December 28, 2009

Veggie Heaven

Happy Holidays from Hotplate Confidential!  I hope you’ve had a wonderful couple of weeks filled with family, food, and friends.  If it’s been anything like mine, it’s been a whirlwind affair filled with all those delicious goodies that you somehow tell yourself are not bad for you from roughly December 10 to January 1.  But to tell the truth, I’m hurting.  Now, this is not to say I haven’t had my share of delicious and healthy meals too (I made a particularly good salmon and lentil dish on Christmas Eve), but I just needed a night without meat or our other vegetarian fall back, pasta. 

Whenever I’m in need of an interesting, not run-of-the-mill vegetarian dish, I turn to Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks.  Her nutritious meals are feasts for the eyes, although I often substitute easier to find/store ingredients, for her many diverse kinds of flours and grains.  Tonight was no exception, but she was the inspiration for our baked “sweet potato falafel”.  Paired with quinoa and broccolini, this meal was just what the doctor ordered.  And it even satisfied Sam!

Baked Sweet Potato “Falafel” with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 c. corn meal
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
¼ c. breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and set aside.  Pierce the skin of the potatoes with a fork all over and cook in the microwave on high for 8 minutes.  They should be very tender, but continue to microwave if they are at all hard.  Let the potatoes cool slightly then cut in half and scoop out the flesh into a large bowl.  Add the garlic, cumin, corn meal, lemon juice, and salt & pepper and stir to combine making sure the corn meal is completely incorporated.  The mixture should have the consistency of a dough and should hold together on its own.  If you need a little more liquid, add a drizzle of olive oil.  Using a spoon, make one inch round balls and dredge them in the breadcrumbs.  Place them on the baking sheet and drizzle them with oil before putting them into the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes then broil them for 5.  They won’t be completely brown but they should be a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Makes 14-16 balls.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk until completely combined.  The vinaigrette should be very viscous and sweet. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the “falafel” and serve.

Quinoa with Lemon Scented Broccolini
Serves 2

½ c. quinoa
1 bunch brocollini
juice of half a lemon
½ a medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper
olive oil

Cook the quinoa and set aside in a medium sized bowl.  Heat oil in sauté pan and add the onions.  Cook for 2 minutes and add the garlic.  Cook until the onions are just soft and starting to become translucent, then add the broccolini, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Saute with another drizzle of olive oil and cook until the broccolini is just al dente.  It should still be very green and crisp to the bite.  Add the broccolini to the quinoa and stir to combine.  Add salt & pepper to taste.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, feel compelled to lighten it up after a couple of weeks of decadence. Heidi is always an inspiration, nice pick!


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