Recipes

Croissant French Toast Casserole

My absolute favorite Christmas tradition is the French toast casserole my mom makes year after year. As I’ve mentioned before, cooking isn’t her favorite thing to do, but this casserole is only two ingredients which I believe is why it’s her favorite. You simply cover Texas toast in egg nog, then bake it for about an hour & voila! You have the easiest breakfast around. My mom likes to step it up a notch & add this delicious nutty topping that takes the casserole to a whole other level, but I thought I’d keep things simple for y’all. You may be wondering where the Texas toast is in this recipe but I thought I’d take my moms recipe & update it slightly by switching out the Texas toast for croissants. It’s Christmas after all so let’s make things fancy! This casserole is the perfect Christmas morning brunch because it all can be assembled the night before, then baked fresh Christmas morning!

Croissant French Toast Casserole

Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 large croissants, torn into medium sized pieces & dried out overnight*
  • 1 half gallon egg nog
  • powdered sugar (for serving)
  • syrup (for serving)

Instructions:

Instructions:

  1. Place dried croissants into a large baking dish.
  2. Slowly pour the egg nog over the croissants until they are half way covered.
  3. Using clean hands, press down on the croissants submerging them in the egg nog. If there are still croissant pieces that are dry, go ahead & slowly add more egg nog until the croissants are covered. I ended up using less than the whole container but it will depend on how dry your croissants are.
  4. Press down one more time to ensure everything is packed into the dish.
  5. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap & place a heavy item (similar in size to the casserole dish so everything is covered) on top of the casserole to compact it.
  6. Let the casserole sit in the fridge for 6 hours, up to overnight.
  7. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees & bake the casserole for 1 hour, or until top is browned & center is cooked through. You can check the doneness of the casserole by inserting a small paring knife into the center, if the knife comes out clean, the casserole is finished! The middle of the casserole may still have some giggle to it, that’s okay it won’t fully harden because it’s a custard. 
  8. Serve casserole warm with powdered sugar & syrup. Enjoy!

Notes:

*if you don’t have time or forget to leave the croissants out overnight they can be dried in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

Recipes

Cheesy Sausage & Hash Brown Casserole

Waking up on Christmas morning is easily one of the most exciting feelings. The only thing to make that feeling even better is waking up to the smell of cheesy sausage & hash brown casserole baking away in the oven. This recipe is super simple & can easily be made ahead of time so you don’t have to wake up any earlier on Christmas morning to make breakfast! You can assemble the whole casserole a day or two in advance & just pop it in the oven in the morning!

Cheese Sausage & Hash Brown Casserole

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 2 20oz bags refrigerated hash browns
  • salt
  • 12 eggs, scrambled & seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large onion, medium diced
  • 1lb breakfast sausage
  • 6oz shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees & prepare a baking dish by spraying it with nonstick spray, then set aside.
  2. Cook the hash browns according to package & season with 1 teaspoon salt. As the hash browns begin to brown remove them to a large bowl. Once all the hash browns have browned & are moved to the bowl, begin cooking the onions.
  3. Sauté the onions in 2 teaspoons of oil, over medium heat, in the same skillet where you cooked the hash browns. Season the onions with ½ teaspoon of salt & cook until translucent & soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Once the onions are finished cooking, place them in the bowl with the hash browns & stir to combine.
  5. Return the pan to the heat & cook the sausage over medium heat until browned & cooked through. Make sure to break up the sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  6. Once the sausage has cooked through it’s time to assemble the casserole. 
  7. Begin by laying down the hash brown & onion mixture. Then scoop on the sausage using a slotted spoon to leave off any excess oil. 
  8. Pour over the scrambled eggs & tilt the pan around to ensure the eggs are evenly distributed.
  9. Finally, sprinkle the top with cheese* & bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Then bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes. 

Notes:

*This is the point where you can refrigerate or freeze the casserole if not serving right away. Wrap the dish, tightly, in plastic wrap & foil, then place in the fridge or freezer. Once you’re ready to bake the casserole, remove it from the fridge & let it come to room temperature on the counter for 30 minutes before baking. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before baking. 

Recipes

Parmesan Chicken & Rice

December is all about easy comforting dinners that keep you out of the kitchen & spending time with friends & family. This dish is not only quick to assemble but it also only requires one pot! This recipe came to be out of necessity when I was in college. I was looking for something easy I could whip up for dinner that was comforting & reminded me of home, but was also simple enough that I could get back to studying partying as quick as possible. The ingredients in this dish were things I always had on hand so I knew all I needed was some chicken & I could have a delicious dinner on the table in less than an hour. This dish is easily my most common dinner dish & I hope you love it as much as I do!

Parmesan Chicken & Rice

Yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion, medium diced (about half a large onion)*
  • 1 cup celery, medium diced (about 3-4 stalks)*
  • 1 cup carrot, small diced or shredded (about 3-4 small carrots)*
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons, or 3oz, white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
  • 2.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil & butter.
  2. Once butter has melted, add onion, celery & carrot. Season with salt & pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook the veggies over medium heat until they become soft & begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. At this point, you can remove the veggies before cooking the chicken but it’s not necessary. Cook the chicken over medium heat until mostly cooked, about 10 minutes. Make sure to season the chicken with salt & pepper.
  5. Once the chicken has cooked, turn the heat to high & add the wine. Mix in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits that have formed. Let the wine bubble & reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
  6. Next add in the garlic & rice. Stir to combine.
  7. If you removed the veggies earlier you can return them to the pot now. Pour in the broth & stir to combine everything.
  8. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to simmer & let it cook, covered, for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the rice should have absorbed all the broth & be tender. If there is still broth & the rice is not fully cooked, continue cooking another 5 minutes.
  9. Lastly, add the cheese, butter & parsley. Mix for a minute or two until everything is combine & the cheese has melted.
  10. Serve up with crusty bread or a salad & enjoy!

Notes:

* Most grocery stores sell onion, celery & carrots already diced up which makes this dish even quicker!

Recipes

Mom's Chili

Growing up, my mom wasn’t the biggest fan of cooking. She didn’t hate it, but she didn’t love the clean up that followed. Enough so that she didn’t cook often. She had what we called the “rotation” of dishes she would choose from when she did cook. Chili was one of those dishes that was always a favorite in the house. It had such a distinct smell that we knew immediately what was for dinner the second we entered the door after getting home from school. This dish was also a favorite of my moms because it is fairly simple. It requires a little prep work in the way of chopping vegetables & opening cans, but after that, smooth sailing. She always said she found chopping vegetables “soothing” & as a child I thought she was a freak. Fast forward to adulthood & I’ve never related to a sentence more.

My siblings & I most likely enjoyed the chili toppings more than the actual chili, but that’s not here nor there. Mom would serve this up with tortillas, sour cream, Fritos, lettuce & cheese. Sometimes she’d shake things up & serve it with pasta. This dish is pretty versatile with it’s toppings so it’s great for feeding a family of picky eaters (which we all were as children, let’s face it). This is comfort food at its finest & with the weather finally cooing down (I’m in California where winter JUST started) this is something you’re going to want to have on the dinner table!

Mom’s Chili

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 bell peppers, assorted colors, medium diced
  • 1 onion, medium diced
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1.5 – 2lbs ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2.5 – 3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on desired spice
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 15oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 15oz can white kidney beans
  • 1 15oz can pinto beans
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss in bell peppers & onion, then season with salt & pepper.
  2. Sauté the veggies over medium heat until they become soft & translucent, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the veggies have become soft, add the ground beef & season with salt & pepper once more. Cook the beef until it becomes brown & you can no longer see any pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go.
  4. Add chili powder, dried oregano & basil. Stir to combine & cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Next add the beans & their liquid, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce & tomato paste. Stir to make sure everything is combined & tomato paste has disbursed into the mixture.
  6. Bring the while mixture to a boil. Once the chili has reached a boil, lower the heat to simmer & cook, uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes to ensure everything cooks evenly.
  7. After the hour is up you can serve the chili immediately, or it can continue cooking, covered, for another hour.
  8. Serve up with your favorite toppings & enjoy!
Recipes

Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’ll start off by saying, I am not a baker. I can follow a baking recipe and 8/10 times it will be successful. I can also manage any boxed or pre packaged baking mix pretty successfully. However, when it comes to developing baking recipes, I have always been terrified. The science behind baking has always been very confusing to me. Rather than shy away from a challenge, I decided to face it head on. Lots of researching & failed batches of cookies later, I have my very first cookie recipe!

There are a lot of things in this world that scare us. But growth comes from being in uncomfortable situations. You’ll never know if you’re good at something if you never attempt it! Now that I’m done being a motivational speaker, lets get to the cookies!

There are two key components to the success of these cookies:

  1. Don’t over mix the cookie dough. Once it has just come together, it’s good to go.
  2. Give these cookies time to chill in the fridge. Allowing them to chill helps them retain their shape so they don’t spread too much when baking. This is a technique you can use for most cookie recipes!

Now that we have the important stuff covered, lets get baking.

Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 32 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup browned butter, chilled to room temperature*
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups espresso chocolate chunks**

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, (or using a hand mixer) combine butter, brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed until fully combined.
  2. Next, add the eggs one at a time making sure to mix on low until fully combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and coffee granules, then mix to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing on low speed until just combined. Make sure to not overmix the dough because this will result in your cookies spreading too much when baking.
  6. Once the dough has come together, add the chocolate chunks and mix using a spatula until just combined.
  7. Using a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop (a tablespoon measure works just as well!) scoop the cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet or plate then place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, but up to overnight. 
  8. Once the cookies have chilled, transfer them to a baking sheet if they’re not already on one & bake in a 350 degree oven for 12-13 minutes. 
  9. Let the cookies rest for 15 minutes on a cooling rack, then enjoy! 

Notes:

*To make brown butter, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat until melted. Once the butter has melted swirl the pan over the heat until the butter turns a nutty brown color & begins to smell toasted. Remove from heat and set in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until it returns to a room temperature state again.

**If you can’t find espresso chocolate chunks (I found tollhouse espresso chocolate chunks at target), use regular chocolate chunks & add an extra teaspoon of coffee granules. 

Want more cookies?

Come join in on the fun that is #VirtualCookieParty2019! Today bloggers all around the globe are sharing their favorite cookie recipes on their blogs & on Instagram! Cosette Posko ( https://cosetteskitchen.com ) is the one to thank for setting up this year’s Virtual Cookie Party so make sure to head to her blog to check out the recipe she’s sharing! So many amazing people are taking part in this exciting event so you’re in for a real treat this holiday season! You can see all the delicious recipes by checking out the hashtag #VirtualCookieParty2019 on instagram. Below is a short list of some of my favorite recipes from this year!

Recipes

Hearty Mushroom Stuffing

Thanksgiving can be a really difficult time for people who don’t eat meat. Most thanksgiving dishes appear to be vegetarian but in fact are not. Stuffing is a great example of that. Most stuffing recipes call for sausage or bacon, and almost every stuffing recipe calls for chicken broth. This Hearty Mushroom Stuffing replaces sausage with mushrooms and calls for vegetable broth instead of chicken. Stuffing is arguably the most delicious dish on the Thanksgiving table so I wanted to create a recipe that allows diners of every diet to enjoy! A vegan alternative to this recipe is coming soon as well! This stuffing is savory, filling, and even meaty! This is the perfect dish to bring to thanksgiving whether you’re dining with vegetarians or meat eaters!

There are a few key components to making a great stuffing. The first is the bread. You want to use a really delicious bread because this makes up a good portion of the dish. I like using French bread or ciabatta! The bread also needs to be fairly dried out so it absorbs the liquid. without getting mushy. Lastly, you need a very large bowl to mix all the stuffing ingredients well. Once you have all of these covered, you’re ready to make stuffing.

Hearty Mushroom Stuffing

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1lb French bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1lb Crimini mushrooms
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 6-8 celery stalks, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
  • 2-2 ½c vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9X13 baking dish.
  2. Begin by drying out the bread. This can either be done by leaving the bread cubes uncovered overnight or they can be toasted in a 350-degree oven for a few minutes until they have dried out. Once the bread cubes have been dried out, set them aside in a large bowl.
  3. Clean the mushrooms by wiping the caps down with a wet paper towel or dish rag until all the dirt is removed. Remove the stems and roughly chop the mushrooms.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, dry (no fat in the pan) until they have released all of their moisture, about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to stir every few minutes so nothing sticks to the pan.
  5. Remove the mushrooms once they have completely released all of their moisture and set aside in the bowl with the bread cubes.
  6. Return the pan to medium heat and melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the veggies on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and slightly browned. 
  7. Once the veggies have become soft, raise the heat to high and add the wine. It will sizzle and start to bubble. Use your spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan, removing and browned bits that have formed. 
  8. Let the wine reduce slightly for 2 minutes then add the herbs. Stir to combine then set aside in the pan to cool slightly.
  9. In a medium sized bowl or measuring cup, scramble the eggs and add 1 ½ cups of broth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  10. Add the veggies to the bowl with bread and mushroom and stir to combine. 
  11. Slowly add the egg broth mixture to the bowl of bread and veggies, stirring gently to make sure everything is incorporating evenly. Keep adding the egg broth mixture until the bread has completely absorbed it. The amount of liquid you will need will depend on how dry your bread is and how much liquid it is absorbing. You want the bread to be completely moist to the touch without too much excess liquid in the bowl. Once all the egg mixture has been added, you can continue adding broth until the bread has reached the proper consistency. It will be anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup of extra broth. I only used an extra ½ cup of broth once the egg mixture was added.
  12. Pour the whole bread and veggie mixture into your prepared baking dish, cover it with foil and bake it in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  13. After the first 30-35 minutes, raise the heat to 425 degrees and remove the foil. Bake the stuffing for another 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy and browned. 
  14. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy! 
Recipes

Lamb Dogs with Tomato Cucumber Slaw

I’m hitting you guys with one last grilling recipe before Fall officially hits! Living in California, the transition from Fall to Summer is always an interesting one because it’s usually still hot & sunny well into October. Since the rest of the world has actual seasons, I promise Fall recipes are on their way! But in the meantime, let’s grill up some Lamb Dogs while we still can!

This recipe can be altered to use beef or regular store bought hotdogs if lamb isn’t something you enjoy or are able to get your hands on. Whatever meat you decide to use, its about a pound for 4 dogs. The hardest part about this recipe is forming the dogs, so once that part is done this dish comes together very quickly!

These dogs are a really nice balance between savory, hot, meat (LOL) & a cool, crunchy slaw topping. To prep the slaw, small dice the cucumber & tomatoes (seeds removed). Top with olive oil, Vinegar, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & leave in the fridge until serving time! The longer the slaw sits, the more the flavors will develop so definitely prep the slaw before anything else!

Next, prep the dogs. If you can find lamb sausages that would be a fantastic substitute but I couldn’t find any at my local grocery stores so I used ground lamb & formed my own. Divide the ground lamb into 4 equal portions & form into long round sausage shapes. They will shrink on the grill so make sure to form them a little larger than you want the finished dogs to be. Season generously with salt & pepper & let them sit at room temperature while the grill heats up.

Preheat your grill to medium high heat with one side of the grill set to a lower heat. These can also be cooked in a skillet indoors if you don’t have access to a grill or grilling weather. When the grill is ready, spray it with nonstick spray & lay down the dogs on the hotter side. Cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes, until a nice crust forms on the surface. Once the dogs are seared on both sides, transfer to the cooler side & cook with the grill closed until they reach an internal temp of 160 degrees. About 10 more minutes.

Once the dogs are cooked through, remove them from the grill & set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes while you prep the buns. Grill the buns for a few minutes until they are nice & toasted. Spread each bun with 1 tablespoon of red pepper spread & top with a dog.

Next, pile on the tomato & cucumber slaw & finish with feta cheese. Voila! Dogs are ready!

Lamb Dogs with Tomato Cucumber Slaw

Makes: 4 dogs

Ingredients:

  • Half a large hot house cucumber, small diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, deseeded & small diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1lb ground lamb
  • 4 bakery style hot dog buns (I used brioche buns found at Whole Foods)
  • 1/4 cup red pepper spread
  • 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Recipes

Greek Burgers

Summer is in full swing which means I’m outside grilling as many meals as possible! Burgers are a super easy lunch or dinner to throw together while everyone’s hanging out by the pool, drinking & working on their tans! Us millennials don’t always want to spend all day in the kitchen but we want good food & we want it fast! I know when my friends are over & we’re hanging by the pool, I don’t like being in the kitchen for too long trying to whip up a yummy lunch or dinner. That’s why I rely on pre-formed burger patties. They’re super simple to just throw on the grill when you’re hungry & they can be found at just about any grocery store, in just about any quantity!

Starting with a good quality patty & soft burger bun, the possibilities are endless. Your friends & family can customize their burgers with whatever toppings they like & everyone’s happy! Sounds like a recipe for a great afternoon if you ask me!

I bought my ingredients for these burgers from Trader Joes but everything in this recipe can be found at any local grocery store. This recipe is also a great starting point & can be altered to fit your needs & desired flavor profile!

These burgers have just three simple toppings & one delicious spread, all of which can be prepped ahead of time & kept in the fridge so when the hunger hits, you & your guests can be eating in no time!

You are more than welcome to roast your own red peppers, they’re delicious when made at home, but in my opinion they are just as delicious when pulled out of a jar. Summertime meals are all about convienience in my house (especially on pool days) so I used jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe. To prep the peppers, drain them of excess liquid & slice into thin ribbons. Next are the cucumbers, which are sliced very thinly on a mandolin but can easily be done using a sharp knife. Lastly the cheese, which is clearly the most important ingredient on any burger. This recipe calls for feta which is a very dry, salty cheese that’s generally sold in a big block & for this recipe, I just crumbled it. If you’re not a feta fan, goat cheese or even Monterey Jack cheese would be delicious.

To grill the burgers, preheat your grill to medium high heat & spray with cooking spray to ensure nothing sticks. You want your grill to be hot enough to create a good sear on the burger, but not too hot that it chars the burger completely before cooking it through. Before the burgers go on the grill, season with salt & pepper on both sides. Everyone likes their burgers cooked to different doneness so this part will depend on whether you like your burgers on the rare side or the more well done side. I prefer my burgers to be medium (a little pink in the middle) so I cooked them for about 4-5 minutes on each side. This part will also depend on the thickness of your burger, but if you’re unsure, an instant read thermometer is a great tool!

When the burgers have just a few minutes left, it’s a great time to throw the buns on the grill to toast so everything finishes around the same time.

Assembly time! Once the buns are off the grill, spread on your red pepper spread (or other spread). Top with the burger patty & immediately top with cheese so it begins to soften from the heat of the patty. Next, dress up your burger with red peppers & cucumbers. Top with the other bun & voila! Burgers are ready! Can you believe how easy this was?? Perfect summer dish if you ask me!

Greek Burgers

Makes: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 4 pre-formed hamburger patties
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil or cooking spray, for the grill
  • 4 bakery style hamburger buns
  • 1/2 cup red pepper spread (or red pepper hummus)
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced thin
  • half a large cucumber, sliced thin
  • 6oz feta cheese, crumbled

Recipes · Uncategorized

Classic Blue Cheese Dressing

Makes: about 1 1/2- 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 6oz blue cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients, reserving 2oz of the blue cheese, using a whisk.
  2. Add remaining blue cheese & gently mix into dressing.
  3. Store dressing in a container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

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Recipes

Falafel Pitas

One of my absolute favorite things to eat is a falafel pita. Crunchy balls of crispy falafel, topped with cool, crisp veggies, all dressed up with fresh & creamy tzatziki. There are a lot of really great places to get one, but I love trying to make my favorite foods at home. I’ve bought the frozen falafel from Trader Joe’s before & I love them, but I wanted to try making them from scratch! There are two types of falafel, the traditional style which are fried, or a healthier option, which are baked.

Initially I wanted to fry my falafel because nothing beats that crunch you get when frying them. At first, I made my falafel into patty shapes to shallow fry them because I am not a fan of deep frying, it’s just way to much of a mess.  but after the first attempt, I realized this was not going to work. Maybe I had the oil at the wrong temp, or didn’t cook them long enough. Either way, they did not come out as planned!

That’s the fun part of cooking at home, you get to try new things & adapt to what works best for you & yields the best result. So I quickly realized frying the falafel was not working & decided to bake them instead. Spoiler alert, they were still delicious!

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The first step to delicious homemade falafel? Make tzatziki from scratch. It’s really easy to throw together using very common ingredients (many of which you probably already have) & really elevates this dish. Tzatziki is a yogurt based sauce that goes great with falafel, chicken, gyros & basically anything else. You won’t have any trouble getting through the leftovers & it keeps great in the fridge. Start by scooping the yogurt into a bowl. Then add in the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & let it rest in the fridge. The longer it sets, the more delicious it will be! I let mine sit for the amount of time it took to get dinner on the table & it was great. If you have the time to assemble it earlier in the day, by all means, go for it!

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Falafel time! This mix comes together insanely easily using a food processor. Start by combining the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro & mint. Pulse until it begins to come together.

IMG_4134

Next comes the flavor! To the chickpeas, add paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic & baking soda. Mix on high until all ingredients are combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.

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Spoon mixture into a bowl & let it rest for 20-30 minutes before forming. While the mix is resting, prepare the rest of the ingredients for your pitas. I like to top mine with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion & cucumber. I chopped up all my veggies & set them aside so they’re ready to use when the falafel come out of the oven.

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To bake the falafel, form them into small balls & place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bruch the tops with olive oil & bake the falafel in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until the outside becomes crisp & the inside is still tender.

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When the falafel come out of the oven let them rest for a few minutes while you heat your pitas & gather your toppings.

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Dress up your pitas to your liking & boom! Not too difficult right?

Falafel Pitas

Prep time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 85 minutes
Servings: 20-23 falafel (depending on the size)

Ingredients: 

Tzatziki-

  • 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 cup grated cucumber, drained of all liquid
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Falafel-

  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • oil, for brushing onto falafel

For serving-

  • pita bread
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • pickles
  • red onion
  • cucumber

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by scooping the yogurt into a bowl. Then add in the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir to combine & let it rest in the fridge.
  3. In a food processor, start by combining the chickpeas, parsley, cilantro & mint. Pulse until it begins to come together.
  4. To the chickpeas, add paprika, coriander, cumin, garlic & baking soda. Mix on high until all ingredients are combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon mixture into a bowl & let it rest for 20-30 minutes before forming. While the mix is resting, prepare the rest of the ingredients for your pitas.
  6. To bake the falafel, form them into small balls & place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bruch the tops with olive oil & bake the falafel for about 30 minutes, until the outside becomes crisp & the inside is still tender.
  7. When the falafel come out of the oven let them rest for a few minutes while you heat your pitas & gather your toppings.
  8. Dress up your pitas to your liking & boom!