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Greek Salad with Baked Mini Falafels and Potato Salad

It had been a while since I’ve had a good Greek salad and was having a major craving for one. At the same time, I wanted something different than the traditional Greek salad. Unfortunately, my pantry was looking a little bare and I needed something quick to whip up. Thankfully, I did have a can of Garbanzo beans on hand and realized that I also haven’t had falafels in a loooooong time. Since I don’t eat fried food anymore, I decided to create a recipe that could be baked instead. Usually, I eat my falafels in a pita, but I didn’t have that either. So, what could be better than falafels in a Greek salad, right? Right! So, that’s what I set out to do….

The result was delicious and we ate on it for two days and then I made more!! The potato salad makes it creamy and rich, the falafels added a bit of crunch. The different spices in the dressing, potato salad, and the falafels all worked together and blended beautifully. This is a great dish that can be made in a short amount of time and is a nice change from a regular salad.

To start making this dish, begin with preparing the Potato Salad….

Potato Salad

3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dill
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, continue to boil for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until everything is well blended. Do not over blend or potatoes will break down too much.

Baked Mini Falafels with Spinach

1 (15oz) can garbanzo beans
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder
2 TBS all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a blender or food processor (I use a VitaMix), blend garbanzo beans until it’s like a paste with some pieces. In a large bowl, add all ingredients together except garbanzo beans and flour. Transfer the beans to a large bowl.

The beans should look something like this.

Blend well until the beans take on the color of the turmeric.

After blending, beans will start to look yellowish.

Add flour and combine until it comes together. Using a tablespoon, measure out the batter and make into patties about 1/2 inch thick. Place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes, flip and cook for another 10 minutes. Place on a plate to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

 The raw vegetables used to make the salad will wilt and go bad fast faster after they have been cut. So, I only cut what is going to be used immediately. For that reason, I can’t give exact measurements, but here is a list of the ingredients that I used in the salad.

Salad Ingredients
Lettuce (I used Green Leaf)
Roma Tomatoes
Sweet Onion, chopped
Kalamata Olives, about 4-5 per salad

For the dressing
Mix equal parts of Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar, with Italian Seasonings. Use this sparingly, a little goes a long way.

Makes about 6 servings

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Pumpkin “Cheesecake” French Toast

I’m not one to usually like sweet things for breakfast, but every once in a while I love to indulge in something decadent. My son also wanted something sweet for breakfast. Big surprise! What kid doesn’t love something sweet? Well, in my house it doesn’t happen often and it’s usually on the weekend when he can run off the extra sugar outside.

On this particular Sunday, I decided it was time to try French Toast. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about trying this. French Toast was the only sweet breakfast that I truly loved in my old diet. I wasn’t sure that I could make something that was worthy of my memory of this treat. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong!! This was better than expected!! And the whole family agreed and wants to know when I’ll be making it again…I guess I better not disappoint them.

The pumpkin works to add flavor as well as soak the bread the way that the egg would. When it’s been combine with the rest of the spices it resembles Pumpkin Pie, but that’s not enough to make this really delicious! What really completes this is the “Cheesecake” frosting. The contrast between the sweet and spicy pumpkin and tangy “cheesecake” is perfection, in my opinion. It truly is a treat!!

Pumpkin “Cheesecake” French Toast
Toast Ingredients:
6 slices of bread (I use a whole wheat sandwich bread)
4 egg replacers
1 cup of canned pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS almond milk
Vegan butter
Frosting Ingredients:
4oz vegan cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 TBS – 1 TBS almond milk

In a medium bowl, mix egg replacers, pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, and almond milk. Mix well. In a large frying pan, melt a tsp of vegan butter over medium heat. Dip a slice of bread until well coated on both side, squeeze the bread slightly so mix well absorb into the bread a bit. Remove excess mixture from bread before placing into frying pan. Cook for about 5 mins or until browned and crispy, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Continue until all six pieces of bread have been cooked. While toast is cooking, prepare frosting. In a small bowl, mix all frosting ingredients are well blended. The amount of milk that is needed may vary as different brands of powdered sugar have different amounts of cornstarch in them. Place frosting in a pastry bag (or a Ziplock bag with the corner cut). Once the toast is finished, place on a plate and drizzle with the frosting.

Makes 3 servings

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The Vegan ‘Wich has gone live!!

Hello,

This is the first official post on this blog! I’m sooo excited to share ideas and conversation with other food lovers. However, as you can see we are still in the process of designing and setting things up. So, please come back after things are organized.

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