Tag Archives: Middle Eastern Cuisine

Spaghetti with Fa(LOVE)el

Falafel is a wonderful word. At least when pronounced as a North American. If you say it a certain way it sounds like the word “love” is in it. And I certainly love falafel.

I decided to make pasta with falafel. Yummy!

Spaghetti with tomato sauce and falafel

There isn’t much for something special going on in this dish but I have really missed making food for myself so I had to make a simple little pasta. Plus I need to get to know the electric stove top. Going from a gas stove to an electric one with the snap of ones fingers is a hard adjustment!

It took far too long to get my water boiling actually! And how does one thoroughly clean their electric stovetop? I looked it up but I don’t know what a stove cleaner is! I guess I should thoroughly look at the cleaning aisle at the grocery store…

So this was honestly just your basic pasta and tomato sauce. Though I much prefer homemade sauce than the store bought stuff so here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (114 g) spaghetti
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (398ml) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 falafel balls, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot cook spaghetti as directed on box. Once spaghetti is near al dente, prepare sauce.

  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil to sauté garlic and onion until fragrant.

  3. Add can crushed tomatoes to the garlic and mix well. Add herbs and salt to tomato mixture.

  4. Once bubbling, allow to simmer for two minutes or until at desired consistency.

  5. Add halved falafel and cook until warm. Beware that falafel soften to a mush-like consistency if over cooked in sauce.

  6. Plate up and top with pepper.

  7. Enjoy

Like I said, my sauce is very basic. But it is fabulous. I quite enjoyed it. It has been a good while since I’ve had falafel. Now I just need to successfully make it from scratch. I tried once and thought it looked too dry and added water. Big big mistake. Never again.

So yeah, that was my dinner for the evening.

IMG_0438

Sorry it wasn’t all that impressive.

But I can tell you that I like to snap my spaghetti in half when I make a pasta. Less splatter when turning the noodles on the fork and smaller bites! It is perfect!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the generic recipe and if you make it enjoy the meal!

Happy Meatless Monday all!

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My Lebanese Craving Satisfied!

I love international cuisine. I really do. And lately all I’ve been doing is craving Lebanese cuisine. But not just the normal stuff you would find in a restaurant, no. What I have been craving is the vast amounts of food my sisters mother-in-law makes. My sister married a Lebanese man, so if we ever visit his mom, we get to enjoy true authentic Lebanese food. And enough to last just about a week if you eat in moderation.

Although I do not have the right touch to make all the food that she tends to make, and nor do I have enough bowls to house all these dishes, I just made enough for mom and I.

Yes, my mom has come from South Africa to visit! She is staying by my place for about ten days before she flies off to Canada to see my sister and then probably to enjoy real Lebanese cuisine! – Lucky her!

I ended up making a simple dish of Falafels in a Pita with Tabbouleh and a Tahini Sauce drizzled over top.

Falafel Pitas with Tabbouleh

See, not that much. But it was very delicious!

 Now, you can always make the falafels from scratch, but I am a lazy person and just bought them from the “vegetarian section” of my grocery store. I got the recipe from here, but of course tweaked it some.

Ingredients:

  • Tabbouleh
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • ¼ English cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
  • ½ cup finely chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Tahini Sauce
  • ¾  cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup tahini paste
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed/chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan,  add quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil then allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes (or until water is absorbed in quinoa)

  2. Allow to cool and begin mixing chopped herbs with tomatoes and pepper in a bowl. Mix with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

  3. Add somewhat cooled quinoa to the herb mixture and set aside. 

  4. In a bowl (or food processor) mix tahini, greek yoghurt, and lemon juice together. Chop cilantro and garlic and add to yoghurt mixture and allow flavours to blend with liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste and place bowl in fridge until ready to use.

  5. Pop pitas in toaster and fry falafels in frying pan until cooked and begin to form pitas when ready. 

  6. Then enjoy!

Falafel Pitas with TabboulehMom and I quite enjoyed our meal! Sure it wasn’t what my brother-in-laws mom would make, but it is pretty good for my amateur cooking skills!

With mom being here, we have gone shopping as a group (with my sister as well), we have already gone out for dinner with a friend of the family, and we have taken a nice stroll in a park in the city.

While in the park we even found a neat part with huts and tepees! So of course mom had to take photos of me “living” in these such houses.

Het HuttenbosHet HuttenbosTypes of Birds in the HaagsebosYesterday was truly a lovely day to enjoy good weather and better company.

If you all make this, I hope you truly enjoy it!

 As they say in Lebanon:  Bil hana
Or in English, enjoy your meal!