I’m always trying new vegetarian dishes for dinner.  For one it’s easier on the wallet, but it’s also just a good way to switch things up.  I happen to think some of tastiest creations happen to be completely meatless, so why not do a meatless monday at home?  This past week I made falafel.  It’s such a middle eastern staple, yet I’ve never made it before.  Of course it’s more traditional to deep fried them, but then you lose all the health benefits of the chickpeas and in my opinion the taste of the chickpea.  Try this recipe for a healthier version you can make at home in your own kitchen.



For falafel:
1 15 ounce can chick peas
1 garlic clove
2 scallions
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp corinader
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 c parsley
zest of 1/2 of a lemon
1 egg
3 tbs flour
1 tsp cornstarch

For white bean sauce:
7 oz cannellini beans
1/4 c parsley
1 garlic clove
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs water

baby spinach and white rice for serving

In a food processor combine chickpeas, garlic, scallions, cumin, coriander, paprika, parsley, lemon zest, egg, and salt.  Pulse until well combined.  Pour mixture into a bowl then mix in flour and cornstarch.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In the meantime make the white bean sauce.  Clean out the food processor then add cannellini beans, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Pulse until smooth then remove to a ramekin for serving.

Remove chickpea mixture from refrigerator.  Add 2 tbs olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.  Use a rounded tablespoon measure to make each falafel patty.  Then add to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until browned.  Serve over a bed of baby spinach and top with white bean sauce and alongside white rice.


White Bean and Eggplant Dip


If you like hummous and babagnoush then you will like this because it’s a cross between the two.  It’s great as a snack with fresh veggies like carrots and cucumbers, but it’s also great on sandwiches.

I like to think that I’ve mastered how to make a great sandwich with this spread.  It’s great with balsamic portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, or even pork tenderloin. But what makes all of those sandwiches magically are sun-dried tomatoes.  Throw in some arugula for crunch and you have found a truly miraculous new lunch option.  Make a full batch on Sunday and have great lunches all week long.

Food 111

White Bean and Eggplant Dip
1 large eggplant, cubed into 2 inch pieces
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
2 sprigs rosemary, removed from stems
1/3 c olive oil and more from drizzling
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place eggplant on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside to cool.

Pour 1/3 c olive oil and rosemary in a small sauce pot, turn to medium high heat.  Allow rosemary to cook for 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let cool.

In a food processor combine cooled eggplant, cannellini beans, rosemary, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and salt.  Process until smooth, then place into a serving bowl.

Italian Franks and Beans


Let’s say your name is “Steve” and you love hot dogs and beans, but your wife, let’s call her “Janet” could do without them.  What do you do? You compromise, after all that’s what marriage is all about, and make this adult version of hot dogs and beans.  At the thought of it you might feel like you’re throwing in the towel, but with one bite you’ll realize you’ve never been more wrong.

Food 055

Italian Franks and Beans
1 lb sweet italian sausage
4 c leeks, about 3 or 4 leeks, chopped
2 15.5 oz cans of cannellini beans
1/4 c sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 c arugula, chopped

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add sausages and cook until brown on all sides and cooked through, about 10 -12 minutes.  In a separate skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add cannellini beans, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, cook for another 5 minutes then remove from heat.  Add lemon juice and zest, and arugula; mix to combine.  Portion beans onto plates along with sliced italian sausage, enjoy!