Category Archives: Dinner Ideas

Falafel From Scratch + Vegan Rooftop Dinner

Over the weekend, I helped host a friend’s Bachelorette party on the roof of an apartment building in Midtown Detroit. My food contribution was a homemade falafel recipe that I had made once before with success. [Others I’ve tried were not nearly as successful (can we say “falafel waffle”?)] Since we were expecting 20+ girls, I doubled the recipe. It did end up being just the right amount of food, but please beware, DO NOT double the recipe unless you are feeding 20 people. Even one batch is quite a lot of falafel ūüôā

Falafel

Now, two days later, people are still asking me for the falafel recipe, so I wanted to publicly share it, and give credit to its author, Elephantastic Vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 2¬Ĺ cups / 500g¬†dried chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon cumin
  • lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon baking powder
  • ‚Öď cup / 30g¬†besan/chickpea flour
  • ‚Öõ cup / 30ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
 Method:
  1. Put the dry chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with enough water (the chickpeas will double in size!) and let them sit covered overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400¬įF/200¬įC.
  3. Peel the onions and garlic cloves. Put them in a food processor and chop.
  4. In a pan with a teaspoon of canola oil, add the chopped onions, garlic & cumin and let it cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until they starten to brown.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and then work in batches by adding the first batch into the food processor and chop until the pieces are really small (you don’t want to make hummus). In one batch add in the parsley to chop it as well. Repeat until all the chickpeas are used. Transfer everything to a huge bowl.
  6. Add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, ground pepper, baking powder and the onions and garlic. Mix well.
  7. Add in the chickpea flour and olive oil. Mix the chickpea mixture well and form little balls. If the dough does not stick together enough, add more chickpea flour and oil.
  8. Put the falafel on a baking tray and put them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they turn golden.
  9. You can eat the falafel like that or put them in a pan with a little oil for re-heating when you need them. They freeze very well, so you will have a nice stash of homemade falafel in your freezer, which is super convenient ūüėČ

Note: For this party, I did fry them in a pan instead of baking them. It was a special occasion ūüôā

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Photo credit: Royce Mathew

The beautiful bride-to-be!

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Potluck, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Chipotle Turkey Apple Chili + Traverse City Cottage

Chipotle Turkey Apple Chili | real food. home made.

I need to take more time on my food photography. The hard part is, once it’s ready, you just want to eat it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (from a local farm)
  • 2 granny smith apples, 1 peeled and both chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup of free range chicken broth
  • 1 cup of bock beer (TJ’s Josephsbrau Heller Bock or Shiner or any other beer you fancy, really)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can of beans, any variety (I use Kroger’s tri-bean blend)
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
  • 1 loaf of Everyday Crusty Bread, for serving

Method:

  1.  Add a bit of EVOO to a large pot over medium-high heat. Add your ground turkey, peeled chopped apple, diced onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is no longer pink.
  2. Add garlic, chipotle peppers, chili powder and cumin, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, beer, cinnamon stick, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, adding the beans in during the last minutes.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick, scoop into bowls, top with raw chopped granny smith apple, shredded cheddar cheese and serve with a slice of homemade bread.

*Tip: I buy cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, throw the whole thing into the food processor, and puree it smooth. I store it in my fridge, practically indefinitely (well let’s just say, I use it before it goes bad). I use approximately 1 T for every diced chipotle in adobo called for in a recipe.

Traverse City Cottage | real food. home made.

In other news, our family recently bought this amazing Traverse City cottage! We are currently visiting for the first time this weekend, blogging in the living room as the lake-reflected sun blinds us.

Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats!

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Soups & Chilis

Spaghetti Squash with Fennel, Kale, Lemon & Italian Chicken Sausage

SpaghettiSquash

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bulb of fennel plus herby tops
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh minced rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn
  • 1 package italian chicken/turkey sausage (from a local farm or al fresco brand), cut into coins
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shaved parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļ
  2. Halve and de-seed your spaghetti squash. Brush with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side up, for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, dice up your onion, pepper, and thinly slice an equal amount of fennel. Reserve the herby tops in a small bowl for serving.
  4. Mince your garlic and rosemary, and put them aside in a separate bowl.
  5. Heat some EVOO on medium heat in a large pan, and sautée the onion, pepper and fennel bulb pieces.
  6. When they are softened, add in the garlic, rosemary and kale, and cook until fragrant and kale is wilted.
  7. Remove this mixture from the pan, and place in a large bowl. Squeeze one half of the lemon on top, and add your sunflower seeds.
  8. In the same pan, add a bit more EVOO and cook your sausage coins. Add these to the bowl once browned.
  9. When the squash is done, use 2 forks to pull it apart. Squeeze the second half of the lemon on top, and then incorporate into the rest of the ingredients.
  10. To serve, scoop mixture into bowls, and add parmesan cheese and fennel herby tops.

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Paleo

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions | real food. home made.

I love dinners that are practically all vegetables, yet have enough different colours, textures and tastes where you might not even notice. You might even say: “it has meal appeal out the wazoo!” And did I mention it’s quick? I¬†got off work at 4:30 and have already swung by the¬†post office and bank, stopped at the grocery store for my ingredients, made dinner, did the dishes AND wrote this blog entry and it is only 7:00pm.

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 10 oz baby bella mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 475¬ļ
  2. Toss squash and onion pieces with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast on an even layer for 15-18 minutes, until squash is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium heat, add EVOO, your chopped mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until mushrooms are tender (adding a splash of balsamic vinegar halfway through cooking), then turn heat to warm and add parmesan and parsley.
  6. Arrange squash and onion pieces in a radial manner, add mushroom/parmesan mixture on top, and serve immediately!

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1

Hi guys,

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. We have been caught in the eye of a Friends watching tornado and gosh, it’s been great! I haven’t been working on any new recipes to post, but I have been cooking up some delicious¬†meals. When a recipe I find really stands out, I add it to my “Recipe Hall of Fame”. Here are some Hall-of-Famers that I sincerely suggest you try!

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

Strawberry Basil Smashed Avocado Toast from Love & Lemons

Jeanine’s recipes never cease to amaze me. I love her simplicity and elegance. Most (if not all) of her recipes are vegetarian. Check out her blog – you can even search by ingredient, season, special diet and meal type. But first! Run (do not walk) to the nearest market and grab the ingredients for this toast.

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

Crispy Chickpea and Butternut Squash Salad by Mountain Mama Cooks

This is a wonderful salad. It’s got it all.

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

Salmon with Fennel, Oranges, Bell Pepper & Olives by Martha Stewart

This dinner I thought was a work of genius! Throw everything onto a sheet pan, Broil for 8-10 minutes, and you’re done!¬†The final product is so impressive, one would assume much more effort went into it’s making. Make this one for the guy or gal you are seeing, on about the 5th date.

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

One Pan Farro with Tomatoes by Smitten Kitchen

This recipe is also made in one pan! You simply add each ingredient to the pan after preparing it, and it all cooks together. Make sure to check the cooking time on your farro, because some is quick-cooking and you could easily end up with a pile of mush. If you haven’t tried farro, it’s a wonderful ingredient. It can be hard to find, though, so check your specialty markets.

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa by Sarcastic Cooking

This recipe is absolutely gorgeous. Sure, there are three separate components to prepare, but it really comes together rather quickly. Make this A.S.A.P.

Recipe Hall-of-Fame: Volume 1 | real food home made.

Coconut Flour Waffles by Unrefined Kitchen

This is my go-to waffle recipe. I looooooooove them. And they love me too.

So, hopefully I’ve introduced you to some new recipes to try and some new bloggers to follow! REAL FOOD RULES!!!

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner Ideas, Hall of Fame, Lunch, Potluck, Salads, Vegetarian

Couscous with Broccoli and Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs

Couscous with Broccoli and Turkey-Zucchini Meatballs | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (from a local farm)
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg white (from a local farm)
  • 1 T Worcestershire¬†sauce
  • 1/2 t italian seasoning (salt-free)
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

For the dish:

  • 1 cup israeli couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups free range chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, chopped then steamed
  • 6 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 T basil infused extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 t italian seasoning (salt-free)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400¬ļ and mix all meatball ingredients together by hand in a bowl. ¬†Form into roughly 16 balls, and place onto a wire rack nestled on top of a sheet tray.
  2. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, steam your broccoli in a wooden basket on one half of the stove, while you cook your couscous in a smaller pan on the other side.  Steam the broccoli until it is tender but retains the last bit of crunch.
  4. To cook the couscous, bring your chicken broth to a boil, add in the couscous, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of your ingredients, adding them into a large bowl.  As your elements finish cooking, add them to the bowl as well.  For the meatballs, I chopped them into quarters.  You will not need the whole batch, so you can save some for a midnight snack Рor to use in another dish tomorrow.
  6. Top with parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve hot!

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Kayla’s Kobb Salad

Kayla's Kobb Salad | real food. home made.

Kayla’s Kobb Salad

Ingredients:

  • romaine leaves, chopped
  • kale leaves, torn
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • green onions, sliced
  • turkey breast from a local farm, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • hardboiled pastured egg, sliced into wedges
  • sunflower seeds

Serve with a homemade honey mustard dressing.

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Paleo, Salads