Baked Falafel Eggplant Parmesan

Image

I had wanted to make my own falafels, and then stumbled upon a recipe for baked falafel Parmesan, and loved the idea. We also had some eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used, so I decided to add some eggplant to the recipe, which was a smart addition! The falafels took a lot longer to cook in the oven than expected, and when combined with the marinara sauce and baked again, they got a little mushy…but it was a good, tasty kind of mushy, and worked well with the soft eggplant. I would recommend serving this over pasta (we used gluten free brown rice pasta), or bread. We also ate it with salad, and I combined some of the dish with my salad and because this is so flavorful they complemented each other very nicely. Today I also had it for leftovers on top of spinach, which was great. I’m curious if frying the falafels briefly after they bake and letting them sit for a little bit would help them keep their shape for the future…hey another reason to make this again!

Recipe adapted from http://www.sarcasticcooking.com/2013/04/23/baked-falafel-parmesan/

  • 1, 15-Ounce Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Brown rice Flour (or really any kind you want)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 Cup Diced Onion
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon chili powder (we used a Mexican blend)
  • ½ Teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tablespoon Roughly Chopped Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Most of the jar of Marinara
  • ½ – ¾ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (adjust to how cheesy you want it)
  • 1 eggplant cut into half moons

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add chickpeas, flour, garlic, onion, zest, parsley, and spices to a food processor. Puree until almost smooth.
  3. Cut eggplant into half moons and bake on a baking sheet for 5 minutes (or until mostly cooked)
  4. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large baking dish. Form the falafel mixture into eight small patties. Place the patties into the dish. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and crispy. It helps to flip them over after 15 minutes
  5. Remove the falafels from the dish and place on a plate off to the side. Pour the marinara into the baking dish. Return the falafel to the pan, add the cut up eggplant around the falafel, add a little more marinara spread over the top, and cover with cheese. Bake for another 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts.
Advertisements

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp (Gluten Free)

Image

The combination of strawberry and rhubarb is one of my all time favorites. This turned out oh so delicious. This dish ended up having the right amount of tartness, and was not too sweet, making it perfect with some vanilla ice cream : ) We had a lot of strawberries and rhubarbs so we made two pans: one 8×8 and another longer but shallower pan.

Recipe adapted from

http://paleonadime.blogspot.com/2013/04/paleo-strawberry-rhubarb-crisp-gluten.html

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1 inch pieces (about 4 rhubard stalks)
  • 5 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 and ½ cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup earth balance (vegetable oil butter substitute)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix together the sliced strawberries and rhubarb, and stir in honey until well combined.
  3. Pour berry mix into baking dishes (we used one 8×8, another small one).
  4. In a bowl mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil and earth balance, and then cut in the coconut oil and earth balance (we used a fork).
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes. 

Sweet potato hummus

I love sweet potatoes, and browsing through pinterest there are a bunch of fun ways to use sweet potatoes in either baking, or in this case, hummus! I added a few different spices, and I’m sure some other spice combinations would work great too! This made way more hummus than I was expecting (filled a whole 16 oz. container plus another smaller container), which is great if you are entertaining for a party or just want it to last a little longer! The sweetness is by no means overpowering, and the cumin and lemon gives it a great flavor. I am planning on dipping veggies, chips, and also some avocado into this hummus…Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: http://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2013/01/sweet-potato-hummus.html

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • A little less than 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 c. tahini
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T. gomasio seeds (sesame seeds and salt mix)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c. water

Directions:

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes – I placed them in oven (400 degrees) for about 45 minutes
  2. Place sweet potato in a food processor. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, spices, garlic, gomasio seeds and 1/4 cup of the water. Process until smooth, approximately 1 minute. Add remaining water, or more olive oil if needed, and continue processing to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Add salt, pepper; stir to combine.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Arugula basil pesto

Image

Pesto is one of my favorite condiments; it can be put on so many different foods to enhance the flavor. I now have made this pesto twice and have managed to incorporate it into numerous meals, including scrambled eggs, avocado mac and cheese, along with several lunches (a few creations pictured below).

Pesto is easy to make in a food processor, and fun to experiment with different ratios and mixtures of ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of arugula
  • ½ a cup of basil (or more if you have more)
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pinenuts
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Carrot Banana Cupcakes (with brown rice flour)

Carrot Banana Muffins

I have been baking so often with almond flour, so I figured I should give another gluten free flour a chance. I wanted to make a fun dessert for my friend’s birthday, so I decided on carrot cake muffins. I wanted a different type of carrot cake, and loved the idea of carrot and banana. I also am a huge fan of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, so I decided to frost them as well to add to their festivity and taste.

It was a crowded afternoon in the kitchen, because my mom was attempting to make brownies for a gathering that night as well. She ended up burning the dark chocolate, and starting over, so in efforts not to waste what was salvageable of the dark chocolate I incorporated some of it into extra frosting, and it turned out great! I also created chocolate covered strawberries from her mishap, so hey, it was a blessing in disguise.

These were delicious cold on the first and second day, but they got a little dry after a while, so toasting them was a perfect solution. Toasted, they were good with or without the cream cheese frosting. I took pride and confidence in these muffins after my friend who doesn’t usually like healthy desserts, loved them! See, gluten free baking, without refined sugars can still be delicious and nutritious!

Recipe adapted from http://thepalaceat4am.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/gluten-free-carrot-banana-muffins-rating-1010/

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups  brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. flax seeds
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup grated carrots

Instructions

1. Mash bananas and combine with eggs, apple cider vinegar, oil, agave nectar.

2. Combine dry ingredients and add to banana mixture.

3. Fold in carrots.

4. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins.

5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Makes about 14 muffins

Icing Recipe:

Blend together with a hand held beater 8 oz. cream cheese and ¼ a cup of maple syrup (more or less depending on how sweet you want it)

Optional: add any fruit or melted chocolate to spice up the frosting!

I also experimented with Elana’s Pantry’s almond flour carrot cupcakes, and added crushed pineapple to them, but I wasn’t as huge of a fan of those ones.

Zucchini Banana Bread (with almond meal)

Image

I’m a little delayed on these posts, considering I made this a couple days ago…but c’est la vie.

This bread I made with almond meal because our big online batch of almond flour is currently being shipped. Make sure and grease the pan well because mine stuck to the bottom a little bit. It makes two small loaves.

Recipe Adapted from: http://www.runningtothekitchen.com/2012/08/almond-zucchini-bread-paleo/

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups almond flour/meal (I used meal)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, water squeezed out
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 and 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two mini bread loaf pans.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine wet ingredients besides zucchini in a stand mixer and beat on medium for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini and mix until combined.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix until incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into loaf pans.
  7. Bake for about 33 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer bread out of loaf pan and cool on wire rack.

These turned out deliciously moist with the perfect amount of natural sweetness! I am thinking about trying it in muffin version next!

Almond Meal Banana muffins (with a chocolate surprise inside)

IMG_3187

I am a huge fan of almond flour, due to its nutritional benefit (high in monosaturated fats—increasing LDL, high protein content, vitamin E, magnesium, and a low glycemic index) along with its natural moist sweetness. I have read that Almond flour and almond meal make baked goods come out differently, for example Elana’s Pantry recommends just using almond flour, advising against the meal but I have found success with almond meal as well. Almond meal is just ground up almonds as opposed to almond flour, which is made from blanched (skins taken off of) almonds that get ground up and then sifted.

I found this recipe on pinterest, and honestly the picture intrigued me. This recipe was fitting with my almond flour obsession, and creating the chocolate inside was a fun touch. I swapped the sugar for maple syrup, and in a couple of them put a little chopped dark chocolate in the center.

Recipe adapted from: http://honestfare.com/almond-meal-banana-muffins/

Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¾ cup almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 bananas (plus a little extra for topping)
  • Pinch of sea salt for topping
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate broken (or dark chocolate chips) if want to add to the cocoa inside

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F. Grease muffin pan or put down paper liners
  2. Combine almond meal and baking powder
  3. In food processor combine eggs, sugar, bananas and cinnamon until pale and really fluffy. Pour over almond meal and stir through.
  4. If adding cocoa powder, place 1/3 of batter into separate bowl and stir in 2 tbs of unsweetened cocoa powder. To create the chocolaty center, first pour 1/2 your original batter into baking tin, then do a drop of cocoa batter (and add a couple pieces of dark chocolate if desired) and then pour remaining original batter to cover cocoa.
  5. Top with thinly sliced bananas and almonds.
  6. Bake about 30-35 minutes for muffins (or until top is browned and skewer comes out clean). You just don’t want to overcook in the oven because they’ll continue to cook a little as they cool. Sprinkle on sea salt immediately after removing from oven.