Παρασκευή, 23 Ιουνίου 2017

RED LENTIL FALAFEL SUMMER BOWL


     Surviving the heatwave is a really tough task. Especially when you are used to having an air/conditioning when the temperature rises in extreme speed. This last week has been 33 C or 34 C in Zurich, with most of the days being windless. One way to make it through is to swim in the local pools here and pray for some rain soon. But the high temperature is not only happening in Switzerland, but the rest of Europe as I heard on the news the other day. Global warming says hello again!
     Anyways, for those of you who follow me on Instagram, I posted a photo the other day of the cheesecake ice cream I made last year and asked you for new ice cream ideas. I got some responses and will be soon making some really creamy and hopefully delicious ice cream. If you have any more ideas you would like to share here, please leave me a comment below.



     During the summer I realised that you cannot leave food for a longer time without eating it, even in the fridge. Cleaning up your pantry and combining leftovers for new recipes is the ideal thing to do in this hot weather.  Which brings me to this recipe I created in the spur of the moment. Red lentil falafels. I love falafels and I recently learned to like red lentils. Red lentils have a nutty flavour and don't need to be cooked for long time, actually only 7 to 10 minutes. For an impatient and hungry person like myself, this is a perfect deal. 
     This is a lighter version of the original falafels, but I can assure you it lacks no taste at all. I chose to bake these falafels, because during summer I cannot stand frying things. Feel free however to fry them if you have experience with falafels before or just wish something less healthy. I feel that this is a recipe I will be making a lot of times. The best thing about it is that you can make a big batch of falafels and then keep them in fridge. That way you can pair them either in salads or any other way you want to. 


Red Lentil Falafel Summer Bowl

ingredients for red lentil falafels (makes about 10-12 balls)

1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons good quality tahini (sesame seed butter)
1/4 cup oat flakes (and more if needed)
salt as needed

for the summer bowl (serves two)

2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2cup chopped Greek feta
1/2 avocado sliced
2 tablespoons flaxseeds 
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon honey

how do I make it?

1. First step is to cook the red lentils according to instructions. Normally, they are cooked with 2 cups of water for 7 to 10 minutes or until soft. make sure you rinse them before cooking them and while cooking them make sure they don't overcook and turn into a mush.
2. Let the lentils cool and drain them letting all the excess water.
3. In a food processor, put all of the ingredients needed for the falafels. Season with salt as much as you want. What I like to do is taste for saltiness after I mix everything together. Set your food processor to high speed and mix very well. You need a quite thick mixture that is a bit moist. Open the lid of the processor and check with clean hands if the mixture is too moist or liquid. If it is, put some more oat flakes inside and mix again. When you feel the mixture is ready, transfer the bowl of the processor in the fridge for 20 minutes.
4. Preheat the over to 200 C. Get out your mixture and with clean hands or wearing gloves, start making medium size falafel bowls. I made them in a size between a golf and a tennis ball. Prepare a baking pan and place your falafels with some distance between them.
5. Sprinkle with some extra olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
6. To prepare the salad bowls, rinse the spinach and transfer into two bowls. Place two or three falafels in each bowl. Place the chopped feta and sliced avocado in the bowls. Sprinkle the flaxseeds. Last, prepare your tahini dressing by mixing everything together. Pour into the bowls and enjoy the salad bowls in the next 30 minutes maximum!

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