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Home Made Falafels

After being on vacation all of last week, I need to get back to my healthy eating. For the most part, I did eat healthy in portion but I did not let anything hold me back from a plate of seafood or fried bologna sandwich from Hamburger Joe's. Then I had to enjoy an ice cream cone during our afternoon stroll. OK maybe two afternoon strolls. OK OK, I had a cone of ice cream almost every night! I will not lie. It’s my favorite thing to do at the campground.

We need to go to the grocery store and stock up but I never go to the grocery store hungry. It's a bad idea. We needed to eat dinner first. I had a craving for something meatless. Falafels are a great option. I can't seem to find them anymore where I shop so I just decided to make my own. I went to Pinterest for a recipe. I found an easy one that called for all the ingredients I already had in the house. Supper was saved.

Falafels are a Middle Eastern food made with Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans). The taste is pretty bland so it's important to find a dipping sauce that brings out the flavor. We like eating these sometimes as they are quick, filling and nutritional.

Falafels are great added to a salad or wrapped in Pita bread topped with cucumber sauce. I skipped the bread then added Tzatziki sauce for dipping and a side of cilantro rice.
I like how they turned out despite how ugly they look. It was the perfect nutritional meal.

Original recipe can be found HERE.

Easy Tzatziki Sauce

One of my favorite sides when I visit a Greek restaurant is the Tzatziki Sauce they add to the Gyros or on the side as a dip. I'm not a big fan of Gyros but I love Greek pita bread dipped in this creamy  sauce.

Tzatziki sauce is a creamy cucumber sauce usually made with yogurt and added spices.

I have had this sauce from a local grocery store before but the taste just did not add up to the restaurant style so I went searching for a recipe. I found many different ones but they all seem to make too much of a batch. I just wanted a little bit for my dinner as it does not keep more that a couple days.

I took bits and pieces of other recipes and broke them down to smaller portions until I found the right ingredients for a small jar. And the fact I only had a small yogurt in the fridge. 

I think it turned out great.

With homemade Tzatziki sauce, the main instruction is to make sure that the cucumber and yogurt are drained well. You do not want watery sauce. Mine turned out watery but it did not take away from the delicious taste.

Easy Tzatziki Sauce

1- 5 oz. Plain Greek Yogurt.
1/2- Finely chopped Cucumber (remove the seeds)
1- Pressed Garlic Clove
1 Tbsp- Dill Weed
Juice of lemon a wedge
pinch of salt

Make sure to squeeze all the water out of the chopped cucumber.
You can mix by hand but I added it all to a food processor until creamy. 
refrigerate for an hour for best results. 

Tzatziki Sauce (or cucumber sauce) is great on salads, sandwiches or used as a dip for breads and veggies. I will be enjoying this at dinner tonight with my Felafel's 

Homemade Tahini Sauce

While shopping for some new foods to try that were healthy and didn’t cost an arm and leg, I came across some Boca Brand Falafels. What are Falafel? . 
They are a middle eastern food made with Garbanzo Beans AKA Chick Peas. They are sort of dry and have an earthy taste. You can learn more HERE

I had them once at a restaurant uptown but did not like them so much. I also had no idea what I was really eating. After I learned what they were made of, I wanted to try them again. So I bought a bag from the frozen foods and poured them into my air fryer. 

But I needed a sauce. Falafel are good dipped in cucumber sauce or Tahini Sauce. 
What is Tahini? Don’t worry, I never heard of it until now either. 

Tahini is a thick paste made from sesame seeds. Once you have Tahini paste, you make the Tahini sauce. You can find Tahini paste in most grocery stores but here on the West side of town, It was not found. That's when I decided to make my own. It was easy and way less expensive. 

Homemade Tahini Sauce
1 cup sesame seeds
4 tablespoons Olive oil.

Directions: Add sesame seeds to sauce pan and stir until to desired brown. 
They will brown quickly so make sure to keep an eye on them. 

Remove from heat and let cool for a minute or two .
Place seeds in food processor and grind until fine.
Add the oil a little at a time and keep blending until it becomes a soft paste. 
You may not need all the oil but I did.

Now you have your paste.You can keep it in the fridge over a month until ready to use.

To make the sauce, just ad
lime juice (1/2 lime should be enough).
Salt and pepper.
1 minced garlic clove
 1/2 cup yogurt.
You can adjust the thickness to your liking by adding more yogurt, or water.

There you have it. A nice little creamy dip that can be used for veggies, on salads, sandwiches, Falafels and more.

Tahini sauce reminds me a lot of Hummus.
NOTE: You can make the sauce without adding yogurt for a more vegan style.

Next time I make Falafels, I plan to make a cucumber sauce dip instead.

I'm always open for ideas if anyone has a great idea for a dip or side to go with Falafels.