oven baked spinach and kale felafel

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I love my veggies but sometimes eating them can be a chore. I wanted to whip up a fun new way to eat my greens today, so I modified the traditional felafel to to include spinach and kale in addition to the traditional chick peas! Also, here are some fun facts about the health benefits of the ingredients in this dish;

Kale
Kale is low in calories, has zero fat, and a ton of fiber. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K- these vitamins help your skin, you vision, your metabolism and you hydration… vitamin K is even thought to be a cancer fighter! It’s high in iron and calcium, is great for your liver, and is a perfect veggie for detoxing your body! 

Spinach
Similarly to kale, spinach contains many antioxidants and vitamins that are great for you liver, skin, and overall bodily function. It also contains beta-carotene which has been shown to prevent asthma.

Chick Peas/ Garbanzo Beans
A great source of protein, these beans also contain tons of fiber, iron, and manganese; a mineral that helps with energy production and antioxidant defenses. Chickpeas are also thought to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and because they contain folate and magnesium, they are thought to strengthen blood vessels and possibly lower the risk of heart attack.

CuminCumin is one of my favorite spices, not only for the taste, but for all of its great health benefits! Each teaspoon contains 22% of your daily Iron intake, it has been used for centuries as a bacteria blocker on certain foods, and a study showed it can help fight bacteria in wounds in humans.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has been known to lower risks of heart attacks and stroke. It is high in monounsaturated fat which can help lower cholesterol and control insulin production. It is also full of antioxidant polyphenol which helps protect your cells from damage- certain polyphenols have also been said to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas
a few handfuls each of kale and spinach
2-3 tablespoons of flour (i used barley flour but you can use whatever you have laying around the house!)
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of parsley
a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
half a red onion
two cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
salt & pepper

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add your chickpeas (drained and rinsed!), spinach, and kale to your food processor. Give this a few pulses and then add your spices, onion, garlic, and lemon juice, and continue to mix until everything is combined- it won’t be perfectly smooth and that’s ok. Also, depending on how much spinach and kale you use, you may have to add more flour to help thicken your mixture up a bit more. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spoon a bit of your mixture onto it. I just dropped my mix and let it do its thing, but feel free to shape them into patties. Once they are laid out on the cookie sheet and put them in the oven. I wasn’t exactly timing mine, but I think it took about 20 minutes- when they are done, they will be starting to turn a nice golden brown and will be pretty firm to the touch.

To serve, I chopped up some mini heirloom tomatoes and made a bit of greek yogurt spread to go with the felafel, and threw everything onto a whole wheat pita. For the yogurt spread I added a handful of fresh basil to about a quarter of a cup of plain greek yogurt, some salt, pepper, and olive oil, as well as some garlic powder, and blended it until smooth. I also topped with crumbled goat cheese because, well, goat cheese makes everything better!

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rustic pizza

so i don’t know about you, but the past week and a half has flown by for me. i wake up, go to school or work, come home and go to sleep. which means, i haven’t been spending nearly as much time as i usually do since starting my new job. which also means i haven’t been posting enough! so i finally forced myself to slow down and make something delicious to share with everyone! i mentioned this pizza in a past post, and it is one of my favorite foods. i found the recipe for this rustic potato pizza on green kitchen stories which is an awesome blog that has so many healthy, vegetarian option recipes. since following their blog i find that i’ve been much more adventurous in the kitchen and much more willing to try new things! anyways, on to the pizza:

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the crust:

this part is fairly easy; if you don’t want to make your own crust, most grocery stores sell pizza dough premade and ready to go. if you do want to make your own pizza crust, theres a few companies that make fast acting yeast which will make this whole process a lot easier!

1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cup of your favorite flour (i used whole wheat)
2 tbsp olive oil

also when i was making this crust, i threw in some flaxseed meal and some whole flaxseed. it adds an interesting texture and flaxseed is awesome for you! when mixing this, you’re going to want to dissolve the yeast well in the warm water before starting to add in the other ingredients. add in most of your flour and your salt and knead the dough until it begins to come together and form a ball. if the dough is sticking to your hands you can add more flour until it is all incorporated. drizzle the dough with your olive oil and make sure the whole dough ball is covered. set the dough aside in a warm area while you prepare the rest of your pizza.

the filling:
set aside a little time for this, as well as some patience! now is the time to put your knife skills to the test and slice these ingredients very thin (or take out your mandolin!).

3 medium size firm potatoes
2 tbsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
2 small spring onions
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
100 g goat cheese (the small log or small container)
salt & black pepper

optional: a hand full of shredded mozzarella

directions:

as you’re slicing your potatoes put them in a bowl of salt and cold water, and let them sit in there while preparing the other ingredients. slice the onions very thin and chop your goat cheese. once you are done with this, check on your dough; it should have risen a bit by now! since we used instant rise yeast it does not need to sit out overnight or anything. prepare a surface with flour and begin to roll out your dough. once this is done put it on your pizza pan and brush with olive oil. if you are using the shredded mozzarella, add a thin covering to the dough. then start to take your potatoes out of the water and dry them off before arranging them on the dough. once the whole pizza is covered with potato, scatter the onion slices, rosemary, and goat cheese over the rest of it! season with salt and pepper and we are ready to bake! you want to put the oven on a really high temperature, between 475 and 500 degrees (fahrenheit). the pizza usually cooks in under twenty minutes, so i would check it at around 15 minutes and then continue baking until you reach how crunchy you want the crust. be prepared to devour this pizza in minutes!

green garden soup and savory scones

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i first saw the recipe for a garden soup on le pirate and knew right away that i wanted to try it. it was simple enough to make and it turned out better than i imagined! i tweaked the recipe a little, but was pretty true to form.

Six or seven large (very large) zucchini, chopped
One big head of broccoli, chopped
One leek, white parts only, chopped
Four cloves of garlic, minced
One onion, diced
500ml of chicken consomme
Sea salt and cracked pepper
A big handful of basil
A big handful of mint
A handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

“In a large pot, saute the garlic and onion and the leek in a little olive oil until transparent. Add the zucchini and the broccoli and stir about for two to three minutes. Then add the stock. Put a lid on the saucepan and let it come to the boil. Simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Then add in your big handful of basil leaves. And your Parmesan. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Then, use a hand blender, or a food processor, to blend it all until smooth. This isn’t a thirty second job, persevere for at least five or ten minutes in order to attain the most glorious and velvety consistency that you ever did imagine. Divide between bowls, reheating first back in the pot if necessary.”

i added a few handfuls of spinach as well, and while blending i added a few scoops of ricotta cheese and a little bit of cream cheese to add to the creamy texture! i topped with some crispy bacon bits, another scoop of ricotta, and a spring of fresh mint!

i also needed something to go on the side of course, so i tried my hand at making a savory scone. most scone recipes are pretty basic, and then you just throw in whatever you want. i followed this basic recipe:

4 cups of flour

3/4 cup of buttermilk

a few tablespoons of sugar

4 tablespoons of baking powder

1-2 teaspoons of salt

2 eggs

1 stick of butter

to this, i added some crumbled italian sausage, caramelized onion, rosmary, fennel seeds, sage, and lots of fresh cracked pepper. i just eyeballed most of these measurements so dont worry about being super specific. to mix the batter, add together dry ingredients and cut in the butter. then mix in the wet ingredients, and whatever else you want to put in the scones. once all mixed i just plop the batter onto a cookie sheet, and back for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

i really enjoyed this meal and i hope you will too!