(Note: if you are here for the big announcement, skip to the last part of this post!)
As I mentioned in this post, I made these falafels a few weeks ago which quickly turned into one hell of a delicious salad! I’m a shameless falafel addict, I mean; it’s a great for vegans that’s easily accessible at pretty much every shawarma joint. They are very nutritious and filling which are both keys components for on-the-go lunches or even road trips. The only true downside to them in my mind is the fact that they are usually fried in oil. After having read The Starch Solution (which I touched on in my recent sushi post), I have completely eliminated oil from my diet. In truth, I barely ate any to start with; the only oil I would have would be in the rare bottled salad dressing (which I only ate at restaurants or when I visited my family members or friends), and of course, restaurant food which tends to contain oil.
Oil has zero nutritional value, it’s extremely calorie dense and simply does not make me feel good. Just to put it into perspective, if you look at the back of an oil bottle, you’ll see that for 1 tbs of oil (olive oil in this case), you’ll add:
– 119 calories to your daily intake (you can eat a whole sweet potato for less calories than that);
– you’ll also consume a whopping 21% of your recommended daily fat intake (which is already too high);
– 0% of your daily Carbohydrate;
– 0% of your daily Protein;
– 0% of your daily Vitamin A;
– 0% of your daily Vitamin B-12;
– 0% of your daily Vitamin C;
– 0% of your daily Vitamin D;
– 0% of your daily Calcium;
– 0% of your daily Iron; and
– 0% of your daily Magnesium… I think you get the picture.
Basically oil is full of things you don’t need (fat, crazy amounts of calories for the volume of food you receive for it) and has nothing you do need (like nutrients and vitamins). When I eat an oily meal, I will always feel it shortly after; I will feel tired, heavy and sloppy; which never happens on my day to day eating lifestyle.
So anyway, back to the falafels. I decided to come up with a baked falafel recipe which completely eliminates the oil from the dish to make it truly guilt free and nutritious. One key thing about baking falafels is using a non-stick surface whether it is a silicone mat or parchment paper. This avoids the falafels falling apart when you try flipping them. For toppings, you can really opt for anything you’re in the mood for, you can even have this in a pita instead of in a salad form. I decided to go with cucumber, tomatoes, pickled pepperoncini peppers, black olives, green onions, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a big dollop of my eggplant hummus and finally I quickly whipped up a garlic sesame sauce for the falafels.
Alright, the rest of the information about the recipe will be covered in the instructions below, now on to the big announcement mentioned in the title of this post. I have been working on a side project for quite some time now, and I am happy to be able to release it just in time for the summer. I’ve been looking for ways to spark conversations about veganism with people, without being too forward. A great way to do this is through what people visually see about us (or on us) such as our actions, belongings, etc. For example, people at work who see me add cashew milk in my coffees in the morning almost always ask me about it, then, I can elaborate how much I love it, how it’s lower in calories compared to milk and cream, how it’s healthier for you, and the list goes on. I love how organically conversations come to happen like that, these conversations are started with people who are genuinely curious instead of you initiating a conversation with people who are simply not interested.
One great way to spark these types of conversations in my opinion is by visually advocating a vegan message. Think about it, most people you cross on the street don’t talk to you and you don’t talk to them either. Everyone has a story to tell and opinions to share but you would never know what that story or what those opinions are since it’s visually unknown. The idea I came up with is to create some vegan apparel and various accessories which will advertise your lifestyle, all the while being fashionable, to facilitate these types of conversations as well as simply spreading the vegan message. These unique items will vary from shirts, sweaters, tanks, totes, iPhone cases, posters, mugs, hats, stickers etc. If you feel like checking out what we are currently offering, click here or in the “shop” section of my menu. If you choose to purchase something; please use the discount code “HEREWEGO” to receive 10% off your first purchase in celebration of my launch! I will be updating our stock options continuously so make sure to check again soon!
- 2 cans of chickpeas, well rinsed and drained
- 1 large handful of fresh parsley
- 1 large handful of fresh cilantro
- ¼ small yellow onion
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp all spice
- ¼ tsp marjoram
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- Garlic Sesame Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- Water to thin, if needed
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Start by processing all of the falafel ingredients in a food processor until a uniform dough is created, some chunks are fine.
- Create the shape of falafels you want while making sure they are all approximately the same size. Place on a non-stick surface ready to be added to the oven (silicone mat or parchment paper).
- Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Flip the falafels if you can, if they are still sticking, wait a few more minutes.
- While the falafels are baking, please all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Set aside in the fridge until serving.
- Prepare all of your desired salad toppings and top with the falafels, sesame dressing and black peppers once the falafels are cooked.