Baked Chickpea Falafels

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Baked falafels! Well, kind of. I’m going to a friend’s house tomorrow and I wanted to make something healthy and yummy, yet not too time-consuming to bring with me. I’m in my last semester of university and I’m crazy busy all the time….so I decided to go with Curry Chickpea Burgers, because I already had all of the ingredients at hand and they really don’t take too long. Just before I started making the mixture into patties, I thought it might have been nicer if I had made something a little more “finger foody”, so hey, falafels are primarily made out of chickpeas so I made them into small balls instead. That way, it makes more of them, and they are just easier to eat in general.

So, the recipe is basically the same, but they are baked instead of heated on a skillet.

How to Make Baked Falafels

Ingredients

* 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used about 3/4 of a can of chickpeas)
* 1/2 cup whole grain oats
* 1/3 cup chick pea flour/regular flour
* 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tsp cumin
* 1 tsp curry powder
* Cayenne & Ground Black Pepper (to your taste)
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 2 tbs lemon juice
* 1 tbs natural peanut butter
* handful of pepitas and sunflower seeds
* handful of thompson raisins
* Optional: 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil to coat the falafels before baking





Directions

  1. Get out a large bowl. Put the chickpeas in a food processor and process until fully processed. Add chickpeas to the bowl.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except for 1 tbs of olive oil) and mix well.
  3. Lay out some parchment paper or a cutting board and sprinkle a small amount of flour. Start forming small balls with the chickpea mixture and lightly flour them with Chickpea flour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Get out a baking pan and place a sheet of parchment paper down. Lightly brush olive oil on the falafels and place them on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until browned on all sides. You may want to rotate the falafels half-way through baking.

Allow to cool slightly and serve with tzatziki, apple sauce, vegan mayo, chutney… You can enjoy them on their own or add them into a wrap (pita or lettuce) or as a sandwich filling, or accompanied by a salad. Enjoy!

All Natural Makeup Remover and Moisturizer – Sweet Almond Oil

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Sweet Almond Oil is something that I have only recently started using, and I am so happy that I did. I have been slowly starting to incorporate and replace products that I use with more natural ones. I recently started using Tooth Soap instead of regular Tooth Paste, stopped using Anti-Perspiration in exchange for a deodorant made up of non harmful ingredients, I use Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel for a toner, and now I use Sweet Almond Oil to remove my makeup and quite soon after started using it with or without a moisturizer I use before bed and in the mornings.

I have quite sensitive combination skin and have battled with Acne since I was a teenager. The medication I’m on is quite drying to my skin and even strong moisturizers don’t always cut it.  I have been very happy with how Sweet Almond Oil moisturizes my skin. It makes it feel amazing, especially when used after I exfoliate. Even though it’s an oil, it will not cause you to break out. Just make sure you use a little than a lot, as a little goes a long way.

Makeup Remover: When I use it as a makeup remover, I normally use a cloth and apply a few drops to it and gently rub it over my face. You could also use some natural unscented recyclable wipes if you don’t want to constantly be washing a washcloth after every use.

Moisturizer: If you want to try using it with a moisturizer, just apply the moisturizer to your hand and add a small amount of the Almond Oil and mix and then apply to your face. I find it helps to wet my face with some water first, or even better is to apply it when you have just come out of the shower. That way your pores are open and the moisture can get into your skin. I used to always quickly soak up all the water off of me when I had gotten out of the shower. Now, I let the moisture sink into my skin for a couple of minutes. I’ve definitely noticed that my skin is softer because of it and not as dry during the cold Canadian winter months. That being said, it is great for all skin types, so it’s not just beneficial for people who suffer from dry skin.

Scent: There is no unpleasant strong scent as there can be with some moisturizers, and it goes on smoothly to your skin. Start out with a very small amount and as more as you see fit.

Storing: The Sweet Almond Oil I purchased came in a medium-sized glass bottle with quite a large opening. I found that I ended up pouring way too much out and I wasn’t able to keep it on the shelf on my bathroom mirror since it was too big. I transferred a bit of it into a small travel-sized lotion bottle. It has a snap lip on top so that only a few drops come out at a time. This prevents wasting any of the oil and I am able to keep it on hand and store the large bottle under the sink.

Other Uses of Sweet Almond Oil: Ar0matheraphy/Body Massage: Sweet Almond Oil is commonly used in body massages. It easily works into the skin and helps to maintain and restore body moisture, as well as aiding muscle pains. I’ve heard that it even promotes hair growth and aids and helps to prevent hair loss because of the vitamins it contains.

Sweet Almond Oil can be applied underneath the eyes to help reduce dark under eye circles and to help give more radiance to the skin. Moisturized skins is more youthful because it doesn’t accentuate wrinkles.

All Natural Sweet Almond Oil can also be consumed internally.  It has a mild sweet nutty flavor and can be added to salads and in grains. It helps to aid digestion

Who can use Sweet Almond Oil: Everyone can use Sweet Almond Oil, except for those who have nut allergies.

I bought my medium-sized bottle of Sweet Almond Oil for around $8-$9. Even if you think this is on the pricier side, it should last you a long time and if you’re using it as a moisturizer, makeup remover, hair treatment…etc, you’ll save on buying multiple other products. Plus, you should feel good using something that is so beneficial to your body!

My initial plan way to just comment on this as a Makeup Remover, but it’s so amazing that I kept wanting to go on and on about some of its other benefits. Hope this has been useful in one way or another! :)

Enjoy taking care of your skin/body!

The fact that it contains several essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and E makes it very useful for treating skin conditions. All these vitamins rejuvenate the skin and promote hair growth.

Beet Latkes

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These beet latkes are very colourful and are a nice alternative to potato latkes. I strongly suggest using a food processor to prepare this…I started using a normal grater and it would have taken me forever (plus my arms would have wanted to fall off afterward. I managed to get my wonderful Magic Bullet to shred the vegetables without much trouble. I suggest cutting them down to small pieces and then shredding them in the Magic Bullet. I got this recipe from Veganomicon – The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook that I bought for my parents. I only changed a couple of things, like adding in the zucchini, omitting fennel seeds and salt, using parsnips instead of carrots, and using less oil than the original recipe called for.

Beet Latkes
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½-2 cups peeled and shredded Beets
  • 1 cup peeled and shredded carrots or parsnips (I only had parsnips so I used those instead of carrots)
  • 1 cup peeled and shredded sweet potato
  • 1 Zucchini, shredded
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Ground Pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for skillet)
Directions
  1. Shred the beets, carrots/parsnips, sweet potato, zucchini and the shallot and add into a large bowl. (I suggest shredding the beets last as they are quite messy and make you look like you've just offed someone)
  2. Next, add in the flour, cornstarch and the black pepper. Mix and then add in the water and mix again, making sure that everything is blended together.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet with a bit of olive oil on medium heat. I used a ¼ cup measuring cup to scoop equal parts of the mixture, and then I plopped the latkes onto the skillet and flattened them slightly with a flat turner/flipper (not sure exactly what those things are called :[)
  4. Fry for about 5-6 minutes and then flip over and fry for another 4-5 minutes.

 

I served these with some unsweetened apple sauce and horseradish on a bed of baby spinach marinated in some lemon. Also had these the next day, served the same way, but with added sprouts we sprouted and some fresh mango salad. Very tasty!

Sweet & Spicy Falafels (Baked or Fried)

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Sweet & Spicy Falafels (Baked or Fried)
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup whole grain oats
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour / chickpea flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • cayenne pepper + ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs natural peanut butter
  • handful of pepitas and/or sunflower seeds
  • handful of raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • optional: ¼ cup vital wheat gluten
  • dipping sauce ideas: apple sauce, vegan mayo, mustard, chutney, tzatziki, sour cream
  • Makes approximately 20 falafels.
Directions
  1. Get out a large bowl. Put the cooked chickpeas in a food processor and blend until they are broken down. Add them into the bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  2. When everything is fully mixed, take small amounts of the mixture in your hands and start forming little balls.
  3. If baking your falafels, preheat your oven to 375F. Place some parchment paper on a baking sheet and then place the falafels on top. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until brown and crispy on all sides. You may want to rotate the falafels half-way through baking them, so that all sides are evenly cooked.
  4. If frying your falafels, heat some extra virgin olive oil on a non-stick skillet to medium-low heat and place the falafels in the skillet. Cook for about 30-45 seconds, then carefully rotate them, let cook for about another 25 seconds, and rotate again. Once all sides are crispy then you can remove them from the skillet and place them on some paper towel to remove the excess oil.
  5. Serve with dipping sauces of your choice. If serving as appetizers, you can put a tooth pick in each falafel for it is easier to eat. You can also eat these in a wrap, on a salad or as a sandwich filling.

 

Raw Ceasar Dressing

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Fast raw Ceasar dressing to add to your salads, sandwiches, vegetables… Especially easy to make and clean up if you have a Magic Bullet or something similar that’s small and easy to clean.

Raw Ceasar Dressing
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds (unsalted and unroasted)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 tbs coconut nectar / agave nectar / raw honey
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tbs water (Start with 2, then add more water if mixture is too thick)
Directions
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth! Start with less water, and if the dressing is too thick, add small amounts of water (1/2 tbs increments) until it's to the consistency you like.

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Gluten-Free No Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie

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Delicious healthy Pumpkin Pie. No eggs or cream or baking! The only thing that takes a bit of time is popping it in the freezer and waiting for it to set.

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Gluten-Free No Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Raw Almonds / 2 Cups Almond Meal (which is just raw almonds ground up into a fine flour)
  • ¼ Cup Pure Maple Syrup / Alternative natural syrup
  • ¼ Cup Pitted Dates (I pre-soaked them in a little water)
  • 1 Cup of Unsweetened Canned Pumpkin Puree* / raw shredded pumpkin (*using canned pumpkin puree will not be raw)
  • ¼ Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened)
  • ¼ Cup Palm Sugar
  • 1 tsp of both Cinnamon Powder and Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • What else you're going to need:
  • Pie dish or a shallow dish of some kind
  • Magic Bullet / Food Processor
  • Plastic Wrap (optional)
  • Large Bowl & a Spoon or something to mix with
Directions
  1. To make the crust, add the Almond Meal, the Maple Syrup and the dates in a food processor and blend well. Get out your pie dish and place a piece of plastic wrap into it (optional: helps to remove the pie if you wish to once it has been in the freezer for a few hours). Place the crust into the dish and using your fingers to push it into the dish and make an even layer.
  2. To make the filling, blend the pumpkin puree, almond milk, sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and the Vanilla in a food processor and blend well. Add on top of the crust and spread it evenly.
  3. Pop in the freezer for a few hours. You may have to wait a few minutes before you cut the pie, and for the layer of frostiness to disappear. I generally transfer a couple of pieces to the fridge about 25 minutes before people want to eat it.

 

 

Kidney Bean Burger

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Quick and easy and very tasty Kidney Bean Burgers. Tastes great even if you omit most of the ingredients. I just enjoyed throwing different things in and seeing how it tasted. As long as you have the kidney beans, the oats and some kind of binding ingredient, you should be in business!

Kidney Bean Burger
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2-1/2 Cups Canned Kidney Beans
  • ½ cup Rolled Oats
  • 2 tbs Low Sodium Tamari / Liquid Aminos / Coconut Aminos
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Green Onion, cut in half and both halves minced
  • Shake of Onion Powder
  • ½ Cut Baby Spinach, ripped into small pieces
  • 2-3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
  • Handful of Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
  • A few tomato slices, for topping
  • Few drops of hot sauce, optional
Marinade/Sauce: I normally add a bit of homemade vegan bbq sauce for this recipe, but I had the Portobello Mushroom Burger marinade leftover and wanted to use it up, so use whichever sounds more appealing to you. :) For the marinade:
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Oregano/Basil
OR: Instead of the Marinade, use Homemade BBQ sauce. Start with a small amount and add more if mixture is too dry (which probably won't be the case as the kidney beans will be quite wet).
Directions
  1. Drain and rinse Kidney Beans. Place in large bowl and mash with potato masher.
  2. Add in the Oats, Tamari, Marinade or BBQ Sauce, Garlic, White half of the green onion, Onion Powder, Spinach, Nutritional Yeast and the seeds. Mix well.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet with a small amount of oil and heat to low-medium.
  4. Form patties with the bean mixture and heat on skillet for a few minutes on either side, until they get crispy and brown. If the pan gets dry, try adding a small amount of the marinade to it. It'll boost the flavor of the burgers and you won't have to add more oil if you don't want to.

 

Place a tomato slice on each of the burgers and serve with or without buns. These are delicious! I had them for lunch and dinner today. 😡 I also put extra spinach on top of them.

*Random mushroom is a leftover from dinner last night. Didn’t want it to go back in the fridge so I threw him in too. :)

 


Portobello Mushroom Burgers

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I had this easy Portobello Mushroom Burger recipe messily written on a nasty piece of paper and I found it and made some after not doing so for over a year. One of the best, fast and healthy recipes I’ve ever had! Yummmm. For those who like burgers, this might just be meaty enough to satisfy you without you missing the meat!

 

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Portobello Mushroom Burgers
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 6 Medium/Large Portobello Mushrooms (or as many burgers as you want to make)
  • ¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Oregano/Basil
  • Ground Pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Your choice of Vegan Cheese
  • Tomato, sliced (for topping)
  • 1 Green Onion, chopped (for garnish/topping)
Directions
  1. Wash mushrooms, remove stems carefully. Place mushroom caps in a shallow dish.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Vinegar, Olive Oil, Oregano, Garlic and Pepper.
  3. Pour mixture over mushrooms. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning at least once during that time.
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet to low-medium heat. Place mushrooms on skillet and cook for 5-8 minutes on each time or until tender. Top with the cheese, tomato and green onion in the last couple of minutes of cooking.

 

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Serve on a bun or bread, or without. I served mine with sweet potato and some brussel sprouts. Yum!



Chickpea Veggie Coleslaw Salad and Spread/Filling

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This chickpea veggie coleslaw salad is so quick to prepare and the recipe is not rigid at all, so feel free to add in anything that you wanna use up. Maybe you have a couple of mushrooms or cucumber in the fridge? Toss that in too. :) Very versatile – Use as a straight salad, a spread, filling…

chickpea salad.

Chickpea Veggie Coleslaw Salad and Spread/Filling
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ block Firm Tofu
  • 2 cups dry Cabbage Coleslaw
  • ¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ Red/Yellow/Orange Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Rib Celery, chopped
  • Handful of Pepitas and Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce / Coconut Aminos / Nama Shoyu
  • 1 tbs Mustard (whatever kind you like)
  • 1 tbs Vegan Mayo
  • Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp Lemon Pepper
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ tsp Ground Thyme
  • Chopped Cilantro, about 2 tbs or to taste.
Directions
  1. Get out a large-sized tupperware or bowl and add in the chickpeas. Mash well with a potato masher. Add in the tofu and mash as well.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine together well.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.

 

Serve as a salad, a spread for crackers, sandwiches, or rice paper spring rolls.

Chickpea Salad Spread

Curried Lentil and Cauliflower Stew

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This is a spicy, flavorful and awesomely enjoyable stew. In order to cut down on preparation time, you can pre-chop all of the ingredients and store them in the fridge until ready to make the soup. This is largely based on the recipe in Veganomicon – The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.

Curried Lentil and Cauliflower Stew
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tbs sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (use a medium onion if you aren't a huge fan of onions)
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1½ inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ cups red lentils
  • 4 cups veg broth/water (I used low sodium veggie stock cubes)
  • 1 cauliflower head, chopped into small florets
  • 2 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbs lime juice (I used 1 whole small lime)
Directions
  1. Chop all of the ingredients.
  2. In a large pot, heat the two tbs of oil over medium heat.
  3. Throw in the chopped onion and shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they start to go translucent.
  4. Add in the ginger and jalapeno pepper and cook for about another minute.
  5. Add in all the spices and then the parsnip and carrots. Stir and cook for about another minute.
  6. Add in the vegetable broth or water and then add in the lentils. Give a quick stir.
  7. Raise heat to high, let boil for one minute and then lower to medium-low. Cover and allow to simmer for around 10 minutes.
  8. (Almost done!!) Add in the cauliflower, stirring well to incorporate it well into the soup. Partially cover the pot and simmer for around 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and add in the cilantro and the lime juice. Cover and leave soup to sit for at least 15 minutes (or longer).
  10. Allow to cool off and bit and serve.

 


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