leeks

mung bean + cilantro falafel tacos by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


spring is right here, it's close enough you can literally taste it in the air.  the bits of dirty snow have but all melted away leaving behind pieces of litter from months prior.  we're all happy for longer days, and grateful once again our favorite star is here to give us more light.  my senses are alive once again it seems, breathing in fresh cool air, seeing tiny buds outside on the forsythia bush, and the scent of salty sea air has returned since its thaw.  

things around here are a bit in flux at the moment; new exciting projects on the horizon, a move to a new apartment that's been in the works, and the new 'do i gave to my blog :)

i've been working on the redesign sporadically for a few months now, with frank's help of course.  it seems that each year i'm redefining this space - what it is to me, but also how others come to it and why.  in the spirit of trying to make things easier for people, i redesigned the recipe index in a way that's easy to navigate both alphabetically, and also categorically.  there's a nifty side bar too that i'm excited about, hopefully you find it interactive and fun; i know i love clicking around on other blogs, so i thought i'd bring a little bit of that here!  the search bar is pretty sweet, as well as the blog archives that is categorized by months of the year.  so here's to hoping you all like the new look!

okay, these falafels!  falafels are the kind of thing i love to eat, love to make, love to freeze and then reheat. lately i've been experiencing pretty bad digestive thangs (we won't go into that though...), i've been following a steady diet full of things that are easy on the digestive system.  among them are split mung beans, or moong dal.  i've been making my fair share of soups and such that incorporate these mighty beans, but thought they would be super in a baked falafel situation.  they, along with the quinoa add a subtle flavor, that when mixed with tons of warming spices comes out to one of the best tasting falafels i've had.  i tend to go without the tortilla, but frank insists they're the best when rolled all up in a taco; hence, this falafel taco! i added a very humble avocado and radish salad, plus tonnnns of cilantro, all with a healthy dose of tahini sauce!

sending warm springy vibes to you all! xo



mung bean + cilantro falafel tacos (v + gf) 

soaking the beans and quinoa as directed below is to make them easier to digest.  if you skip the soaking step, i recommend rinsing and draining both the beans and quinoa before cooking.  

| makes 32 falafels |

  • 1 cup moong dal (aka split mung beans), soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, more for serving
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • course sea salt, for topping
  • brown rice tortillas/corn tortillas/etc., toasted

tahini drizzle

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1/4 cup cold water

radish + avo salad

  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced into chunks 
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced or shaved on a mandolin
  • splash of oil and vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


instructions

make the falafels

  • place the mung beans in a saucepan and cover with at least 3-inches of water.  bring to boil, stir, and turn heat down to a simmer.  cook for 7-9 minutes, until tender.  drain beans if need be and set aside.
  • cook quinoa according to instructions on package.  set aside.
  • warm a skillet over medium heat and add chickpea flour, toast for 1-2 minutes, swirling around to prevent burning, until golden and fragrant.  remove from heat and place in a bowl, set aside. 
  • place drained mung beans and quinoa in a food processor fitted with a metal S blade; add cilantro, leeks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and spices.  blend mixture until combined; taste and adjust salt and/or lemon juice, or other spices.  add toasted chickpea flour and blend once more until combined.  transfer falafel mix to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • preheat oven to 400Β° and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  scoop out golf ball sized pieces of mixture and shape into balls with the palm of your hands.  place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining mixture.  using a pastry brush, brush tops and bottoms of falafel patties and sprinkle both sides with course sea salt.  bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through until golden brown.
  • place 4-5 falafel patties in each tortilla, top with avocado and radish salad.  drizzle with tahini sauce, cilantro, and extra sumac (optional), and serve warm. 

sauce

  • in a medium bowl, whisk together tahini sauce ingredients.  taste and adjust salt and lemon juice if need be.  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

salad

  • toss salad ingredients together.  taste and adjust salt if needed. 

more tacos:

mujadra tacos w/ leeks spring herbs + pea tendrils

mujadra tacos w/ leeks spring herbs + pea tendrils

summer beet tacos w/ beet green salsa verde

summer beet tacos w/ beet green salsa verde

brussels sprout kimchi tacos w/ miso crema

brussels sprout kimchi tacos w/ miso crema

mujadra tacos w/ leeks, spring herbs + pea tendrils by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal


the spring season is here, the sun is shining brighter and longer, my house plants are dancing to the sun's revived rhythm, and there are small pieces of what look like daffodils pushing through the earth.  it all sounds nice, but the temperature hasn't risen above 30-something and this chick is getting impatient!  all i want to do is sit outside with warm sunshine hitting my face, make green salads filled with every vegetable imaginable, i would love to make a rhubarb something, but the fact remains, even though the season is spring, spring hasn't truly sprung yet - at least not here!  

in an effort to celebrate spring, but to also be mindful that it still totally feels like winter, today i bring you one of my favorite dishes on the face of the earth, MUJADRA!  it's a humble and cozy rice + lentil dish full of caramelized onions and warm flavorful spices.  while most days i usually buy huge containers of it from sahadi's (the most bomb middle eastern grocery/deli in all the land) i've been trying to hone my mujadra-making skills.  traditionally, mujadra (also known as mujaddara) is made by cooking the lentils and rice together, but here i use brown basmati rice, which has a longer cook time than white rice, and therefore has to be cooked separately (we don't want no mushy lentils!).  i also chose to use leeks in place of sweet onions mostly because i bought 3 leeks the size of baseball bats and needed to use them in something, but also because they're a perfect segue to spring!   also in the spirit of our new season, i left behind some of winter's warming spices like turmeric, cinnamon and allspice and replaced them with bright, bitter parsley and pea tendrils.  and what dish is complete without an edible vessel?  the truth is, food is more fun when you wrap a tortilla around it!  i was thinking sandwich, wrap, naan...but in the end i wanted less bread and more mujadra, hence the tortilla.  i'm no stranger to putting odd things in tortillas and calling them tacos, so i hope i'm not offending anyone!  i can't wait to get into the swing of spring things, should be a good one! xo



mujadra tacos w/ leeks, spring herbs + pea tendrils (gluten free)

| serves 4-6 (makes about 12 tacos) |

the mujadra recipe provided makes roughly 3 cups.  if you're planning on making this for a smaller crowd, i suggest either halving the recipe or freezing half for another time (i actually love making a big pot of this just so i can have leftovers to thaw whenever i want).  also, the yogurt in the tahini sauce can be substituted with plain soy or coconut yogurt, just be mindful these yogurts do not have as much punchiness as greek yogurt so you may want to add more lemon juice.  lastly, this can TOTALLY be eaten without the tortilla, just dollop on the yogurt sauce and chow-down!

ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils (i used de puy)
  • 3/4 cup brown basmati rice
  • 3 large leeks, sliced lengthwise and into thin half moons (roughly 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt + freshly ground pepper
  • pea tendrils, to garnish (you could also use micro greens or sprouts)
  • small tortillas

yogurt + tahini sauce (slightly adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook)

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced fine
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • a big pinch of salt


instructions

make the tahini + yogurt sauce

  • in a medium-sized bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and 2 tablespoons of water - whisk to combine.  if you like, add more water for a thinner constancy.  place in a lidded jar and refrigerate until needed

make the lentils and rice

  • pick over and remove any cracked or shriveled lentils; rinse under water. place lentils in a medium-sized saucepan with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil.  once boiling, turn heat down and bring to a simmer.  cook, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.  add water as needed to make sure lentils are just covered.  once cooked, remove from heat and set aside
  • wipe out pot, place over medium heat and combine the rice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, cayenne 1/4 teaspoon salt and some big cracks of pepper, stir to combine.  toast the rice and spices for a couple minutes stirring frequently.  add 1 1/2 cups of water; turn heat up and bring to a boil.  cover, turn heat to low and allow the rice to cook 40-50 minutes, until water is absorbed.  remove from heat and remove lid; place a tea towel over the pot and then place the lid back on.  set rice aside
  • while the rice is cooking, make the caramelized leeks.  heat a 10-inch skillet on medium, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  when hot, place leeks in.  stir every few minutes or so for even cooking, the leeks with take on a caramel color and be quite fragrant when finished - about 20-25 minutes.  set aside

assemble tacos

  • in a large bowl, combine the lentils, rice, leeks and parsley.  taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  • place warm tacos on a clean work surface, add the mujadra to each tortilla, top with pea tendrils and yogurt-tahini sauce

serve warm and enjoy! 


mung bean - leek burgers w/ shiso + chili mayo by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

mung bean - leek burgers | dolly and oatmeal

over the weekend i was fortunate enough to attend a discussion (with my mom - total bonus!) between Alice Waters and Dan Barber at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  (by chance we also witnessed the annual turkey herding at farm, so cute!) it was a really awesome night where there was some pertinent discourse on where food is going; the role of farms, of chefs, of home cooks, of teachers, of students, and importantly us as individuals and our own personal connections to food we buy, cook and eat. these are some of the things that Alice and Dan challenged the audience to be mindful of.  in a time where everything is instantaneously at our fingertips, i think we sometimes lose sight of what's going on in front of us; that we have choices in our connection and relationship with food.  

another part of the conversation focussed on the large percentage of people in the country, and the world, who are food insecure.  the people that don't have the money or resources to buy "local" or to drive to a local farm market.  the people who have no option but to buy the the over-processed, and nutrition-less items at the grocery store, or their local bodega.  both Alice and Dan are supporters of food education; immersing young students in the garden and showing them where food, nutrients, and energy come from.  as a teacher who has worked with students in low socioeconomic areas in new york city, it was inspiring to hear a real discussion between 2 people to whom i look up to, talk about topics that are not so readily discussed.  among other thought provoking topics, Dan Barber announced that he just finished writing his first cookbook (yay!), and Alice Waters spoke about how she was recently introduced to homemade oat flour!  that's right blogger friends, Alice Waters didn't know that pulsing rolled oats in a food processor gives you oat flour!  even Alice learns something new everyday :)

talk about learning something new everyday, i had no idea mung beans didn't require soaking! which made this (somewhat) laborious recipe a bit easier and less time consuming.  i don't know about you, but i never remember to soak my beans, lentils, what have you, so this non-soaking step was super! i have to say, i really love this burger's texture and consistency.  oftentimes i look past the veggie burger option on the menu because i find that they all have a similar mushiness, most times contain way too much sodium and always consist of the same vegetables.  call me partial, but these here burgers did the trick for me!  the mung beans lent their own subtly sweet flavor (plus mung beans are super easy to digest!), i found that the mildness of the leeks really came through for some great flavor as well.  however, the shiso is really the star here.  normally found at the farmers' market in the spring, i chose to incorporate it here because of the flavors i was trying to recreate from a restaurant i visited in Berlin.   in my Berlin roundup i mentioned the restaurant, Shiso Burger as one to check out if you ever found yourself there.  me and the husband found ourselves ordering 3 different types of burgers just to get a good flavor for what they had going on over there.  seriously awesome stuff, i can't wait to go back some day.  in the meantime, these veg burgers will keep my mind and mouth occupied with some lovely flavorful notes.  



mung bean - leek burgers w/ shiso + chili mayo | v + gf 

| makes 10 2 1/2" burgers |

shiso or perilla, can be found this time of year at groceries dedicated to asian cuisine.  if you're located in the city, i found my shiso at Sunrise Mart near Astor Place.  additionally, you can substitute the shiso for thai basil - not exactly the same flavor but close enough.  i provide a recipe for gluten/grain free buns (which were really good!), but feel free to use what you like, these burgers will taste good with just about anything!  

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried mung beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 large leeks, rinsed and sliced (scant 1 cup)
  • 3 small or 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 5-7 shiso leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grapeseed oil for cooking

toppings

  • 15 - 20 whole shiso leaves
  • half of a red onion, sliced thin
  • fresh cilantro sprigs
  • *chili mayo (instructions below)
  • shoyu sauce

gluten free hamburger buns (optional)

adapted from here

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 organic free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or honey)
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons black + white sesame seeds - for garnishing


instructions

make the patties

  • in a medium saucepan cover the mung beans with water reaching 2 inches above beans.  bring to boil, cover, and turn heat to low.  cook for 30 - 35 minutes until beans are soft.  remove from stove and drain.  let the beans cool or run cold water over them to speed up the process.  cook the quinoa according to the directions on container and let it cool - about 15 minutes
  • once cooled, place beans, quinoa, sliced leeks, garlic, flax seed, shiso, coriander, red pepper flakes and salt in a food processor.  pulse, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides.  once mixture is thoroughly combined, transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to a day (if you're pressed for time skip this step)  
  • using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop the mixture and level.  using your hands mold the mixture into a patty; repeat with remaining mixture
  • prepare a plate or platter with paper towels. heat a 10" skillet to medium heat, and cover bottom with a healthy glug of the oil.  carefully place burgers into the skillet (i managed to cook 4 at a time) and cook for 5 - 6 minutes on each side, until brown and crisp.  using a slotted spatula, transfer the patties to the paper towel lined plate.  repeat with remaining patties  

assemble the burgers

  • spread a healthy amount of chili mayo on one side of your bun, top with burger.  place 2-3 shiso leaves, a handful of cilantro and red onion to taste on top of the patty and drizzle with shoyu sauce (if you like more kick, spread chili mayo on both sides of the bun.)
  • alternatively, you can eat the burger without the bun and top with all the fixings - just as good, i promise!

make the buns 

  • preheat oven to 350Β° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  • in a large bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot powder and salt.   add the coconut milk, olive oil, eggs, sugar, vinegar and salt - mix until batter comes together (add more almond flour, a teaspoon at a time if you find the batter too runny)
  • pour 2 tablespoons worth of batter onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each bun.  repeat with remaining batter.  take your sesame seeds and sprinkle the tops
  • place in the middle of your oven and bake for 15 -18 minutes, rotating halfway through.  buns should be slightly browned on top, with lightly browned edges
  • let cool and either use right away or buns can be refrigerated for a week, or stored in the freezer for another time

*chili mayo - ( i took note from sara)

  • using either veganaise, mayo, or tahini (which is my favorite), combine 1 part sriracha to 2 parts "mayo".  if using tahini, a few teaspoons of water may be needed to thin the consistency a bit