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)! ♥

Stuffed Bell Peppers x 2 - 'Big Boss' Friendly

Well, I am ready to tackle another Big Boss Oil-less Fryerrecipe. Their book includes an Italian Stuffed Pepper recipe, but I read the ingredients, and while it sounds like a pretty good combo, I am inclined to use my Mom's filling for this experiment.

I will include their filling below for those wishing to try it.  I also included methods to cook my version in a Big Boss or on the stovetop.

sweet_pepper
sweet_pepper

Hoda's Stuffed Peppers:

  • 5 large organic Bell Peppers, variety of colors
  • 1 c. cooked Wild and Brown Rice, raw if you're cooking on stovetop (cook rice in broth or green tea)
  • 3/4 lb. grnd. organic grass-fed Beef, Lamb or free-range ground Chicken
  • 5 Tbs. organic Tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh organic Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. fresh organic Mint, chopped (or 2 tsp. dry)
  • 2 organic Tomatoes, sliced (for bottom of pot)

Sauce:

  • 1 c. organic Tomato sauce
  • 1 + c. Hot Water
  • 2 tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Allspice, 1 tsp. Cinnamon

1. For Stove Top Cooking:

Do not cook rice.  Mix all ingredients together with 5 Tbs. of tomato sauce, reserving the 1 cup for pot.  Place tomato rounds in bottom of pot to prevent peppers from sticking.

Stuff peppers to within 1/2" from top, and place snug side by side in a large pot, so they support each other.

Mix 1 c. tomato sauce, spices and hot water.   Pour around peppers and add enough hot water to reach within 1 inch of pepper tops.  Scoop 2 Tbs. broth into each pepper to help rice cook.

Raw Stuffed Peppers in sauce 2014
Raw Stuffed Peppers in sauce 2014

Bring to a boil over medium high, then turn to low and simmer for 35 - 45 minutes or until rice is cooked.

2.  Big Boss Recipe:

  • 5 organic Bell Peppers, variety of colors
  • 1 c. cooked Brown Rice
  • 3/4 lb. grnd organic grass-fed Beef or Turkey
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves organic Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs. dried Basil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1 c. plus 5 Tbs. organic Tomato Sauce

Saute ground beef in med saucepan over medium heat until brown.

Cut tops off peppers, dice the tops and set aside. Remove seeds and membranes from pepper cavities. When beef is browned drain grease and place meat in a bowl.

In same pan add olive oil. Wait 1 minute and add onions, garlic and chopped pepper tops.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add oregano, basil and stir 1 minute longer. Return meat to pan and add 1 c. tomato sauce. Stir well.

In a large bowl, combine meat mixture and 1 c. cooked rice. Stir well. Stuff peppers with filling.

Spray lower rack of Big Boss oven with cooking oil. Arrange peppers on rack. Top each with 1 Tb.s of tomato sauce.

Cook at 350º F for 30 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers 2014.jpg

The New "BOSS" at Our House...

Three weeks ago, one of my sweet nieces who used to make and bring me dinner every other week after my treatments (she was one of 3), sent me a Groupon notice for the Big Boss Oil-less Fryer. She knows I love Sweet Potato Fries, and the only place I can get them air-fried is in Berkeley (15 miles away). I immediately sent off for the Fryer... a $79 bargain.

A week later, UPS delivered a huge box to my front door.  I couldn't imagine what it was.  Yes, you guessed it was the Big Boss... and it was BIG!! In fact AWE-inspiring (phantom organ music here).

My son and I hauled it out of the box with two cranes and a winch, and set it on the piano bench.  Why the piano bench?  I'm not sure.  It seemed too overwhelming for the kitchen counter, and since the piano is just around the corner in the breakfast/computer den.. it seemed close enough but not too close.

The next 7 days I looked at it from a 5 -6 foot distance, assessing its personality.

The 8th day it seemed less imposing and actually friendly.

In the meantime, my 5 lb. bag of sweet potatoes was twirling its thumbs and tried to trip me twice as I passed by it on my way to the Cereal cabinet!

The 9th day.... TA DAAAA...I peeled two potatoes and my boyfriend J cut them into strips.  He and my son and three neighbor kids, moved the BIG BOSS to the kitchen counter.  He wiped down the large glass bowl and other parts.

We read the instructions and suggestions and directions. Carefully we placed the potatoes on the racks, cleared the area, plugged it in, set the temperature at 450º,  and turned the timer to 12 minutes.  J then lowered the handle into place (which turns the BOSS on apparently) then...

and WHOA!!  My eyes!!

An intense infrared glow filled the house, spilled down the counter to the floor and leaked out the doors onto the streets.

We stood transfixed...barely breathing.  "Is she gonna blow?" I asked J.

"I don't think so," he whispered back... his arms still spread out as if to shield us from an impending blast.

I tried to act nonchalant, and went back to chopping salad greens, peeking over my shoulder at the glowing UFO on the counter.

12 minutes were up.  Bodies came from everywhere to see if the fries were still there, or had been beamed up to the Enterprise.  Nope, there they were, a little golden, but not quite  done. Oh, where did we go wrong?  Maybe we should have bowed down lower?

We read the booklet again and Duh...we should have put one layer at a time for crispy fries.  So J carefully fished out one rack, and turned the BOSS on again. 6 more minutes and we had Sweet Potato Fries with a mist of oil, crispy on the ends and tasty in between!

I'm sorry we ate them before I could get another photo. :(

So now I am good to go... the BOSS is back on the piano bench gloating, and I am making my list of dishes to turn over to him...Roasted Game Hens, dehydrated Veggies, Minted Salmon, Onion Rings, Kale chips,  and Stuffed Peppers.

Got a request?  The BOSS is in!

~ Cheers!