Meal Prep Monday: Green Vegetable Bowl with Falafel and Green Pea Tahini Sauce

10/23/2017 08:58:00 AM

Green Vegetable Bowl with Falafel and Green Pea Tahini Sauce

Good morning! Meal Prep Monday for your enjoyment today! Today's meal is green, green, green: a green vegetable bowl with falafel and green pea tahini sauce. Can you feel the vitamins doing you good already?

This meal came about because I was really craving vegetables after a period of general overindulgence, and the realisation that I had all the ingredients for falafel in my pantry! Boom.

The base here is a whole lot of of green vegetables: a spiralized zucchini, plus blanched asparagus, green beans, peas and edamame. I dressed these lightly in extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. I really liked the combo, and think they'd make a great lunch base for all sorts of toppings.

Green vegetable bowl base

Green Vegetable Bowl Bases

So, falafel. I love eating falafel but have never thought to make them myself before. However, I was idly scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration, and recipes for them are actually quite achievable. I'll admit, I'd always thought they were made of some really obscure pulse (I have no idea why), but when I realised that they're usually made from chickpeas, it was on like Donkey Kong.

Trad recipes that I've seen instruct you to soak and cook the chickpeas first - I was lazy (efficient?) and used tinned. I blended them up with a mixture of different flavourings (garlic, spring onion, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander), plus a little bicarb, lemon juice and olive oil. Any falafel experts feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but for me, it's the cumin that makes them taste distinctly falafel-y.

Falafel ingredients

I deep fried these - I've seen recipes say you can bake them, which I'm sure would be easier and healthier, but, you know, live a little! (I was too lazy to soak chickpeas but mustered up the energy to deep-fry. You see where my priorities lie.)

IMPORTANT - fry one ball first to see if your mixture will hold together. If they start falling apart, you need to add more flour to the mixture. I learnt this the hard way, by frying six to start with, which collapsed into a soggy and oily (but still aromatic) mess. Booo! Ordinarily I would have given up, but they smelled so damn good that I couldn't waste the mixture. I ploughed ahead, adding more ingredients to my processor, and being generous with the flour. (I used chickpea flour, because I had it, and to keep with the chickpea theme. Bonus - extra protein and, if it bothers you, gluten free).

I know these look a bit rough and ramshackle, but boy-oh-boy they tasted good! So crunchy and fluffy and tasty. It was hard to save enough for my lunches - I wanted to eat them all!


Now, the sauce. I wanted to make a typical Ottolenghi-style green tahini sauce (tahini and herbs, plus garlic and olive oil and water), but I used up all my tahini making the sauce, and I accidentally watered it down too much. Whoops! I wasn't able to add any extra tahini back, so I thought I'd amp up the green vibe and try adding frozen peas to the sauce. A winning move! It thickened the sauce nicely, added a fresh sweetness, and it went super bright green! (I'm not sure if you need to cook frozen peas before you can eat them - I'm happy to eat them just defrosted, but if you're worried, then cook and cool them before adding to the sauce).

Green Pea Tahini Sauce

So that's it! All the green vegetables, vegan protein, gluten free, and so very delicious. I was happy eating these all week!

Sarah's version of a classic recipe

1 x 400gram tin of chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 clove of garlic
2 spring onions
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4-6 tablespoons chickpea flour

Place all the ingredients (just 4 tablespoons of the chickpea flour to start with)into a food processor and whizz until combined. Heat 5 centimetres of olive oil in a small saucepan until it reaches 180C (a kitchen thermometre is handy here, or just test by frying a square of stale bread - it should take a minute to reach a golden brown colour).
Take a tablespoon of the falafel mixture and roll into a ball. Deep fry for 1-2 minutes a side, or until golden brown and crisp. If the falafel falls apart in the oil, it means your mixture isn't dry enough. Discard the test-falafel-mush, add the rest of the chickpea flour to the mixture and process to combine. Then fry tablespoons of the mixture in the hot oil, in batches. Drain on paper towel.

Green Pea and Tahini Sauce
An original recipe by Sarah Cooks

1 tablespoon tahini
1/4 green chilli (deseeded if you like)
A generous squeeze of lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 spring onion
1/2 garlic clove
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons frozen peas (cooked, drained and cooled if you prefer; I'm happy to eat them raw)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a blender and whizz to combine. Taste, and add more lemon juice / olive oil / salt / pepper if you like.

Green Vegetable Bowl
An original recipe by Sarah Cooks

1 zucchini
1 handful green beans, topped and toiled
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 4-cm lengths
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen edamame
Extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
1 x quantity of Falafel (recipe above)
1 x quantity of Green Pea & Tahini Sauce (recipe above)

Push the zucchini through a spiralizer. (Or grate or finely slice). Place into a sieve and set aside to drain while you prepare the rest of the bowl.
Bring a pot of salted water onto boil. Add the green beans, and cook for two minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for a further minute. Tip in the peas and edamame, allow to come back to the boil and cook for a further minute. Drain and rinse under cold water to arrest the cooking.
Combine the zucchini and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and dress with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
To assemble the bowls, divide the vegetables between four serving containers. Top with the green pea and tahini sauce and the falafel.
Makes 4
Have you made this recipe? Leave a comment below! Tag me on Instagram @sarahcooksblog and hashtag #sarahcooksblog

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  1. Hi Sarah, does the spiralized zucchini and blanched zucchini keep OK with the sauce without it going too soggy? (I know I could separate it out, but bringing one container is just simpler for work lunches on the run)

    1. Hi Su! I'm the same as you - I just want to bring one container to work!

      I found the zucchini and vegetables didn't go soggy. The sauce is quite thick, so it doesn't coat the vegetables and soak into them or cause them to go soggy. I actually ate the last one of these on the Friday (cooked on a Sunday) and it was still good then!

  2. Look at that delicious green goodness! I love the sound and look of it so much :D

  3. Hi! Your recipe worked wonders! Have tried the Tahini sauce for the first time and it was great! I have used vinegar in place of lemon and it too tasted amazing!



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