Thursday, February 27, 2014

the mother of invention

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Sorry for the back to back sweet potatoes, but as the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” and seeing as a) I am on a tight budget until tomorrow; b) I don’t feel like going to the store; and c) I had a bunch of sweet potatoes, well, necessity: meet your mother. She’s a sweet potato disguised as a fried chickpea fritter and she’s fortunately not as deceptive and sinister as that sounds.

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I pinned this recipe months ago. It is from the blog 101 Cookbooks, which in addition to being visually stunning, is packed with healthy- yet mouthwatering recipes that I always find myself drooling over. These little toasty nuggets of bright orange sweet potato are NOT like your regular falafel. They are not super crunchy and they have that little bit of chew that sweet potato fries often have. So if you’re not into that, I won’t be offended, you can leave now. BUT, if you’re a big fan of sweet potatoes (and I obviously am) these will really hit the spot.

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Now, obviously, you could use these interchangeably with regular falafel. Let’s say in a warm pita combined with tahini sauce, hummus and veggies. Since I don’t have any pita bread and I don’t see any materializing in my future (see reasons a-c above), I am thinking that tonight for dinner, we’ll have these in a bowl, of sorts. Alongside some whole wheat cous cous, garlicky roasted kale and broccoli topped with a scoop of hummus. Then I’m going to garnish the whole thing with some hot sauce and a wedge of lemon for squeezing over. Aaanddd…now I want dinner.

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From 101 Cookbooks

1 large sweet potato
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Scant ½ cup chickpea flour*
Olive oil
Sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

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Preheat oven to 425. Stab potato a few times with a fork and let roast until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let potato cool, then peel and transfer to a large bowl.

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Add cumin, coriander, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice and chickpea flour to bowl. Mash together well with a fork, until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle in a tiny splash of olive oil. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for one hour.

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Heat oven to 400. Using two spoons, scoop falafel mix out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. I also found the ‘dough’ was pliable enough to just be scooped and rounded with my hands, but it probably depends on how cool it is. I halved the original recipe and ended up with about one dozen falafel. Generously sprinkle the tops of your falafel with sesame seeds and a pinch of salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned on the bottoms. Serve warm.

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*what with the whole gluten free thing going strong, alternative flours are in conventional grocery stores more and more these days; but I’m fairly certain I bought my chickpea flour at the health food store. If you can’t find it in your local grocer, try there, or hit up Bob’s Red Mill online. That’s the brand I use.

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