I have to admit I have been very "green" this week. No, not with envy. But thinking of all the "green" St. Patrick's day goodies I want to make. As I got to thinking about this popular March hue, I thought not just about baking up green items and wearing green this month, but more about being "green". I decided to ask my students that very question. What does it mean to be green?
You all may not know this, but I grew up on a farm. I was an active member in 4-H and learned how to sew, cook, and show animals and did regularly. We owned at any given point cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, and horses. I grew up not realizing that I lived quite green. We had farm fresh eggs (we just had to collect them out back). We had a vegetable garden in the summertime. Digging up the potatoes with my grandfather was always my favorite. And yes we raised and butchered our own meat. A freezer full of the freshest and most local produce and meat you could find. We didn't waste any produce and I remember all too well helping my mother make jam and freeze local fruit for winter. It was simply cheaper; that is why we did it. It wasn't about saving the Earth or reducing our carbon footprint. It is just what made sense. I think it has taken me awhile to realize just how valuable those lessons really were. I have a natural passion I think to want to live more "farm to table". Doing so in a city can be challenging, though. Not impossible...just a little more challenging. So as I continue on this blog, I am going to try and focus (as I first set out to do) to cook and bake a little greener, a little more sustainably.
Baked Falafel Bites
Please note: You don't need to make these gluten free and simply use regular flour or whole wheat flour if that is what you have on hand. I used a combination of gluten free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs. You don't need to use breadcrumbs at all and use flour if that is what you have on hand.
- One 15-oz. can chickpeas, well drained
- 1 red onion, very finely chopped
- 1/8 cup gluten- free flour
- 1/8 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs(you could also try using panko breadcrumbs or whole wheat breadcrumbs.
- 3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/8 tsp. paprika, or more to taste
- black pepper, to taste
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all ingredients for falafel (except for the baking powder, and nonstick spray) in a food processor, and give them a good chop.
2. Transfer into a bowl, add the baking powder and stir together. Using a potato masher, mash any big chunks that remain – Mixture should remain slightly chunky, not smooth.
3. Spray a baking sheet thoroughly with olive oil nonstick spray. One at a time, scoop the mixture into 1-inch balls and gently place them on the baking sheet. Spray the top of each ball with olive oil nonstick spray, for a total of about a 2-second spray.
4. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Remove baking sheet from the oven, and carefully turn each ball over, gently reshaping if the bottoms have flattened.
8. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy. Allow to cool and set for at least 5 minutes.