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.

Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Blondies

I love a good cookie, or brownie for that matter, but sometimes I’m too lazy to lay the cookies out one by one on a sheet pan (I know! I can’t believe I said that out loud!) and I don’t always want a brownie.  I love chocolate, but sometimes you want something a little different!  Enter these cuties!  They are a one-pan delight with all sorts of flavour and depth and take you less time than it takes to empty the dishwasher to refill it and hand wash the large stuff that’s in the sink….I’ve tested it! ;-P

You can make these using sunbutter (to go to school safely) and peanut butter if you don’t have an allergy like in this house, or try a hazelnut butter or cashew or Brazilnut?  There are some delicious nut butters available out there (or easily made from scratch at home!) so go wild here if you want!

prep

10 minutes

Bake time

20-25 minutes

makes

16 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 C all-purpose, unbleached flour (or GF alternative)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 C unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 C almond butter 
  • 1/2 C coconut palm sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 C dark semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Stir in vanilla, eggs and almond butter until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add the dry mixture to wet ingredients 1/3 at a time, stirring until completely combined after each addition.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  7. Spread evenly in a 9X9 baking pan lined with parchment paper (see notes) or use a Multipurpose steamer for silicone non-stick goodness!
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges turn lightly brown. 
  9. Allow 10 minutes to cool before trying to cut. Remove from pan or steamer for cutting.

Notes

If using parchment paper, use long pieces that will overlap each other in the pan, but overhang the sides to allow easy lifting when the blondies are done.

Milk chocolate chips are ok here too, we just like the dark ones.

Crunchy or smooth almond butter both work well, choose what texture you prefer!

The batter will be thick, almost like an oily dough, so be sure to work it around the pan for even baking using a spatula.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip NutButter Cookies

Who doesn’t love a good cookie?  Chewy? Check! Chocolatey? Check! Nuttbuttery?  Check!!  

All the things you could want in one cookie!  I have been known to make these using sunbutter (to go to school safely) and almond butter (we have a peanut allergy in this house!) but if you are a die-hard PB fan I won’t stop you from using it here!  Why not try a hazelnut butter or cashew or Brazilnut?  There are some delicious nut butters available out there (or easily made from scratch at home!) so go wild here if you want!

prep

10 minutes

Bake time

12-15 minutes

makes

24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C softened butter or coconut oil
  • 3/4 C coconut palm sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/2 nut butter of choice
  • 1 C all-purpose flour or GF alternative
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 C rolled oats
  • 2C dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Stir in vanilla, egg and nutbutter until smooth
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add to wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Fold in rolled oats and chocolate chips.
  7. Drop by teaspoonful onto a lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown. 

Notes

If using sunbutter (sun flower seed butter) please note that there is often a reaction between the sun butter and other ingredients when baking that will result in the centre of the cookies being a lovely green colour!  This is totally normal (and kinda cool if you’re baking with kids!) so don’t panic!

You can use milk chocolate chips if you prefer those.  We just like the dark ones best here!

These make great neighbour gifts when they shovel your driveway or keep your kids entertained! 😉 

Chia Jam

Fresh, fruity jam ready in minutes!  No added sugar and no pectin necessary!  
Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse!  A complete protein source full of antioxidants, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.  Their mucilaginous texture is a benefit to your digestive system and in this recipe is the main binding factor for holding the jam together without the need for pectin! Use this jam on toast, in desserts, on pancakes, parfaits and anywhere else you want a pop of flavour and colour!

prep

6 minutes

Bake time

15 minutes

makes

10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • Juice from 1/2 a medium lemon

Instructions

  1. Place mixed berries, chia seeds and lemon juice in a rectangular steamer or 4 Cup microwave safe bowl.  Stir to combine.
  2. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a resealable container (a wide mouth glass jar is ideal!) and blast with an immersion blender until smooth.
  4. Allow 15 minutes to cool and for the chia to set.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes

If a microwave is not available or not your preference, bring all ingredients to a low boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat.  Simmer 10-15 minutes until berries begin to break down and release liquid.

If no immersion blender is available or a chunkier jam is preferred, mash all hot ingredients with forks or potato masher before transferring to resealable jar to allow chia to set.

Prepared jam will last in the fridge for 10-14 days.

If additional sweetness is required add 1 tsp pure Maple syrup or to taste.

Easy Pepper Steak

This recipe was inspired by a Freezer Meal Workshop and the need to use up loads of garden tomatoes from my dad’s neighbour!  She sneaks into his garage and leaves them on the stoop when he’s at work so he can’t say no to them! Funny thing is, he grows his own as well so he winds up with more than he knows what to do with when he’s mostly just cooking for him and my mother.

It has quickly become my eldest daughter’s favourite and when I say we’re making it for dinner she squeals with delight!  It comes together really quick if you’re using fast fry steak and has so many robust flavours it’s sure to become a fave at your house too!

prep

10 minutes

cook time

20 minutes

makes

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs fast fry or round steak, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, sliced
  • medium red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1.5 lbs field or vine tomatoes 
  • 1 can tomatoe paste
  • 1/4 C soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic or 3-4 cloves freshly crushed garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Beef & steak seasoning 
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red chilis to taste

 

  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • Brown rice Ramen noodles

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or high powered blender, combine tomatoes, tomatoe paste, coconut aminos, minced garlic, beef & steak seasoning, honey, salt, pepper & crushed chilis.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Heat avocado oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat.
  3. Add sliced steak and onion and quick-fry 2-3 minutes until onion starts to soften.
  4. Add mushrooms and peppers and fry until soft. 6-9 minutes.
  5. Bring 8 C water to a boil and prepare noodles.
  6. While noodles are cooking, add tomatoe sauce from blender to pan with steak and veggies.  By the time noodles are cooked as per directions, your sauce should be heated through and beginning to simmer.  Drain noodles, serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Notes

If using a tougher cut of beef, you could add all ingredients except oil and noodles to a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Alternatively, if looking for ways to store summer garden veggies for later use, prepare sauce as directed in step 1.  Add all ingredients besides oil and noodles to a freezer safe bag or container.  When ready to use, thaw overnight in fridge and heat until beef is cooked through in wok or large saute pan.  Alternatively, dump everything into a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.