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Welcome to Wednesday Eats, a weekly feature all about food! Each week we will post about food we make and eat. We will include the recipe for an entire meal that we have prepared from scratch, the process, and the results. A lot of times our posts will be on meals that are brand new to us, either adapted from others or come from our own ideas.

For this post we made Beetroot Falafel, Garlic Naan, and a cucumber strawberry sauce. We had a comfy picnic outside with iced chai to drink.

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I love Mediterranean food and I love falafels. I also liked colored food and beetroot falafels give them a major color boost! It was so much fun to eat this yummy meal outside in Sara’s backyard. It was so cozy in the light summer weather sitting in the shade. Sara has a super cozy backyard with lots of trees, soft grass, a big garden, a little creek in the back.

Beetroot Falafel
recipe slightly adapted from bbcgoodfood.com

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onions, chopped
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans chickpeas, drained
2 raw beetroots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tablespoon tahini paste
2 cloves garlic
a few pinches of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the cumin and cook for 1 minute, then scrape the mixture into a food processor with the chickpeas, two-thirds of the grated beetroot, the breadcrumbs, egg, tahini, seasonings and garlic. Pulse to a rough paste, then scrape into a bowl and stir in the remaining grated beetroot.

With damp hands, shape mixture into about 20 balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until ready to bake and serve.

Heat oven to 375F. Brush the falafels with a little olive oil and top with toasted sesame seed, if desired. Bake for 20-25 mins until crisp and hot through.

I love the red color and I think they’d be really good rolled completely in sesame seeds. Could give it an nice alternative taste and an added crunch. I give my 100% taste approval for these delicious falafels!

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Garlic Naan
recipe slightly adapted from http://allrecipes.com

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 .25 ounce packet)
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2-4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for about 6 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside in a warm place to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Heat a teaspoon of butter in a pan over medium high heat. Stretch or roll out a couple of balls of dough at a time and place in heated butter. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until slightly browned. Continue until you have used all your dough, adding a little butter to the pan when needed.

The naan will come out more like fried bread than the traditional naan you would find in restaurants.

The naan Sara made was deeelicious! You can enjoy it like a pita sandwich or eat it on it’s own. If you omit the garlic, it is wonderful with honey.

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The Cucumber Strawberry sauce is a quick and easy version of tzatziki. It’s a bit runnier and more tart, but it take only minutes to mix and tastes really good with the falafels and naan.

With this recipe you just mix to taste, use what works for you.

In a food processor finely chop seeded cucumber and strawberries. You can include fresh broccoli in there too. I did and it added to the taste and nutrition. Then in a bowl blend the cucumber and strawberry mix with non-fat, plain greek yogurt. Add parsley and onion powder. You can also add pepper.

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Let us know what you think of this yummy meal and if you have any suggestions or alternatives to these recipes that worked well for you, we’d love to hear them.

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Happy Eating!

MaryAnne & Sara

 

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