Posted by Megan | Dinner, Global, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian

And now we’re on an avocado kick (courtesy of Aunt Marty, the many avocado farms we saw in Ojai, and grandma’s avocado tree in the backyard)! For starters, today we made an avocado lime chicken salad to have for lunch this week. Yes it is as good as it sounds. Then we put avocado in our salads tonight. But best of all, we put avocado on our homemade falafel 🙂

I didn’t cook tonight, but I did assist in salad making as Will made falafel from Budget Bytes. We had attempted falafel before, but had little success with the premade package in a box. So we (and by we I mean Will) gave it a go freestylin’ today and it was a huge success. In the process of all this falafeling, I learned how to properly cut an avocado and got some good practice in. First, you cut the avocado in half horizontally (the longer ways, not the short fat way) around the pit, making sure your knife is cutting all the way through to the pit. If done correctly, you should be able to just twist the avocado apart into two nice even pieces. Then you put the knife in the pit as if you were going to chop it in half, do a little twisting to get it out. From there, however you get it off that knife is up to you, but be careful! Once you have your two happy avocado halves, you gently slice them however you’d like (strips, cubes) while the skin is still on. Just be careful not to stab too hard and cut through the skin onto your hand. Then, you peel the skin off-this is the part I still suck at. But, I can at least do the rest!
So it took me most of the time Will was frying falafel to prepare half a piece of avocado for tonights salad, but the end result was worth it 🙂 Falafel with tzatziki sauce and avocado with a side salad of spring greens, roma tomatoes, avocado, almonds, parmesan and sesame ginger dressing.

Falafel (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 2)
2 15-oz. cans garbanzo beans
1/2 medium red onion
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup flour

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add them to a food processor with the red onion, parsley, cilantro, salt, cayenne, garlic and cumin. Process the mixture until it forms a paste, though some chunks are okay (scrape down the sides of the food processor to collect everything). Place the mixture in a bowl and stir in the baking powder. Begin adding flour, 2 tbsp at a time, until the paste becomes dry enough to form into patties without sticking to your hands. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

Using a small measure (about 1/8th cup or 2 tbsp), form the falafel dough into small patties. To cook the patties, heat oil in a skillet (or pot if deep frying) until very hot but not smoking (it should look wavy). Cook the patties on each side until deep golden brown and crispy.

Recipe: Budget Bytes: Falafel

Sesame Ginger Dressing (adapted from Budget Bytes)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
4 inches fresh ginger
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Peel the garlic and ginger. Grate the ginger across a small holed cheese grater straight into a blender to catch the juices (the garlic can go in whole). Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Blend the mixture until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt by adding more soy sauce, the sweetness by adding more honey, or the acidity by adding more vinegar. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Recipe: Budget Bytes: Sesame Ginger Dressing

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