian spice shop I often go to.
Before I decided to make the falafels, I had purchased a large bag of chickpeas. Remember when I said I was unfamiliar with them? I had it in my head, I would just grind up the chickpeas and make my own gluten-free, chickepea flour. My food processor wasn’t up for the job. My little spice grinder hates me now. Who knew you had to soak the chickpeas first? OOPS!!!! Well, now I know and you should have gotten a chuckle from my culinary ignorance.
Back to the new-to-me dish. I looked up the cooking time for air fryer falafels. It was just 12-minutes, on 370 degrees, turning halfway through the cooking process.
I will say, I could kick myself for not trying these earlier. They were DELICIOUS!!!!!! Perfectly crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. I guarantee, these are on my permanent menu. They fall in line with my plant-based diet.
Note: depending on how many people will be eating these little crispy delights, you might want to halve the recipe if it’s just for a couple of you.
In an effort to stay on a (mostly) meat-free, cancer-fighting diet, I thought I would make some lentils in my Instant Pot. I used this recipe as a guide, however, I halved the recipe because I was cooking just for me.
I did adjust the ingredients and used the following:
1 cup red lentils
2 cups water
small red onion; diced
(2) cloves of garlic; minced
half a can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper
I did saute the onions in a bit of olive oil and added the garlic once the onions were just about done cooking. Added the rest of the ingredients, gave it a stir and set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes. Quick release when the time was up.
The lentils were full of flavor. Sadly, I was out of avocados and gluten-free tortillas, but I still plated and consumed them happily. These definitely are a great substitution for meat.
I will note, the original recipe says it’s vegetarian, but that’s only if you use water and she uses chicken stock. If you use water to cook the lentils, it actually becomes a great tasting, vegan dish.
As part of my psuedo-raw, vegan, vegetarian diet I made up this dish. I thought it would be great for lunch and it was!
I started by making just half a cup of black rice. Yes, I know, they look like little ants in a salad, but it’s SOOOOO good. That, and you can use it to freak out your kids. Either way, it’s a win! Sorry…couldn’t resist; ok, I didn’t really try either.
Then I cut up some veggies to add to my salad: Cucumber, mini bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, a bit of fresh cilantro, fresh basil and fresh dill (I put that one everything), shredded carrots and a few beets. I made up a light dressing to toss it in. Mixed everything together and divided into two portions. I had lunch for two days.
I will say, adding avocado to the salad, right before you eat it, will take it to a whole new level. I am going to be making more for my lunches. It is definitely better than the standard lettuce salad.
This salad was vegan, gluten-free and DELICIOUS! I modeled it off a recipe I have been making for years (not my personal recipe). You can make either or make it a combination. Either way, it’s salad season…
I have purchased a new juicer to aid in healing my cancer naturally. I currently own a standard, auger juicer, but through research, a quality, masticating juicer is recommended. The throw-away pulp is actually dry instead of wet. More nutrients are extracted from the vegetables and fruits.
Part of my diet change is consuming more vegetables, especially greens. Until I am 100% used to vegetables on their own, I will be using a few fruits to balance out the flavor. My health is in God’s hands, but I need to make an effort to make my body healthy inside and out.
I have given up red meat and pork. I will have a little fish and chicken/turkey here and there. Minimal milk products; mostly plant based milks instead. I will be consuming more raw food as well as baked vegetables.
Picture from bedbathandbeyond.com
After watching a video review of this particular juicer, I was hooked. I have limited counter space and even less space between the counter and shelves. This is the perfect, somewhat compact item for my needs.
I chose to order it from Bed Bath and Beyond. There was a computer error that said it was eligible for a discount (and it wasn’t). Luckily, I had proof what their website said, emailed it over and received the discount. Additionally, I started the purchase through Ebates and received cash back on this purchase. All in all, my savings was over $50. I couldn’t be unhappy about that, right?
I’m excited for the juicer to arrive, which should be in two days. I have plenty of produce on hand to give it a good trial run. If you are interested in this product, you can visit the Omega website for more details.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a background in catering; esp. when I have to bring something to a potluck. However, I do and that’s why I can’t just pick up pre-cut fruit, and bring it to where ever I am going.
Recently, I made a fruit platter for our VBS (Vacation Bible School) potluck bbq. I had envisioned using a cored out pineapple as the center of the dish; however, this was not meant to be.
I laid down some red-leaf lettuce. One, it provides a nice garnish but also covers up an blemishes on the platter. When I can, I prefer to use purple kale and I like the color contrast, but I had to use what was available.
I then cut a watermelon in half and sliced the half. This gave me some straight pieces of watermelon, which I halved again and created watermelon triangles. I placed them on the border of the platter and added a second layer.
I had cubed some cantaloupe melon and made a small layer, adding it between the watermelon layers to hold up the second layer of watermelon.
Added blackberries, opposite each other, did the same with some grapes and added cherries in the center. After all, everything is better when topped with a cherry (or cherries, in this case), right?
Last touch was to sprinkle some blueberries over the entire platter.
All in all, I was pleased with the outcome. To me, it ended up looking like a flower was in bloom.
Homemade fruit platters aren’t the cheapest to make, but they are gluten-free, fresh tasting and provide a healthy alternative to some of the items that normally accompany a bbq.
Yesterday, as I had the day off (as did most people), I decided it was time to break in my new-to-me smoker. I had stopped off at the store and picked up two racks of fresh baby back ribs. Normally, I buy the prepackaged ribs, but I read if you’re going to smoke them, it’s best to buy them fresh.
I seasoned the ribs the night before and marinated them for 24-hours. By using my own seasoning, I could guarantee it would be gluten-free. We set up our smoker. While it has two racks, we only needed one. I chose to use hickory chunks (they burn longer than chips).
Now, this was my first time ever smoking anything. I was a bit intimidated but knew I could pull this off. I made a “mop” sauce for the ribs and mopped them every 45 minutes. I didn’t have any apple juice in the house, so I juiced some apples and pineapple, which worked very nicely with a few other ingredients.
Finally, it was time to take the ribs off the smoker. When we cut into the ribs, we realized how much thicker they were than prepackaged ribs. There was a nice smoke-ring and the flavor was amazing!
My husband and I are already talking about our next smoking adventure. We want to try a brisket. I may even use some apple chunks next time. I am enjoying this new culinary journey. Once I have mastered this smoker, I believe we will be looking for a larger one. Oh the delicious possibilities have definitely peaked my interest!
What’s better than caramel thumbprint cookies? Healthy gluten free salted caramel thumbprint cookies; that’s what! Well, okay, healthier is probably a more accurate description, but with just a touch of sugar and most of the sweetness coming from agave syrup, we are definitely a long way from unhealthy. These salted caramel thumbprint cookies are made without…