I have always been a fan of trying new foods from different cultures and parts of the world, even when I was a child I was not too afraid to dabble in traditional Chinese food, all kinds of Mexican food (I do live in Southern California!), Japanese, Italian and of course Polish food that was fed to me by my grandparents. My palate didn’t really diversify until I was in college and a little after I graduated; I tried Indian food for the first time and immediately fell in love.
But, there was Mediterranean dishes that I had become enamored with, and as a whole, this food appeals to me even more now that I am vegan. With refreshing dishes like tabouleh and cucumber salads, bold use of garlic and onion, many vegetarian options, and of course, hummus, how can you go wrong?
This brings me to the first time that I tried falafel. With its crunchy, albeit fried, exterior; the warm middle, seasoned with cumin and parsley is comforting but not too heavy. Don’t get me started on the tzatziki sauce; even though the first one that I tried was from Daphne’s (a chain restaurant) I could not stop eating it. Ever since I went vegan I’ve been dreaming of recreating my own tzatziki sauce to try out, hoping that it would live up to my aged expectations.
For this recipe, I changed things up a little. I had made baked falafel before, using a recipe from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Moskowitz, so I knew some of the ingredients that would be essential to making these; otherwise I sort of went with it to see what would happen. Because these are baked, and not fried, they are lower in fat but aren’t extra crispy on the outside. Also, I pulsed my falafel mixture a little too much in the processor so it was of a smoother consistency than I desired; make sure not to do that!
I’m getting back into the swing of making more meals at home since Expo West seriously messed that habit up. I have quite a few samples still left over and have been trying to use/eat them up. I can definitely tell the difference in how I feel when I’m eating more pre-made, packaged food than when I have my fridge stocked with fresh produce and am cooking more frequently at home.
So, this morning, instead of eating a bowl of granola with some unsweetened coconut milk I decided to make a savory breakfast that I could put a little effort into and that was super filling. Originally, I was going to use the humongous leaves of Swiss chard that I have to wrap the tofu scramble mixture; but, they were just too coarse and bitter to eat raw because of how long they had grown. The problem was solved by chopping up the chard, throwing it in the scramble and wrapping everything up with a toasted tortilla. If you want to cut out a majority of the carbs, just eat the scramble by itself without making it a burrito.
Today is the official start of the 3-day trade show segment of Natural Products Expo West, and after the warm up yesterday, I am crazy anxious to get the ball rolling! I can’t wait to share a lot of the new, vegan products out there that are being offered by brands you know and love, and then some. I’m not even sure that I’ll be able to get everything organized right after Sunday is over; but sometime next week there will be a barrage of pictures and anecdotes flooding the homepage of Vegan Yack Attack! But, until the expo is over, I have another fantastic recipe for you.
As I was anticipating the arrival of my dear friend Amanda (whom I frequently cook for) on Sunday afternoon, I was thinking of different recipes to make and somehow a flatbread came to mind. I knew that I wanted to incorporate some greenery into the recipe, so I picked up some baby arugula and got to working out the details.
One of the great things about having a witness to your cooking, is that you can allow them to put you in front of the camera. Although, I can still decide what shows up on here, obviously. So, I put together this recipe by using some others that I’ve made in the past, such as a variation of a delicious cashew spread and the crust which I made with more whole wheat flour in it.
This week I’ve been feeling so inspired when it comes to food and new recipes. I’ve been writing tons of lists of new ideas and pairings and really trying to come up with new things; well, at least new to me. I think it may have something to do with all of the awesome things that are happening this week. First off, Expo West (Natural Products Expo) in Anaheim is this weekend and I’ll be attending as press! This is huge for me, so I’m extremely excited to meet with different food companies and fellow bloggers. Second, Jill from Vegan Cuts with be coming down for the convention and we will be spending some time together the couple of days before it starts and doing awesome vegan things. Lastly, I received my new order of business cards today (for the Expo) and I should be receiving a copy of Vegan Junk Food: 225 Sinful Snacks that are Good for the Soul by Lane Gold in the mail this week!
Needless to say, this week(end) is going to be busy and I am incredibly excited for it all. Now, onto the edible stuff. I’ve been sneaking greens into meals in ways that I wouldn’t normally do. Green smoothies? Typical, but I still enjoy them. This dessert on the other hand, combines avocados, limes, coconut and.. kale? Yup, kale. It gives this sweet lil’ pie flecks of vibrant green, but adds nearly nothing to the taste. I told you it was sneaky, right?
I’ve said it before, but raw desserts are some of my favorite things to make. They’re usually really easy to conjure up and execute, and they’re soy-free, gluten-free and processed sugar-free. This one is special because not only is it all that, it is nut-free to boot (unless you’re counting the coconut ;))! One bite of this creamy, cool pie and you’ll be more than glad that you cut into this cute dessert. With vibrant notes of lime from the fresh juice and zest, mellower flavors from the coconut and avocado and a slightly vanilla crust, you may find yourself indulging in another one.