“Wanna Be”- A Baked Falafel Quesadilla

My mother was kind enough to take the kids and I to the Faerie Festival last weekend. A what? Exactly. I never knew they existed, but I’m really glad we went. Besides being extremely eco-friendly (which I love) they also had Falafel. Again, chickpeas and I have a secret affair. I love to eat them, and in any form. I haven’t had falafel since I worked a corporate job a few years ago. My mom even bought one for herself and loved it. Must be something to these chicks!

But tonight was different.  Although I love myself a nice fried falafel wrapped in pita bread with greens, tomatoes and lemon tahini, tonight wasn’t about me. Nope. I was home with two kids and a working hubby. So I compromised. A kid-friendly falafel meal! Seriously, who doesn’t like cheese and tortilla? Score one for mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz garbanzo beans
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 2Tbs parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • Cheddar/Colby cheese
  • Tortillas
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Sour Cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until all is mixed well.

3. Grease baking sheet or stoneware.

4. Scoop the bean mixture into your hands and form into eight patties.

5. Place on greased stoneware (or baking sheet) and bush olive oil over each one.

6. Bake for 20 minutes.

7. After the patties are finished cooking, preheat a skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking oil.

8. Place a tortilla in the pan for 1 minute. Turn over.

9. Place a patty on the middle of the tortilla and cover in cheese.

10. Let melt for 30 seconds.

11. Add another tortilla on top and flip. (No folks, it’s not from outter space!)

12. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.

13. Cut up and serve with salsa and/or sour cream.

Black Bean Burger

One of my first recipes years ago was the infamous black bean burger. I mean you can’t really go wrong with a burger right? Add all the topics you like – the possibilities are unlimited! Now I have to admit, my first bean burger was nothing to brag about. In fact, my family distinctively remembers the grossness well. (ugh…. ) Good news, ten years later and lots of practice under my belt, I have created a firm black bean burger that tastes FABULOUS. I really don’t like to brag, but I know when my husband eats two and my toddler wants the whole burger, it’s a winner. I felt like a champion – in a very small but rewarding way. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 spring onions: chopped (green and white parts)
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tbs. coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • Cheddar Cheese (optional)
  • Hamburger buns

Recipe as follows:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

(always a good tip is to cut everything and place in dishes that way, its ready when you need it. I used to cut some things and keep going but when you prep first it takes out a lot of the hassle)

2. Place half of beans in food processor and pulse 3-4 times.

3. Add the rest of the beans plus the rest of the ingredients.

4.Puree until thickness you desire.

5. Divide mixture into six portions and round out as burgers.

6. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Pull out and add cheese if desired. If not, continue cooking for two more minutes.

7. Place in hamburger bun and add any topics you desire!

The burger says, “EAT ME…YUM!”

Loco Guaca Grilled Cheese Sandwich

One of my favorite comfort foods of all time, is a delicious sweet yet spicy, guacamole grilled cheese sandwich. By far, one of my favorites. If I need a guilty pleasure, this is where I go. My love for guacamole started on a trip to Camarillo, California where I went to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins for the week – and believe me, I fell hard for it. I can recall watching the workers at a restaurant make it fresh from scratch and bring it to our table. I wanted to gobble the whole bowl of it and place every inch on top of my nachos, but that wouldn’t be very nice of me, so I had to hold myself back. Now, I place guacamole on my chips, pita bread (baked in the oven makes very nice crunchy/healthIER chips) and of course, a grilled cheese sandwich. If you don’t mind, let me tell you how I make my perfecto loco guaca grilled cheese sandwich.

Guacamole Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1/2 small onion, minced (prefer sweet or red onion)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, minced

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped

1 fresh squeeze of lemon

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

A dash of freshly grated black pepper

1 Roma tomato, chopped

Grilled Cheese:

4 pieces of crusty white bread

2 Slices Colby-Jack Cheese

Let’s get our guac on!

Recipe:

1. First gather ingredients to make guacamole.

2. Cut avocados in half, open the two sides. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a large bowl. Note: (Professionals use a knife, a spoon works just as fine as well. Look for an avocado that is not too mushy but is soft and has a “bounce” back touch.)

3. Using a fork, mash the avocado.

4. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir well. Top with tomato and stir.

5. Next onto the grilled cheese – yummers!

6. Head a pan or grill to medium-medium high heat.

7. Butter two slices of bread. When I say butter, I mean full out, add those calories butter!

8. Turn butter side facing down. Add generous amount of guacamole to the top of both slices.

7. Add cheese on top of guacamole.  Close sandwich with butter sides on the outside.

8. Place in pan and let the goodness melt!

9. Melt cheese for two minutes then flip to other side. Cut and enjoy this fabulous ewieness!!

Side Notes, cause I always have lots to say!

1. Choose a good white bread. I used an Artisan loaf from the grocery bakery section.

2. Don’t use too fresh of bread – you want a nice crust so I recommend waiting a day after purchase.

3. You can absolutely use a lime instead of a lemon! I used a lemon because I forgot to purchase a lime, but hey, it’s all good.

4. Store left over guacamole in an air tight. Place syran wrap over guacamole and try to get as many air bubbles out as possible closing off the sides. Place lid on container. Store for up to three days – when it starts to turn brown, I toss.

5. I always have a good medium high heat going to get that beautiful color to the sandwich, then flip for two more minutes. I turn the heat to a lower setting to make sure the cheese is all the way melted through.

This is a great filling, easy dish. Hope you love this loco guaco as much as I do!