If you haven't noticed already, I love sesame. Love might actually be an understatement, "am obsessed with" might be closer to the truth. I would rather have something with sesame in it for dessert than chocolate. In fact, when Emma and I found a sesame bar recipe in Nawal Nasrallah's book Delights from the Garden of Eden, I felt like I was in heaven. I could make sesame bars instead of brownies for the rest of my life! Anyway, though it is not a new discovery, it truly is a constant in my life and I wanted to share- Tahini Salad Dressing. In the Winter, I exchange my lettuces and salad greens for kale. I found a great salad mix at Whole Foods that is kale already chopped up and ready to eat, which is perfect for meals when you are in a time crunch. I make a tahini dressing by mixing tahini with a touch of olive oil, lemon juice, water, and salt. I don't have a direct recipe for this, because I just sort of mix it all together in a small bowl. It is usually equal parts tahini and water, then a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, and coarse sea salt. I also might add a teaspoon or so of Braggs Liquid Amino Acids, which is a great substitute for soy sauce. I toss together the kale, sliced avocado, fresh pomegranate seeds, chickpeas (canned or sprouted), and thinly sliced red onion, and dress with the tahini. It is also really rich, and full of healthy fats. I love the combination of flavors and textures that all of the ingredients provide, and the health benefits. Sesame is full of calcium and protein; the kale is of course a great source of vitamins A, K, and C, and is full of fiber; the pomegranates are full of powerful antioxidants; and the avocado is another great source of fiber and vitamin C, and also has lots of potassium. This is a powerful health salad that not only combats inflammation and oxidative stress, but also boosts your nutrients. You know I will be eating this all Winter long.
Sophia's Notes:The prospect of Sweet Potato Falafel was too much for me to bear. I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, but its originsin the Leon Cookbook, of the eponymous British restaurant group. I love falafel, but they are quite heavy, and they frying process is not something that I love to do in my own kitchen. However, these falafel are baked, and are very easy to make. They are also quite healthy, as they are formed only using roasted sweet potato, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs and spices, and garbanzo flour. I have been using garbanzo flour a lot lately, as I like using it instead of breadcrumbs when making chicken cutlets and the like. It is lighter and has more protein than regular flour. I stuck to the recipe, but added some minced ginger, which I think was a nice touch. The key here is really adding a lot of spices and the large amount of cilantro that the recipe calls for. I ate these in barley flat bread wraps with a tahini sauce and Mexican salsa Valentina. My friend ate them with me, and also really liked them. I feel like a whole new world of chickpea burgers and vegetable falafels has been opened up and I am excited to enter! Emma's Notes: I loved making these little balls, but I have to say that my favorite part was getting to make my own chickpea flour. I realized when I set out to make them that we didn't have any chickpea flour at home, and it seemed really key to maintaining the falafel-nature of the dish, so I got to power up my old grain grinder and make my own chickpea flour! It was fun, and I have some left over to experiment with now... Other than the home-grinding, I was faithful to the recipe, we served them as an appetizer on thanksgiving.