Quinoa and sweet potato falafel

Confession time – I’ve never made a falafel myself at home that didn’t turn out terrible.  Not sure what it is exactly that I do to them but they seem to want to disintegrate whenever I deep fry them, and baking makes them taste too… healthy (you know [junk food] me).  But now folks, I have managed to make a falafel that didn’t fall apart and tasted boss.  BEHOLD.

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These quinoa and sweet potato falafel are a game changer.  I didn’t bother with the deep fryer and went the grilling route, instead of baking.  Oh yes, it works.  FINALLY.  Trying to get more chickpeas and quinoa into your life has never been easier.  Well, for some people it’s easy, but for me with my regular #FattyFriday’s and penchant for vegan burgers and Vego bars, it tends to be quite difficult getting the healthy stuff in me.

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Make these sexy balls as big or small as you like – they tend to stick together well with the  squishy-ness of the sweet potato.  Use whatever herbs and spices you fancy too – these ones are a touch spicy but feel free to tone the spice down and give it more of your own flavours.  Enjoy in pita, part of a salad or on their own as a snack.  SO yum.

Ingredients

1 x medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

60g uncooked quinoa

1/2 a 400g tin of chickpeas (reserve the juice to make some chocolate mousse!)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 TBsp minced ginger

1 TBsp sunflower oil (or other high smoke point oil)

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp rice vinegar

juice of 1/2 a lime

handful of coriander or parsley (optional)

 

Instructions

Peel, dice and boil the sweet potato on the hob for 15 minutes, or until tender

While the sweet potato is cooking, cook the quinoa according to packet instructions

When the sweet potato and quinoa are cooked, set aside.

Add the oil, garlic and ginger to a fry pan and cook on low-medium heat for around one minute, ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown

Add the remaining ingredients to the fry pan, including the quinoa and sweet potato, and mash with a potato masher (or a fork if you don’t have a masher) until the mix is well combined and there are barely any chunky bits

Set aside the mix for a few minutes until it is cool enough for you to handle

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and turn on your grill to medium high heat

Roll the mix into balls of the same size (however big/small you like) and place on the parchment paper with plenty of space between them

I use either a little bit of water or oil to wet my hands with when rolling the balls, as it makes the mix less sticky on the hands and comes away easier (#toptip!)

Once all the mix has been rolled into balls, place your tray of balls under the grill for around 25 minutes, turning every 7 minutes or so.  Keep an eye on them to ensure they brown but don’t burn.

Once ready, serve with salad, avocado, tahini or in a wrap.  Enjoy!

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 50 minutes cooking (including sweet potato/quinoa) = 1 hour

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2.5, relatively simple but with a few moving parts.  Not the quickest of recipes, but you could cook the sweet potato/quinoa in advance and heat up the balls when you need them

#nowplaying : Cabbage – Arms of Pleonexia

 

 

Aquafaba chocolate mousse (vegan)

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I’ve been eyeing off aquafaba (chickpea brine) mousse recipes on the internet for months now so decided to pull my finger out on the weekend and give it a try.

Chickpea brine smells SO gross, so I was hugely skeptical at first as to whether you could make something out of the stuff that would taste any good.  So now you know, don’t throw away the aquafaba, it’s liquid GOLD.

The key to this recipe is to make sure that you’ve fluffed up your aquafaba enough – I used a hand whisk and kept whisking (alternating arms!) for a good 15 minutes to get it to the required consistency.  It would be MUCH easier to use an electric beater, so if you have one to hand, do yourself (and your arms) a favour and use that instead.

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My precious

Apart from the whisking, this is a pretty straightforward recipe with only three ingredients.  Give it a go – I need someone else to confirm that it doesn’t taste like chickpea brine!

 

Ingredients

100g good quality dark chocolate – as always, I used Lindt dark 70%

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp chickpea brine (aquafaba) – there should be at least this amount from one 400g tin of chickpeas

3 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Break the chocolate into pieces and use a double boiler method (here’s a good step-by-step on how to do this) to melt the chocolate, 1 Tbsp aquafaba and the vanilla essence.  Stir occasionally until fully melted.

While the chocolate is melting, whisk the remainder of the aquafaba in a large bowl until stiff peaks form.  Be persistent – don’t stop until the peaks appear!

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Once sufficiently whipped, add 1/4 of the aquafaba to the melted chocolate (taken off the heat) and stir until combined.

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Now add the chocolate to the remainder of the aquafaba and fold until just combined.  You don’t want to mix it too much here as your mix will flatten and you won’t have fluffy mousse.

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Keep it fluffy guys

Pour into ramekins or small bowls and  refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

 

Makes dessert for four people (or two hungry ones!)

Time to make: 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes whisking by hand (take off 15 minutes if using an electric beater), 10 minutes to combine = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, whisking can be a pain if you don’t have an electric beater, but otherwise it’s fairly straightforward.

#nowplaying Holy F**k – Xed Eyes