Category: yogourt

Roasted Eggplant Falafel with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Alright, so I have a confession to make. This dish actually started out as an italian-style meatless meatball dish. It was supposed to be covered in tomato sauce and smothered in cheese and served on top of a plate of spaghetti. But, with an ice storm a brewin’ outside, I did not feel safe venturing out to get the handful of ingredients that I was missing. So, I decided to just make a few changes and use whatever I had on hand. Basil became cilantro. Beans became chickpeas. And then, somewhere along substitution road, my meatless meatballs in tomato sauce became meatless falafel in yogourt sauce. Let me tell you, whatever you want to call them, these little babies are 100% pure deliciousness.
  
Just a few things to note before you go off and make this. You MUST roast the eggplant the whole way through. No if’s and’s or but’s, the roasted eggplant has a flavour and texture that is crucial to the texture of the final product.  Also, the chickpeas are what give it that distinct falafel taste, so if you decide to sub them for something else, you’re going to have a very different little ball! Oh, and be sure to use greek yogourt (I prefer to use 2% as it’s creamy but still low in fat, but you can use any % that you like.) Vegan? No fret! Omit the yogourt sauce and replace it with some red hot sauce instead. Alright, let’s get ballin’!
Roasted Eggplant Falafel with Spicy Yogurt Sauce
An original recipe by Allison Sklar. Inspired by Meatless Meatballs, Food Network Magazine, Jan/Feb 2015.
ingredients
(for the vegan falafel)
1 large eggplant, roasted
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup chickpeas (rinsed & drained)
1 clove garlic, mashed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup soy or nut milk
2 tbsp ground chia or flax seeds
1 tsp chili flakes
pinch salt & pepper
(for the yogurt sauce)
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable juice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp harissa paste 
handful chopped fresh cilantro
Begin by roasting your eggplant. Preheat oven to 375F. Place whole eggplant on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Prick eggplant with fork all over. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it looks wilted on the outside and is soft enough to slice easily with a knife. Let eggplant cool, about 15 to 20 minutes, before using. 
Meanwhile, prepare the broth for the yogurt sauce. In a small saucepan, combine spices and harissa paste. Toast on medium low heat until fragrant (2 to 4 minutes), moving it all around with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add vegetable juice & cilantro and whisk. Continue whisking intermittently on low heat until mixture reduces, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely. (You may transfer to fridge once it’s cool enough!)
While the mixture is cooling, prepare your “chia egg.” (This is your binding agent!) Combine milk with chia seeds and let sit for about 10 minutes, until mixture is slightly gelatinous. 
Now, it’s time to make the falafel! Mash chickpeas very well with a fork. Mix together with breadcrumbs, cilantro and garlic. Once the eggplant is roasted and cooled, scoop out the inside, discarding the skin. Mash as well as you can, and incorporate it into the breadcrumb mixture. Add in the chia egg, and use your hands to bring it all together. 
Roll into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden on the outside. 
Combine cooled broth with yogourt, mixing well. 
Serve hot falafel with cool yogourt sauce. Use more fresh cilantro to garnish if desired. 
NOTE: Short on time? No fret! Here are a couple of suggestions…
You can roast the eggplant the day before. 
You can skip the broth part of the yogurt sauce if you want to, and instead, just mix yogourt with a couple of tsp of harissa or sriracha! Instant spicy yogurt!


A Healthy Sweet Treat

Could it be? The words cake and healthy in the same sentence? While I’m usually quite indulgent when it comes to desserts (nothing beats the consistency created by creaming fresh butter and sugar), and I am often the first to dismiss “low-fat” recipes (never a fan of the spongey texture), this is one nutrition-packed loaf that’ll have you going back for seconds! Possibly one of the most flavorful cakes that I have ever baked, this sweet delight was a pleasure for the senses. Moist to the touch, with a sweet aroma that’ll warm up your winter blues… you must be wondering what this magical creation is made from. Well, the secret doesn’t lie in artificial sugar, nor does it involve butter substitutes. The secret is an ingredient that many of you may have laying in your pantries just itching to be used up: good old fashioned cream of wheat. When you mix this unusual ingredient with some yogurt, you get a fluffy cake that is low in calories, low in fat, high in calcium and multivitamin-enriched. Glaze it in a honey syrup and you’ve just added some sweet antioxidants. Sprinkle on some almonds and you’ll boost your protein intake and you’ll benefit from some heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Finish it all off with a touch of almond extract and a sprinkle of sweetened flaked coconut and your tastebuds will love you forever. But enough talk… let us eat cake and feel good about it too!

Almond Coconut Cake

what you’ll need
1 cup cream of wheat, uncooked
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogourt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut, shredded

for the topping:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)

how to do it
Butter or grease an 8” loaf pan and preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, stir the cream of wheat, sugar and baking powder until well combined, then add yogurt and vanilla and stir until thoroughly blended. Stir in coconut until just coated.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown (oven times may vary).
While baking, heat the honey and water on the stovetop over medium heat. Remove from heat after it bubbles, then stir in the lemon juice, almond extract and almonds.
While cake is still warm, pour syrup over top.
Voila. Almond coconut delight!

One Minute Powerhouse

Although I’m mid-rushing-around-getting-ready to go out, I just HAD to come on here and tell the world about my fabulous concoction. Want a nutritional powerhouse breakfast that you can whip up in under a minute, no fancy tools required? Or how about an afternoon snack that’ll kick plain old yogurt to the curb? Well, here it is, readers of the interweb!

Apple Cinnamon Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt (I prefer the unsweetened kind)
1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 apple, sliced

Just mix it all up and enjoy!