Today, I am so pleased to share with you, Megan from The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado! Megan’s blog posts are super inventive, always colorful and definitely hilarious. She is so relatable in that she is honest, fun and easy to “listen” to, or read in this case. I feel like if we had a chance to hang out, things would get really awesome. Without further ado, here’s her beautiful recipe!
When Jackie asked me if I wanted to do a guest post on her blog, I was most definitely stoked! I mean come on! Who could turn down a super rad lady like Jackie, the girls got talent, charisma and some serious photography skills. Not to mention she’s pretty darn funny to boot, but you all knew that already now didn’t ya 😉 When she asked if I could whip up something healthy for the post, I immediately said “sure! Not a problem!” which was immediately followed by a long “Ahhhhh….hmmmm….nope, I’ve got nothing.” You see, I’m all over the sweets and breakfast department, but when it comes to healthy meals, I have more of a cling to my cookbooks mentality. I’ll either throw together the most random salad you can imagine (what’s this random vegetable in my fridge? Who cares, put it in!), or I’ll pluck a book off my shelf and pick out a tasty sounding recipe. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the most creative in the healthy weekday meal department.
It’s funny, I usually have so many recipe ideas bouncing around my head at any given time, but the second I have to actually pick one, they all pull a Houdini and all that remains is a big puff of smoke in an empty room. I was starting to think my cooking mojo had all but left me, until I was out with Mr. Muggins and he asked the magical words “you wanna get a falafel?”*. Just like that, it came to me, falafel bowl! Which, due to laziness immediately turned into a deconstructed falafel bowl! Who has time to make falafel anyway, amiright?
The first and most important step to making a deconstructed falafel bowl is the deconstructed falafel. I decided to get all fancy on ya and cook some chickpeas from scratch, I know most of you are probably reading this and going, since when is cooking chickpeas fancy? And the answer to that is, since a girl who only ever buys canned chickpeas decided to make them! I can’t believe I never do this, cooked chickpeas obviously take more time, but they’re so easy and way tastier, consider me a convert. If you’re feeling less fancy, you can of course use the canned ones. Once my chickpeas were ready to go, I coated them in all those delicious falafel spices and roasted them in the oven until they were nice and crispy. Oh my, oh my my my, these things were hard to stop snacking on, but try to restrain yourself unless you want a falafel-less bowl.
When it came to the falafel fixins, I did what any logical blogger would do and called on my Facebook friends to find out what their favorite falafel ingredients were. The shared consensus was that lettuce, pickled turnip, tomato, cucumber and hummus were a must. Into the bowl they went, along with a little extra of the pickled turnip because that stuff is straight up tasty in my books. Next up, I decided to go with a somewhat traditional tabbouleh salad. I used this recipe and just decreased the oil and salt, which was pretty yummy but took a long time to make, so to go a quicker route, any of your favorite grains will do. I like the idea of sprucing up a bit of buckwheat, quinoa or couscous with some lemon juice and fresh herbs. Smack dab in the center I put a big dollop of homemade hummus, you can of course use store-bought hummus, but it’s pretty much a necessity for me to have a big tub of hummus in my fridge at all times and homemade is how I roll. I’m pretty sure that if at any given moment there was no hummus in my fridge my head would most likely explode, honest, vegans just can’t exist without hummus, it’s a scientific fact, I read it on the internet.
The only way to top off a falafel bowl is with a whole bunch of tahini and hot sauce. Ok, maybe not a whole bunch of hot sauce, unless you’re into that burning all your taste buds off feeling. I like a little squeeze of the red stuff, just don’t make the same mistake I did and squeeze the bottle, wonder why nothing’s coming out, and squeeze harder. Yeah, not my finest moment and trying to scrape all the hot sauce off my food so that I can make it edible again is not my most favorite pastime. So there you have it, a healthy, easy, delicious bowl of falafel goodness, hmmm, maybe I’m not so bad at this healthy meal thing after all 😉
*we actually ended up getting pizza, couldn’t leave ya all with that cliff hanger 😛
- Falafel Roasted Chickpeas (recipe below)
- Tabbouleh or grain of your choosing
- Lettuce, shredded
- Cucumber, sliced
- Tomatoes, sliced
- Pickled turnip or cabbage
- Tahini sauce (recipe below)
- Hot sauce
- 3 cups chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
- Pinch of cardamom
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 to 5 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced (optional)
- To assemble the bowl, add some of the tabbouleh or grain, then next to the tabbouleh add a handful of shredded lettuce, then the chickpeas, some cucumber and tomato, pickled turnip and a dollop of hummus. Drizzle the whole bowl in tahini sauce and add some hot sauce if desired.
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne and cardamom to the bowl and toss until all the chickpeas have been evenly coated.
- Turn the chickpeas out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out into one even layer.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring once halfway between roasting.
- Allow to cool slightly and toss with the fresh parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic, 3 tablespoons water, olive oil and salt until smooth. Add additional water to get to desired consistency. Mix in parsley.
Megan A.K.A. Maggie Muggins, is the voice, recipe developer, baker and photographer behind the Vegan Cookbook Aficionado. A self-proclaimed cookbook junkie, Megan started her blog as a means to share her trials and tribulations with vegan cooking and show how easy and mouth-wateringly delicious a compassionate lifestyle can be. When she isn’t eating and taking photos of food, Megan spends her time with her husband and rescue kitty Apollo. Read more about Megan’s antics, recipe creations and brunch obsession over at www.cookbookaficionado.com.