Fresh Baked Falafel

Hey guys! Welcome to my first recipe of 2021- I wanted to start the year off right and this recipe is SO GOOD. We’re making amazing homemade falafels that are packed with flavour and are super healthy too! All you’ve gotta so is follow three simple steps; blend, shape, then bake, and you can be poppin’ these bites of deliciousness into your very own mouth.

First off- blend! You’ve heard of a one bowl recipe, but have you ever heard of a no bowl recipe? Probably not until now, but that’s right- this recipe calls for no bowl and only one blender or food processor. All of the fresh and amazing ingredients for our falafels are being thrown in there and simply combined until a nice, even consistency is reached. I didn’t call these FRESH Baked Falafel just for fun either. We’ve got fresh parsley, freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic, chopped onion, and so many other ingredients to make these chickpea nuggets come to life! I also used some oat flour to bind everything together, but if you prefer to use another kind of flour you can go ahead.

Step two- shape! I got out a little spoon, scooped tablespoon sized amounts of falafel mixture into my hands, and formed them into flat patties. This shape is the best for baking because the outsides get nice and browned while the inside still cooks all the way through. This step is pretty straight forward, and also fun and kind of messy.

Finally- bake! These babes bake for fifteen minutes on one side, then get flipped and bake for another fifteen. The result is a golden brown, toasty falafel that is amazing on or in just about anything. Bowls, salads, wraps, sandwiches; you name it, these will take it up a notch. I recommend making a double or triple batch, freezing them, and pulling them out when you want something fast and tasty.

Hope you enjoy these amazing Fresh Baked Falafels!! Let me know how they turn out when you give this recipe a try:)

Fresh Baked Falafel

Serves: Makes 9-10 Falafels

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 a white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add all of the falafel ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until everything is completely combined.
  3. Scoop the mixture out from the blender by tablespoon fulls and form into discs about 1/4 inch thick. Spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Place the falafels in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. At this point, remove the pan, flip the falafels, and then place them back in the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Take the falafels out of the oven, let them cool, and enjoy in bowls, salads, wraps, or sandwiches, or just dip in hummus.

Have fun making and eating these Falafels! See you guys Wednesday with another great recipe:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

‘Sup guys! I’ve done a lot of sweet Christmas recipes so far, but today I have some Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks that are a GREAT vegetarian main or side dish for your Christmas dinner. I also threw some mushrooms on the pan to toast with the steaks because mushrooms are so tasty and remind me of the holidays!

The concept of a cauliflower steak is a thick slab of cauliflower seared or roasted so that it is reminiscent of a steak. I actually love steaks- I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I love veggies too, and these “steaks” are just so good and perfect for switching it up once and a while.

In this recipe, I amped up the meatiness of the cauliflower by using liquid smoke in the marinade!! My family and I made some homemade beef jerky the other week (it was so good I highly recommend), and an ingredient in the marinade was liquid smoke. It gave it such a good flavour! So I thought, why not add it to my cauliflower? And it worked its magic there too. Liquid smoke is used in a variety of vegan and vegetarian recipes because it does give that savoury, meaty flavour, so it’s worth picking some up. Also in the marinade, we have balsamic, garlic, and a bunch of spices that all work together to create a ziploc bag full of deliciousness😂

I marinaded the steaks for 4 hours- flipping the bag halfway through to make sure that everything got coated evenly. This made the cauliflower so flavourful! I then placed the steaks on a sheet pan in the oven, but not before tossing some sliced mushrooms in the leftover marinade and throwing them on the pan as well.

Everything roasts up SO nicely in the oven, getting crispy and tender and steak-like! These steaks, along with the mushrooms, would be great alongside some mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes), more roasted veggies, and maybe some vegetable gravy! They’re super tasty and have a wonderful texture.

Hope you enjoy this vegan holiday dish!

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Serves: 3

Total Time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

For the Steaks and Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, washed and cut lengthwise into about 3/4 inch slabs
  • 5-6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano and dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Red chilli flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large resealable bag. Add in the cauliflower steaks and place in the fridge for 4 hours, flipping over the bag halfway through to make sure that the marinade gets to every part of the veggies.
  2. Once the 4 hours are up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the steaks from the marinade and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Toss the sliced mushrooms in the remaining marinade, and then place them on the baking sheet as well. Sprinkle some dried rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper over everything, throw the pan in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and serves the mushrooms and cauliflower warm.
  5. Enjoy!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas-week so far! I’ll see you on Wednesday with another holiday recipe🥰

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Brussels Sprout, Fig and Walnut Salad

Who else thinks Brussels sprouts are the most underrated vegetable?!??! Because they are. It’s a fact. If I unwrapped a Tupperware full of roasted Brussels sprouts on Christmas morning, I don’t think that I would be mad about it. These little green bundles of joy are one of my favourite winter side dishes. Today we’re getting even more festive and mixing some roasted sprouts with figs and walnuts to make an AMAZING quinoa salad that is a perfect take on a classic accompaniment to your holiday dinner.

Like many other great recipes, we’re starting this one off by roasting a vegetable! Brussels sprouts are chopped in half, then given a nice massage with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. They go in the oven cut-side down (so they get nice and crispy) on a parchment lined baking sheet. But guess what? You get quadruple the roasty deliciousness because at various stages during the cooking time, the figs, walnuts, and some garlic get added onto the pan. The result is some crispy Brussels sprouts, caramelized figs, golden brown walnuts, and amazingly aromatic garlic.

Since we’re on the topic of garlic, let’s talk about the dressing, shall we? It starts with some tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup, which would all make an awesome dressing on their own, but when they get combined with the roasted garlic, everything gets kicked up a notch. Actually, like, quite a few notches. This dressing is creamy, full of flavour, and is the best thing that you could possibly drizzle all over those roasted sprouts, nuts, and figs on a bed of quinoa. Because yes, there’s quinoa in here too. Talk about hearty and delicious!

This salad is a great side dish for dinner with your family, or just lunch on a weekday. Add a protein like some cooked chicken or chickpeas, and you’ve got a filling and super tasty meal! The best is when you get a bite of Brussels sprout, fig, and walnut all together…. MMMMMM!

Hope you enjoy!

Brussels Sprout, Fig, and Walnut Salad

Serves: 4-6

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup shelled Walnuts
  • 3 figs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3 cloves of garlic, skins on, wrapped in tinfoil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss them with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Place them in the oven to roast.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and add on the packet of garlic. Place back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes.
  4. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and sprinkle on the chopped figs and the walnuts. Place back in the oven and continue to roast for a final 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, and carefully unwrap the garlic packet. Remove the cloves from their skins and use a garlic mincer to mince the roasted garlic into a small bowl. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients and stir to combine.
  6. Spread the cooked quinoa on the bottom of a large serving dish. Scoop all of the roasted Brussels sprouts, figs and walnuts on top. Finally, pour the dressing over everything and toss the salad so that it is evenly mixed together. Serve warm and enjoy!

I’ll see you guys Friday with another festive recipe!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Chickpea Shakshuka

Hey there! I have a really fun and awesome recipe for you guys today! Even though you may not have heard of it, Shakshuka is SO GOOD. It’s a middle eastern dish that combines a warming tomato stew with poached eggs, and is the perfect addition to your breakfast spread. I added some chickpeas to mine for some extra protein and fibre. This recipe is super easy to follow and comes together in less than an hour, because the faster this deliciousness gets into your mouth, the better.

I’ve seen shakshuka on a bunch of cooking shows and featured in the occasional Pinterest post, so I thought, why not try it out? I began by frying up onions and garlic. What a shocker! I find it interesting how so many different cultures use garlic and onions in their food. Making tomato sauce? Garlic and onions. Curry? Garlic and onions. Shakshuka? GARLIC AND ONIONS BABY. I am not complaining because the smell of frying onions is out of this world. After I got that aromatic veg all sauteed up, I threw in some amazing spices, tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, and lots of salt and pepper. Those ingredients all get to know each other very well in the pan while you continue on with your morning routine. I did some stretching:)

Personally, I am an egg lover, and so this is next part was my favourite. After stirring up the stew, I cracked four eggs DIRECTLY into there, brought it to a nice heavy simmer, covered, and let them poach. This is a critical moment because you want that yolk to be nice and runny. I appreciate a good hard boiled egg, but this is not the time. So set your timers because it will be very disappointing is you overcook these. I will personally be disappointed in you.

Once those eggs are done, you’re done! Step back! That’s all! I just took these off the heat, removed the lid so that the eggs don’t keep steaming, and I want to say that I dug in right then and there but no, I took the whole pan down to the fridge in our basement to preserve it for when the lighting was better, so I could take a good picture. Do you see the sacrifices that I make for you guys? Annnnnyways, when I finally got around to eating this, I scooped myself a big bowl, warmed it up, and topped it with fresh chives, parsley flakes, and avocado because you’ve gotta go big or go home. And let me tell you, this is AMAZING. It’s so full of flavour from all those spices, and then the chickpeas give you some texture, and that runny yolk is just perfection. This is such a great fall/winter breakfast, because it’s so cozy! Traditionally it is a breakfast dish, but I would be very happy to eat this any time of day.

Make sure that you try this out! I can’t wait to make it again for my family on a weekend.

Chickpea Shakshuka

Serves: 2-4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (trust me)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 avocado for serving, sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, deep pan or skillet. Add in the onions and cook for around 4 minutes, until they’re just translucent. Next add in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the all of the spices and herbs to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until they’re somewhat browned and nice and fragrant.
  3. Dump the tomatoes, tomato paste, and paprika into the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper, give everything a good stir, then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cover the pan and let cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid from the pan, stir everything again and make sure the stew is level across the top. Crack the 4 eggs directly into the pan, in a kind of square pattern so that they’re not too close to each other. Bring the stew back up to a faster simmer, cover again, and let the eggs poach for EXACTLY 5 minutes.
  5. Remove then pan from the heat and take the lid off. serve immediately and garnish with more parsley flakes, chopped chives, or avocado.
  6. Enjoy!

Hope you guys love this recipe! It’s one of my faves. Come back on Friday for my December Reading List!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Double Pea Fried Quinoa

Hey there! I just wanted to start off by saying that on Sunday it was my three year blogging anniversary and I didn’t even realize it! I can’t believe it’s been three years already and want to thank you guys for all your support:) I’ve come a long way from just book reviews to lots of food stuff- if you’d like to check out my very first post I’ll put the link here.

So yeah, today we’ve got some Double Pea Fried Quinoa! Olivia is my name and frozen veggies are my GAME. Sorry that was a bit cringy but I just had to assert somehow that I really like using frozen veggies. This dish makes a great side, or base for a bowl or salad. It includes both green peas and chickpeas- hence the double peas. It’s also super speedy and has lots of flavour. Plus the bright greens from the peas and parsley will lift your spirits during the winter months.

I started by frying A LOT of garlic and some onions- you know how I love that garlic. Then I added in the green peas, chickpeas, cooked quinoa, and some parsley, salt and peppered it up, and bang it was done! It’s full of bright, fresh deliciousness and also some protein. And, like most of my recipes, it’s great for meal prep which is a bonus. Today I had this Double Pea Fried Quinoa with some tuna mixed with avocado, sprouts, and hummus for a very tasty and nutritious lunch. Yum:)

I don’t really know what else to say, except that you should probably go and make this right now. Go on!

Double Pea Fried Quinoa

Serves: 4

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of frozen green peas
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. And in the onions and garlic and cook for 4 minutes, making sure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  2. Add the frozen peas to a pan and stir until they’re defrosted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the quinoa and cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring every once in a while to get even cooking.
  4. Mix in the parsley, season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and enjoy!!

Simple as that! I hope you enjoy:) I’ll see you on Friday with my December Bullet Journal Set-Up! It’s a good one:))

Yours Truly,

Olivia