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Posted by tinako on May 11, 2009



I made falafel from a box mix for lunch today.  These box mixes aren’t too bad.  Over the years I’ve tried hummus, tabouleh, black beans, and sausage.  They aren’t as good as freshly made, but I think you would say they taste good.  They would be terrific for camping, and they are good to bring/buy if you are going to be a house guest or in a hotel, since they usually just mix up with water.  They can be handy to have in your cupboard as a last-minute meal.

These boxes will probably be in the natural food section of your supermarket.  If your store doesn’t have a natural foods section, maybe you will find them in international, or with the Mexican stuff.  Fantastic is a popular brand.  This falafel brand was Casbah (by Hain).  The ingredients look pretty good; it is just chickpea flour, white flour, spices, canola oil, baking soda and salt.  Sodium is pretty high – that’s hard to get away from.

I followed the no-oil directions and cooked them on a non-stick frypan.  You can also bake them.  They are very flavorful but not hot-spicy.  The baking soda  makes them puff up so they are not as dense as you might think.  The box has dirctions for making tahini sauce, which I find too fatty, and yogurt sauce, which would probably be good except that I can’t find a non-dairy yogurt that is unsweetened.  So I just used hummus.

Falafel Pita, Kohlrabi, Hummus

Falafel Pita, Kohlrabi, Hummus

These take 10 minutes to absorb the water, and then 6 minutes to cook.  In this time I made the rest of the lunch and emptied the dishwasher.  I put one of the above patties into each half of a toasted pita and added hummus, tomato, and alfalfa sprouts.  I sliced up the rest of my kohlrabi and had that with more hummus.  And veggie juice of course.

This is leftover night at our house, so I rummaged through the fridge to see what needed to come out.  Lima beans and collard greens needed to go.

I steamed the collard greens; I prepare them differently from Swiss Chard.  I hold a leaf in my hand, and fold it in half along its rib so that the rib is sticking out.  I rip off the rib and discard it.  Then I could slice it but it seems easier to just rip it rather than to get out the knife and cutting board.   These were small leaves, but I think one leaf per person is usually about right.   My kids like the greens with balsamic vinegar, but I like them with a little barbeque sauce.  Don’t coat it with a ton; you only need a dab, and smear it around.

(Update: Lately I’ve been including most of the stems in collards and they are fine.  I break them off just below the lowest leaves.  I get a stack of collards, roll them tightly lengthwise, and can slice them very thinly.  Then I am able to chop the sliced roll in half, and it makes pretty small pieces, good for soup, easier for eating.)

Collard Greens, Vegetable Pilaf, Balsamic Vinegar, Lima Beans

Collard Greens, Vegetable Pilaf, Balsamic Vinegar, Lima Beans

I didn’t have a starch handy, so I made a rice pilaf.  I didn’t have peppers so I put in some zucchini instead.  I just realized I forgot to put in the parsley.  It was definitely missing some flavor.  However, my kids loved it.  So I just added hot sauce to mine.   And put out the fire with a beer.


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