Simple Spinach Falafels and Mediterranean Roasted Veggies
Behold probably one of my favorite meals that I have prepped so far for my week. I really stepped outside my comfort zone in this one, making completely everything by scratch and making up my own recipe as I went along. I like to call myself a free-cook, if that even makes sense, but I really don't like to measure anything. I go off the consistency of things, and I'll write down the exact measurements for blogging purposes. I've been cooking for so long that I just know what a cup should look like. One thing to about my cooking, I don't add any salt. I grew up never adding any salt to my food, and I've taken that with me throughout my life. I know that it is supposed to add all this flavor and what not, but I don't miss it at all in my cooking. I was never one to dump a pound of salt on my food. Too much salt makes me feel all bloated and icky, so I just don't add it at all to my food. Feel free with any of my recipes to add it though :)
I wanted to spice up my meal prep routine, and stray away from plain old tofu. Before I started making this meal I was honestly thinking that this was going to go south pretty quick. It was my first time ever making something like this and I had no idea how it was supposed to turn out. But to my surprise, they actually turned out quite delicious, and are packed full of protein and nutrients which is great to make sure that I'm fitting into my macros each day.
I was luckily able to find the majority of everything at my local Ralph's, since everything is pretty much made from veggies and some of the stuff I already had at home. The only thing I did have to spend some money on was the raw tahini, which was $10 at Wholefoods. I really didn't mind spending the money on it, because now I finally have a jar in my house. Looks like I'll be making a ton of homemade hummus, I'm not mad about that.
Lately I've been cooking with a lot of color. I'm a very visual person so anything colorful will always catch my eye. I react well to colorful things, and I'm attracted to foods that have a lot of vibrant colors. I don't want to have grey looking vegetables or some only consisting of the same color, it just doesn't interest me. I would like to say that I'm a vibrant person, so it only makes sense if my food is the same. And come on, don't all those beautiful colors grab you in? ;)
I wanted to switch up the veggies I was using for this meal. I love me some zucchini and mushrooms but I was getting bored of that and I wanted to spice it up, make me eat things that I never have before. So added eggplant to this dish. I honestly before this week have never once place an eggplant inside of mouth. You think being half Italian that I would at least have tried eggplant parmesan at least once in my 23 years. My ancestors must be rolling over in their graves. Eggplant can be intimidating though, this huge vegetable that you have to break down, not knowing if it will cook at the same rate as these others. I tend worry a lot, its a bad habit I know, I'm working on it. I mixed the eggplant with my all time favorite zucchini and added in big slices of red onion, roma tomatoes, yellow bell pepper all tossed in EVOO and an array of herbs.
Here is the finished product! Minus the tahini dressing a added on top. I took this photo at 3 am because someone over here doesn't know how to manage their time. Again, a bad habit, I'm working on it. Another investment I need to make, is buying a nice camera. At the moment, I'm using my iPhone 6s, so bare with me on the quality. It'll get much better I promise. Any who, I finished off this amazing meal by making some herb tri-color quinoa. I use boil in the bag, because I have still yet to master the art of making quinoa without turning it into a huge mess. For me, the microwave is the easiest I place one bag into a bowl, add 4 cups of water. To the water I sprinkled in some thyme, oregano, and sage. Man let me tell you, this quinoa is hot fire flames. It takes plain old quinoa to a whole other level, you will have to try!
Let's get cookin'
Category: Meal Prep
Prep time: 20 minutes Total Cooking time: roughly 60 minutes
» 2 cans drained and rinsed chickpeas
» 1/2 white onion
» 1 cup spinach
» 3-4 tablespoons almond flour (I made my own by just grinding up almonds)
» 1/2 lemon (tbh I used a whole lemon, and it was waaaay too much)
» 1/2 cilantro
» 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
» 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
» 1/4 dried thyme
» 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
» 2 zuccini
» 1 medium eggplant
» 2 roma tomatos
» 1 red onion
» 1 yellow bell pepper
» 1 tablespoon raw tahini
» 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
» 1/4 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
» 2 bags boil-in-the-bag tri-color quiona
» Preheat oven to 400 ° F
» Start prepping all veggies
◦ Cut red onion into 1 1/2 inch chunks
◦ Core roma tomatos and cut into quarters
◦ Slice zucchini into 1 inch pieces and cut each piece in half
◦ Slice eggplant into 1 inch pieces, cut in half, then cut each half into 3 pieces
◦ Core bell pepper, cut into 1/2 strips then cut strips in half
» When veggies are done, place into bags, add in herbs and EVOO
» Set in fridge to marinate and chill
» In a food processor (I used a blender which I shouldn't) add falafel ingredients
◦ Pulse until it forms a paste like consistency
◦ I suggest making a little but more almond flour on hand to make it thicker
» Place dough into separate bowl to start dividing
» In a small bowl. place more almond flour
» Start hand forming balls into about 1 1/2-2 inches wide
» Roll balls into almond flour then place on baking sheet and flatten down
» Repeat until you are out of dough; this made 17
» Place in oven for about 15-20 minutes, the falafels should be slightly golden
» On a separate parchment lined baking sheet dump veggies out
◦ Make sure they are spread out evenly, you want them to roast not steam
» Place veggies in the same over for 20 minutes or until they are all tender
» In a microwave safe bowl, add 1 bag of quinoa and 4 cups of water, this is
where I added all the herbs. I eye balled in dried, thyme, oregano, and sage.
Microwave for 15 minutes, let cool, take out and strain the water, and dump
out quinoa into separate bowl. Repeat with second bag.
» Once everything is done let everything completely cool before placing into
When dividing everything up I was not super strict on the exact measurements. I'm an eye-baller if you haven'y already noticed. I trust myself to know that everything is equal. For the sauce I just mixed everything together and poured over the falafels before enjoying. If you didn't catch it, I put the sauce in a pipping bag and tried to be all food stylist and what not. Buuut it ended up looking like mummy wrapping LOL As a lover of all things Halloween, it's never too early right? ;)
» 409 calories
» 16 grams protein
» 39 grams carbs
» 23 grams fat
» 11 grams fiber
» 3 grams saturated fat
» 19 grams unsaturated fat
» 117 mg of sodium
» 0 mg cholesterol
» 255 mg potassium
I use #lifesum to track all my macros and to make sure that I am staying on track. This is not an add, I've been using this app for over a year now. It really has kept me on check to make sure I'm getting the right nutrients every day.
Hope you enjoy!
Let me know what you think :)