Sesame Free Falafel Photos

When my friend Elizabeth told me that her husband didn’t order falafel at restaurants anymore because he preferred how she made it at home, I knew I had to try it.  Well, that was a factor but the other thing is that she’s never steered me wrong with recipes.  It is simple but perfect.

You soak the dried garbanzo beans overnight, drain them, and then process them in a food processor or blender with green pepper, parsley, spices, and a little baking soda.

Form them into patties, refrigerate for at least an hour…

Fry them in a little olive oil on medium-high heat and that’s it…

Crunchy on the outside, bready on the inside, and delicious!  Elizabeth adapted her recipe from page 68 of The Bean Bible by Aliza Green (amazon affiliate link) which is sadly out of print but available at our local library.  Very much worth hunting down a copy, this is my new favorite version of falafel and it freezes well too.

I tripled the recipe for these photos, so I think I used 3 cups of dried beans, a whole bell pepper, and a whole bunch of fresh parsley.  I know I should be doing more with dried beans versus canned and easy recipes like this are a good form of encouragement!

Slow Cooked Refried Beans Recipe

The first time I made this recipe I told the friend that shared it with me (I followed most of her suggested variations though I used more salt) that I felt empowered.  That may seem silly but every time I make something from scratch I feel better and better about the food I make for my family.  Do I mess up?  Often!  I think you have to keep trying though.

One of our “fast” food options is rice and beans so making refried beans from scratch kind of goes against the “fast” aspect of things but this is easy to throw together and you can freeze it so I think it is still a fast recipe.  You’ll need a slow cooker, something I thought as a vegetarian family we’d never get real use out of!  More photos here.

Supplies

Knife, cutting board

Slow Cooker

Sieve

Food Processor/Blender/Potato Masher

Ingredients

3 cups of rinsed dry pinto beans (no need to soak!) (about 1 lb. 3 oz.)

1 onion, quartered

4 ounce can of hatch chiles

5 cloves of minced garlic

4 teaspoons of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

9 to 10 cups of water (I do 10 because when you’re filling cups quickly under running water they don’t fill up entirely)

Fresh lime juice

Directions

Put the beans, onion, chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin in the slow cooker then add the 9 cups of water.  Stir, close the lid and set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours.  My friend remarked that hers takes only 4 or 5 hours on high and the recipe calls for 8 on high but my cooker only has a 6 hour high setting and it worked well.  You’ll need to add more water as needed, you don’t want too much to evaporate so maybe adjust your heat settings as needed as well.

The beans are so very good, you drain them and reserve the liquid.  I run mine through the food processor and add liquid until the consistency is as you like it.  I also add lime juice for flavor.  Now that we’ve made this a few times I can estimate you’ll get 3 pounds of beans if you run them all into the food processor but we’ve been reserving whole cooked beans to eat because they are so good that way.

I love that this is tomato free, flavorful, and much cheaper than canned beans.

Check out the other recipes on the 7/22 Allergy Friendly Friday at CybelePascal.com!  This week the theme is farmstand recipes so I was hesitant to include refried beans but I got the go ahead (on twitter) to post it.

Vegan Black and White Bean Mushroom Chili Recipe

This recipe is a variant of one I found during the great cookbook checkout phase of January 2010.  I reserved and checked out every single allergy or gluten free cookbook I could get my hands on at the library and searched for things that would be “safe” for us to eat.  Some I’m sure were great for someone but they were devoid of recipes that met my criteria.  Others had one gem, like “Gluten Free Sugar Free Cooking” by Susan O’Brien (amazon affiliate link).  On page 131 there is a recipe for bean and mushroom chili and I have had good luck adapting it into a good option to serve with rice or potatoes (the usual suspects in our household).

The first time I made this I worried it wouldn’t be thick enough so I added arrowroot powder (bad idea for lots of reasons, it is not a thickener I can make work for me without being gross texture wise, now I use potato flour to thicken but not for this recipe).  If you just trust the recipe a little bit you’ll see it has a nice thick consistency after you cook it long enough.  It stops being soupy and becomes more like a thick sauce.

Supplies

Large frying pan or saute pan (I use a 3 quart saute pan from all-clad, amazon affiliate link)

Knife, cutting board

Measuring spoons

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chile powder (sometimes I have chili, sometimes I have chile powder, I use them interchangeably though they are different)

1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds (I had never used them before this recipe but they’re worth seeking out)

1 large onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

12 ounces of mushrooms, sliced (I use an egg slicer sometimes to do this, E loves to help and you can see in the photos I posted earlier that you can just do it over the pan as you cook, amazon affiliate link)

1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 ounce can of white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 6 ounce can of tomato paste

1/2 cup water

3 cups vegetable broth

Fresh cilantro (to garnish, optional)

Directions

Heat your pan on medium and add your oil, it should shimmer before you add your spices.  This is different than my usual strategy for recipes, I normally fry my onions and then add spices but you want to add your mustard seeds, chile powder, cumin, and cardamom and when the mustard seeds start to make a popping sound you’ll add your onions.  Stir to coat them a little bit and then after a minute or two add your garlic and let that fry for a minute.  Now you’ll add your chopped mushrooms.  I like to give them two or three minutes to cook before adding the 1/2 cup of water but you may need to deglaze your pan at this point so if things look like they’re sticking, go ahead and add some of the water.  If you haven’t added the water you can add it after the mushrooms cook a little bit.  Now cover the pan and let everything cook while you prepare your other ingredients.  Check on the mushrooms periodically, you want to cook them for about 10 minutes.

Now add your beans, tomato paste, veggie broth, and tomato paste.  Stir everything and keep heating it on medium until it has  some simmering/bubbling going on and now reduce it to low and put the pan lid on slightly off kilter to allow some steam to escape.  Stir and check on it periodically but it should cook together and meld after at least 30 minutes.  It is different every time I make it.

This obviously needs salt but the beans still carry some saltiness and you can salt it when all is said and done.  You can use a mix of white and brown mushrooms or all white or all brown.  Both have been good with this but I think the brown mushrooms are more flavorful while the white mushrooms can be too chewy if not sliced thinly enough.  It is a pretty flexible recipe.

See more photos here, I used my rice recipe from here without the lima bean mixture and the fresh salsa?  I have pictures ready but have to type the recipe up soon!

(I shared this post at Allergy Friendly Friday 6/3/11 at CybelePascal.com)