Wow, I really haven’t posted in a while! I’m afraid life has really gotten in the way over the past 6 months or so, with some family illness, a crazy school schedule and some computer issues (still not sure about putting photos in this post because of this). The ironic thing is that I have actually been cooking and creating more than ever! I have been really inspired (like many of us) by the cookbook Jerusalem and lately by their older book, Plenty. I have many cookbooks but I have to admit that I don’t use them very often, I occasionally look at the pictures but mostly come up with my own stuff. What I love about Plenty is that not only do the recipes look amazing but I usually have most of the ingredients already. I have tried several recipes (or recipes closely inspired by the book) and they are all winners! Plenty really lends itself to tweaking and experimentation and I have been loving the bold flavours and all the different grains and spices!
Although last summer was stressful, we still managed to have some good times. I made some animal pals at the Pacific National Exhibition that I thought I would share with you!
I have been making a lot of different types of food lately and recently discovered a way to make homemade seitan! This was very exciting but the recipe needs a bit of tweaking before I post about it. It will come though! Seitan is a meat substitute made out of a high gluten flour (the definition of not being gluten free, unfortunately) and I have always wondered about it but thought it would be a big pain to make. It’s actually really easy and you can use it in many ways. If you purchase a lot of fake meat stuff, it can be an interesting and cheap alternative to the super processed fake hot dogs and deli slice stuff. I am excited to keep experimenting with it. I have been pretty stressed with recent life events so cooking has been a great way to de-stress and relax, I may not be able to control stuff outside the kitchen but in it I am fully in charge! I also found myself with graham crackers, cool whip and blueberries and channeled the 1950’s to do a refrigerator dessert. It didn’t look pretty but I have to admit it tasted great! I may post it if I can get the photos to look a little better.
The middle eastern flavours in Plenty and Jerusalem are still intriguing me and I’ve been thinking about one of my favourite foods, Falafel! I love falafel but the deep frying can make it kind of unhealthy. I decided to try my hand at a falafel inspired burger instead so I hope it works out! You can make these into little patties for a wrap or big ones for burgers.
Falafel Inspired Burgers (Vegan)
Yield: 12 little patties or 4 big ones
1 can chickpeas (540 ml), rinsed and drained
1 C. cooked brown rice
1/2 bunch cilantro
3 garlic cloves
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 t za’atar
1 t cumin
1/2 t chili flakes
2 T chopped parsley (more if you like a stronger parsley flavour)
salt and pepper
1-2 T hot sauce (optional)
-combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined
-place into bowl and form into patties of desired size with your hands (get right in there!)
-saute on each side until browned and heated through or (although this takes out the healthy aspect) you could shallow fry the little patties
-don’t over process or it will be mushy
-place in pita or bun with plain yogurt, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and pickled peppers and enjoy!