Cauliflower falafels

Cauliflower falafels

Ok guys. You know I love using cauliflower, in as much as I can. From sushi bowls, to egg fried “rice” to pizza, to fritters.

I did this recipe the other day, as I needed to make a “packed” lunch for my vegetarian, as she was on the road, and only after did I then have to figure out what I actually put in them, but don’t worry, I remembered, tried the recipe again, and all is well in the world of Food by Jill. 🙂

Falafels, as you might know, are deep fried balls that are made from chickpeas or fava beans – or even both, its a Middle Eastern favorite, served with fresh pita breads loads of hummus or pickled vegetables – and it’s a huge part of the street food culture in this countries. Rich in protein, it’s a brilliant snack option for vegetarians, or even kids lunchboxes.

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Cauliflower Falafels

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy peasy
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1/2 head of Cauliflower

1 Handful of coriander

1 Handful of kale (stalks removed)

2 eggs

1 tin of chickpeas

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 cup of brown rice flour

Seasonings like – ground cumin, chili, salt and pepper, paprika

Depending on your taste – go wild!

Process all of these ingredients in a food processor, until fairly smooth. Shape into little balls and deep fry until golden in coconut oil, on a medium heat.

I served these with thick cut roasted sweet potato chips, that I roasted with loads of fresh herbs, and also a pea “guacamole” –  which was 1 cup of blanched peas, to 1 large avocado – blend the two and season with salt and pepper, and the juice of 2 limes! Rich in protein and so yummy!

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

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Did anyone else in the Southern Hemisphere notice that its winter? This major onslaught of cold weather that came through overnight, especially here in Johannesburg! It went from Hero to Zero in a few moments!  As I have mentioned before, winter brings with it an entire amount of weird emotions and strange eating patterns. We tend to comfort eat, because its so cold, and the food we do flock to is normally the heavy, carb laden, thick stewy dishes. I AM NOT COMPLAINING! As always I try to figure out “alternates”. Ways to still eat “comfort” food without it being full of processed products and heavy on the stomach. One of my favorite products to work with is barley. I love the chewy texture, and it is Low-Gi, so it keeps you fuller for longer and cuts the cravings in half (lets be honest, we all still crave stuff). It is a versatile, cereal grain with an almost nutlike flavor, and once cooked, its almost like eating an al dente pasta. So besides soup, what else do I want to eat barley to, and also what are my favorite flavor combos to add to it? Because its generally a bland base, it can take on any flavor without it being over powering. I came across a recipe for sweet potato cakes with barley, and felt that I did not want the “sweet” characteristic to this dish, what I actually wanted was to use what i had in the fridge, and take it from there. So I found some peas, mushrooms, and potatoes. I also have loads of thyme (for some strange reason) and fresh oregano, parsley and Parmesan. Ok, mashup begins (excuse the pun).

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

  • Servings: 4 cakes
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
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Ingredients 

2 Small Potatoes – steamed, and cooled (leave the skins on them)

2 handfuls of Portabellini mushrooms – remove stalks and chopped (keep the stalks aside for later)

1 cup of Portabellini mushrooms – chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped and halved (I LOVE THYME WITH MUSHROOMS)

1 cup of cooked barley 

1/2 cup of peas 

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 

2 kale leaves, stalks removed and chopped finely 

Parmesan 

Olive oil 

Himalayan Salt and black Pepper to season 

Method 

Soak barley for at least 1 hour in cold water Preheat oven to 180C Steam your potatoes, until soft and set aside to cool, once cooled, cut up into chunks. 

Cook the barley and peas in a small pot of water (don’t add any salt to it, the water cooks away and you might land up with really salty barley and peas)

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Drain the barley and peas, if needed, and return to the pot to start the “drying” process. You will notice that the barley will become sticky, remove from heat and add to the potatoes. 

In a pan, add a good glug of olive oil and start frying your mushrooms, once they are slightly soft, add the thyme and garlic and keep tossing the pan.

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Let the mushrooms cook until they are soft and spongy and have absorbed all the gorgeous flavors of thyme and garlic, and season them slightly (bear in mind you will season the entire dish before you start to shape the cakes). 

When the mushrooms are ready, give them a rough chop, and add them to the other ingredients.

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Add the parsley and kale. All the ingredients are cooked, give the mix a taste and add more seasoning if needed, shape into 4 big cakes or loads of smaller ones. 

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a shallow pan, and seal the cakes on either side before popping them into the oven to heat. When the cakes are in the oven, roughly chop the mushroom stalks, fry it off with the cup of chopped portabellinis, the same way as you did the mushrooms for the cakes, adding the extra thyme and season well.

To serve 

Plate each cake, topped with the warm mushrooms, sprinkle with loads of Parmesan and serve with fresh micro herbs. You can also use these as a burger night patty, topped with onion marmalade and melted provolone.

These are so good, the will become a staple and once you get the hang of all the prep work, it becomes a breeze to make!

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Cauli-daze

Cauli-daze

Egg fried cauliflower “rice” 

Lip smackingly good, and of course, so healthy! Gone are the days of white sauce drenched cauliflower, topped with cheese or over cooked grey and bland situations. Hello to this fresh idea that you can serve as a side to anything! 

I’ve posted my recipe for cauliflower pizza base, which also rocks, but this one is a bit less complicated! 

Ingredients 

1 medium head of cauliflower (about 500g) 

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 

2 corn on the cob, corn taken off

1/2 cup of spring onion, chopped 

2 cloves of garlic, chopped 

2,5cm of ginger, grated 

5 TBSP of tamari or any other soy sauce 

Black pepper 

2 eggs, beaten

Olive oil 

Toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Method 

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor, until it resembles rice.

In a pan, add olive oil and start frying your carrots and corn. When those are al dente, remove them from the pan and set aside. 

Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan, fry for about 1 minute. 

Add the cauliflower, and toss well, leave to cook for about 3 minutes, keep an eye on the pan, if the mix becomes to dry, add a touch of water, until the cauliflower is fully cooked. 

Add about 2 tablespoons of tamari, some black pepper, the carrots and corn, and the beaten egg. 

The mix will now look like porridge, but remember the egg needs to cook, so keep stirring and have a little patience. 

Once the egg is cooked, check your seasoning, if you need more salt, add the remaining tamari and mix through. 

Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. 

Perfect side for fish, chicken, beef or even eaten on its own! 

❤️🍴