Baked Falafel

The first couple of times I tried making baked Falafel in our oven, they were just OK.  They dried out a bit more than they should have, and weren't as crispy as I like them... even though I brushed them lightly with olive oil.

Well, tonight I decided to give Big Boss a try.. and it didn't disappoint!

Big Boss Falafel
Big Boss Falafel

I put the first batch in for 10 minutes at 400ºF, and then flipped them and added another 10 minutes. Hmm, not very crispy.

So J suggested we cook the second batch at 425ºF for 10 minutes on each side, and YAY, the edges were nice and crunchy, and the middle still moist.

Flafel big boss
Flafel big boss

I stuck with Tradition and whipped up Tahini Sauce, and sliced some organic tomatoes, onions and pickles to go on top. Steamed broccoli, broiled chicken and baked Mac 'n Cheese for the kids completed dinner.

Tahini Health Benefits

Tahini is a source of healthy fatty acids, containing 60.1 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 3.421 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. Your body doesn't manufacture these fatty acids, so getting them from the foods you eat is critical and they are beneficial for your brain and heart.

Thiamine : Consume tahini to boost you thiamine intake. Each serving provides 16 percent of the daily suggested intake of this vitamin, also known as vitamin B-1. The thiamine in tahini influences your nervous system, muscles and digestion.

Phosphorus : Tahini provides 12 percent of the phosphorus you require in each serving. This mineral is important for the strength of your bones and teeth

Copper : You need only small amounts of copper in your diet each day, and tahini can help you meet those nutritional needs. This mineral helps keep your blood vessels and bones healthy

Traditional Tahini Sauce recipe

  • 1 c. organic Sesame Tahini
  • 2 small Garlic cloves, mashed well with 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. + cold Water, enough to give sauce the consistency of Ketchup.

Pour lemon into garlic and salt mush, and stir well.

Add to Tahini sauce along with 1/4 c. water. Stir.  Tahini will thicken first (due to chemical reaction to lemon juice.  Keep stirring and adding water in 2 Tbs. increments until consistency is reached.

Add parsley and stir. Will keep for 1 week in refrigerator.

Serving Ideas: Use on Falafel, Fish, as a topping on Steamed Veggies, or as a spread on Baked Eggplant and Tomato sandwiches.

Tahini Sauce
Tahini Sauce

Luckily there is enough left for lunch tomorrow!

Falafel Plate
Falafel Plate

 ~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Hoda's Lentil Salad

Lentils have been a staple, like rice, in the Middle East, for many centuries.  Eaten together, they offer a low-fat, nutritious source of complete protein, fiber, iron and other essential minerals. This is one of my favorite lentil salads. It's based on a lentil and bulgur salad the my mother used to make back in the old country.

Glycemic Values

The glycemic index gives us the impact of carbohydrates on our blood sugar levels; the higher a food's number, the more it increases blood sugar. On a scale where 100 is pure sugar (glucose), white rice has a glycemic index of 64, while lentils are low on the index with a rating of 29.

I omit the bulgur now to lower the carb content, but you certainly may add 1/4 c. whole wheat bulgur that has been soaked in warm water until softened.

Adjust the seasoning if you add bulgur.

This salad is full of fiber and flavor. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Hoda's Lentil Salad

  • 2 c. boiled organic Brown Lentils
  • 3 organic Scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. organic Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • dash of Black pepper
  • Splash of lemon juice (opt.)

Mix all together.  Let sit 15 minutes to blend flavors.  Stir and enjoy served in romaine lettuce leaf boats.

~ Sahtein (double health)!

The Antioxidant Capacity of Veggies, Fruits n' Spices

This table shows the anti-oxidant potency, ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbant-capacity) value of the listed foods.

An  intake of at least 8,500 ORAC is recommended, and yet most of us only get around 1,800 units per day.

>>  People with high oxidation levels (athletes, runners..) may need 10,000 units or more to maintain a healthy immune system.

Diet is the preferred way to increase your levels, as opposed to supplements, but most people don't seem able to fit 7 -8 servings of these fruits and vegetables a day.  That's why taking pharmaceutical-quality antioxidants is critical.  I can guide you in selecting trusted brands, and the top hitters.

Organic foods with deeper, darker colors have higher anti-oxidant levels.  Commercially raised, sprayed produce offers much less, and actually taxes your immune system.

 

The Antioxidant Capacity of Fruits and Vegetables

 

Blueberries 1 cup 3240
Cinnamon, ground ¼ tsp 2675
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Blackberries 1 cup 2932
Strawberries 1 cup 2288
Figs ½ c. 2124
Oregano leaf, dried ¼ tsp. 2001
Prunes 4 pitted 1848
Pomegranate ½ pomegranate 1654
Turmeric ¼ tsp 1592
Raspberries 1 cup 1510
Brussels Sprouts 6 1236
Green Tea 1 teabag, steeped 5   mins 1200
Raisins ¼ cup 1019
Spinach, steamed ½ cup, cooked 1089
Kale ½ cup, cooked 1150
Oatbran 1/2 cup 992
Orange 1 982
Plum, dark purple 1 949
Cabbage, purple ½ cup 924
Cranberries ½ cup 831
Broccoli Florets ½ c. cooked 817
Parsley, dried ¼ tsp. 743
Beets ½ cup, cooked 715
Spinach, Raw 1 cup 678
Basil leaf, dried ¼ tsp 675
Cantaloupe ½ melon 670
Beans, baked ½ cup 640
Plum, red 1 626
Grapefruit, pink ½ 580
Pepper, Red 1 med. Pepper 540
Watermelon 1/16th,   10” diameter 501
Kiwi 1 458
Cherries 10 455
Asparagus 8 spears 900
Beans, Kidney ½ cup, cooked 400
Eggplant, with skin ½ cup, cooked 386
Onion ½ cup chopped 360
Corn ½ cup cooked 330
Yam or sweet potato ½ cup cooked 301
Pumpkin ½ cup mashed 301
Apple 1 medium 300
Peas, frozen ½ c. cooked 291
Ginger, ground ¼ tsp. 288
Banana 1 252
Applesauce ½ cup 250
Mango 1/2 cup 246
Potatoes ½ cup cooked 244
Cauliflower ½ cup cooked 234
Tomato 1 medium 233
Zucchini ½ cup, cooked 230
Pear 1 medium 222
Leaf Lettuce 10 leaves 200
Tofu ½ cup 195
Squash, yellow ½ cup, cooked 183
Grapes, red 10 177
Apricots 3 175
Carrots, cooked ½ cup 160
Tomato sauce ¼ cup 149
Avocado, Florida ½ 149
Peach 1 medium 137
Green beans ½ cup cooked 125
Melon, honeydew 1/10th 125
Lettuce, iceberg 5 large leaves 116
Carrots, raw ½ cup 115
Grapes, white 10 107
Cabbage, white ½ cup 105
Celery ½ cup, diced 60
Cucumber ½ cup, sliced 28

Tabbouleh - Authentic Recipe

tabboulehTabbouleh has become a popular offering in restaurants and grocery stores across the U.S.  Most of what is passed as Tabbouleh is someone's own version of the Lebanese classic.  It either has too much bulgur wheat or includes spices that are not in authentic Tabbouleh. Havng grown up in Lebanon, I wanted to share this easy to make, nutritious and delicious salad with you.  This recipe has just the right balance of flavors. It can be a side or a meal in itself.

Authentic Lebanese Tabbouleh

Serves 6-8

2 bunches organic Italian parsley, chopped fine 1 bunch organic mint, chopped fine 6 organic green onions, chopped 2 c. chopped ripe organic tomatoes 1/4 c. fine whole wheat Bulgur, soaked in 1/2 c. warm water * 1/3 c. lemon juice 1/4 c. virgin olive oil 1 tsp. Sea Salt or to taste

Soak the bulgur wheat for 10 minutes, until it is no longer crunchy.  If you're using a coarser bulgur grain, soak a little longer.

Mix vegetables in a large bowl. Squeeze the bulgur wheat by the handful and add to veggies. Do not mix in yet. Pour the lemon juice over the bulgur wheat in the bowl, then add the olive oil and salt, and mix well. That's it...!

If you want to eat this salad as the locals do, then have some fresh organic lettuce or cabbage leaves on hand.  Fill with Tabbouleh and enjoy.

Note: The dressing is usually added to the Tabbouleh veggies 20 minutes before serving. It will keep covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

* To make a gluten free version, substitute quinoa or bran flakes for the bulgur.

P.S. Sometimes I add finely chopped radish to the salad... don't tell my relatives!