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

 

 

Mexican corn and quinoa salad

Alright guys – it’s nearly not salad weather anymore, woop!  Not that I hate salad or anything, I just prefer my food cooked (I’d be a terrible raw til 4 participant).

THIS salad however, is a winner.  Don’t tell your non-vegan friends it has quinoa in it though, because you know what they get like when they hear KEEN-WAH.  All they need to know is it’s tasty and yum and shut up and eat it.  Good.

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Getting right into Mexican flavours lately, as you’ll see in some upcoming Instagram posts and posts on this here website.  Mexican food can be super vegan friendly, and something I rarely came across growing up, so excuse me while I get all “must. veganise. every. Mexican. dish.” on you.

This salad is awesome the next day so make a big batch and eat it when you need it.  Make the quinoa ahead of time and you’re laughing as well.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup corn kernels (I cooked two ears of corn under the grill and sliced it off, but feel free to use canned corn, or thawed frozen corn)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper/capsicum, halved
1 jalapeños, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
6 or 7 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

Instructions

Cook quinoa according to the packet directions.  Set aside to cool.

Place the halved pepper under the grill and char on both sides on medium-high heat, approximately 10 minutes on each side.  Remove from the grill and set aside.

When the quinoa is cooled down, add the remaining ingredients, along with the peppers/capsicum, and stir to combine.

Serve alongside your favourite Mexican dishes – of course!

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes to cook quinoa/peppers, 5 minutes to combine = 35 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, pretty simple stuff here.  Make it harder (but tastier) by grilling your corn before adding it to the rest of the ingredients

#nowplaying Modjo* – Lady (Hear Me Tonight)  (not my usual style but it reminds me of better times 🙂 )

Easy rainbow salad (vegan)

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Yeah yeah yeah, vegans eat salad all day and all night, don’t they?

Surely you can tell by now from this blog the above statement just isn’t true, because I love vegan junk.  Every once in a while though you need to get some greens into you.  And some purples.  And oranges.  And quinoa.

This salad is great for a protein and iron hit (quinoa, edamame, spinach and pumpkin seeds are all so damn good for you) and perfect when the weather is hot and sticky.  If you’re not a fan of purple cabbage you can get the same colour effect with some shredded beetroot instead.  Just make sure you add your beets at the very end or you’ll end up with a completely pink salad.

I dunno, some people might like that though 🙂

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You want some KEENWAH with them beets, brah?

Ingredients

Salad

1/2 cup cooked quinoa, cooled (preferably made the night before).  Tricolour quinoa looks ace in this recipe, but standard quinoa is also good.

1/2 cup edamame beans, fresh or defrosted from frozen

2 small carrots, grated

2 lightly packed cups of spinach, roughly chopped

1/2 large purple cabbage, grated (or two peeled and grated beets if you prefer)

handful of pepitas/pumpkin seeds (or sub for sunflower seeds if you prefer)

Dressing

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp lime juice (or lemon – doesn’t make a huge amount of difference but I prefer lime)

2 Tbsp agave nectar

1 tsp dijon mustard

sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Method

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl/ramekin and whisk to combine.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix carefully to combine, so as to not rip the spinach.

Drizzle the whisked dressing over the salad and mix carefully.  Serve immediately.

 

Time to make: 10 minutes prep, 5 minutes assembling = 15 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  1.5, one of the easiest, healthiest salads you can make!

#nowplaying DZ Deathrays – Reflective Skull