Monday, April 2, 2012

Meatless Monday!

We're officially in the homestrech of our Vegetarian Lent! This Sunday is Easter Sunday so it's our last week of being meat free. I feel very comfortable with our new meat free lifestyle. It honestly hasn't been that difficult and I've made so many new dishes that I've absolutely loved! Tomislav on the other hand definitely misses meat and even though he won't be eating it every day like he used to, he'll be indulging every so often. It was a great challenge for us and I think I will (probably) continue with a vegetarian diet. I'm not completely opposed to eating meat, so like if we're at someone's house, I won't make a fuss and will just try to eat as much as I can and if there is meat, then I'll partake but if I can help it, I'll try to stick to no meat.

So this is one of the best meals I've made during Lent. I started to make dinner and kept getting inspired to add more to almost make it like a tapas style meal. This was my delicious Middle Eastern/Mediteranian Spread!

Our Delicious Dinner!

I started out with the idea of making falafel because a co-worker had told me how easy and delicious it was. I remembered that spreading some hummus with the falafel is totally delectable so I decided to whip up some hummus quickly too. In my magic bullet went:

1 Can of Chickpeas (plus about 1/4 of the chickpea water from the can)
1-2 Cloves of crushed and minced raw garlic
1 tsp Sesame oil
1/2 tsp Soy sauce
1/2 Lemon (juiced)
2 (or more) Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You can season it some more if you'd like, but I just mixed this up and you can process it until it's smooth or if you like it chunkier, you can just pulse it a couple of times. It's so quick and easy if you have some kind of a food processer! Yum!

Mmmm homemade hummus and sweet, juicy yellow peppers!

Falafel with hummus, pickles, and a bit of the tomato cucumber salad on top. We ate it on something like a kaiser roll because we didn't have pita bread.

Couscous with apricots and nuts yum!

I heated up 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock to pour over 1 cup of couscous. I covered the couscous with a lid for 5 minutes. Then I added the apricot pieces and nuts in the couscous which I fluffed up with a fork. I left it in for another minute with the lid covered. I seasoned it with salt and pepper,a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice and the secret ingredient which made it our favorite couscous recipe to date - curry powder!. Simple and so so tasty!

I love Euro Pickles

Frying up the Falafel
For the Falafel:
1 Can Chickpeas, drained
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
oil for frying (I used sunflower)
I combined chickpeas, garlic, onion,  salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add flour and combine well. Then, I mashed the chickpeas with the back of a fork and mixed all the ingredients together very well. Take the mixture and form it into small balls and then slightly flattened them. After heating the oil in a pan, I fried them up for about 3 minutes on each side until they stick together well and are slightly browned.

It came out a bit messy but it tasted delicious!

Fresh and tasty cucumber, tomato, and scallion salad!

This salad is so good and refreshing and the dressing is very easy! I just diced up 2 medium sized tomatos, one large cucumber, and 3-4 green onions. For the dressing I combined:
about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
about 1/4 cup of water
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least an hour (up to four hours) - it is so perfectly delicious!

This spread is really easy to make and it's fun to eat a bunch of different little dishes that all go really well together. Try it out! Make it your vegetarian meal of the week ;) 

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