Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Indian Platter

I love tabouleh. Loads of fresh parsley and loads of lemony bliss. Here it is next to some falafel, chutney, and tahini sauce (recipes below). Normally one doesn't think of parsley as a main ingredient; but really, one should! Parsley, like greens in general, is quite healthy: anti-oxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A... So, without further ado, here's my go-to tabouleh recipe!:

Keep-it-simple Parsley-loaded Tabouleh - serves 2-3

2 bunches curly-leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c cooked bulgur wheat
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together your ingredients and serve; or, put in the fridge an hour or two ahead of time for maximum flavor!


When making falafel, I usually follow the recipe found here. For the egg I substitute Ener-g Egg, a great all-purpose egg replacer. Also, instead of frying the falafel, I bake it at 400 F for 25-30 minutes, spray the patties with olive oil, and flip them halfway through. Mm...delicious, guilt-free baked falafel... and, what really makes this a great part of a meal is some tahini sauce! Check out this recipe:

Cheater Dill-Tahini Sauce - makes about 1/2 cup

I call this "cheater" because, instead of using fresh dill and cucumber as many tahini recipes call for, I mince some dill pickles as a convenient substitute. The end result is a truly "finger-lickin' good" sauce, worthy of the most-worthy falafel.

1/4 c tahini
juice from 1/2 lemon
two cloves garlic, grated or minced 
1 tsp dried parsley (or, add some chopped fresh parsley...)
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c dill pickles (I use the sandwich chip kind), minced
1/8-1/4 c water
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the tahini with the lemon juice. Add in the garlic, olive oil, and parsley, and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the pickles and mix, then add the water a tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches your desirable consistency (I like mine dippable but not very thin). Add salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

Easy Pita Chips - serves 2-3

And, lastly, here are some crunchy, salt and peppery pita chips to finish off the platter! The recipe for the chutney can be found in one of my earlier posts, although a word of caution: you may want to cut the spices to about 2/3 of the amount called for, as the chutney ended up being fairly pungent. Or, make extra tahini sauce and dip these suckers in that!

2 whole-wheat pitas
olive oil spray 
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Now, first you'll need to separate the two sides of your pita bread rounds: with a small knife, cut through the rim of the pita, then pull the two sides apart. You'll end up with 4 rounds, 1/2 the thickness of the original rounds - better for crisping! 

Next, cut the rounds into quarters, and place on a greased baking sheet (or two). You don't want the edges of the pieces touching. Now spray the pieces with olive oil (or, if you don't have spray, brush some olive oil on each piece), sprinkle evenly with the cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges begin to look crispy and the tops reveal spots of golden-brown. 

Alternatively, if you have a toaster oven, you can toast them in there too!

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