As I mentioned last time, I just had a wonderful week of vacation from work. It was my first ever “stay-cation” and I loved it! I basically pretended I was a house-wife all week (one can dream right?) . I used the time to catch up on life, make some recipes from my “to try” list and roll out my yoga mat a few extra times. I thought I would share some of the things I got up to during the week:
Pistachio Falafel from Sprouted Kitchen
Having lived in Israel for three years while I was growing up, I love love love falafel! Sadly, though, I am often disappointed with the quality of falafel in Edmonton and have yet to find a falafel which I deem worthy (if you guys have a place you love, let me know!). Naturally, when I saw this pistachio falafel recipe posted on Sprouted Kitchen, I was intrigued. It’s been on my “to-try” list ever since and I was happy to have the chance to cross it off recently.
Like everything on Sprouted Kitchen, the falafel was fresh and healthy. While the ingredient list is a bit longer, most of the items you likely already have at home. Plus, the falafel is so easy to put together since the food processor does most of the work for you. I loved all the herbs which were used in the recipe (fresh mint and cilantro really made a huge difference) as well as the addition of pistachios to the classic chickpea recipe.
I made the tomato salsa and tahini sauce that Sara recommended and I totally loved the falafel (as did Sean). It was definitely better than any falalfel I have tried in Edmonton and next time I will double the recipe and freeze the leftovers. So good!
Apple Kale Salad from Seven Spoons
First of all, let me just say that I am awful at estimating how much kale there is in one bunch at the store. I definitely purchased way too much and after making this salad twice, the fridge is still packed with kale. I will need to make kale chips soon to use up the rest….
That being said, this salad is great! I made it with three different types of kale (lacinato, redbor kale and curly kale), crisp apples from the farmer’s market, assorted sprouts and nuts (pecans, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds). The dressing is made with tahini, miso (not the actual miso paste but the broth made from it – you can find it at Asian supermarkets) and orange juice (I substituted grapefruit which worked great). The salad dressing instructions involve adding a lot of ingredients to taste: vinegar, lemon juice and oil. Like Tara said, the dressing should make you want to “smack your lips” so just play with it until the dressing tastes delicious and you want to lick it off the spoon.
I loved how hearty this salad was – since kale is such a sturdy green, you can easily make it the night before and take it for lunch at work. If you want to make the meal more substantial, you can add grilled chicken or salmon on top.
Japanese-inspired Vegetable Pancakes from Smitten Kitchen
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for potato pancakes so these veggie pancakes seemed like the next logical step. They are made with cabbage, carrots, kale and green onions. They are easy to make, freeze well and would make a great appetizer or dinner.
Next time, though, I would use fewer eggs (this may be only because we use farm eggs at my house and they are often much larger than store-bought eggs). Also, instead of serving these with the tangy sauce, I would like to see them paired with a sauce with stronger Asian flavours – ginger, sesame or peanut?
Planting the Herb Garden
I took advantage of the good weather during my time off to start our herb garden.
Most of my seedlings were purchased from local farmer’s markets and greenhouses. I always try to purchase seedlings which haven’t been treated with any artificial fertilizers or pesticides since I will be using the herbs to cook with.
This year, I planted:
Along with using them in cooking, I also use fresh herbs to make flavoured water throughout the summer. It’s so easy to make a big pitcher of delicious water (such as blackberry-sage or strawberry-basil) and it really encourages you to stay well-hydrated.
Alright guys, since this post is getting a little lengthly, I’m going to cut it off here and I’ll resume next time with some of the sweet things I enjoyed on my week off.
Thanks for reading!