Monday, 14 March 2016 19:34

Recipe: The Falafel Waffle

Falafel is one of my favorite foods and anytime I can get my hands on it I am going to take advantage. A couple of weeks ago Karen and I were talking about going to one of our favorite Greek restaurants for falafel but I got the idea that we can just make it at home and not have to use chickpeas to make it but rather garbanzo bean flour.

I had the flour, the parsley, baking soda and garlic so why not make them at home and instead of busting out the oil just using my trusty waffle maker. Then instead of just having falafel waffles we could make them into sandwiches and top it with a tzatziki sauce. My Mediterranean cooking inspiration was on high gear and it was time to get this party started.

Below is the recipe and it is super easy to make. You can use it for #MeatlessMonday or just whenever.

Enjoy and do not forget to #EatUp.

 

Published in Snack/Dessert Recipes
Saturday, 28 December 2013 06:44

Japanese Cuisine Made Simple Yet Very Tasty

Japanese cuisine for me was non-existent until I tried sushi for the first time which happened about 15 years ago.  Like most people the idea of raw fish was not appealing.  I had not bothered to look into whether or not there was more to sushi and if Japanese cuisine could be enjoyed.  Like the word Kleenex meant tissue or Band-Aid meant adhesive bandage the word sushi meant Japanese cuisine.  As I grew up a bit and started to explore the world of food a bit more I realized that there was more to Japanese cuisine than sushi, even though that seemed to dominate. One day I finally dipped my toe in the sushi pool and lo and behold I loved it.  I was absolutely in love with it.  I made a point to have it at least once per week back then.  I am not sure if it was the combination of textures, the kick from the ginger and wasabi or the saltiness of the soy sauce that kept reeling me in but it did.  I was not interested in the 'California Roll' because in my mind if I was going in I was going big.  Eel, Salmon, Red Fish, White Fish it just did not matter as long as it was from the sea I wanted to eat it.  That also led me to love seaweed and all its forms.  From kombu to nori to arame and wakame.  Again, if it was in the sea I wanted to try it.  That being said I was never brave enough to try uni (sea urchin). These days because I am infatuated with throwing the culinary ideals out the window and doing what I want I decided to combine seasonal fall flavors with tofu but why stop there.  Why not toss in some heat and crunch while I was at it.  I do not have rules in my kitchen other than do not run with knives and no playing in the kitchen as there is fire and danger all around (sorry I thought I was talking to my 7 year-old stepson for a moment there.)  Back to the story of food, and Japanese cuisine specifically.  Boundaries across the food spectrum are being torn down and no longer are we seeing the simple meat and potato dishes.  There are all sorts of ways to combine flavors into a harmonious dish especially when they are either complementary flavors (Asian and Mexican with their spices) or completely opposite (Polish and South American.)  However you slice it food is coming together from all different angles. On Thursday I was inspired by a post I saw somewhere (I cannot remember where) and kept the idea in my head.  The picture I saw showed tofu with a splash of soy sauce, a dot of sriracha and nothing else on a plate.  I thought about that and decided to take that up a notch or three.  I wanted to include in-season foods like butternut squash, acorn squash or even a sweet potato.  I wanted the sriracha to last on the palette a tad longer and to do that I needed vinegar.  I wanted a fresh taste and some crunch so I took cilantro and red onion and placed them on the cutting board.  Was there something else that would allow this combination to peak and take the meal to the next level?  Maybe, but at the time I couldn't think of one as I had just finished running 6.25 miles and wanted to eat. The following recipe for this Japanese cuisine style meal was made in no time at all with few ingredients.  The meal is vegan and yet still packed with protein and complex carbs.  I think this can be used as an entrée or an appetizer.  Basically what you end up with is something that is flexible and sure to please everybody you serve it to. [recipe] You can pour the rice wine vinegar and tamari mixture to a bowl and serve on the side if you feel that you need a bit more tang.

What Types Of Japanese Cuisine Do You Enjoy The Most?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Blog Carnival is back for the second installment and this time the blog carnival is centered on Mediterranean Cuisine.  The topic was chosen long before the report came out that eating a mediterranean diet is better for your health.

Essentially the study showed that there was a heart benefit to eating the Mediterranean diet but the downside to the report is there is no cause and effect so it is not 100% full-proof.  The Mediterranean diet has principal aspects that include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.  This is not typical of all Mediterranean countries but they are the predominant aspects of the diet.

When I chose to do the blog carnival for March I thought that being able to have the #EnduranceFoodies choose the country they wanted to work with and this would provide all of you with various recipes from the region and all would be different.  The blog carnival grew from 5 for the recovery meals to 10 for the Mediterranean cuisine and hopefully after reading this you will want to join the blog carnival for April.  If you choose to be a part of the blog carnival in April please contact me.

decided to allow the other participants pick their countries first and then I would select from the rest.  I wound up with Malta which is a country consists of an archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya.  After doing some research I chose to make Maltese Kaponata and I am thrilled with my choice.  The meal came out great tasting and had multiple uses.  I wound up with enough of the kaponata to not only make dinner but to make breakfast the next day, proving that if you have an imagination then you can create multiple dishes from one recipe.

Following is the March blog carnival Mediterranean Cuisine recipe for kaponata.  For the other, upcoming, recipes and links to those recipes you can find them below.

Published in Dinner Recipes
Sunday, 15 April 2012 11:44

A Taste Of Puerto Rico

A Taste Of Puerto Rico is a cookbook that my Mom gave me years and years ago.  I think I cracked the spine on that book once.  I felt like I knew how to cook the dishes I wanted, and what I didn't know Mom knew how to make.  When Karen and I went to Puerto Rico at the end of March for the 70.3 San Juan race I was brought back to the kitchen of my mother. The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was determined to re-create everything I ate.  This included mofongo, tofu in criollo sauce, platanos maduros, and arroz con bichuela.  Those dishes would be a fried plantain dish.  Criollo sauce is a tomato based sauce with peppers and capers.  Platanos maduros are fried plantains that are squashed and fried twice.  Arroz con habichuelas is rice and beans, typically made with pinto beans but I love black beans. For a few weeks I kept playing over and over in my head how to make any or all of these dishes in one night.  Then while at the CPR/AED course yesterday I was inspired and when I got home I knew what I was having for dinner.  Part of the inspiration came from watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network where the highlighted restaurant boiled the plantains.  This idea made it easier to make the mofongo because I would not have to fry it.  Side note I have eliminated oil from diet thanks to Engine 2 Diet and consequently have lost 3 pounds in a week effortlessly. Here are the recipes for the various pieces to the dish I made last night.  All servings are for one person.

Arroz Con Habicuelas (Rice and Beans)

This is a take off on that since I used quinoa instead of rice, but if you were to use rice I would use long grain brown rice.

Ingredients: 1/2c Quinoa (cleaned), 1 1/2c Vegetable Stock, 1/4c Black Beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4c White Onion (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 259 calories, 2.5g Fat, 60g Carbs, 17.5g Fiber, 14.6g Protein

Directions:

  • In medium pot on medium-high heat add quinoa and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  • In separate pot add beans, onions and enough water to cover.  Turn heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Add vegetable stock to quinoa, cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer.
  • Allow quinoa to absorb all the liquid.
  • When all the liquid is gone turn off heat, remove pot and set aside.
Green and Mushroom Empanadas
Ingredients: 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 4-6 Tbsp Warm Water, 1-1 1/2c of Greens (I used Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, and Cilantro), 3 Baby Bella Mushroom (chopped)
Nutritional Information: 245calories, 1.2g Fat, 46.6g Carbs, 6.8g Fiber, 14.5g Protein Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 405*
  • In food processor add flour and turn on.
  • While blade is going drizzle water in until a dough is formed.
  • Take dough out of food processor and set aside on wax paper.
  • While dough is resting bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add all the greens.
  • Once greens have wilted remove from water and place on towel.
  • Squeeze all the excess water out, add mushrooms and combine well.
  • Roll out dough into 3" circles.  Add in green/mushroom mixture and fold dough over.
  • Pinch with work and set aside on silpat on baking tray.
Mofongo
Ingredients: 1 Plantain, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1/2c Vegetable Stock
 
Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 0.06g Fat, 68.5g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 2.8g Protein
Directions:
  • Bring medium pot of water to boil.
  • Cut plantain into large pieces and add to water.
  • Allow to boil until softened.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • In food processor add garlic and vegetable stock.  Once plantains have boiled add them to food processor as well.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and somewhat sticky (that is the starch releasing from the plantain.)
  • Set ring molds on same baking sheet as the empanadas and fill to top with mixture.
  • Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops begin to brown.
  • Once tops are browning extract mofongo from the ring mold and flip over.
  • Remove empanadas from the tray and set to broil.
  • Broil the mofongo for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve all the pieces together on a plate and enjoy.
 
Nutritional Information (entire plate): 764 calories, 4g Fat, 175g Carbs, 29g Fiber, 31g Protein
Nutritional Breakdown (entire plate): 81.4% Carbs, 14.4% Protein, 4.2% Fat
 
Ideally you would like more fat and one way to do that would be to add a medium avocado to the plate.  The medium avocado would add 161 calories to the dish, but bring the nutritional breakdown to 71% Carbs, 13% Protein, 16% Fat.
 
WHAT MEALS HAVE YOU RECREATED FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD TO BE HEALTHIER?

[flagallery gid=13 name="Puerto Rican Cuisine"]

Published in Lunch Recipes