Crispy Falafel Waffles (Gluten-Free)

Crispy Falafel Waffles
My first time making falafels ended in a near explosion of my kitchen. The smoke alarm went off, there was oil splattered all over my kitchen, paper towels on the floor, and I was a darting around like a mad woman. After that experience, I didn’t bother trying to make them again.

Until I came across the idea of making falafels in a waffle iron on Pinterest.

Falafels are a Middle Eastern food made from chickpeas, parsley, garlic, and various spices. They are then shaped into balls or patties and then deep-fried.

Chickpeas are not only low in fat, but they are full of fibre and protein, which makes these falafel waffles are complete meal. Compared to the traditional method of deep-frying the falafels, which is kinda is an oxymoron — deep-fried healthy food?

But crisp falafels without deep-frying? Yes! My secret to getting the falafels crispy is the addition of potato starch.

Real healthy, non-fried, crispy falafels made into the shape of waffles. These falafel waffles are light, fluffy and crisp with all the flavours of a transitional falafel. Perfect for vegans or vegetarians, or for people who just want to lessen their meat intake.

Pair these nutritious and delicious waffles with a salad and you’ve got lunch or dinner covered. Try them with my Pan-Seared Salmon and Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad. Or make the waffles in a large batch and you can freeze them and reheat in the oven for a quick dinner. You can bet these falafel waffles will be a regular dinnertime staple in my house.

Crispy Falafel Waffles
Crispy Falafel Waffles
Serves 2 large waffles

Ingredients:
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 C cilantro or parsley
1/4 C water (more or less, depending on how moist the mixture is)
2 T ground cumin (we love cumin, but you can reduce the amount to 1 T)
1 T ground coriander
1 tsp salt
juice of 1/2 lime/lemon
2 T coconut oil
1/4 C organic chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T potato starch

Method:
Combine the chickpeas, garlic, onion, cilantro, cumin, coriander, salt, and lemon/lime juice in a food processor. Blitz until a coarse mixture forms. Don’t over process or it will turn into a gooey paste. Better to leave some little chunks.

Transfer mixture into a large glass mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut oil.

Add the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, and potato starch. Mix everything to combine.

Heat waffle iron over medium high heat.

Scoop about 3/4 cup of batter onto the waffle iron and cook for 6-7 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Place onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve with hummus, tzatziki, or a Pan-Seared Salmon and Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad.

Pan-Seared Salmon & Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad

It’s September! Wow, where did the time fly? I had a relaxing time away in Edmonton visiting my in-laws and now I’m back to the grind. Technically it’s still summer, so I’m hanging onto it with a new, light, fresh recipe.

While I was in Edmonton, I indulged in quite a bit of heavy food — notably since we haven’t been back in a few years, so my in-laws pretty much threw us a “homecoming” of sorts. Between the BBQs, meat fests, deep-fried foods (spring rolls and green onion cakes!), and our wedding anniversary, it was a lot of indulgent eating.

Now, it’s time to detox, and get back to my “usual” healthier food. For me, that means eating fish and more plant-based protein. Because when winter rolls around, all I really want to do is eat hearty, comforting, cozy food. Haha!

One of my favourite fish to cook with is wild sockeye salmon. It’s high in omega-3s, vitamin Bs, protein, and selenium. It’s a versatile fish that can hold up to different cooking methods — you can bake, pan-sear, fry, or even BBQ it. All the salmon needs is a little salt and pepper, with a hit of citrus. No fuss, no muss. This is a quick and simple weeknight meal that you can whip up in less than 30 minutes.

I like serving pan-seared salmon with rice for a more substantial meal, or a fresh salad, such as my chickpea tomato and cucumber salad.

Another way to pair this salmon and chickpea salad is with my newfound love of falafel waffles. I hope you try this recipe and let me know what other foods you like eating when you try to eat healthier!

Salmon Chickpea Salad
Pan-Seared Salmon with Chickpea Tomato Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
1/2 pound wild sockeye salmon, scaled, rinsed and patted dry
2 T avocado oil

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch cilantro or parsley, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Cooking the salmon:
Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Pour 2 T oil into the pan. Make sure salmon is dry. Place salmon skin-side down. Cook for about 4 minutes, until skin is crispy. Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes. Set aside.

Preparing salad:
Add chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, lemon juice, cilantro and salt & pepper in a large glass mixing bowl. Stir gently to combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Serve chilled.

Cold Ramen Noodles (Hiyashi Chuka)

Cold Ramen Noodles Hiyashi Chuka
With the summer heat, the last thing I want to do is to be stuck cooking over a hot stove in the kitchen. I try to opt for easy, healthy, and fast meals that require not too much stove or oven action.

Cold ramen noodle bowls are a great summer dinner. They’re light yet filling, and at the same time refreshing too. The best thing is you can customize the toppings to add whatever you like. Add corn, bean sprouts, green onions, leafy greens, bbq pork, or whatever you have in your fridge or freezer. Make it vegan by omitting the eggs and meat, and replace with tofu.

Cold Ramen Noodles Hiyashi Chuka
It’s best to prepare all of the toppings ahead of time and place them into the refrigerator so that they’re chilled. Then when it’s dinner time, it’s just a matter of assembling the bowls. Easy peasy.

My cold ramen noodle version has a citrusy ponzu sauce cuts through the noodles and gives it a nice vibrant punch. The shrimp, turkey, and egg add protein to the bowl, and the cucumber and tomato are cool and refreshing. Add carrots for a little crunch, and you’ve got the perfectly balanced summer bowl.

Cold Ramen Noodles Hiyashi Chuka

Cold Ramen Noodles (Hiyashi Chuka)
Yield: 2 Servings

Ingredients:
1 package ramen noodles
3 eggs, scrambled
3 slices turkey or meat of your choice, chopped
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 tomato, sliced
3 shrimp, sliced in half

Additional toppings (optional):
corn
seaweed
furikake (seasoning)
sesame seeds
green onions

Sauce:
6 T organic ponzu*
4 T water
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds

*If you can’t find ponzu, just substitute 4 T soy sauce, 1 T lime juice, 1 T water, and 1 T sugar

Method:
Crack the eggs into a glass bowl and beat until scrambled. Heat a large frying pan with a little oil over medium high heat and pour about half the mixture into the pan so it fries up like a thin omelette. Cook for about 2 minutes and flip. Repeat with the remaining egg. Remove from pan and let cool before rolling it and slicing into thin strips.

In a large pot filled with boiling water, cook the noodles for 1-2 minutes, until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain in a colander. Set aside.

Combine the ponzu, water, and sesame oil. Stir well. Add the sesame seeds on top.

When ready to serve, portion the cold noodles into bowls and arrange the eggs, turkey/meat, cucumber, carrot, tomato, shrimp (and whatever toppings) over top the noodles. Pour the sauce over the noodles, mix well and enjoy immediately.