Egyptian falafels

Try making falafel the traditional Egyptian way with split fava beans.  The secret is no pre-cooking!  Delicious!

  • 500g dried split fava beans, soaked overnight (or speed-soaked in boiling water)
  • 1 red onion
  • Big bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 3 pinches coarse salt
  • 3 pinches fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 350g yoghurt (or vegan alternative)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

  1. For this recipe you need to soak the beans, but don’t boil them as all the cooking happens in the oil. The beans can be soaked overnight or speed-soaked by placing them in water that’s been brought to the boil, then taking it off the heat and leaving to stand for 1 hour.
  2. Coarsely chop the herbs, chilli and onion. Mix with the beans, spices and lemon zest, and pulse in a food processor until fairly smooth – though not to a paste.
  3. Roll ping pong ball size patties from the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the yoghurt sauce. Finely chop the mint and stir with the yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate.
  5. Heat enough vegetable oil to cover a single layer of patties in a deep pan. When the oil is very hot, carefully place the patties in the oil and deep fry until dark golden brown – this will take a few minutes.
  6. Drain briefly on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  7. Serve the falafel with the yoghurt sauce, a lightly dressed salad and some pitta bread.

Hummus

You can’t beat homemade hummus.  Top tip is to overcook the chickpeas so they blend to a really creamy consistency.

  1. 1 (400g) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  2. Juice of 1 lemon
  3. 1/3 cup (5 tbsp) tahini/sesame paste
  4. 1-2 garlic cloves (use more if you like!)
  5. 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  6. A splash of water – if you want a thinner consistency
  1. Paprika
  2. Parsley
  3. Drizzle of olive oil
  1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas well – If you would prefer using dried chickpeas, soak them in a bowl of water overnight then cook them in a pan of simmering water for an hour the next day.
  2. Place your chickpeas along with the remainder of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you think the hummus is too thick, you can add a little bit of water at a time and continue blending until you’re happy with the consistency

Haricot Bean Loaf

My comment for this recipe:  Try this as a tasty alternative to nut roast – you won’t regret it!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
2.5 cm fresh root ginger, grated
half a tsp cumin
half a tsp ground coriander
1 onion quartered
3 carrots grated
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 tbsp chopped parsley
50g sunflower seeds
24g oat bran
1 tbsp wheat free veg bouillion powder
410g can haricot beans rinsed
410g can red kidney beans rinsed

  • Preheat overn to 190C. Lightly oil a 900g tin loaf and line the base with greaseproof powder
  • put the remaining oil and the leek in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat for 5 mins
  • Add the ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook for a further minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  • place the onion, carrots, garlic, parsley, sunflower seeds, oat bran, bouillon powder and one of the cans of beans (either will do) in a food processor and blend for 20 seconds until semi-smooth. Transfer into a large bowl and stir in the second can of beans and the leek mixture.
  • Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown
  • Turn out of tin. Serve hot or cold.

Vegi Spag Bol

Have you tried this fantastic alternative to meat?  Made from the protein of sunflowers it has a really good texture, not mushy like some other alternatives can be.  Simply make your sauce, add 15-19g per person plus extra water and cook for 5-10 mins and you are good to go.  A great way to enjoy those meat free dinners!

  • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots finely grated
  • 1 courgette trimmed and grated (you can keep the peel on later on)
  • Then add a tin of tomato and 2 tbsp of tomato puree and grape juice.  And leave to cook.
  • 800g or 2 tins of tinned tomato
  • 4 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 100ml grape juice (unsweetened) – Optional
  • Pinch of oregano – Optional
  • 2 packs of sunflower mince
  1. This sauce only has courgettes and carrots as added ingredients.  The carrot will add a slight sweetness to the sauce.  We peel the courgettes the first few times we make this to reduce the flavour/ colour from the skin.  But if your children are used to flavours keep the skin on as it is packed with nutrients.  Add the olive oil, chopped garlic and saute for 5 minutes on a low flame.  Then grate a carrot and peeled courgette and add to the saucepan.  Then add a tin of tomato and 2 tbsp of tomato puree and grape juice.  And leave to cook.
  2. For the mince, we use a meat alternative called sunflower mince.  It’s super easy to use and just requires that you add it to the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes.  We think it’s really child-friendly.  We have yet to meet a child that does not like it.  Especially in bolognese.  The mince is made from a single ingredient.  Organic sunflower seeds.  The sunflower mince original is free from all 14 UK allergens.
  3. 10 minutes before mealtime.  And cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.  And reheat the bolognese.  You can steam some broccoli florets whilst waiting for the spaghetti to cook or slice up some cucumber sticks.  And here’s a child-friendly meal in minutes.