Posts Tagged With: roasted sweet potatoes

Baked Sweet Potato Falafel with Aioli


I am so inspired by you all, fellow food bloggers and good people of blog world.
I was just reading a brilliant veg blog (www.impeccabletasty.blogspot.co.uk) and came across an old friend.  An orange, falafel shaped friend.
This is a favourite from my days with Leon down in old London town. A great substitute to the fried and sometimes dry chickpea versions of falafel.  The sweet potato makes the falafels moist and hopefully slightly caramelised and gooey in the middle. Delicious!
With a creamy aioli, a little green salad (adding avocado here is a nice touch) and warm bread of your choice (we used to wrap it in a wholemeal pitta with some gherkin slices) and you have a form of food perfection on your hands. Yum.
For the source of this inspired bit of meddling, see the Leon Cookbook (www.leonrestaurants.co.uk), it’s packed with all sorts of deliciousness.
One thing, this is not really falafel and the aioli is not really aioli. They are healthier versions and I dare say, even tastier!

Do It

Lifted straight from the Leon Cookbook

2 medium sweet potatoes (orange inside), around 700g or 1 1/2 pounds in total

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 small cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 big handfuls of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped, Juice of half a lemon, a scant cup (120g) gram /chickpea flour, a splash of olive oil, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees (220C) and roast the sweet potatoes whole until just tender – 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off the oven, leave the potatoes to cool, then peel.

Put the sweet potatoes, cumin, garlic, ground and fresh coriander, lemon juice and gram/chickpea flour into a large bowl. Season well, and mash until smooth with no large chunks. Stick in the fridge to firm up for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes. When you take it out, your mix should be sticky rather than really wet. You can add a tablespoon or so more of chickpea flour if necessary (the water content of sweet potatoes varies enormously).

Reheat the oven to 400F/200C. Using a couple of soup spoons (put a well-heaped spoonful of mix in one spoon and use the concave side of the other to shape the sides) or a falafel scoop if you have one, make the mixture into falafelly looking things and put them on an oiled tray. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, until the bases are golden brown.

Makes about 18 falafel, enough for 4 – 6.

Aioli……simple as……greek yoghurt (soya yoghurt will do nicely for vegans), dash of water to thin out (double cream style), squeeze of lemon, cracked pepper and salt, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard, splash of olive oil, mix well with spoon, preferably leave in the fridge overnight.

Serve

See above.

We Love It!

Leon are lovely people with even lovelier food.  These falafels are a modern classic.  This recipe can also be made with purple sweet potatoes (if you can your hands on them).  Keeps things interesting!

Foodie Fact

Sweet potato are ace sources of beta carotene.  When eaten with a little fat, our bodies are much better at absorbing this vital nutrient.  Although they are potatoes (although a totally different family from your average spud) the sugar in sweet pots absorbs slowly into our blood, giving them a surprisingly low G.I. (Glycemic Index) Rating.

Sweet Pots are one of the vegetable worlds finest Vitamin A providers.  Sweet!

Falafel kisses to you allX

(PS – Thanks to the good folk at Impeccable Taste blog for the above falafel photo, which is far better than any photo I could have taken.)

Categories: Baking, Dinner, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, photography, Recipes, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

King Quinoa Burger (Vegan)

I love quinoa.  The Incas ate it!  It has a full, nutty taste and is super healthy.  I thought it would make an interesting burger/ falafel/ patty……etc…whichever shape you fancy.

The terminology of veggie food can be so mis-leading and unneccessary.  It’s a grey area.  Is something shaped like a burger, really a burger?  Mos people would say no?  We can buy sausages, burgers (that are a field mushroom or lumps of roasted peppers), bacon (made of god knows what?) etc.  Do vegetarians really want to eat bacon?  Things that taste like meat?  I don’t.

I think the global veggie community should get together and re-brand all of these dishes.  Come up with some new, interesting terminology.  Leave the burgers for the mincemeat crowd.  I like the name ‘chunk’.

Whatever we call this, it is very tasty, satisfying and healthy.  This is the King of veggie burgers!  Even better, it’s vegan and gluten-free also.

We were having a ‘date night’ in the Beach House (there aren’t many places to go around here, so we have in-house dates) so I went all out on the accompaniments.

This is a hearty burger, packed with chickpeas and the sweetness from the potatoes.  This recipe will make at least 6 big burgers/ patties and many little falafels.  The only difference between these is how you want to form them with your hands.  Whichever size fit.  Be gentle here, you don’t want to play with them to much.  Quick dip in flour, patted into a nice shape and straight into the hot oil.  The one quick, clean flip.  This will ensure a nice burger, that doesn’t fall apart.  It will turn out nice and crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle.  YUM!

The Bits

2 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa), 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or one can), 1 cup of chopped and roasted sweet potatoes, 1 red onion (chopped), 3 tbs chickpea (gram) flour, 1 1/2 teas smoked paprika, 1 teas ground cumin,  3 cloves of chopped garlic,  2 inch ginger (chopped finely), 1 lemon zest (finely chopped), 2 teas mixed herbs (or preferably fresh and chopped rosemary and thyme), 1/2 cup of chickpea (gram) flour (for dusting), 1 small glug Linghams sweet chilli sauce (optional), 3 tbs olive oil, s +p.

You may want to go all out with this one, add a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese.  But beware, that will be a mega-burger!  Not for the faint hearted.

Do It

Soak and cook off your chickpeas (or open the can), pan fry your chopped sweet potatoes until nicely coloured, set aside.  Cook quinoa. Boil a kettle and pour water over until covered by 2cm of water (cover and leave for 10 minutes).  Put all of these and the rest of the ingredients in a blender, add oil last.  Pulse blend for a few burst, you want around half smooth, half chunky.  Put into a bowl and stir.

Get a plate and cover it with a good layer of chickpea flour.  Warm a pan on medium heat, oil should be just about smoking, make sure the base of the pan is well covered with oil.

Take the required amount of mix in your hand and fashion a burger/ patty/ falafel.  Give it a good covering of flour, dust of excess and drop into the pan.  Work quickly and gently, get them all in the pan at a similar time (it’s easier that way).  Use a flat spatula, this will mean easier flipping and less battering to the burgers.

Fry for around five minutes per side, until golden and crispy.  Remove and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil, cover and keep warm until serving.  For a normal shaped frying pan, you’ll need a couple of batches here.  The falafels will take lot of work, it would be easier to deep fry them.  That would be amazing!

The mix keeps well in the fridge and will be better and easier to work with if prepared the day before.

Serve

We had ours with homemade hummus, onion marmalade, wilted swiss chard and spinach (with a drop of garlic) and pan-fried potatoes with Jerusalem artichokes (pinch of paprika).  It all went a little restaurant-y.

You could have it in bread (or flat bread for the falafels) with a nice relish or yoghurt dressing and salad.  Maybe even some chips (American friends, this means french fries)!

We Love It

Date nights are ace!  Our food, music, atmosphere and no taxis afterwards!  Packed full of goodness, this is a super tasty burger-type creation.

Foodie Fact

Once called the ‘gold of the Incas’  quinoa gives ‘complete protein’, meaning all of your amino acids.  It’s also full of lysine, which helps tissue growth and repair.  Quinoa has unusually high amounts of manganese and magnesium, the list goes on here.  Quinoa is a real deal superfood!

Pickled Part

We drank a light, young Primitivo, which was full of sweet berries.  It went down a treat with the sweetness of the potatoes and chickpeas and wasn’t over powered by the spices or hummus.  Make sure your wine isn’t too light, especially when dealing with spicy or creamy dishes.  You need good acidity and fruit to conquer these strong flavours.  A medium white would have been fantastic, something like Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer.  I love German wine, especially with spicy foods.

Categories: Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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