Vegan Falafel Chard Salad Wraps

falafel-3

Summertime.  

For me it’s all about freshness, vibrancy and the local movement when it comes to food; nothing says summer like just-picked veggies + BC stone fruit.  Here in Alberta, we are so lucky to have local growers all over the place pumping out loads of baby carrots, tomatoes and greens galore.  Luckier even still, to be positioned beside British Columbia with acres upon acres of fruit orchards, berry bushes and the most amazing wild mushrooms.

Total bliss, let me tell you.

falafelfalafel-4

Having such stores of abundance in my backyard is wonderful, seeing the farmers market filled with organic options, pesticide herbicide and chemical crap free – amazing.  In celebration of how amazing that is, I have been going nuts on the local fare. Every trip I make for groceries results in something new that has just begun fruiting, a herb that is in it’s prime, oh I just love the summer time.

Having seasonal goods absolutely everywhere makes eating vibrantly really simple; I’m mentally storing up the colors and the crispness of fresh tomatoes for the cooler winter months when we can no longer get them locally. Preserving as much as possible, buying imported tomatoes from Mexico isn’t really my thing and in any case, I try to lessen my carbon footprint as much as possible.

falafel-2

Another bonus to summer eats is that so often the days are hot to the point that cooking is the least desirable thing to do.  Save heating the house up any more than it is and eat something raw, save the occasional cooked option for early morning while the breeze has a bit of an edge and the kitchen is unbathed in sunshine.

In short, these two-way (oh hey, versatility) falafel salad wraps are totally primo for summer – bake the falafel in the morning before it gets too hot and whip up a wrap OR a salad once things warm up. Easy for picnicking, taking on a hike or enjoying in your favorite sunny spot.

falafel-5

The inner workings of this recipe is inspired by a few of my favorite Lebanese meals, always a bit of pickled somethings for kick – in this case some ultra dilly last years pickles. Hummus, made zesty with a small whole lemon and loads of cumin; of course, then the fresh ripe beautiful tomatoes, mint, and crazy vibrant chard + herby falafel.

Falafel,  little balls of warm crisp deliciousness. I quite enjoy falafel, they are easy to make and can be changed completely with the addition of various herbs and spices.  This falafel recipe is spiked with basil giving it a very distinctive taste, that tingly delicious basil taste. (Much different from the warming earthiness of this recipe).

Do This

  • Head to the farmers market, invest in and support local growers in your area
  • Get in as much of the seasonal freshness as humanly possible! Seriously, soak it allll up!
  • Try introducing a few extra raw components to your meals, cool the house down and yourself too
  • Remember that adding raw vegetables and fruit to your daily intake also ups your hydration levels – a big bonus for summertime!

 

falafel-6

 

Vegan Falafel Chard Salad Wraps
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch & Dinner
Cuisine: Lebanese Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Can Chickpeas
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Lemon
  • ½-1 Cup Fresh Basil
  • ½ Cup Sesame Seeds
  • ¼ Cup Pine Nuts
  • ⅓ Cup Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Pinch of Salt + Chili Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Bunch of Chard
  • 1 Handful of Mint
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Hummus*
Instructions
  1. To make the falafel, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper
  2. Rough dice the onion, peel the lemon, open the chickpeas and drain
  3. Add chickpeas, onion, lemon, basil, sesame seeds, pine nuts and oil to a food processor - blend until it forms a rough dough like consistency
  4. Season with salt and chili flakes
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, or large spoon, scoop out individual balls of falafel dough onto the prepared cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, broil for the final 5 then allow to cool completely on a wire wrack (don't worry if they seem soft - they'll firm up!)
  7. Trim chard stems if making wraps - if making salad, rough chop chard
  8. Dice tomatoes, pickles, tear mint
  9. If making wraps, spread a bit of hummus down the center then dress with desired topping and fold over
  10. If making salad, mix everything in a bowl topping with a dollop of hummus

* Lately my favorite hummus recipe is an ultra simple 1 can of chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds, 1 small lemon (cut the peel off but leave whole), and a pinch of smoked salt – add everything to a blender with enough oil to emulsify and voila!  Tasty, easy, and no garlic breath!

xx

Portabello Bánh Mì Sandwiches

BanhMi-5Bánh mì picnic. Oh yes, yes I did.

For me a bánh mì sandwich is one of those sort of treat type lunches. Somehow reminiscent of my childhood, although I have no idea why considering my mother has never made a Vietnamese sub in her life.  Perhaps it’s the bread itself that I consider a treat; not only because I infrequently eat bread but because I very infrequently eat baguette.

Maybe it’s the picnic part that’s the treat. Yes people, it’s picnic season and I cannot be more pleased.

BanhMi-2BanhMiBanhMi-3Picnics are just another really awesome excuse to get yourself and the folks you love outside and into nature, seriously. Picnics are the bomb dig. I love the simple act of it, packing up a meal and taking it outside. Out somewhere that the lull of traffic stops and is replaced by grasshoppers + chirping birds. Where there is no reason to plug in, to check Facebook or write an e-mail….

Read More »

Cov er

I know what you’re probably thinking, and yes – I went there. Banana. Dandelion. Pancakes. These dreamy breakfast (lunch or dinner) delights are absolutely jam packed with dandelion flowers. They are a beautiful spring reminder that eating wild is where it’s at. Naturally sweetened with ripe bananas, they are healthy vegan and come together right…

Read More »

Cover

Best Lasagna Ever?  It’s a pretty big claim.  I know this.   I stand behind it, completely. Something I really like about a classic dish like lasagna is that every family has their own recipe, every person has their own take.  Some people add a bunch of spice, some people cook their sauce all day…

Read More »

Cover

Anyone else really feeling the rhubarb this spring? Man I just cannot get enough of it.   I am not at all ashamed to say that I pick up another bag of the stuff before I’ve even finished what I bought the time before. It’s as if I’m making up for lost time, I guess….

Read More »

Cover

So here’s the thing.. It has been a long (often really physically painful) road for me, quitting cheese. Cutting it out for real. The intense immediate gut pain, being congested for days after – you’d think that would be a big no brainer to stop eating the stuff, right? Wrong. It took far too many…

Read More »