Falafel Recipe

23 Oct

A few nights ago I made falafel for the first time! If you can’t tell I’m on a bit of a cooking spree at the moment. I’ve never wanted to cook this much but lately I feel like I will not only eat healthier by cooking at home but also I’ve realized that some of these recipes aren’t that hard! Want to make falafel at home? Here’s what I did!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked white chickpeas (we used chickpeas and pinto beans)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped or minced
  • 2-3 garlic, crushed or finely chopped or minced
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley or coriander leaves, finely chopped or minced
  • ½ to 1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
  • salt as required
  • oil for deep frying

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Instructions:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mash the chickpeas and mix everything well.
  3. image_2Form into small or medium sized balls or patties
  4. image_3Deep fry in hot oil like the way you would do for pakoras/fritters.
  5. image_4Turn over to the other side whilst frying to ensure that the falafels are evenly fried.
  6. image_5Drain falafel on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil.
  7. image_6Serve falafel hot with pita bread.

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My Dad wanted to try and make the greek yogurt sauce that you can get with your falafel in a restaurant but we didn’t have the ingredients to make it so he just put greek yogurt on his pita bread with the falafel while I used hummus. This was also the perfect opportunity to try hemp hearts in my pita sandwich!

I’ll have a review up shortly on these hemp hearts but here’s a quick introduction. Hemp hearts are full of plant based protein and omegas. They have a slight nutty taste, I thought of a sunflower seed or cashews when I ate them. There are many ways you can eat them as well. You can sprinkle them on yogurt, in your cereal, smoothies, or on pita while your making falafel!

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For those of you who know me, you know quite well that I can burn anything (grilled cheese, mac & cheese, pasta, etc.) but I think I’m getting the hang of this cooking thing now. This turned out so good & it was really easy to make as well! I was so nervous about making it that I asked my Dad to help me (a list of a lot of ingredients get me stressed out, especially when it’s a lot of spices) but together we mastered this recipe!

I run 4 Sara!

22 Oct

Last year I found this organization called ‘I run 4′ which partners runners with those who have disabilities that keep them from doing some everyday activities. It took months but I was finally paired and here’s our story.

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I’ve asked my buddy’s parents if I could write about her and post photos of her and they have given me permission. So I’d like to introduce you to my buddy, Sara!

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March 1st, 2013, I received a message on Facebook from someone I didn’t know. Upon opening it I realized this person was introducing me to her daughter and saying, “thank you for wanting to run for people like my little girl” and how she was excited that she had finally been paired. I than realized that she was my ‘I run 4′ buddy and I was ecstatic!!! I continued to read the message as her mom told me, “Sara has Angelman syndrome and is our little Angel!” I had never heard of Angelman Syndrome before being paired with Sara but I’ve learned so much about it since than and it makes me more aware of what Sara and her family go through. Her mom continued to write that the doctors didn’t think she would be walking or talking but at almost two years old she was already pulling up on things and climbing though not quite walking yet.

Upon numerous occasions I’ve taken the time to research Angelman Syndrome to learn more, as I encourage everyone out there to do as well. It’s an disorder that can effect so many parts of your body though Sara is so strong she doesn’t seem like it gets the best of her at all!

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Sara and her family participated in their first 5k a few weeks ago! I am so incredibly proud of them! On her mom’s bib she even wrote, ‘Rachel runs 4 Sara’ which made my heart completely overjoyed that they thought of me during their run!

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It’s so amazing what kind of bond you can make with someone who lives states away from you and you’ve never met and yet they encourage you in all you do everyday! While I was in Australia a few months ago I bought her a t-shirt and mailed it when I returned to the US. Her mom than sent me this photo of her wearing it extremely happy!

IMG_4827I may not know much about Angelman Syndrome and I may not have met this little one face-to-face (yet) but her AND her family are incredible for encouraging me in all I do!

If you are a runner and are looking for even more motivation to get out there and train, I highly encourage you to sign up for a running buddy! It’s absolutely FREE to sign up and I guarantee that it will so be worth it when you get matched with someone! Check out the Facebook page HERE to sign up for a buddy!

Motivational Monday

20 Oct

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I’ve always been a fan of this quote. I think everyone should keep this in mind when meeting other people. Happy Monday!

Selfie Sunday

19 Oct

There are a lot of things I do to get ready for a run… stretch, plan my route, get my garmin set up, etc. One of the things I never forget is my phone. Why? To take selfies of course! I’m a bit ashamed that I am part of this generation where selfies are the norm. You don’t think twice if you see people taking selfies anywhere… that’s how you know you are part of this generation.

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In almost every run I take I end up taking a selfie whether it’s during a race or on a training run. Most of my photos that I post are happy faces expressing my joy in finishing my run or race like these…

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Than there are always those selfies where I am exhausted, lost (yes, lost during a race), or scared to run in the dark (during my first night run).

Fotor01019114958While looking back at photos I have found that I take A LOT of selfies! Does this problem just effect me or are there others out there who are obsessed with selfies while working out?

Homemade Cherry Almond Ice Cream!

17 Oct

Last month I went to a book sale in town where all their used books were $1!!! I am currently trying to GET RID of things in my house but I couldn’t by pass this opportunity! I ended up only finding two books, which was good because I don’t need anymore books in my house but I’m proud to say that I have gotten good use out of my new cookbook!

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I bought a ice cream cook book that looked amazing and everything looked pretty simple to make. Since my brothers birthday was just a few days away I told him to pick a recipe and we could make ice cream for his birthday! He chose to make Cherry Almond Ice Cream which turned out delicious!

Here’s what you need:

-2/3 cup of milk (we used almond milk but whole milk works as well)

-2/3 cup of ground almonds

-1 egg & 1 extra yolk

-1/2 cup of superfine sugar

-2-3 droops of almond extract

-1 lb. of red cherries, pitted OR 1 lb. jar of cherry compote (we just used red cherries)

-1/4 cup of silvered almonds

-2/3 cup heavy or whipping cream

1) Pour the milk into a small saucepan & stir in the ground almonds. Bring to a boil & than set aside. 

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2) Put the egg & the extra yolk into a heatproof bowl with the sugar, and beat until pale & think. Pour in the milk & almond mixture. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until thick. Stir in the almond extract and let cool. 

3) Put the cherries into a food processor or blender & process to a puree, then stir them into the custard. 

We used a blender & it worked to puree the cherries just fine!

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4) Toss the silvered almonds in a heavy pan over low heat to toast them. Let cool. 

5) Place the cherry mixture in an ice cream maker and pour in the cream. Churn and freeze. Mix in the toasted almonds. 

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6) Serve & Enjoy!

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This wasn’t all too hard to make and it actually turned out much better than I expected! I’m not a huge fan of cherry ice cream or almonds in my ice cream but I have to say it was pretty delicious!

Three Things Thursday

16 Oct

I’ve been a bit busy this week so here an update on some things I’m excited about this month!

1) October Goals Update

At the beginning of the month I posted a few goals I had for the month (HERE). My biggest goals this month is to stay away from unhealthy foods that I usually reach for; soda (specifically diet coke), chips, and ice cream. I have to say this is going well so far. I’m quite embarrassed to say that I broke the no chips streak at 2 days… oops! It was an honest mistake though! A friend of mine took me out to dinner one night at a mexican restaurant that give you a basket of chips and salsa before your meal. I didn’t think about it and just started eating them. It wasn’t until the end of the meal when we were paying that I realized what I had done. SINCE than I haven’t touched chips!

2) Eating Healthy

I’ve tried really hard lately to eat healthier. Just yesterday someone said to me, “You eat so healthy!” which made me feel great but I have a long way to go. I have always been the type of person to skip breakfast, Yes, the best meal of the day, so I’m trying to eat something healthy and filling for breakfast to get my day started on the right track. I’ve also been cooking a lot more lately! The spaghetti squash recipe was a huge hit when I shared it so keep an eye out for more recipes to come!

5) It’s Hockey Season!

I am so excited that it is hockey season! Ice Hockey is my favorite sport and, though our local team isn’t the BEST team out there, it’s still a great deal of fun to watch! My best friend from high school invited me to go watch a game with her last week. Our team lost but it was still awesome to catch up with her!

Motivational Monday

6 Oct

f99c20ea74c0534c220132e49be6ae3fI strongly agree with this! Not just when it comes to fitness but with everything in life. I know I’ve gone way too many morning waking up on the wrong side of the bed and had it ruin my whole day. I try and think positive when I wake up now and not let the little things get to me! Happy Monday!

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