Category Archives: Potluck

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

Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip (The Best 3 Ingredient Appetizer)

This is an appetizer I bring to many a potluck. It is so easy to throw together, having¬†only 3 ingredients. Today’s potluck is a block party on my street, the Vester Festifall. We will be carving pumpkins, jumping on a bounce house, drinking hot toddies, and listening to a collaborative playlist of Halloween music.

Eliza Bounce House

Eliza is not enthused.

Yesterday, my neighbor Eliza and I made posters for the event. She is an absolute doll. Now, onto the recipe.

Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

  • goat cheese log
  • jar of pesto (home made or store bought)
  • red pepper(s)

Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip (The Best 3 Ingredient Appetizer) | real food. home made.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325¬ļ
  2. Spread the pesto over the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Chop up the goat cheese and arrange it down the middle.
  4. Dice your red pepper(s) and place them along the sides.
  5. Bake for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favourite crackers, pita chips, or baguette slices.

Note: You can either make this in a smaller baking dish, with a small goat cheese log, a small jar of pesto, and one red pepper. Today, however, I am using a monster cheese log, a lot of pesto and 2 red peppers.

In the oven, the pesto will sautée the pepper, and the cheese will melt. Yum yum yum! What a gorgeous Fall day for a block party. Gotta go!

Recipe source: The Polohouse

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Potluck, 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

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls

No Bake Carrot Cake Balls | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (make sure gluten free if allergic)
  • 1/3 cup¬†cashews, chopped
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (packed) grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup raisins

Method:

  1. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form into comfortably sized balls, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. ¬†If there are leftovers, pop them in the freezer to enjoy any time at a moment’s notice!

I love these little guys.  They are perfectly satisfying when you feel like a quick, healthy snack.  Forget processed granola bars!  These are the real deal.

Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

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Filed under Appetizers, Breakfast, Desserts, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Tempeh Portobello Potstickers

Tempeh Portobello Potstickers | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 48 wonton wrappers
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 8 oz tempeh, crumbled
  • 6 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped small
  • 2 T ginger, minced
  • 1 cup cabbage, grated
  • 1 cup carrot, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T liquid aminos
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • coconut oil for frying

Method:

  1. Prep all of your ingredients.
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat.  Add crumbled tempeh, mushrooms and ginger.
  3. Once the tempeh starts to brown and the mushrooms are wilted, add in the cabbage, carrot, and garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add in the liquid aminos and rice vinegar.  Then the green onions.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool.
  6. Prepare your workstation!  Fill a custard cup with water, and prepare a clean dry surface.
  7. Lay out one¬†wonton wrapper at a time, fill with about a tablespoon of filling, dip your finger in the water to wet the edges of the wrapper, and then pinch the edges together so they stick. ¬†Repeat 48 times. ¬†(Or if you’re like me, do 8-10 at a time).
  8. Use this time for meditation.  Meticulous potsticker stuffing will be only as annoying or as rewarding as you make it.
  9. Heat a bit of coconut oil in a large frying pan or electric skillet over medium-high heat (let’s just go ahead and say 7, can we say 7?) ¬†Add 8-10 potstickers to the pan. ¬†When they reach your desired level of golden brown, add a splash of water and cover with a lid to give them a little steam. ¬†I turn off the heat at this point.
  10. Cook the rest of your batches and then you will finally finally be done!

Hope the party guests tonight like my new concoction!

Optional Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup liquid aminos
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 t ginger, minced
  • 1/2 t sesame oil
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t chopped green onion

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Filed under Appetizers, Potluck, Vegetarian

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls

Spinach Quinoa Flax Balls | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red or white quinoa (or blend of both)
  • 1 3/4 cups organic free-range chicken broth
  • 2 boxes of frozen spinach, defrosted and water thoroughly squeezed out
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter (grass-fed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (make sure oats are gluten-free¬†if allergic)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes.
  2. Make your flour mixture by adding a handful of almonds and a handful of old-fashioned oats to a food processor and grind – Make a 1/2 cup of flour total.
  3. Mix quinoa, flour, and all other ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350*
  6. Grease baking sheet with coconut oil or butter.
  7. Roll mixture into balls and bake for 20-30 minutes.

These are so pretty!  If you use red quinoa, the red and green colour scheme make them perfect for bringing to Holiday parties!

Adapted from Lauren Kelly Nutrition

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Potluck, Snacks, Vegetarian

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites

Grass Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

This advertisement came in the mail yesterday, and I burst out laughing. ¬†I am going to start collecting these prime examples of our country’s sickening problem with food. ¬†We are equating the word “protein” with “corn dog”? ¬†How did we let this happen? ¬†Protein is one of the prime building blocks of life, I feel so sorry that the word has to appear so large alongside this abominable “edible food product”.

However, corn dogs are not inherently bad.  I believe that as long as you make a dish home made from quality real food ingredients, nothing is off limits!  Not even corn dogs.  Following is a recipe for mini corn dog bites Рthey are an excellent appetizer to bring to a superbowl party, or any other gathering under the sun (except maybe a vegan potluck).

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made. 

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites

Yield: 36 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

Now, contrast that list with the State Fair corndog ingredients:

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

When reading the¬†labels on packaged food products, ask yourself the question: “Are these the ingredients I would use to make this item”? ¬†If the answer is no, which it will be more often than not, do not risk it. ¬†Remember, your body is not a garbage can.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļ
  2. Whisk butter and sugar together, add eggs, then buttermilk, whisking them all together.
  3. Whisk dry ingredients in a seperate bowl: cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Spray a mini muffin pan with coconut oil.
  6. Add a glop of batter to, then press a hot dog section into the center of, each cup.  Each cup should be nearly full but not quite.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cornbread just starts to brown.
  8. Let them cool for as long as you can stand it, and then transfer to a tupperware to bring to the party.
  9. You can serve these at room temperature, or re-heat them in the oven for a bit at serving time.

Grass-Fed Corn Dog Bites | real food. home made.

Now that’s a fun source of protein I can get behind!

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

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Filed under Appetizers, Potluck, Snacks