Quick Falafels with Tzatziki

Though this is quick and easy, it requires pre planning so that the chickpeas can be soaked overnight, and then air dried for two hours.


  • 2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked overnight
  • 1 small yellow onion, chunked
  • 1 bunch flat-leafed parsley, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch cilantro, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 piece bread
  • big pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • juice of one lemon
  1. Drain the chickpeas and let air dry for 2 hours or more.
  2. In food processor on low speed, whirl the ingredients until a thick paste forms. No lumps or chunks, or your balls/patties will fall apart!
  3. Form into patties and let rest while Tzatziki is made.
  4. Fry patties in canola oil on medium high heat for 3 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
  5. Serve with the tzatziki in whole wheat pita bread. Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, if desired.

Pulse in food processor, just until blended:

  • 1 cucumber, seeded and chunked
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ bunch mint (or less, to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of one lemon

* for authentic — and delicious  — falafel, see Yemeni Falafel

Leave a comment

Filed under Protein, Sauce, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Cheeseburger Pasta Toss

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and minced
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (plus more for sprinkling on top)
  • 4 cups dried fusillii noodles
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat, stirring occasionally to break up clumps, until brown all over. Drain excess fat.
  2. Increase heat, and add onions, green pepper, and garlic (add other vegetables, if using). Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and their juice, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, uncovered, while you bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  4. When water boils, add noodles, and cook till al dente, according to package directions.   Drain, reserving a bit of pasta water to loosen the noodles, if necessary.
  5. In the large pot, combine the noodles with the ground beef mixture. The ground beef mixture should be fairly dry, not soupy.
  6. Stir in the cheese until melted.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with more cheese.
  8. If desired, pour the mixture into a casserole dish, top with more cheese, and bake or broil till cheese is browned.

Note: Add any other vegetables you wish to — corn niblets cut off of the cob, a handful of broccoli or cabbage slaw, shredded carrot.  Anything goes!

Leave a comment

Filed under comfort food, dinner, Protein

Vegetarian Chili à la Podleski

This recipe was created by the wonderful Janet and Greta Podleski, of “Looney Spoons” fame.  We’ve never made one of their recipes and not liked it!  Their books are full of nutrition information and useful trivia.

I chop everything into the size that makes it palatable for everyone, and sometimes add some eggplant along with the mushrooms and zucchini.  For those who prefer meat, they can just fry up some ground beef and put it into a smaller pot with some of the vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili: sautéing the vegetables.

Vegetarian Chili: sautéing the vegetables.

Vegetarian Chili: sautéing the vegetables with the herbs

Vegetarian Chili: sautéing the vegetables. with the herbs.

The completed chili (with a steamed up camera!).

The completed chili (with a steamed up camera!).

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup  chopped green  bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 can (12 oz) no salt whole-kernal corn UNDRAINED (I usually use frozen corn, and add a bit of water)
  • 1 can (19oz) no salt chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (19 oz) no salt black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced, no salt tomatoes UNDRAINED
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup unpeeled, diced zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onions, red and green peppers, celery, carrots, and garlic.  Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Add mushrooms and zucchini.  Cook and stir for 4 more minutes.

Add child powder, cumin, oregano, and basil.  Cook for 1 more minute.

Add undrained tomatoes, the beans and chickpeas, undrained corn, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve with brown rice, or cornbread.

Leave a comment

Filed under dinner, lunch, Main Course, Protein, Vegetables

The Nöel’s Texas BBQ Sauce

This is Jamie’s mom’s recipe; Pat made it and brushed it on chicken while we were there for dinner, and it was absolutely delicious!

  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry mustard (like Keen’s)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Leave a comment

Filed under dinner

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

Leave a comment

Filed under comfort food, Grains

Breakfast Burritos

Elie Krieger’s recipe

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup drained, rinsed canned black beans, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2-ounce) shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas (burrito-size)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 small avocado, cubed
  • Hot sauce

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until onions are softened and peppers are slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Add black beans and red pepper flakes and cook until warmed through, another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a dish.

Whisk the eggs then stir in the cheese. Spray the skillet with cooking spray, and reheat the skillet over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add eggs, scrambling until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and salsa, then layer with black bean mixture, scrambled eggs, diced tomato and avocado. Season, to taste, with hot sauce.

Roll up burrito-style and serve.

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, dinner, lunch

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Adapted from recipe by “vegangela”.

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (from a tube)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (we like Lahlah’s Madras)
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 or three handfuls of sliced or chopped kale or spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, the lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the greens and cook for another minute, if desired.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

Leave a comment

Filed under comfort food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)