Air Fryer Pantry Falafel

I used to have a mix to make Falafels….it was SO good.  And then it was discontinued (it happens) and we were on the hunt for an easy DIY recipe we could make almost as quickly as the mix allowed.  I did what any person does these days….headed to my ole’ friend Pinterest and did a quick search.  And let me tell you, there are 100’s of recipes out there!  I even searched amongst my colleagues, both Epicure and The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, and everything I came up with used fresh parsley and dry, soaked for 24 hours, uncooked chickpeas.  I can say after many attempts, the fresh parsley is a MUST, but I have created a recipe that works with tinned chickpeas because, let’s be real here, ain’t nobody got time for 24 hours of soaking beans!!  

prep

25 minutes (this includes chill time)

Bake time

18-20 minutes

makes

Ingredients

  • 1 596mL tin of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C fresh flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 Tbsp Creamy Garlic Hummus Mix
  • 1 Tbsp Guacamole Mix
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry parsley.  Remove stems as best as possible.  Place in a food processor or high-power blender.  Pulse until well chopped but not mush.
  2. Add chickpea flour, baking soda, oil, lemon juice and spices.  Pulse again to combine.
  3. Add chickpeas and pulse until well combined and chickpeas are chopped but not smooth (we’re not making hummus!)
  4. Remove blade from food processor and chill bowl in fridge 15 minutes (or longer if you’re not ready to cook)
  5. Using a 1/4 C scoop form 7 equal patties.
  6. Place evenly spaced on the racks of an Air Fryer and air fry (400F) for 18-20 minutes depending on crispiness desired.  Switching trays halfway through cooking.
  7. Serve in a pita or naan bread with fresh Tzatziki, peppers, pickled red onion, lettuce, tomatoe, olives, feta…all your favourite fixings!

Notes

I used the Guacamole mix in place of chopped onion, garlic and cilantro here because I wanted to limit the number of non-pantry ingredients required.  If you do not have the mix, you can add 2 cloves of fresh garlic, 1/2 a chopped white onion and fresh cilantro to taste (I can’t stand the stuff so I’d add as little as possible but go wild!)

Similarly, the Creamy Hummus Mix is used in place of more garlic, cumin and Corriander.  It also adds some nutritional yeast and sesame goodness!

If you do not have an air fryer, you can bake on a lined sheetpan at 400F for 20 minutes.  Or you can pan fry for approximately 6 minutes per side (or until desired crispiness) with some extra avocado oil in a medium-high skillet.

“Secret Ingredient” Strawberry Smoothie

This recipe is inspired by a friend who says her oldest son is struggling with food lately.  He’s what we might call a “picky” eater if we didn’t have a better way to think about it.  See my blog post on picky eaters for more help with that one…

Either way, he’s feeling tired and unmotivated at school and is not interested in food.  BUT he does love a good strawberry banana “milkshake” so I took the challenge to find a smoothie with both of those star ingredients and a few other “secret” ones to give him what he needs to start his day off with a good dose of good food!  The nice thing about this recipe is that the strawberry and banana have enough bold and recognizeable flavour that the “secret” ingredients won’t be overwhelmingly obvious even to the most discerning consumer!  Adding some fat and protein to this recipe means it’s fully balanced and ready to help young brains maximize their learning at school!  Your brain is 95% fat, without fat in our food we’re not giving our brains what they need!  Protein and fiber will help keep you feeling full and means your body is getting what it needs to run optimally!

prep

5 minutes

Bake time

10-15 minutes (steaming the cauliflower!)

makes

2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 C fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 medium banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 C cauliflower (steamed and cooled or raw*)
  • 1/4 C cucumber (peeled)
  • 1/2 C liquid of choice (milk or non-dairy alternative, coconut water, cold, steeped herbal tea etc)
  • 1 serving of protein powder or collagen powder
  • 1/4 C avocado (fresh or frozen) OR 1 Tbsp coconut oil OR 2 Tbsp Full-Fat Greek yogourt (FAT is our FRIEND and good for our brain!)

Instructions

  1. If using steamed cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces and steam about 15 minutes before using.  Place in fridge to cool.  Alternatively, steam lots of cauliflower at once and freeze in ready-to-use portions.
  2. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender, starting with the liquid on bottom, protein powder and then solid ingredients.
  3. Blend until smooth.  Add more liquid if necessary to reach desired consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*If you are just starting out with adding cauliflower to your smoothies, I highly recommend steaming and cooling it first!  It’s a cruciferous vegetable which means it’s great for us, but also can pose some digestive upset if you’re not used to eating it raw (that’s a nice way of saying it will make you fart!) Cruciferous veggies help fight oxidative stress, are full of essential vitamins like A and C and Folic acid necessary for blood and cell regeneration!

Peeling the cucumber helps make it nearly undetectable in the smoothie – the skin is often what is bitter!  And by removing the green skin, you are less likely to have visible green to any wary observer who may be turned off by “green things” in their smoothies!  Cucumber is a great source of Vitamin C and is super hydrating!  

If you don’t have a protein powder you like, unflavoured collagen powder is a great option!  It’s full of protein and amino acids but dissolves completely and is tasteless in a smoothie!  If you have a preferred flavoured protein powder use that.

Don’t like Banana??  Use another sweet fruit like mango, pineapple or kiwi. The SWEET fruit will be what helps limit the flavour of the cauliflower/cucumber coming through without having to add any other kind of sweetener! 

Southwest Chipotle Ranch Salad

Did you like that southwest salad in a bag from the refrigerated vegetable section in the grocery store like we used to? Until I read the ingredients in the dressing anyway…..  
It’s been 5 years since I bought one, but on Monday Mr Fab Food asked if I could make one with some grilled chicken and all our Farmer’s Market  delights!
Challenge accepted and I CRUSHED it if I don’t say so myself! It’s funny how recipe development often comes from inspiration from something we’ve previously enjoyed but want better ingredients in.

prep

20 minutes

cook time

15 minutes to grill chicken

makes

6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C plain Greek yogourt
  • 1Tbsp Creamy Ranch mix
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp Chipotle aioli mix depending on spice level required
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tsp raw honey 
  • 1 medium vine tomato, diced

Instructions

  1. Whisk first 5 ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a cruet.
  2. Mix chopped tomatoes with dressing.  The liquid from tomatoes helps to thin dressing.
  3. Grill chicken breast or thighs with chipotle, fajita or other preferred seasonings.
  4. While chicken is cooking, Shred your favourite vegetables – carrot, peppers, radish, purple cabbage all work well.
  5. Toss dressing with lettuce and shredded veggies.
  6. Serve with tortilla strips or chips, sliced avocado and grilled chicken.

Notes:

Don’t like chicken?  Serve with roasted corn, black beans and flavour infused quinoa for a balance plate!

Lemon Chia Pudding

I’ve been bored with breakfast lately….the girls will eat the same thing over and over and never seem to get bored! Food is love to me and I’ve been feeling meh about breakfast for weeks (perhaps the Covid loop we’re living more than anything….) so I decided I needed something exciting to change it up! 
Enter chia pudding! This one can be made ahead and kept in the fridge so it’s there and ready when you’re not feeling breakfast inspiration!  Double the batch if you’re making enough for multiple people, or so you can have something ready for multiple days!  Change the whole thing by changing the toppings!
Did you know chia is a nutritional power-house seed?
They’re high in calcium, magnesium and iron. High in fibre, protein and minerals. A complete protein source full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants and are soothing to your digestive tract and therefore help the body to excrete toxins. That’s a whole lotta awesome for a teeny, tiny little seed! And in this super simple recipe, they’re also delicious!!

prep

5 minutes

set time

2 hours or overnight

makes

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2C milk of choice 
  • 6Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2Tbsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • pinch (no more than 1/8 tsp) of turmeric or  Mango Lassi  

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a 4C bowl, whisking to get the lumps out.
  2. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  3. In the morning give it a stir, and split between 4 bowls. Top with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts or granola.  If not using all at once, scoop out 1/2C per serving.
  4. Get fancy and you can top with whipped coconut cream, toasted coconut and fresh lemon curd too and serve as a dessert!

Notes

Coconut and cashew milk are both smooth and creamy and delicious in this recipe!  But any milk will work depending on your preference, allergies or availability.  Want to get really fancy and add some gut-loving kick?  Use 1 C of plain Kefir + 1 C of milk instead of the 2 C of milk.

Use pure maple syrup not imitation.  If not available, raw honey or coconut sugar make a great alternative.  Coconut sugar will require more stirring to dissolve.

Pure vanilla or vanilla bean.  Again, no artificial stuff!

The turmeric or Mango Lassi helps give it a glorious yellow colour (often something we expect with Lemon flavoured food??) and a little bit of extra anti-inflamatory goodness!