Thursday, September 23, 2010

Falafel & Grilled Vegetables w/Tahini Dressing

Now that I've been eating vegetarian for the past 4 weeks, I'm starting to transition to more of a vegan diet. I knew this would happen. The process to be vegetarian wasn't that difficult for me. I just started thinking of items I would eat and omit the meat. Now I'm not eating any cheese or dairy products and have noticed my sinus headaches have gone away. Very interesting....I've heard that dairy causes sinus issues and I didn't think I was affected by it.

Some of my friends are wondering what I'm eating outside of salads and just vegetables. So tonight I decided share with you all how to make a falafel sandwich and add some grilled vegetables. My version of falafels aren't loaded with parsley but have a few more items to make it a little more flavorful. I find that too much parsley makes it lose it's taste. I whipped up some tahini dressing to drizzle on it.

1 Can Chickpeas, Drained
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8 Teapsoon Chayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds, Whole
1/2 Teaspoon Corriander Seeds, Whole
2 Tablespoons Sundried Tomatoes (Packed in oil - drained)
1/4 Cup Cilantro, Fresh
1 Tablespoon Tahini (Sesame Paste)

Put all ingredients in a food processor and process together until mixture becomes a thick paste. Remove from processor bowl and take a large spoon and scoop some out and form a ball, then flatten to a small patty. Spray each side of the patty with Olive Oil. Repeat until all of the mixture is formed into patties.

In a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat, spray with Olive Oil and place falafel patties in saute pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned on each side. Remove and transfer to a plate lined with a papertowel to cool.
Vegetable Kabobs
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
1 Zucchini
1 Portabello Mushroom
Wooden Skewers

Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 4 hours to keep from burning on the grill. Cut vegetables in chunks and skewer close together alternating vegetables.

Spray vegetables with Olive Oil add sea salt and cracked fresh black pepper.

Preheat grill to 350 degrees and place vegetable kabobs on grill cooking for approximately 5 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the vegetables. Flip and grill on all sides.

Tahini Dressing
1/4 Cup Tahini Paste (Ground Sesame Seeds)
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Lemon, Fresh Squeezed
Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together until throughly incorporated. Add sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

How to Assemble:

Spray both sides of a Whole Wheat Flatbread with Olive Oil and place on grill to lightly toast. Lay flatbread out and on one side add some Grilled Vegetables, 2 Falafel Patties, fresh Baby Spinach and Drizzle with Tahini Paste.

This easy dinner is very filling and packed with vitamins and protein.

Red Bell Peppers: Packed with Vitamin A, B6, and C (more vitamin C than an orange), folic acid
Portobella Mushrooms: Vitamins B6, Magnesium, Folate, Maganese, Potassium, Niacin and Fiber
Red Onions: Vitamins B6 and C, Fiber and Organosulfur which helps regulate blood pressure.
Zucchini: Thiamin, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamins A, B6 and C.
Chickpeas: Folate and Protein
Cilantro: Helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), richest source for Vitamin K
Sesame Seeds: Oldest condiment known to man dating back to early 1600BC, rich in minerals such as Cooper, Magnesium and Calcium.

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