Friday, April 6, 2007

Tonight's Dinner: Falafel With White Bean Hummus and Lemon Spinach Couscous

This was quite easy to make, and pretty quick too.

The couscous and falafel came from boxes, and the only thing I changed was to shape the falafel into patties and pan-fry them rather than roll them into balls and deep-fry. By pan-frying in a non-stick pan on medium-low heat, I was able to cut most of the fat from the recipe (I used about a tablespoon of olive oil for all of the falafel, just to make them a little crispy on the outside).

I haven't been too thrilled with the store-bought hummus I've found around here, so I decided to make my own. I'm not sure what gave me the idea, but in the canned goods aisle of the grocery store I decided to try making it with navy beans instead of chick peas (cannellini beans or great northern beans would work too).

You need:

• 1 can white beans, drained (navy, cannellini or great northern)
• juice from 1/4 lemon
• 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
• approx. 2 tbsp water
• salt to taste

(It makes a big difference to use fresh lemon juice and garlic; I would not recommend using bottled lemon juice or garlic from a jar for this recipe.) Just dump the beans, lemon juice, garlic and water in a blender and blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Add salt to taste and mix well.

We had the falafel in whole wheat pitas with lettuce, diced tomato and the hummus with the couscous on the side. The Boy was skeptical of the hummus at first, but as soon as he tasted it he was won over. The navy beans give it a creamier taste and texture than chick peas do, and without any oil added. Most hummus recipes call for tahini, but this was surprisingly good without it.

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